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Why Medium Still Edges Out Substack in 2024

Why you should pick Medium over Substack in 2024 — or what’s even better

Medium has its well-known issues. The algorithm changes abruptly. Distribution is spotty. Trending topics seem random. But when compared to its biggest rival Substack, Medium still offers the best overall blogging platform.

Substack – A True Challenger

Substack stands out as Medium’s top competitor. Its newsletter-based system has unique advantages.

Substack combines email newsletters with blog content. Writers can easily publish to both formats. This closed email approach helps build a loyal audience.

Substack also provides strong community-building features. Writers can interact with subscribers and readers. Recommendations help discover new voices.

For some writers, Substack’s newsletters and engaged community are major benefits over Medium’s open blog model. If you want a tight-knit group of engaged subscribers, Substack is highly appealing.

Medium Still Has the Edge

However, Medium retains edges over Substack that keep it on top in 2024.

Medium offers unparalleled reach. With tens of millions of existing readers, it’s far easier to gain traction. Substack requires building an audience from nothing. That’s a grinding, slow process.

Medium’s broad content categories and tags help writers find the right readers. Substack funnels everyone through newsletters, limiting discovery.

Earning potential scales higher on Medium. Top writers make six figures. Substack caps out much lower unless you have a huge subscriber list already.

While Substack’s newsletters build loyalty, Medium’s distribution helps stories spread widely. For reaching a large broad audience, Medium remains superior.

The Verdict for 2024

Medium and Substack both have merits. Substack is best for writers focused on monetizing a core engaged audience. But Medium remains better for reach, discovery, and earning potential.

Unless you already have a big following, building on Substack requires immense work. Medium matches readers with great content more seamlessly.

For an open blog and strong reach, Medium can’t be beat in 2024. The core issue is that all platforms have downsides. But for most bloggers, Medium still provides the best overall user experience.

The alternatives have enough red flags to make them risky options, especially for full-time writers relying on income. Despite its flaws, Medium offers the best writing environment.

The Key Factors

Here are the key factors that keep Medium on top:

  • Huge existing reader base for discovery
  • Open platform for maximum reach
  • Higher earning ceiling from views
  • Broad content and interest-based topics
  • Distribution still wider than on newsletters

Until a platform can beat Medium on most of these fronts, it remains the top choice for bloggers focused on growth and income.

The best thing, though, would be combining Medium and Substack to reach the benefits of both while limiting the downsides of each platform.

That way, you get the best of both worlds.

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