Medium is an online writing platform where people can share stories about pretty much anything. But as a reader, or indeed if you are a writer, you might be wondering if Medium is free to use.
It is free to use Medium as a writer, but if you want to be able to read more than 3 stories per month, you’ll need to pay a $5 monthly subscription or $50 per year. You can write on the platform without a subscription, and you can even earn money from your stories through the Partner Program.
Below, we’ll go into more detail about the costs of using Medium as a reader and as a writer. We’ll also touch on how you can read free stories on Medium, and whether all stories are locked behind a paywall.
Do You Need To Pay For Medium?
You don’t need to pay for Medium to use it as a writer, and you can get 3 free stories per month as a reader too. However, if you want unlimited access to read all stories on the platform, you’ll need to pay a $5 per month subscription, or $50 per year.
You can also access some stories for free on the platform and even outside of Medium.com if they’re shared, for example through Twitter (now X). However, to get unlimited access to read everything that Medium has to offer, you do need to pay for the subscription.
Is Medium Free For Writers?
Medium is free for writers, and you can write an unlimited number of stories on the platform at no cost, and even earn money from them. This means you don’t need to pay the $5 per month subscription, but you will need to pay that if you want to be able to read as many stories as you want.
Can You Use Medium For Free As A Reader?
You can use Medium for free as a reader, but you’ll only have access to 3 free stories per month. This only applies to stories behind the Partner Program paywall, as some stories are free to read for all and you can read some for free if they’re shared with you via Twitter or a friend link.
Most stories on the platform are behind the paywall, as it’s the way that writers are able to earn money for their work. However, there are some free ways to read stories that we’ll go into more detail on soon.
How Many Free Posts Do You Get On Medium?
You get 3 free posts on Medium per month, known as stories, if you don’t pay the $5 per month subscription fee (or $50 per year). You can also access some other stories for free, and there are ways to access paid stories at no cost even if you don’t have a subscription.
Are All Medium Stories Behind A Paywall?
Not all Medium stories are behind a paywall. The only Medium stories that you need the $5/month subscription for are the ones writers choose to be eligible for Medium’s Partner Program. This allows the writer to earn money from their work depending on how it performs.
Most writers will put most if not all of their stories behind the Partner Program paywall as it’s a good way for them to try and earn some extra money for their work. But some writers may not use the platform solely as a way to make money, and you may be able to read these stories for free.
Medium also sometimes makes stories on a certain topic free to read for those without accounts too, usually in order to raise awareness about a given issue. This happened during the Covid-19 pandemic, when lots of stories on the subject were made accessible for those with and without paid accounts.
4 Ways To Read Medium Stories For Free
1. Read 3 Free Stories Per Month
The easiest way to read stories for free on Medium is to enjoy 3 free stories per month on your free account. You may be able to do this multiple times if you have different devices with different email accounts/logins, but it’s a good way to get a taste of the kind of content that’s out there.
You can read any story on the platform for free this way. If you use up all your free stories in a given month, you can always save stories to read later. You can even save them to various different lists for easy organization.
2. Only Read Free Stories
The second way to read Medium stories for free is to only read stories that aren’t behind the Partner Program paywall. You can read as many of these as you like without using up your 3 paid story limit per month.
Obviously, you need to know which stories are free, and this limits your choice of reading substantially. You’ll know a story is free to read if it doesn’t have the ‘Member-only’ badge above the story’s title.
3. Read Through Twitter
The next way to read for free involves reading stories sent to you through direct messages on Twitter. If you know someone that has a paid Medium account, they can share stories they like with you through Twitter, and you’ll be able to read those stories for free.
4. Read Through Friend Links
The final way involves connecting with the actual writer of the stories. They can share a friend link with you, which allows you to read the story for free through this link. Obviously it’s not the most versatile method, but it still counts as a way to read some Medium stories for free!
Medium is free to use for readers and writers, but you’ll only be able to read 3 free stories per month without paying the $5/mo subscription cost. You can write on the platform for free though, and this could even turn into a way for you to make money from your work.
Chris is the creator of Freelance Ready. He originally started freelancing (on Fiverr) while at university, writing and editing website content. He created this website to share his freelancing experience and help others on their own self-employed journeys. He is now a freelance SEO consultant and content editor. You can learn more about Chris here.
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