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.
And within 24 hours, I made $100 from republishing my content on phone farming. I couldn’t believe the screen when I saw how much I had made from just one story.
Over the next few 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 to make money writing on Medium, this is absolutely the post for you.
I’m sharing how anyone can earn money writing on Medium, my tips for getting started, and some advice I’ve learned along the way to find more success on the platform.
Table of Contents
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:
- Digital marketing
How To Make Money On Medium
As mentioned, I’ve earned over $1,000 by writing on Medium. And since I joined the platform, it’s been a nice way to earn money on autopilot, even for articles I wrote years ago.
In my opinion, Medium is one of the best ways for new writers to grow an audience and earn money online. However, the process of making money on Medium has also changed a lot over the years.
So, this guide is covering how you can make money writing on Medium as well as some critical tips I’ve found helpful to grow your profile.
1. Meet The Medium Partner Program Requirements
In the past, anyone could join Medium’s Partner Program, which is the program that pays you for writing on Medium. But these days, there are new requirements for becoming a Medium Partner Program member:
- Publish at least one Medium story
- Be 18 or older
- Be a paid Medium member
- Publish a story every six months to stay active
If you meet these requirements, you can apply to the Medium Partner Program. You should get a response within a few days, and if you are an active and engaging writer, you should get into the program.
Also note that the Medium Partner Program isn’t available in every country. Check Medium in your country to see if it’s available.
Update: Medium just announced some major changes to how it pays writers. One of these changes is the removal of the 100 follower requirement, but you now need to be a paying Medium member to join its Partner Program.
2. Start Writing On Medium
The main way to make money on Medium is to write stories. That’s because Medium pays writers when other members spend time reading their work and engage with it.
That’s right: how much money you make with Medium depends on how many paid members read your content, how long they spend reading, and how they engage with your content.
Mediun’s 2023 payment model update is also now factoring in more engagement-based metrics like claps, highlights, replies, and follows. So, the longer people read your content and the more they interact with it, the more you get paid.
As you can see in Medium’s graphic above, the new payment model factors in engagement points, follower bonuses, boost bonus, and then multiplies it by the read-through rate.
Note: If someone spends less than 30 seconds reading your article, it doesn’t generate any revenue and doesn’t count as a read. So, maintaining a high read ratio and getting engagement is the key to earning more money.
This is part of Medium’s on-going effort to reduce clickbait content that just generates views but doesn’t add anything of value.
When I first joined Medium, how much you got paid depended on how many claps, or likes, a story got from people.
However, the new Medium author payment model rewards engaging content. So, the more paid members read your work, the more you get paid.
Just note that this means you have to mark stories with the “meter my story” box if you want to earn from them. This also means that free Medium members won’t be able to read your metered content if they use up all their free reads in a month.
3. Refer New Medium Members
The other method to make money writing on Medium is to earn referral bonuses by inviting new paid members to the program.
This program pays you for 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. And I haven’t been able to convert many readers with my stories either.
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.
UPDATE: Medium is retiring its referral bonus program and now pays authors more if their articles get more followers. This new follower-bonus program is designed to once again reward engaging content.
4. Earn Boost Bonuses
Another change to how Medium pays writers is its addition of boost bonuses.
Medium’s curation team can select certain stories that it thinks are high-quality and engaging and boost these on the platform. Boosted stories are seen by more readers and appear on more places on Medium, so it’s a massive benefit to authors.
With the new payment model, boosted stories also get a boost bonus multiplier on engagements, which ends up with writers getting paid more.
This is good news since Medium is retiring its referral program. All-in-all, it’s clear that engagement is the name of the game now.
5. Earn Author Bonuses
Occasionally, Medium pays out author bonuses to certain writers for making great content. In fact, this is how I got my $100 bonus from submitting my phone farming guide to the platform.
All of this started when Medium announced it would be paying out bonuses to Medium Partners for quality work.
Now, 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 one of its Partner Program email:
- 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!
6. Get Paid
The last step in writing on Medium for money is to actually get paid.
Your Medium earnings get paid out by the 8th of every month. You get paid for the previous month of reading time from paid members, and payment can take about a week to actually settle in your bank account.
Medium also uses Stripe to pay authors. I’ve been paid on time for years by Medium, and I’ve never had issues with getting my money on time.
But if you want a free platform that has the potential to reach millions of readers and pay a lot, Medium could be worth the delayed gratification.
How Much Money I’ve Made Writing On Medium
As mentioned, I joined Medium in early 2018. Since that time, I’ve written or republished 22 stories and have amassed about 1,400 followers. I’ve also gotten nearly 100,000 views on my content and have earned over $1,200 from my stories:
I don’t write full-time on Medium. In fact, I haven’t published a story there in over a year since blogging is my main side hustle these days.
However, my Medium stories still make a few dollars a month to this day. And some of my main stories earned hundreds of dollars, which just goes to show the power of the platform.
To make a lot of money with Medium, you need to write engaging content. And, you need to get a bit lucky. Plus, most writers won’t make $5,000 a month or anything crazy from their work.
However, I think my experience is proof that anyone can start making money on Medium, even with a handful of articles.
Can You Make Money On Medium?
Yes, you can make money writing on Medium if you join its Partner Program and write engaging content consistently. In fact, anyone can begin earning with just a few stories, and my first story on Medium made me $100.
Granted, I think Medium is intimidating since it’s now over 10 years old and has thousands of writers on it.
But the name of the game hasn’t changed. If you create excellent, engaging content, you can make money on Medium.
Tips For Making Money On Medium
Now that you know how to make money on Medium, I want to share some of the most important tips I’ve learned over the years to help increase your odds of success with the platform.
1. Promote Your Blog & Brand
Medium is a great way to earn income from your writing. But the Medium Partner Program is just one way you can leverage Medium’s audience to make money.
In fact, many of the top Medium authors make most of their income through other means, like:
- Affiliate income
- Selling sponsorships
- Selling their own products like eBooks and courses
- Selling coaching
- Building email lists
As you can see from my Medium page, my profile promotes this blog as well as my new YouTube channel. So, all of my Medium readers have a chance to come to my other properties where I can then earn more money.
I also know plenty of Medium writers who make $10,000 a month or more just from affiliate marketing on Medium, so you have a lot of options!
2. Submit Stories To Publications
If you’re struggling to gain views or to make money 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):
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.
3. Design An Eye-Catching Medium Profile
Another tip for making money on Medium is to redesign your author page to create a more personalized feeling for their profile.
Thankfully, 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!
4. Write Consistently
While this should go without saying, writing consistently is also a key to earning money on Medium.
Any online side hustle takes consistency to find success. This is because you need to test what works, doesn’t work, and to ultimately learn the ropes.
My advice is to come up with some sort of publishing schedule you can stick to. Even if it’s one story a week, consistency makes a massive difference in the long run.
I talk about this concept, as well as nine other tips, in my first ever YouTube video that shares advice for how to write on Medium and get paid.
5. Engage With Other Medium Authors
If you want more views on your Medium content, try engaging with other authors and people on the platform first.
I’ve found that calling out other excellent writers in your own stories can often get writers to do the same for you. And the same goes with commenting on other people’s stories.
In other words, don’t be afraid to help others first. Karma has a funny way of always coming back to us!
6. Focus On Engagement
Medium’s July 2023 update to how it pays writers makes one thing clear: engagement is now what matters most.
This means it’s important to avoid clickbait, misleading readers, and writing short content that doesn’t provide any value. Tactics like asking readers questions and trying to foster engagement and discussion is also a good idea.
Avoiding AI writing that’s clearly not unique is also a must. In short, focus on quality over quantity and give people a reason to read your stories from beginning to end.
7. Cover Trending Topics
One final tip to earn money writing on Medium is to cover trending topics and niches.
Medium is great for evergreen content. But it also has a social nature to it, so writing about pressing issues in your niche can get a lot of traction quite quickly.
Extra Reading – The Best Ways To Make Money Online For Beginners.
Medium Vs WordPress – Where Can You Make The Most Money?
In my experience, it’s easier to make money on Medium than it is to make money with a WordPress blog. However, blogging has a much higher income potential since you own the platform and have more control over how you monetize.
In fact, my blog now makes $50,000 a month or so between running display advertisements with Mediavine and by using affiliate marketing. And this sort of income isn’t something most Medium writers are earning.
A lot of this stems from how limiting Medium is. You can sort of do affiliate marketing, but you can’t do too much of it. And running display ads just isn’t possible.
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.
Extra Reading – The Best Side Hustles To Start With No Money.
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?
Yes, 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.
You can still use Medium to create a freelance writing portfolio or to dabble in online writing. But I think blogging is a better business model if you want to earn a full-time income online.
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.
How Does Medium Make Money?
Medium makes most of its income from paid memberships. Free readers on Medium can only read five metered 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.
Extra Reading – How To Make Money With Your Laptop.
I hope this guide on how to make money on Medium has helped explain how the platform works and how anyone can begin earning money with it.
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!)
I mean, I made over $1,000 on Medium without much effort. And I truly think it’s a powerful platform for bloggers, writers, and creatives alike.
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!
Looking for more money-making ideas? Checkout:
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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