- Medium.com is a blogging platform where anyone can write.
- 6% of Medium writers earn at least $100/month.
- Writers who are a part of the Partner Program get paid when readers read their articles.
- Only people located in these specific countries can be a part of the Partner Program.
- You can easily earn $1500/month on Medium if you write good content regularly.
- I’ve earned more than $20k writing on Medium.
Table of Content
- What is Medium.com?
- What’s Medium’s business model?
- What’s the Medium Partner Program?
- How to get accepted into the Partner Program?
- How to earn money on Medium in 2023?
- Which countries are a part of the Partner Program?
- How much money can you earn on Medium?
- How does the Medium algorithm work?
- Which publications should you start writing for?
- Should You Choose a Niche to Write About?
- What’s the purpose of Medium?
- Why is Medium so famous?
- What’s the History of Medium?
This is the most complete Medium guide you will read on the Internet.
Let’s dig in!
1. What Is Medium.com?
Anyone can join Medium and publish a wide array of articles about pretty much anything.
The most popular topics are:
- Business, startups, and entrepreneurship
- Marketing and sales
- Financial advice
- Poetry and fiction
- Personal essays
Readers can like and comment on stories and follow their favorite writers which enables a two-way communication between writers and readers.
2. What Is Medium’s Business Model?
Medium allows members to read three articles per month for free.
Beyond that, users must purchase a membership which costs $5/month or $50/year. It gives members the right to like, comment, and read an unlimited number of stories.
Fewer than 1 million users are paying members.
A part of the money earned thanks to memberships goes to the company, and the other part goes to Medium writers that are a part of the Partner Program.
Sources have reported that Medium pays writers $2 million per month, but I couldn’t corroborate this fact.
Could the Platform Go Bankrupt?
Since Medium is financially solid enough to pay writers a significant amount of money per month, we can assume the company is profitable.
And yet, the platform has raised $163 million according to Crunchbase. Assuming that it earns $3 million per month, investors are unlikely to ever see their money back.
As a result, while writing on Medium is great, you should diversify and write on other websites like Simily, Vocal Media, or HubPages as well.
It’s best not to put all of your eggs in the same basket!
3. What’s the Partner Program?
The Partner Program is a financial reward program established by Medium to pay writers who write stories on the platform.
Writers get paid in proportion to the time readers spend reading their stories. If a lot of people read your stories, you will be paid a lot of money.
From the 1st of August 2023, Medium has changed the way they pay writers to take into consideration comments and likes on stories.
It’s estimated that 6% of writers on Medium earn at least $100/month by publishing articles.
4. How to Get Accepted Into the Partner Program?
You must comply with four requirements to get accepted into the Partner Program.
- Reside or be a citizen from one of these countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States.
Have 100 followers.Since August 1st 2023, you no longer need to have 100 followers.
- Publish at least one story every 6 months: if you fail to do so, you will be dropped out of the Partner Program.
- Have a Stripe (or Paypal) account.
- Have a Medium membership
Once you have fulfilled these requirements, you can apply to the Partner Program directly from your account.
Does the Number of Followers Matter?
None at all. The algorithm constantly tests for topics, not writers.
I have 5000 followers and yet have higher statistics than writers with 130 000 followers.
The only benefit of getting followers is the social status it gives you on the platform.
5. How to Earn Money on Medium in 2023?
There are two direct ways (and a few indirect ways) to earn money on the platform in 2023 once you have been accepted into the Partner Program.
A. Write Stories
The most direct way to earn money is to write stories and publish them behind the paywall.
The platform pays you according to the time readers have read your work, the read/ratio, the number of likes, the highlights, and the comments.
If you receive a lot of views (a click on the article) but no reads (readers quickly left your article), you won’t earn much.
Medium pays you if people read your article because a full read is a sign that your article was valuable, which is the primary reason why readers come to Medium.
This system incentivizes writers to write articles people want to read – which is all that matters.
This is, in fact, the key to success on the platform (and in business in general): write what people want to read.
B. Sell Memberships
Medium discontinued the affiliate program on the 1st of August 2023.
You can earn money by promoting your affiliate link. Medium will share with you 50% of the membership forever – or at least until the member stops his subscription. Many writers make several hundred dollars this way – completely passively. To find your affiliate link, type: https://yourusername.medium.com/membership.
C. Have a Tipping Service Account
A tipping service enables you to be tipped by strangers who enjoy your articles.
Once you have registered with one of these services, you can paste your tipping link in your settings and it will appear at the end of all of your articles.
D. How Much Money Does Medium Pay per 1000 Views?
Views don’t make money because the company pays based on the time readers read, the read/ratio, the likes, the comments, and the highlights.
An article with many views and no reads won’t earn anything, while an article with few views but as many reads will earn much more.
6. Which Countries Are a Part of the Partner Program?
- Brazil – Available in October 2024.
- Czech Republic
- Hong Kong
- India – Available in October 2024.
- New Zealand
- Thailand – Available in October 2024.
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- United States
7. How Much Money Can You Earn on Medium?
But keep in mind that these people have years of experience behind them. They’ve also written hundreds of articles that are like tiny money trees, earning them $$$ every month.
This source has reported that the most money earned by one writer in a month was $49,705.40 and that the single highest-grossing story earned $16,685. But the source itself doesn’t quote other sources, so take this with a pinch of salt.
If you’re wondering whether you can make a living on Medium, the answer is: yes, you definitely can.
I, for once, have earned over $20 000 from Medium after writing 270 articles and acquiring 5 000 followers (I’m a rather controversial writer too, and I don’t advise you to follow in my footsteps).
My highest-grossing articles earned over $1k per piece.
On my best month yet, I’ve earned $2,350.
What’s the secret?
The secret is that there’s no secret.
You have to write a lot of great articles.
Living off Medium isn’t about writing one article once in a while.
It’s not about having one great idea once in a while.
It’s not about writing well only when you have time.
It’s about doing these three things regularly.
People who earn money on Medium are the people who don’t have to write, but who want to write.
8. How Does the Medium Algorithm Work?
When you publish a story, it’s reviewed by the Medium algorithm which will start showing it to people it thinks will be interested in the article.
If the article gets lots of clicks and reads, the algorithm will assume that it’s a good one and it will show it to more and more people until the ratio of people who see the article and people who click on it decreases.
The Medium algorithm works like the gym: you need to write regularly if you want it to work!
- If you want to publish every five days, stick to this schedule.
- Don’t publish four articles in a day then nothing for two weeks.
- Don’t publish too many articles – the algorithm will think you’re a bot.
The Medium Algorithm Stopped Showing My Articles. Help!
A lot of writers complain at some point that “the algorithm stopped working” because they received far fewer views and reads than usual.
They’re in a rut. What they write isn’t good.
Few things reflect one’s state of mind as much as writing.
When your personal life slumbers, so does your writing. And no one likes that.
Sometimes though, you do write some great stuff and yet don’t get many views.
There are a few reasons for that.
- Your article is shadowbanned. The word “China” for example, has been rumored for a while to be a reason for shadowbanning. So is the word “Medium” because the platform does not like it when people write about it.
- Certain inflammatory articles (about politics, etc) will also be shadowbanned.
- You wrote too much: if you publish every day, the algorithm will think you’re a bot.
- You didn’t write enough. You can’t expect to take a 2-week break and then be on the front page when you come back.
Medium updated its content guidelines on the 1st of August 2023.
The following type of articles are now shadowbanned:
- Clickbait, including visual clickbait
- Stories written about Medium
- Articles whose sole purpose is to generate traffic
- AI-generated articles
- Non-English stories
- Crypto airdrops
- Erotic and sex stories
- Articles that continue on other websites
- Inflammatory business reviews
- Copyrighted images
- Articles with too many links
- Attacks and call-out posts
- Politicians asking for donations/contributions
- Unverifiable claims — Claims that could be dangerous, illegal, or cause harm, including health, public health, or mental health claims; claims that lack sufficient evidence or manipulate otherwise widely accepted information; racist, racially-charged, or transphobic stories
9. Which Publications Should You Start Writing For?
There are two ways to publish articles:
- By yourself. You write the article then hit “publish”.
- Through a publication.
A publication is a group of editors publishing articles under a “brand”: the publication.
The publication The Startup, for example, publishes business and money-related articles.
It’s great to be published through publications because it ensures your article is shown to the publication’s readers, giving it a boost in visibility.
However, the algorithm will show your article to people regardless of the fact that it was published in a publication or not.
Why bother, then?
For the reader.
Readers always feel reassured when an article is published through a publication because it ensures a certain quality standard.
What Publications Accept Beginners?
The quality of your article is (in most cases) the only variable that will influence the editors’ decision to publish your article or not, regardless of your experience.
Great writing is great writing – period.
That being said, some publications welcome a wide array of different articles.
- Illumination: it’s one of the most famous publications on Medium.
- Practice in Public: this publication, created by Ayodeji Awosika, was built to help beginners practice writing.
- Be Yourself: a publication geared towards self-development.
- Niches: like above.
These three publications are great to get started with.
10. Should You Choose a Niche to Write About?
A niche is a delimited topic to write about.
Some people only write about business; others write about self-development; and some exclusively write about travel.
Should you do that too?
There’s no obvious answer to that question.
In the short term, you will earn more money quicker and have more followers if you choose a niche, as your value proposition will be clearer.
“I’m the guy/gal who writes about X”.
In the long term though, it creates several problems.
- You will stagnate: there are only as many people as your niche interests.
- You will run out of things to say: there’s only as much as you can say about your niche unless it’s constantly evolving like science and technology.
- You will get bored: guaranteed.
I don’t have any niche but that’s also because it suits my personality. I want to write about a wide array of topics and I have accepted the compromises I had to make (the impossibility to sell your audience stuff, because they’re all interested in *one* of the topics you wrote about).
Note that you can always start with a niche and then outgrow it as you progress.
11. What’s the Purpose of Medium?
Medium is a blogging platform enabling anyone to write anything and find an audience for it.
12. Why is Medium so Famous?
Many famous people and writers have written on Medium or use Medium as a communication platform.
- Barack Obama
- Arnold Schwarzenegger
- Ryan Holiday
- Mark Manson
- Nassim Taleb
- Luke Burgis
- Kamala Harris
- William Shatner
- Jerry Seinfeld
- Oliver Stone
- Joseph Gordon-Levitt
- Michael Moore
13. What’s the History of Medium?
Medium began its journey in 2012. Ev Williams, a Twitter co-founder, wanted to create a platform where people could publish longer messages than 140 characters.
A few years later, the company began to seek a way to monetize the platform.
They put some ads but it drastically degraded the reader experience.
So they came up with the subscription model in 2017 and began to redistribute a part of the money to the writers.
They subsidize certain publications and a few famous online writers to attract more readers; but they quickly lost these writers to Substack.
They dropped the subsidy model in 2021 which led many publications to leave Medium.
In 2022, Ev Williams stepped down as CEO and was replaced by Tony Stubblebine who has been CEO since then.
Medium is one of the best ways to get started writing online.
The audience is responsive and you will be quick to find out if your writing resonates or not.
The likes and comment section helps you improve and communicate with your readers.
And when you found your style, you will be able to join the Partner Program and get paid for your efforts.
Medium changed my life. I wouldn’t be where I am had I not encountered Medium.
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