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What is Medium and How to Make Money From It

With example earnings for 125,000 views

Medium is an online publishing platform created by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams in 2012. It allows anyone to publish articles and stories on any topic, and make money from it.

With over 150 million monthly readers, Medium has become a popular place for writers, bloggers, journalists, academics and more to share their ideas. It operates on a revenue sharing model – writers who publish on Medium can make money when readers applaud or highlight their stories.

How Does Medium Work?

When you publish on Medium, your stories become publicly visible and can be read by anyone on the internet. Medium handles all the technical backend of publishing and distribution.

As a writer, you don’t have to worry about building or maintaining a website. You simply write articles in Medium’s minimal editing interface and publish them.

Readers can follow you to receive updates whenever you publish new stories. The more followers you have, the wider distribution your stories receive on Medium.

How to Make Money on Medium

The primary way for writers to earn money on Medium is through the Partner Program. To qualify for the program, you need:

  • At least one story with over 1000 total views
  • At least two stories with over 500 views
  • A total lifetime viewership of at least 10,000 views across all stories

Once approved as a Medium Partner, you can earn money in two main ways:

1. Readers can ‘Applaud’ your story:

Readers can applaud stories they enjoyed, similar to a ‘like’ on other social platforms. As a Partner, you earn a share of the revenue from applauds on your stories.

2. Readers can Highlight portions of your story:

Readers can select and highlight parts of your story as a way to share key ideas or moments with others. You earn a portion of the money generated from highlights of your story text.

The exact revenue share percentages vary based on region and availability, but writers typically earn a sizable percentage of the money generated from their stories.

How Much Money Can You Make?

Income from Medium depends on multiple factors, primarily:

  • Total viewership of your stories
  • Number of reads, applauds and highlights your stories receive
  • Your partner revenue share percentage

To get an idea, let’s look at a real example from a Medium writer:

9 months on Medium. Time flies. I still feel like a newbie most of the time. And compared to some of the most prolific and successful writers on this platform, I still am.

Let’s find out how much Medium has paid me in 9 months for (almost) 125,000 views to date.

As you can see from the screenshot above, 125K is actually the number including comments. Without those response stats, I’m at a little over 118K views. As you know, comment views (and reading time) don’t pay. Would be nice if they did. But for now, they’re not.

So over the last 9 months, with 118K views, my earnings come in at $3652.

For this writer, 118,000 views over 9 months resulted in $3652 in earnings – which comes out to around $406 per month.

Of course, this example only illustrates one data point. Many Medium writers likely earn more or less than this. Key factors that increase earnings include:

  • A large existing audience to drive views
  • Consistently publishing viral, high-quality content
  • Focusing on popular topics that attract lots of readers

For most beginning writers, Medium earnings tend to start small but can grow steadily over time as your readership expands. While difficult to predict exact figures, a good benchmark to target is around $100 per 10,000 views.

Final Thoughts

Medium offers an excellent opportunity for any writer to start sharing their work publicly and even generate income from it. While becoming a high-earning Medium writer takes significant time and effort, the platform makes it easy for anyone to get started.

With its strong readership base and revenue sharing model, Medium provides a direct path for writers to convert views into earnings. For those willing to consistently produce high-quality content that resonates with readers, Medium can become a lucrative publishing platform.

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