Medium is an online publishing platform where writers can publish their work and get paid.
It’s the simplest and most easy-to-use blogging platform in 2024, only rivaled by Substack in its simplicity.
With far over 100 million monthly visitors, it provides a great opportunity for writers to build an audience and earn money.
In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about making money on Medium in 2024, from how the payment system works to tips for growing your readership and income.
What is Medium?
As mentioned before, Medium is a blogging and publishing platform. It was founded in 2012 by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams who served as CEO until a couple of years ago when long-time Medium employee Tony Stubblebine took over.
Medium allows anyone to create an account, publish articles and stories for free, and share them with a large readership.
According to the last known numbers, Medium has over 30 million monthly unique visitors and over 100 million monthly users overall.
Those are probably far greater in 2024.
These publications function like online magazines focused on specific topics and can provide additional exposure for writers.
Think of it like WordPress, but without a learning curve and with a large audience built-in.
How Do You Make Money on Medium?
There are a few different ways writers can earn money on Medium:
Join the Medium Partner Program
This allows writers to receive a portion of Medium’s membership revenue.
Here’s how it works:
- Medium charges readers a monthly or yearly membership fee to access premium content (currently $5/month or $50/year, or the new Friend of Medium tier at $15 per month or $150 per year).
- Revenue from these subscriptions is shared with writers in the Partner Program.
- You earn money based on the amount of time members spend reading your stories.
To be eligible for the program, you need to:
- Have published a story within the last 6 months
- Follow Medium’s guidelines and rules
- Be in an eligible country for payment through Stripe.
- Be located, and file taxes, in an eligible country
- Be at least 18 years old
Once approved, you need to enable the membership paywall on your stories to start earning.
Bonuses Of the Past
In addition to the standard payment model, Medium used to offer bonus payments to reward exceptional content:
- Editor’s Pick bonus: For standout stories, editors may award a bonus.
- Referral bonus: You earn 50% of the membership fee when someone signs up after reading your story.
- Top Writer Bonus: For a few months Medium rewards the top 1500 writers with a bonus payment of up to $500 per month
The days of these bonus payments are over as of right now (January 2024). But something similar could make its way back anytime.
Get Published on Medium Publications
Publishing on one of Medium’s niche publications can expand your reach.
This is one of the key advantages of Medium’s structure.
To get published in a publication, you’ll need to pitch your story ideas and submit to the editors.
The largest publications with hundreds of thousands of followers (Like Start it up, Better Marketing, Better Humans, Mind Café, and others) have high standards, so focus on crafting high-quality content.
Use Affiliate Links
You can include affiliate links in your Medium stories.
It’s not discouraged.
Just be sure to disclose they are affiliate links.
This is another way to monetize your articles indirectly, no matter if you’re a paying Medium member or just a free user.
Promote Other Products or Services
- Driving traffic to your own website or offers.
- Building an email list.
- Promoting consulting/coaching services.
- Promoting online courses or other products you sell.
The high-volume traffic from Medium can be leveraged to boost your income through other avenues.
Leverage Medium’s Boost Program
Medium’s “Boost” program is a relatively new way to get additional visibility for your top-performing stories.
When a story gets “boosted”, it receives expanded distribution to more readers on Medium.
To be eligible for a boost, stories must meet certain quality standards around insightfulness, originality, and memorability.
Publications can nominate writers for boosting, but any story can get boosted by Medium’s staff.
Getting your content boosted results in more views and reading time, which directly translates to higher earnings in most cases.
How Much Money Can You Make on Medium?
The income potential on Medium varies quite a bit.
I have made everything from a few dollars to 4 figures per month from partner program payouts alone, plus 3 or 4 figures from additional income streams like affiliate links, products, and more.
Here are some numbers for the partner program:
- The top 1% of writers earn $5k – $30k+ per month.
- Around 10% make over $100 per month.
- The average income is less than $100 per month.
- Over 50% of writers make no money at all.
So while it’s possible to earn a significant income on Medium with a loyal following, most writers will make supplemental income levels, especially when getting started.
Focus on building your audience and skills over the first year before expecting high earnings.
Patience and persistence pay off when it comes to monetizing your writing.
Tips for Making Money on Medium
Here are some key tips for maximizing your earning potential on Medium:
Choose a Fitting Niche
But I usually advise picking a niche you’re familiar with over something that you think could be trending. Simply for the fact that you’ll have more expertise and therefore likely better, more polished stories to share on that topic.
Building a loyal audience around a niche you know inside out results in higher engagement and read times, and therefore higher earning potential and quicker audience growth.
Write Compelling Headlines
Headlines are key for getting clicks. Nobody will read your stuff if they don’t click on it.
But beware of clickbait. Stay away from that. Instead, aim for click-worthiness.
Study successful headlines and use emotional triggers like “How to” and “X Ways to”.
Hook Readers in the Introduction
Your intro needs to instantly show value, share something personal, and make readers want to keep going.
That’s probably the hardest part of the writing process.
Format Articles Well
Use headings, spacing, and formatting to make articles scannable and easy to read.
Nobody likes a huge block of text. Visual interceptions and structure are good things.
Posting consistently over time increases the chances of being discovered and building readership.
I’d say, aim for 1-2 articles per week. More is better. Less is usually worse.
Promote Your Content
Share your articles on social media and encourage shares.
Leverage your existing followers on other channels if you have some.
Otherwise build your audience through Medium in different places like X (Twitter), LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or wherever you feel at home.
Interact with Readers
Reply to comments and have discussions. Medium is a social platform. It lives and dies with interaction.
Building relationships leads to a loyal following.
Pay attention to your top-performing articles and topics. This usually indicates a trend or your expertise and fan favorites.
Give readers more of the content they love.
Write Longer Articles
Longer content results in more reading time. This wasn’t always the case. There was a time (about 1-2 years ago) when shortform content with stories at or under 150 words were booming on Medium.
Sort of like Twitter for Medium.
But recently, Medium added a 30-second rule to the monetization algorithm which essentially means readers have to spend more than 30 seconds on your story for you to get paid.
This has seriously slowed down – some even say killed – shortform content as it’s super easy to skim a 150-word article in under 30 seconds.
So in 2024, focus on length. Aim for at least 750 words, better 1000 or more. This will likely increase reading time on your stories and therefore increase earnings.
Get Stories Boosted
Creating stellar content that gets boosted which in turn translates to bigger readership and earnings.
Boost is a real thing in 2024. It’s not easy to get boosted. Medium staff and boost nominators take their jobs seriously. But it’s worth it.
If Medium isn’t for you, don’t worry.
Medium is not the only platform for publishing articles and monetizing your content online.
Here are a few alternative platforms to consider:
- Popular paid newsletter platform.
- Readers subscribe directly to writers’ email newsletters.
- Writers can earn directly through subscriptions.
- Free blogging platform + newsletter functionality in a simple and easy to use package.
- Open source blogging platform.
- Host your own blog and monetize via paid subscriptions, ads, products, etc.
- Full control and customization.
- A little more tech knowledge required
- Crowdsourced content platform.
- Get paid based on views and tips from readers.
- Paid contests/challenges
- Focus on fiction and similar writers over news content or tech blogging
- Pay is pretty low
- Mobile news platform.
- Earn based on content performance.
- Good for local news and niche content.
While it takes time and effort to build a following and thrive financially on Medium, the platform offers flexibility and a wide reach that can amplify your work.
It’s the easiest and largest audience-driven blogging platform on the internet.
By focusing on providing high-quality content, cultivating a loyal following around a niche, leveraging Medium’s distribution tools, and consistently producing engaging stories, it’s possible for writers to establish their brand, grow their skills, and earn money on Medium over the long term.
And all that for a pretty affordable price at $5 a month.
And if you want to learn even more about Medium and how to make money there, I have an ebook to teach you exactly that. You’ll find that here ↓