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5 Medium Alternatives For 2022

Spoiler Alert: None is better than Medium, but a few have strong potential

As the techy person I’ve always been, I like giving new platforms and services a try to see how they’d fit into my writing lifestyle. Medium is still my number one though. But let’s have a look at 5 alternatives and my thoughts about them.

Sidenote: They’re in alphabetical order, not in order of potential.

Also, I bet you haven’t heard of number 3 which might be the closest thing to a potential Medium rival out there.

#1 HubPages

Some of you have undoubtedly heard about HubPages here and there. HubPages is a quite popular content platform where writers can share their stories and get paid. I did try HubPages in the past and stopped using it shortly after. For the following reasons:

  1. Hubpages operates with an ad system. That means you need a lot of views to get good money. This isn’t easy.
  2. The interface looks outdated… like stone age outdated. It’s god-awful. Not a pleasant experience at all. And that matters.
  3. HubPages only accepts original content (the last time I tried) which means you can’t republish your existing Medium stories (or others for that matter.

For these three reasons, I think HubPages is not worth it for me, and most likely not for you.

#2 NewsBreak

This one is all over the internet right now. You can read many stories about NewsBreak here on MediumSome Medium writers are highly successful on NewsBreak, like Matt Lilywhite for example.

I, on the other hand, have been trying the platform for a few weeks now and what started with huge excitement, has quickly turned into frustration. In its essence, NewsBreak is not a bad idea. It’s great actually. But NewsBreak’s policies are holding the platform back. Here’s why:

  1. You need 100 registered followers which can take a while even though gaining views is pretty easy.
  2. NewsBreak’s guidelines and policies are damn strict. Want to write an opinion-based post? You might get a strike. They throw around words like biased, opinion, impartiality a whole lot.
  3. Editorial makes it even worse. Your post might get categorized as spam or as one of the aforementioned factors biased, impartiality.

For those reasons, NewsBreak is frustrating. I might keep trying for a little while but overall there are better platforms out there right now.

#3 Simily

This one, you might not have heard of just yet. It’s a fairly new platform and, on paper, it sounds fantastic. It is the closest thing to a Medium competitor I’ve come across so far. BUT, and this is important, I haven’t really tried it long enough to give a full review.

The idea behind Simily is simple:

Readers pay for reading and writers get a cut of the fee when people read their stories. Sounds familiar? Yes, it’s basically Medium.

Simily used to be only open to fiction writers though. Recently, they changed this to fiction and nonfiction creative writing as they say on their website.

It sounds intriguing but since this is a new platform, the payment model is in beta and changes can come anytime. Still, I will keep an eye on this platform as it sounds much like Medium.

#4 Vocal Media

In case you’re writing on Medium, you’ve probably heard or even tried Vocal Media. It’s the most well-known Medium competitor, other than NewsBreak.

Vocal has its upsides like the well-paying challenges for various topics and genres. Vocal also pays for external views, a feature that Medium users would love to see. Me included.

Vocal has its downsides as well.

  1. Pay is low, less than $4 dollars for 1000 views. Compared to $34 on Medium for 1000 views (based on my average).
  2. The Vocal+ membership costs $9.99 a month and does not offer much value aside from a slight bump in earnings to $6 per 1000 views. Unfortunately, you need Vocal+ to enter most of the high-priced challenges.
  3. Vocal lacks some important features like comments. But they’re coming soon.

Overall, I’ve been using for Vocal for a handful of months now, and aside from some tips (a nice feature that Medium needs) and a small number of my stories getting picked up as “top stories” which is worth $5 each, I haven’t made any considerable money or attracted reads. This is why I’m considering getting rid of Vocal soon.

#5 WordPress (traditional blogging)

Last but not least, we have WordPress or traditional blogging with whatever platform you choose. There are plenty. Blogger, Squarespace, Ghost, Svbtle, etc.

They all suffer from the same problem though. No build-in audience like on Medium, and no earnings system in place.

This leaves room to do what you want but it will also take more time and effort to get started.

Most WordPress or traditional blogs I know operate with one or more of the following three ways to earn money:

  1. Google Adsense (or another ad network) to serve ads and get paid
  2. Affiliate marketing
  3. Sponsored posts or self-created advertisement

The upside is that this CAN lead to an incredibly high income. The downside is that the competition is extremely high.

I was blogging on and off for over 13 years until I decided to retire my WordPress blog a few weeks ago. In favor of Medium. The build-in community of Medium just gave me more joy than relying on ads or marketing to get going. I’ve never been a marketing person and I probably never will be.

The bottom line

So, these are my 5 Medium alternatives and their upsides or downsides. A quick recap:

  1. HubPages
  2. NewsBreak
  3. Simily
  4. Vocal Media
  5. WordPress (traditional blogging)

Of course, there are more competitors or similar platforms. For fiction writers and authors, Wattpad might be an alternative. So is Kindle Vella.

In the end, though, Medium has been and will be my number one for quite some time, I’m sure. This platform offers many upsides that more than makeup for the few downsides it brings with it.

What do you say? What’s your alternative platform of choice? What would you like to try?

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