Wanna make money as a writer? Try writing on Medium.
Boasting over 100 million readers, Medium is a formidable force in the blog sphere. It makes it easy for writers to sign up, start writing, and start getting paid.
Looking to start writing on Medium? Follow this guide to learn how to get started, how to get paid, and whether writing on Medium is right for you.
Why try writing on Medium?
With a decade of history, Medium’s been around the block. You might be tempted to think the blogging platform is over the hill, headed for the farm upstate where all once-popular websites end up.
Here’s where you’re wrong: there’s always a market for writing. Medium’s format is almost unchanged from its early days, but it remains a popular destination for writers and readers alike.
A big part of this is its elegant minimalist design. Medium’s sturdy serif font and off-center scroll design are sleek and accessible for readers. While writers can build a personality into their blog designs, the monochrome look of blog posts encourages readers to come back for more.
Continued interest in SEO is another draw for Medium. Writing blog posts is an increasingly popular way for companies to get traffic for their sites. While Medium isn’t the best option to host your website, its blog posts often rank well on search engines. Promoting your business through a personal Medium blog can be a great way to increase traffic.
How to start writing on Medium
Interested in writing on Medium? Here’s a full guide to show you how to get started, get writing, and get paid.
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1) Getting started
Signing up for Medium is as simple as putting in a name and email.
Once you sign up, a feed of recommended articles welcomes you. In the beginning, the feed is full of random articles posted in recent days.
Start by scrolling through your feed, bookmarking the articles on Medium that interest you and muting the ones that don’t. Over time, Medium will develop an idea for what kind of content you want to see. If you like an article, you can follow the author, and find your favorite writers’ work in your “Following” feed.
You may notice that many articles in your feed have a star next to the author’s name. These posts are members-only, available just for people who subscribe to one of Medium’s paid plans.
As a free user, you get one free members-only article. After that, you’re limited to free posts. Don’t worry, there’s still plenty of free content to explore.
When you click on a members-only article, you’re offered the chance to upgrade to a premium plan. You can also find the handy “Get unlimited access” button, pictured above, in the upper right corner.
On top of unlimited articles, paid plans include ad removal and direct support for your favorite writers. Paid users can also access Medium on any device. Pricing includes a $5/mo monthly subscription and a $50/year annual plan.
2) Writing on Medium
The left-hand menu bar on your Medium dashboard has six buttons:
- Home, where you find your Following and Recommended feeds. (The Medium logo at the top of the bar also takes you here.)
- Notifications, where you’ll learn about new followers, comments, and posts from your favorite authors.
- Lists, where you can store your bookmarked content and create reading lists.
- Stories, where you find your own drafts and published writing.
- Write, which we’ll get to in a moment.
- And your account, which pulls up a menu to check your settings, view statistics, and sign out.
When you click the Write button, you enter this editor. It’s fairly rudimentary, fitting in with Medium’s minimal aesthetic. You can start writing and publishing right away.
Highlight text for formatting options, and add photos, videos, and other elements with the handy + button. The + button also allows you to search for and insert royalty-free stock photos from Unsplash.
When you’re all finished, hit the “Publish” button on the top right to arrive at this menu. Here, you can add tags to help people find your work, select a header, and either publish immediately or schedule for later.
In addition to publishing stories written in Medium’s editor, you can import stories to Medium from another site. Just click the “Import a story” button in the upper right corner of the Stories tab. On the next menu, paste the URL to your story and it will be imported into Medium’s editor.
I found this feature worked well with other common blogging sites like WordPress and Substack. If your site has a more unique design, you may run into problems like Medium picking up the text from a different article. It does automatically link to the original content at the bottom, which is nice.
3) Getting paid for writing on Medium
The Medium Partner Program helps Medium members make money writing once they’ve attracted enough of a following. Once you’ve built an audience of 100+ followers, you can apply to join the program.
If they accept you into the program, you’ll be able to earn money based on the amount of time your readers spend on your blog. You’ll also get 50% of their membership fee when you refer them.
While the Partner Program is the only direct way to earn money through Medium, you have other options. As mentioned above, SEO remains a vital way to increase traffic. If people are clicking on your blogs, you can direct them to your content, merch, or payment platform of choice.
Conclusion: Should you be writing on Medium?
Writing on Medium is a great way to write online for bloggers looking to build their audience. The import tool lets you consolidate all your writing in one easy place. They have a vast readership base, and their tools are designed to create loyal readers.
Should you promote your business through Medium? That’s another story. While Medium writers often appear high up on Google, the site’s unique design isn’t the best for building brand recognition. You’ll do better using your own website for promotion; Wix and WordPress offer quite a bit more customization potential than Medium.
While Medium is most ideal for personal brands, it can still be a way to build awareness for your business. If you write about your work, it can help you gain a reputation as an expert in your field. And if you promote cleverly, you can make your readers a lot more likely to check out your business.