Have you been trying to find creative ways for making money from your writing? If so, Medium may just be the platform to explore.
Many people aren’t aware of all that Medium has to offer its writers or how to use its paywall to their benefit. However, as a partner of Medium, you can place your articles behind its metered paywall, making them accessible only to paid users. You would then have the possibility of being paid according to the length and frequency of engagement with your writing.
This sounds good in theory. But do writers actually get paid on Medium, and if so, how can you capitalize on and increase the income you get from the platform? Find the answers you are seeking below!
Do Writers Get Paid on Medium?
Yes, as a writer in Medium’s Partner Program you will receive a monthly payment based on the level of engagement readers have with your articles. This includes reading time (length of time taken to read a story) and how many claps (applause) the story receives.
Based on this ratio, each member's $5 subscription is distributed proportionately to how much they have interacted with each story read that month.
Important To Note: Not all writers are paid on Medium. Millions of Medium writers choose not to lock their stories behind the Partner Program (the paywall) and hence do not meet the requirement needed to receive a payout. Many opt not to enter the program as it also limits the number of readers who are allowed to access their stories. Any reader can access an unlocked Medium story but only those who pay the subscription can read Partner stories.
Understanding Medium’s Paywall & How Your Payment Is Calculated
Members can help writers earn money by engaging with stories behind the Medium paywall. Many long-term users of Medium believe that "engagement" equals "read time", but this is not quite so. A piece will indeed make more money the more a member reads it, but also by the frequency of their interactions, for example, their responses, highlights, shares, and claps.
Occasionally, a story will rise to the top and catch the attention of the Medium editorial team, resulting in it being "featured". Getting featured is a much better experience than being curated. Medium's Featured Stories are professionally prominently displayed across the platform, feature custom artwork, and are edited.
A curated story usually generates $50-$250, whereas a featured story can generate at least several hundred dollars, if not more.
So, Do You Need Fancy Credentials To Write For Medium?
No, you don't! Medium is a platform for social publishing that is accessible to all and that is home to a variety of perspectives, ideas, and stories. All writers are welcome on Medium, So there’s no need for fancy credentials. The platform also covers a wide range of topics, including productivity tips, world affairs, social media, and mental health. So, all perspectives are welcome.
Top Five Ways to Make Additional Money Writing for Medium?
You can use these five tips to boost your Medium articles, giving you the potential to earn more money.
1. Leveraging Your Medium Publications
The Medium Network, as it is called, is one of the many unique features of Medium. Some of these publications have grown to be enormous, and users can create their own publications around topics such as technology, relationships, and data science.
Entrepreneur's Handbook, for example, has over 100,000 followers and is in the top 50 out of over 7,500 publications on Medium. Additionally, Medium has its own publications, such as Elemental and OneZero, to which you can also pitch.
You gain access to all of Medium's audience when you have a story published in one of its publications while keeping all of the money for yourself.
Medium has its quirks and kinks, as any platform would. It can be challenging to finally gain traction for a piece. There's a chance that you'll get lucky, which some call the "Medium effect."
At first, Medium might seem unnecessary or intimidating, but as you get to know how it works, it becomes one of the most lucrative platforms for writers on the web today.
2. Include Eye-Catching Headlines
If you ever worked as a columnist for a magazine. Editors will tell you that you should spend just as much time writing the headline as we did writing the article. Editors even advise to write ten headlines for one article before it is published. The editors will help you to choose headlines by sharing five headlines at a time on a dedicated Slack channel for columnists.
This is to share with you that headlines are holy in the writing world, especially on Medium, where you compete with elite writers oftentimes. Make your headline a priority. Before you publish, ask other writers "Which headline sounds more interesting to you?".
3. Be Vulnerable in Your Writing
Writing your own story is easiest for writers. It is your story. It is unique. The process is therapeutic. Those who tell the best stories don't only reveal their darkest secrets, but also place them in context through data, expert quotes, and research.
Many stories fail to meet this standard. There's a tendency for writers to let their personal stories stand on their own without contextualizing them with hard facts and interesting research. However, this is exactly what convinces the reader to listen (and follow) a stranger they stumble upon on Medium.
Allow yourself to be vulnerable. Be your true self. However, do so smartly.
4. Make Your Story Educational
A story will perform well if you are able to improve the reader's life, even just a little bit, through entertainment or education.
Ralph Ammer writes a Medium story called A quick beginner's guide to draw in which he explains how to draw. It's that simple. The story has clapped 123,000 times. How come? The readers learned something.
Are you able to teach readers a skill?
5. Provide a Unique Perspective on Mainstream Issues
Most of the top 100 Medium stories use personal narratives to explore, analyze, or build on a trending event. One person writes from a unique perspective with an interesting story that adds new color or perspectives to news items.
A story such as Digital Exile: How I Got Banned for Life from AirBnB (181,000 claps) by Jackson Cunningham illustrates why users are entitled to mistrust of big tech companies. The article calls attention to the potential for individuals to be steamrolled by large tech companies equipped with too much data and power. Jackson's story of being banned from Airbnb was the perfect illustration everyone was looking for at that time.
In relation to the societal conversations going on today, what story can you tell? A second example can be found on the Medium platform that received over a hundred thousand claps, written by Sahil Lavingia (Reflecting on My Failure to Build a Billion-Dollar Company).
If you’re serious about making money on Medium and found value in this post, just knowing is enough for me.