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Where Do You Earn More? Medium, YouTube, AdSense, Spotify?

Would you have guessed?

Want to earn money online? Don’t know where to start? Where to earn the most? Too many options online?

I’ve been there.

The online world has endless money-making possibilities for aspiring creators.

Good, because the possibilities are endless. Bad, because where do you start?

Let’s figure this out!

5 Things to Remember

Here are 5 key things to remember when deciding what to do online:

1. Many Legit Opportunities, Some Scams

There are countless legitimate ways to make money online, but some are scams. Do research before committing time or money.

2. Most Involve Content Creation

The majority of online income opportunities center around creating digital content or products. Very few are truly passive.

3. Passive Income is Rare

True passive income is hard to find. Most projects require initial work and frequent upkeep.

4. Everyone Starts at Zero

We all start with no following, no matter how talented. Building an audience and income takes time.

5. Do What You Love

There’s an online niche for everyone. Focus on what you do best rather than forcing it.

Comparing Online Income Streams

To choose your side hustle, steady earnings are key. Let’s compare 5 platforms I’m familiar with.

To compare fairly, we’ll use 1,000 views/listens/streams as the metric. Roughly equal, but not exactly.

These numbers are my experience. Earnings vary widely between and even within platforms. Keep that in mind!

Writing and blogging

Writing is still a popular online income source. Medium is a blogging platform where you earn from paying members reading your stories.

Once a member, metered posts earn based on reading time. My average was around $31 per 1,000 views on Medium.

Medium alternatives like Vocal, NewsBreak, and Simily also pay per view or read. But rates and or viewership are way lower than on Medium in my experience.


YouTube requires joining the partner program to monetize videos. Earnings rely on ads via Google AdSense.

My niche RPM (ad rate) was around $3.

Highly fluctuates based on niche, season, and more factors. Some people reported RPMs of over $50 at some point. Humonguous differences.

Music streaming

For musicians, Spotify and others can help market your music and earn money. Earnings are based on 1,000 song streams.

Spotify pays around $2.50 per 1,000 streams.

Apple Music pays more at $6.77 per 1,000.

Using both platforms makes the most sense here.

Website ads

Google AdSense serves ads on websites, YouTube, and across the internet. But earnings fluctuate widely.

In my experience, AdSense earnings average around $2–3 per 1,000 views.

But can range from below $1 to $30+. Again, a huge difference.

The bottom line

Medium led at $31 per 1,000 views in my comparison. Would you have guessed?

A quick recap of earnings per 1,000 views:

  1. Medium: $31
  2. YouTube: $3
  3. Spotify: $2.50
  4. AdSense: $2–3

But higher per-view earnings don’t guarantee Medium is the most lucrative. Getting consistent high views is way harder on a writing platform than on a video platform like YouTube or TikTok.

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