I started writing on Medium on March 25, 2018 after someone recommended I try publishing on Medium to drive traffic to This Online World.
All I did was republish my phone farming guide and write one more short post on personal development.
I’m writing this article to share that within 24 hours, I made $100 from republishing my content on phone farming:
Over the preceding months, I also continued to earn money for my Medium writing, and have recently passed the $1,000 mark and now earn passive income every month from my articles:
If you have ever wondered how you can make money by writing, I’m here to tell you about Medium.
Let’s get started.
What Is Medium?
If you haven’t heard of Medium, I can only describe it to you as being one of the easiest, minimalist blogging platforms out there.
Medium is a publishing platform that was created by Evan Williams, the former CEO of Twitter, and officially launched in 2012. The platform offers publishers and bloggers alike to share their works or create new articles entirely.
All in all, the Medium platform is one of the simplest ways to get into blogging or to read some great content.
The most popular topics on Medium (as seen on their homepage) include:
How Does Medium Make Money?
If you want to understand how a platform can pay you, it generally helps to understand how they make money in the first place.
With Medium, users are able to read up to 5 articles per month. If readers want to enjoy any content past that limit, they must become a Medium member for the price of $5/month.
Between their commitment to quality and minimalist design, crowding the platform with banner ads just isn’t an option.
So, Medium has ultimately come to rely on monthly subscriptions and rounds of fundraising to power their platform thus far.
It will be interesting to watch Medium move forward as a business, and I am genuinely curious to see how they will monetize their platform.
For now, however, it’s all about content quality and Medium members.
Making Money on Medium – How Clapping Works
When you enroll in the Medium Partner Program (which is free and open to the public), you can start earning money with your Medium content.
When Medium Members clap, a portion of their $5 monthly subscription fee is paid directly to the author. Since clap payments are a fraction of a user’s $5/month subscription fee, users who clap very frequently have lower paying claps than users who only clap a few times per month.
This means a single clap typically ranges from $0.01 to $1-$2 depending on who is viewing and clapping on your article.
Edit -11/07/2019 – Changes To How Earning On Medium Works
As of October 2019, Medium actually made some changes to how authors are paid, so scrap most of what I just said about claps.
According to Medium, payments are now calculated based on reading time, not claps.
While claps can still help authors expand their reach and indirectly earn more for their stories, increasing overall engagement on your stories is now the name of the game when it comes to making money by writing on Medium.
Non-member reading time will also be factored into payment if they become a member within 30 days of reading your stories.
Additionally, earnings are now updated daily rather than weekly (thank God), and stories have more in-depth metrics to break down their earning stats. Across the board, this is a set of great changes since it makes it easier for smaller authors to make money by writing on Medium.
So, if you want to increase your Medium earnings, focus on sharing your stories through social media channels and converting new Medium readers to paid members alongside growing your reach on the actual Medium platform.
Making Money on Medium – Author Bonuses
I made $100 in 24 hours after reposting my phone farming guide on Medium due to a Partner bonus:
Earning bonuses for blogging on Medium is a fairly new concept, but it’s certainly exciting.
This March, Medium announced they would be paying out bonuses to Medium Partners for quality work.
You shouldn’t rely on Medium bonuses as a reliable source of income since Medium Editors will only be rewarding bonuses to a few dozen stories every week, as they explained in a Partner Program email to me:
However, you have to admit that if you’re looking to make money by writing, choosing a platform that actively rewards quality submissions should seem like a no-brainer.
Ultimately it’s really promising to see Medium making an effort to reward quality, pay their authors, and encourage interesting content.
Here’s some other stats Medium included in their Partner Program email for March:
- 48% of authors or publications who wrote at least one story for members earned money. The average amount earned for the month was $77.04.
- $7,924.22 was the most earned by an author, and $2,400.40 was the most earned by a publication.
- $1,744.21 was the most earned for a single story. 10.6% of stories that earned money made over $100.
The fact that a single story on Medium earned $1,744 blows my mind. And one single author earned $7,924!
Just note: to join the Medium Partner Program you will need to provide Medium with your SIN (or other forms of government issued identification) as well as your bank account information (transit number, account number, branch number).
Medium’s New Author Bonus
In true Medium fashion, the platform continues to change to help authors earn more for their writing.
Recently, I got an email from the Medium Partner Program that explained the new author bonus structure for the next few months.
Medium’s new author bonus structure pays the top-performing writers with additional cash to encourage them to write more.
The current bonus tiers are:
- Top 1,000 Writers: Earn an extra $500 bonus.
- Top 1,001 – 1,500 Writers: Earn an extra $100 bonus.
- Top 1,501 – 2,000 Writers: Earn an extra $50 bonus.
I think the fact that Medium is giving the top 2,000 writers on the platform extra money for already making the most money on Medium is pretty sweet.
Medium’s email also states: “In August, we’ll announce more writer programs and Partner Program updates,” so it’s clear that additional earning opportunities are coming down the pipeline for Medium writers.
Referring New Medium Members
I’m updating this guide on how to make money with Medium yet again because Medium now has a referral program!
That’s right: you can now make money by converting your readers into paying Medium members.
The Medium referral program pays you half of a reader’s membership fee. This works out to about $2.01 per month per referral.
I’ve seen a lot of Medium writers pushing this heavily, encouraging people to become paying Medium members with links in their bio.
But, I don’t know many writers who make meaningful income from this referral program.
It’s nice that Medium is adding more ways for authors to get paid, but this program feels a little spammy to me.
Plus, Medium is becoming more saturated, and if every author starts clamoring for people to sign up with their link, I don’t think it’s a winning strategy to chase after given the noise.
My advice: focus on increasing your read time and total reads rather than stressing too much about the new Medium referral program.
The Benefits of Medium – Traffic and Reach for Bloggers
I like writing on This Online World because it’s my own platform. I write about what I want, choose my own design, and make decisions about how to monetize the website.
You don’t have any control on Medium.
However, the traffic you can generate by writing on Medium is immense.
According to Alexa, Medium is the 272 most popular website in the world in terms of traffic, and is ranked 137 in the United States.
Medium also draws more than 60 million monthly readers, and while their algorithm isn’t fully understood, it’s clear that Medium is a powerful blogging platform with incredible potential.
Here’s a snippet of my Medium stats:
When you examine a breakdown of referral traffic for a Medium article, a few things are also apparent:
As you can see, a variety of referral sources contributed to views on my phone farming guide and provided a noticeable spike in viewership.
Medium even pushed the content to more readers by having the article trend on the entrepreneurship section of the website. Additionally, other outlets like smartnews.com also decided to direct readers to the article.
For bloggers who are just starting out, it’s hard to compete with Medium’s algorithm and massive amounts of monthly traffic.
However, blogging on Medium allows content creators to take advantage of Medium’s monthly traffic and established audience.
You can also benefit from Medium without sacrificing the SEO profile of your own website.
Edit: I just released a new post that outlines some Medium Partner Program updates and strategies to expand your reach, so check that out too!
Importing Stories to Medium
Medium allows bloggers to import past stories onto their platform, allowing them to maintain control of their content (on their own blog) while benefiting from Medium’s massive amounts of monthly traffic.
In this sense, it’s the best of both worlds.
Importing content to Medium is really a form of content syndication: the process of making existing content available on other platforms.
However, when you import a story to Medium, they add the extremely crucial rel=canonical tag.
This tag essentially informs Google that your original article maintains ultimate authority over the website that houses imported content. This means Google will prioritize your blog in the SERPS, not Medium.
Considering the use of the rel-canonical tag, there is no reason not to import your blog posts to Medium.
You can earn money, drive additional reach, and even grow your blog in the process as your Medium followers trickle over to your original blog.
Making Money on Medium – My Suggestions
I’ll admit, after making $100 in about 24 hours after publishing my first post on Medium, I did question why I’m writing on This Online World.
But at the end of the day, it is rewarding to have your own corner of the internet.
If you’re a fellow blogger or writer who owns their own website (or is planning on starting one), don’t stop writing.
Medium offers bloggers an incredible amount of traffic and revenue potential, but it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice content creation for your own website.
The ability to import your best articles to Medium already allows bloggers to establish a presence on Medium. Additionally, if you have another article or series you’ve always wanted to write that falls outside of your current website topic/niche, just publish it on Medium.
In short, here are my suggestions for using Medium alongside your own website:
- Create a professional Medium profile: include your picture, credentials, interests, and why you write on Medium.
- Import your best articles: Start out by importing an article or 2 to Medium.
- Tinker with the algorithm: If some of your work isn’t receiving viewership after a few days, just delete the story and re-import it. Medium doesn’t care if you do this, and republishing a story might place it in front of the right set of eyes.
- Treat Medium like a partner blog: Don’t be afraid to outbound link to your own blog/website, or link to other great articles on the web. Medium doesn’t like overly pushy affiliate links or tonnes of links in general, but you can get away with a few.
- Test and retest: I’m still learning how to use Medium. However, like any learning process, you need to put in some work. Monetize some of your stories…leave others free to view. Comment on other stories, or clap for authors. Write a variety of content, experiment with your images, titles, and headlines. Just figure out what works for your topic of writing and audience.
You can also checkout my latest YouTube video which breaks down the strategies I use to make more money from Medium each month!
Medium Publications – An Opportunity To Increase Reach
If you are struggling to gain views or make money with your writing on Medium, you can also reach out to various Medium publications and request to write for them.
Medium has an incredible amount of popular publications, and many of them regularly accept guest writers or regular contributors.
Currently, I’m able to contribute to 3 different publications, and I actually didn’t have to apply to 2 of them (one of the editors reached out via email to ask me to share some of my work):
If you want to find Medium publications that accept submissions, I suggest checking out this list from Oniverse or doing some digging on the trending section!
The best part about writing for Medium Publications is that you can still earn money for your work, even if your story is syndicated (like most of mine is).
Once you’ve been approved to contribute to a publisher, you can edit any of your published stories and send in a request for them to be added to a publication:
If your story gets accepted, your story can be seen by everyone following the publication, and you might find your work gets a nice boost in views, claps, and ultimately money!
So, don’t be afraid to apply to Medium Publications or to send out some emails or DM’s! You might find the process increases how much money you make on Medium every month.
Additional Thoughts on Medium as a Blogging Platform – Writing for Money
The primary goal of my blogging or writing endeavors isn’t to make money. However, writing for pleasure isn’t my main objective either.
I don’t have a number 1 goal when it comes to writing, and I want to be honest about that.
I love to write, and I am also addicted to the concept of passive income generation. Therefore, I have picked writing as an enjoyable hobby that I can also gradually monetize.
I don’t think there is anything wrong with monetizing one’s writing as long as it is done professionally, transparently, and doesn’t sacrifice on value or personal beliefs.
What does this have to do with Medium?
A few things.
Firstly, I think the fact that Medium pays their partners is great. If you are looking to make money by writing and don’t care about owning your own platform, go full steam ahead.
Medium is making an effort to reward great writers, and it shows in gestures like their bonuses or in the high percentage of writers who are currently earnings.
If you simply want to write because sharing your ideas with other people bring you joy, I’d also say give Medium a try.
Medium is one of the easiest blogging platforms out there, and the ability to follow writers and clap for stories encourages discussion.
However, I also encourage people to remember that things can change.
Medium has already had 2 business model changes since its inception, and while I love the platform, writers on Medium ultimately cannot control how the platform will be monetized.
Moving forward, I think it is important that content creators don’t place all of their eggs in a single basket.
So, write on Medium, start a blog, or begin some other online endeavor. Whatever you decide to do, just be sure to enjoy the process.
Edit – 8/1/2018 – An Update on my Experience with Writing on Medium
It’s been a while since I wrote this guide on how to make money on Medium, and I also published this post during my infancy as a Medium writer.
I’ve been writing on Medium for a few months now, and for the most part, I only republish content and use Medium as a form of content syndication.
However, reposting your blog content to Medium doesn’t seem to have an impact on the ability to make money:
To date, I’ve earned $261.68 from writing on Medium, and I should cross the $300 mark once the payments from July trickle in.
Additionally, I’ve also been able to grow my monthly reach and follower base quite considerably:
Ultimately, developing a following on Medium takes time, but it is certainly possible to make money on Medium and drive referral traffic to your blog.
One thing I have noticed, however, is that some of my Medium stories have inched their way onto the first page of Google:
After digging into the issue, it seems like 2 of my stories (for whatever reason) aren’t using the rel = canonical tags and attributing This Online World with credit.
I’ve contacted Medium’s support team, and I hope to resolve this issue soon to avoid cannibalizing my blog’s page views.
For other bloggers who want to use content syndication on Medium, I suggest keeping an eye on your blog post ranking stats and positions in the SERPs.
Additionally, you should also inspect the page source of your syndicated content on Medium to make sure your blog is being given ultimate authority and credit.
Edit – 6/25/2019 – An Update On My Medium Revenue
I’m writing one more update to show that it is certainly possible and sustainable to make money by writing on Medium.
Here’s a snapshot of my lifetime earnings:
Keep in mind this is mostly from syndicating my blog content on Medium, so that’s pretty neat!
Edit – 02/22/2020 – Crossing The $1,000 Mark On Medium
I wanted to give one more update on this post to show that is indeed possible to make money by writing on Medium and to even surpass $1,000.
The new payment model is awesome for new writers as well. You truly don’t need to have a massive following to start monetizing this platform, so don’t wait around! There has never been a better time to get started on this platform, especially if you want to create a writing portfolio or practice your writing.
Edit 07/11/2020 – Medium’s New Author Layout
I wanted to give another update to this guide since there have been more substantial changes to Medium that impact how authors reach their audience.
The big change is that authors now have their own subdomains and the ability to design their own page to create a more personalized feeling for their profile.
You now have more control over how your profile looks, and Medium is definitely making the push to help writers build loyal followings and to become less of a clickbaity volume game.
Don’t get me wrong, compelling titles and volume are still important if you want to make money writing on Medium, but it’s slightly less pressing than before.
Additionally, one recent tip I’ve learned is to build your email list with your Medium profile.
As you can see from this profile (August Birch is a pretty stellar writer on Medium), you now have more real estate to collect emails and generate outside sources of revenue:
This isn’t a change to how earnings are calculated, but don’t be afraid to get creative to put your profile page to work!
Medium Vs WordPress – Where Can You Make The Most Money?
So, can you make money on Medium?
Yes, you certainly can, and I’ve earned well over $1,000 to date writing on Medium.
But, after 3+ years of blogging on This Online World and experimenting with Medium, I once again want to stress the power of owning the platform you write on and what that does to your income.
For example, I earned about $1,000 from Medium in 2020. That same year, I made $22,000 blogging.
A lot of this came from running display advertisements with Mediavine and by using affiliate marketing, which are both impossible or very tricky to do with Medium.
So, I think it’s possible to make money on Medium, and it’s likely faster for new writers than starting a blog from scratch.
But, never discount the power of owning your own platform. It lets you get more creative with monetization, build a brand, and even sell your website down the line for an exit strategy.
My final advice is to give Medium a try and put some content up to see what happens.
But, never be afraid to start your own blog either. You never know what can happen, and it’s so low risk I figure it’s something everyone should try once!
Ready to start your own blog?
I always recommend using SiteGround hosting for new bloggers.
SiteGround is incredibly affordable and reliable. It’s also the host I used to scale This Online World to 50,000+ monthly views per month, so it has my vote!
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Does Medium Pay Per $1,000 Views?
How much Medium pays you per view depends on if paying Medium members read your story and for how long they read. Since there are multiple factors at play, Medium doesn’t have a set rate per 1,000 views. Some stories might earn more or less than others, so focus on increasing read time by writing engaging content.
Is Writing On Medium Worth It?
Writing on Medium is worth it if you want a free and quick way to get your writing out there. It’s also worth it if you want to monetize your writing without creating your own blog.
However, making money with Medium is becoming harder each year as more writers join. Personally, I think running your own WordPress blog has way higher income potential than Medium does, so this is where I spend most of my focus.
How Much Can You Realistically Make On Medium?
I think most writers can set a realistic goal of making $20 to $50 per month if they consistently write great content. It’s also possible to scale to $100+ per month, and some Medium writers write full-time.
However, most writers don’t make over $100 per month; this is a competitive environment with lots of writers, so you need to grind to increase your income.
At the end of the day, you can make money on Medium and also use the platform to promote your other websites/businesses.
All it takes is some time, patience, and work (like everything else worth doing!)
Once again, to learn more about how you can optimize your Medium profile and gain more claps, check out part 2 of this post!
Also, be sure to read my post on the best sites like Medium you can also try to make money with your writing.
Thanks for reading!
Tom is a full-time blogger and freelance writer with a passion for side hustling, passive income, and the gig economy. His work has appeared on dozens of personal finance websites like Money Crashers, The College Investor, Investor Junkie, and more. This Online World is all about providing people with honest ways to make and save more money by using technology. To learn more about Tom, read his About Page!
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