Writing on Medium can be a great way to make money, build an audience, and establish yourself as an expert in your field. It is also a great platform for sharing your thoughts, stories, and ideas with the world. But like any other writing endeavor, it takes dedication and hard work to make good money on Medium.com.
In this guide, I’ll provide you with all the information you need to know about writing on Medium, including how to create content that stands out from the crowd, how you’ll get paid for your articles, and additional tips for success. With this knowledge, you’ll be well-equipped to start earning money by writing on Medium!
What Is Medium?
Medium is an online publishing platform founded in 2012 by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams. It’s a platform that allows users to share their thoughts, ideas, and stories with a global audience. It provides a space where anyone can become a writer or reader, fostering a sense of community and intellectual engagement.
Unlike traditional publishing platforms, Medium encourages users to focus on the content itself rather than the author’s credentials, enabling emerging voices to gain exposure alongside established writers.
Is It Free To Write On Medium?
It is free to write on Medium. Writers get access to the platform without any fees or restrictions, allowing you to create your own stories and publish them to Medium’s vast reader base (possibly 100+ million each month!). Writers can also join publications, which allows you to leverage the visibility of existing fan bases.
It’s also worth noting that it’s safe to write on Medium too, as the platform takes pride in providing a friendly environment for readers and writers.
What Can You Write About On Medium?
When it comes to what you can write about on Medium, the possibilities are virtually endless. From short stories and opinion pieces to research-based articles and tutorials, there is something for everyone.
If you have something you want to write about, Medium can be the perfect testing ground for it!
How Much Money Can You Make Writing On Medium?
How much money you can make writing on Medium will vary a lot depending on the following factors:
- How much time paying Medium members spend reading your content
- How often you publish
- The niches you write in
- The style of your content
There are various other factors at play too, but that first one – paid member read time – is the most important. I’ll talk more about that later on in the section discussing how Medium pays you, but it’s important to know right away that you need paying Medium members to read your content if you want to make good money on the platform.
Examples Of Medium Earnings
As for the numbers, they vary a lot. Some writers make thousands of dollars per month, such as Sinem Günel. She made $11,000 in one month back in 2020.
Other established writers, such as Zulie Rane, earn a few hundred dollars per month, as she explains in this article. She also illustrates in that post that, at least in April of 2023, Medium paid more than $100 to just 5.4% of the active writers on the platform. That’s not a whole lot for a very small proportion of people!
As a beginner on the platform, you’re naturally going to be unlikely to earn much at the start. However, Medium can definitely be an income source, but it takes time and effort to see success.
How Much Does Medium Pay Per 1000 Views?
Medium doesn’t pay a set amount of money per 1000 views, as it again varies a lot. You could have 1000 views from non-paying members and not earn anything, or you could earn $15+. Like with earning money on Medium in general, it’s not a straightforward system!
Note: My personal rate per 1000 views on Medium is around $16.74
How You Make Money On Medium
The Medium Partner Program
Medium offers its users a unique way to earn money from writing through their Partner Program. Writers that opt in for this (it’s free) receive a share of the revenue generated from paying Medium members, based on how much engagement and read time their posts get.
You will need at least 100 followers to be eligible for the Partner Program. This wasn’t always a requirement, but now you need to have at least that many and have published a story on Medium. You also need to publish at least once every 6 months, or Medium may remove you from the program.
Help: If you’re struggling to hit that threshold, check out our guide to getting more followers on Medium.
The Medium Partner Program works by paying you a share of paying members’ subscription fees. How much you earn will primarily depend on how much time paid Medium members spend reading your content, and what proportion of their total read time on the platform they spend on your content.
In other words, the more time paying members spend reading your content, the more money you can earn on Medium.
Medium Referral Program
You can also encourage your audience on the platform and elsewhere to sign up for a Medium account (that’s my affiliate link) and you’ll earn a portion of their membership fee in return. This is an ideal method for any writers, but especially those with existing audiences.
The Medium referral program will earn you half of each referred member’s subscription fee for as long as they’re subscribed. You can also promote this link within your Medium stories, to encourage any non-paying members that find your story to sign up for an account.
This method is great for those with an established audience, but the Partner Program is the main way beginners will make money on Medium. Plus, that is the one that’s most dependent on your ability to write high-quality, engaging content.
Another way to make money directly on Medium is through tipping. You can opt to allow readers to leave tips for you on your stories, and you can do this in your settings (it’s not enabled by default). You can choose what platform to use for tipping (such as PayPal or Ko-fi), so it’s unrelated to your Partner Program and referral earnings.
Tipping is unlikely to become a big income source for you on Medium unless you have a huge following. However, it’s worth being aware of this feature.
But what are some of the other ways you can make money on the platform?
Other Ways To Make Money On Medium
You can also promote affiliate links on Medium, but you should only do so naturally. Spamming affiliate links or writing articles for the sole purpose of promoting them is not going to fly on the platform. You’ll also need to disclose the fact that they’re affiliate links.
Plus, if you’re trying to get into publications, it’s worth checking their policies first. Some may not publish articles that contain or heavily promote affiliate links.
Writers may also join Medium’s partner platforms such as Substack or Patreon, which offer similar monetization opportunities. These programs allow writers to create subscription-based newsletters and share in the revenue generated by their subscribers, or accept donations from dedicated fans.
This is an excellent way for writers to build their own personal brands and gain additional exposure while earning money at the same time! However, this isn’t technically making money on Medium itself, although you can direct readers to these platforms.
You can also use Medium to direct traffic to your digital products if you have any. While this obviously requires you to have something to sell, it’s worth knowing you create content elsewhere.
It goes without saying that you shouldn’t be using Medium solely to promote yourself or your products. Medium is primarily a reader-focused platform, and you need to provide value for your readers above all else. If you don’t, you can’t expect to be rewarded in return!
Medium has also paid out writer bonuses in the past, but these ended in August of 2021. Many other (outdated) sources claim that these are still a thing. It’s unclear if there are plans to reintroduce bonus payments.
How To Start Making Money On Medium
1. Sign Up For A Medium Account
Getting started with making money on Medium is easy. All you need to do is sign up for an account. You can create a free account on the platform’s website or by downloading their app from the App Store or Google Play Store. Once you set it up, you’re ready to start publishing your stories!
2. Choose Your Niche
Now it’s time to decide what kind of content you want to write about. Whether it’s fiction, nonfiction, travel, lifestyle, finance, health & wellness, or something else entirely, there are plenty of topics to choose from. It might take some trial and error to figure out what resonates best with your target audience, but once you find your niche it will be easier to build a more consistent following over time.
However, you don’t need to narrow things down to just one niche. You can write about almost anything on Medium, and you don’t need to be an expert to do so. You will likely benefit from keeping things roughly consistent, but you’re not bound to one niche for your entire time spent on the platform!
3. Create Compelling Content
Once you have chosen your niche (or niches), it’s time to start creating a story that readers will love. Utilize descriptive titles and captions when submitting articles in order to draw readers in and entice them to click. Also make sure to include relevant images alongside your story to draw readers in and split up your text.
4. Join The Medium Partner Program
The next step is to join the Medium Partner Program. As I mentioned earlier, you’ll need 100 followers to do so, and you’ll need to publish on the platform fairly regularly.
However, once you’re eligible, you can put all of your stories behind Medium’s metered paywall. From there, you can start getting paid for your writing!
5. Promote Your Referral Link
While this step is optional and won’t be suitable for everyone (as you’ll need an audience for it to be worth it), promoting your referral link can be a great way to earn money on Medium.
You can promote your Medium referral link within your stories, or you can place it in content elsewhere, such as on your own website.
Now that we’ve gone through the basics of making money on Medium, what are some tips to increase your earnings?
Beginner Tips For Making More Money On Medium.com
1. Read & Learn
Before beginning to write on Medium, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the platform and its community. Take time to read articles by other authors and learn what works best for the Medium audience. Understanding the conventions, styles, and genres that perform well can help you craft engaging content that resonates with readers.
You can read 3 stories for free each month, but signing up for an account will give you unlimited access to thousands of new stories every month. You can also cancel your account at any time, so if you go a period of time where you don’t think you’re gaining much from reading as well as writing on the platform, you can stop paying and sign up again at any time.
2. Establish A Plan & Schedule
As with any writing project, it’s essential to have a plan in place before getting started. Map out what topics you’d like to cover, decide on the frequency of your posts, and establish a regular publishing schedule that works for you.
Consistency is key on most platforms, but this is especially true on Medium. It’s a slow game at first, but with more consistency comes more rewards and opportunities later down the line!
3. Join Publications
Joining publications is a great way to get yourself noticed by both readers and editors alike. Publications provide writers with more exposure as they will be featured alongside other talented authors, allowing them to gain more readership and recognition. Some publications even have their own websites where your writing can be featured too.
Publications often have large followings, which means your published stories can get in front of more eyes and have a better chance at earning you money. However, getting into a publication is not a guarantee that you will make more money. Some publications put out dozens of stories per day, so it’s important to know that it’s a competitive scene!
4. Use All Available Monetization Opportunities
I discussed all the different ways you can earn money on Medium earlier on, and I recommend you take advantage of all of the ones available to you. While some might not be suitable for you (perhaps you don’t want to ask for tips and don’t plan to create a Substack newsletter), I recommend trying to promote your referral link in your stories at least.
Your stories can appear in Google search results, and Medium might promote them on the home page too. This means your stories might end up in front of many non-paying readers. If you include a call to action to sign up through your referral link, you could convert them to paying members and reap the benefits!
How Often Should You Write On Medium?
How often you should write on Medium depends largely on your goals and motivations. For writers looking to monetize their content through the Partner Program, it is important to consistently produce quality content in order to retain existing readers and attract new followers. Publishing daily or weekly articles may be necessary in order to stay relevant and keep readers engaged, but the ideal frequency won’t be the same for everyone.
For those looking to build an audience or establish themselves as an authority in their industry, you might be able to write less often, as long as you’re producing very high-quality content. Writers can also choose to focus on creating longer form pieces such as research papers or detailed guides, which can be published at a less frequent rate yet still garner lots of attention.
Regardless of your goals, it is important to maintain consistency with your posting schedule. Having a predictable publishing schedule can help build trust with readers who know what type of content they can expect from you and how often. It can also just help you stay on track if you have a clearly defined system.
I recommend you start by trying to publish at least 3 articles per week, and you can see from there how much you enjoy it (writing on Medium might not be for you!) and whether you can achieve your goals, be they financial or in the form of audience building. But how long will you need to wait before you start making money on Medium?
How Long Does It Take To See Success On Medium?
The answer to the question of how long it takes to see success on Medium greatly depends on your goals and commitment levels. For some, it may take only a few weeks or months for their content to gain traction if they create high-quality content and utilize effective strategies for promoting their articles.
On the other hand, for those who are looking to establish themselves as authorities within their respective industries, it may take years of consistent effort and writing before they are able to reach that level of recognition. The same applies for those looking to earn substantial income from the platform.
How Long It Took Me To Make Money On Medium
It took me just one month to earn money on Medium, which sounds pretty incredible! How much did I make?
Earnings the next month shot down to under a dollar! Then I had a story take off that made me nearly $40 one month, then it was back to sub-$10 months.
Finally, in December of 2020, I had my first 3-figure month. That story ended up making me more than $500, but after that earnings have been up and down like a rollercoaster.
However, the point here is not that you’ll make money within a month or it’ll take a year to make your first few hundred dollars. Instead, it should just be clear that how much you make on Medium will likely vary a lot from month to month. It might take you a year to make $10, or you might make $1,000 in your first few months on the platform.
What Medium Topics Make The Most Money?
The topics that make the most money on Medium include:
- Personal Finance
- Books (my first big success was an article all about books!)
- Health & Wellness
The key to finding success in any of these niches is to provide high-quality, valuable stories that ideally draw on your personal experience or knowledge. People love reading real stories from real people, so use this to your advantage no matter what topic you write about on Medium.
Is Medium Worth Writing On?
It is worth writing on Medium for many reasons. Not only does it offer a wide reach to potential readers, but it also allows you to monetize your content and build an audience from the ground up. Medium also offers helpful analytics tools that allow you to better understand how your content is being received and who is reading it.
You Do Get Paid
When it comes to getting paid for your writing on Medium, there are several different options available, as I’ve discussed above. The Partner Program is the primary method, but it should be clear by now that there are other ways to make money on Medium!
Building Your Network
Besides earning money, Medium also offers great networking opportunities. Writers can connect with other authors in their genre or even get discovered by editors of publications through interacting with them in the platform’s comment sections.
Becoming An Authority
Finally, writing on Medium allows creators to establish themselves as an authoritative figure within their chosen industry by providing valuable insight into current topics or trends. This can be an effective way of quickly building your credibility, and also honing your writing skills. If nothing else, Medium is a great place to practice your writing!
The disclaimer for all of this is of course that it takes hard work and a lot of persistence. You won’t become a millionaire overnight writing on Medium!
The Pros & Cons Of Writing On Medium
|Increased visibility and audience building
|Networking and industry recognition
|Lack of control over algorithms
|High competition among writers
You Can Make Money On Medium
Medium is a great platform for writers looking to establish an online presence or make money from their work, or even just improve their writing skills. You won’t get rich overnight, but there definitely is money-making potential on Medium if you put in the effort!
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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