Is Medium Worth It For Freelance Writers? (The Truth)

Medium home screen showing a quote from someone saying why they're a Medium member.

As a freelance writer, you are always looking for ways to improve your craft and reach a wider audience. One platform that you might be considering is Medium. But is Medium worth it for freelance writers?

Medium is worth it for freelance writers, as not only can you earn money for your writing, but you can also use the platform as a way to improve your writing skills for free. You can also build up an audience on the platform, which can be very useful for gaining freelance writing clients.

Below, we will explore the benefits and drawbacks of using Medium as a platform for freelance writers, and discuss whether or not it is worth it for honing your craft and reaching a wider audience.

Why Write On Medium?

One of the biggest benefits of Medium is that it is a platform specifically designed for writers and content creators. It is a place where you can share your writing, get feedback, and connect with other writers and readers. This can be extremely valuable for freelance writers who are looking to improve their craft and reach a wider audience.

Medium also has a large and engaged community of readers, which can be beneficial for freelance writers looking to get their work seen by a wider audience. Medium’s algorithm promotes high-quality content, which can help your writing to be seen by more people.

Another benefit of Medium is that it’s easy to use, and it doesn’t require a lot of technical knowledge to set up and maintain your profile. This can be a huge plus for freelance writers who are just starting out, or for those who don’t have a lot of time to spend on promoting their work.

Why Not?

One of the biggest drawbacks is that Medium is a platform that heavily relies on algorithms, which can make it difficult to reach a wide audience, especially for new writers. Medium has a paywall feature, which means that readers have to pay to read some of the content, and this can limit the reach of your writing.

However, Medium has a huge reader base, and so it is possible to build up a following. But as with everything in the world of freelancing, it just takes a lot of time and effort.

Medium home page showing the option to join the platform.

Can You Make Money On Medium As A Writer?

You can make money on Medium as a writer, but it’s important to understand that Medium is not a traditional monetization platform like a blog or website. Medium operates on a subscription model and a revenue-sharing program, so you earn depending on how your stories perform.

MPP

One way to make money on Medium as a writer is through the Medium Partner Program (MPP). The MPP is a revenue-sharing program that allows writers to earn money from their content. As a member of the MPP, you will earn money for the time that paying members spend reading your content.

The exact ways that Medium calculates your earnings are not known, but essentially the more people that read your content, and the more of your content they read (i.e. they’re not just clicking off after one paragraph), the more you’ll earn.

Referral Program

Another way to make money on Medium is through Medium’s referral program. As a Medium member, you can refer others to join and receive a commission for each referral. The commission will depend on the Medium membership plan of the person you refer.

It Won’t Happen Overnight

It’s important to note that making money on Medium as a writer is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Medium is a platform where the emphasis is on quality content and building a loyal audience.

It takes time to build a following and earn money from your writing on Medium. It’s important to consistently produce high-quality content and engage with your audience.

Alternatives To Writing On Medium

1. WordPress

WordPress allows you to create a website or blog and publish your writing. WordPress offers a wide range of customization options, and it’s relatively easy to use. You can either use WordPress.com or the self-hosted version, WordPress.org, depending on your needs.

This is the best way to go if you want more freedom in how you monetize your content, and if you’re comfortable building your own website.

2. Substack

Substack is a platform that allows writers to create a newsletter and reach a large audience. Substack allows writers to monetize their content by charging subscribers a fee to access their content. It also provides tools to help writers grow their audience, such as the ability to share their newsletter on social media.

This is ideal for those that want to build a loyal following and monetize their writing through subscriptions.

3. Blogger

Blogger is a free blogging platform owned by Google. It is easy to use and has a variety of templates and customization options. Blogger also allows you to monetize your content by displaying ads or affiliate links on your blog, although the potential in terms of customization and indeed earnings is more limited than with your own blog.

4. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a professional networking platform that can be a valuable tool for promoting your writing. LinkedIn allows you to share your writing with a professional audience and target your posts and ads to specific job titles, industries, and locations.

This is a particularly useful platform for freelance writers as you can use your writing as a way of getting in front of potential new clients. Combining your networking with your writing can be a very efficient way to boost your portfolio!

Medium vs Newsbreak

Newsbreak is a news and information app that allows users to personalize their news feed by following specific topics and sources. It has a feature called “Newsbreak Creators” that allows users to create and publish their own content on the platform, similar to Medium.

Newsbreak is a good alternative to Medium for a few reasons:

  1. Personalization: Newsbreak allows users to personalize their news feed by following specific topics and sources, making it easier for readers to find content that is relevant to them. This can be beneficial for writers looking to reach a targeted audience.
  2. Reach: Newsbreak has a large user base, with millions of active monthly users, which can provide a wide reach for your content.
  3. Monetization: Newsbreak allows writers to earn money from their content through the Newsbreak Creator Program. It also allows writers to monetize their content through sponsored content and affiliate marketing.
  4. Analytics: Newsbreak provides analytics for creators to track the performance of their content, which can help writers understand their audience and optimize their content.
  5. Mobile first: Newsbreak is a mobile-first platform, which can be beneficial for writers looking to reach a mobile audience.

However, it’s important to note that Newsbreak is primarily a news and information app, and it may not have the same level of engagement and community as Medium. Also, the monetization options on Newsbreak may not be as robust as Medium’s Partner Program.

While writers earned a lot when the platform first gained traction, as there were flat fees paid for articles, they have since shifted to a performance-based payment system, which means earnings are very much dependent on how well your article performs on their platform.

Finally, it’s also for US writers, so it’s obviously not going to be a suitable alternative for everyone.

Final Thoughts

Medium is a great platform for freelance writers looking to improve their writing skills, build up an audience, and potentially make some money in the process. It’s easy to use and is a brilliant way to build up a writing portfolio if you’re a beginner freelance writer.

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