How to Make Money on Medium Website In 2023
If you want to make money online, let me introduce you to Medium writing.
In this article, I share my Medium.com review and what I learned after publishing 270+ articles on the Medium website in the past three years.
I also share how I make money on Medium and how you can do it.
This article is an in-depth Medium review for everyone who wants to start blogging online, develop writing skills and pursue a writing career.
Here is what this article covers:
Here is what the article covers:
- What is Medium.com website?
- Is Medium reliable?
- How the Medium Partner Program works
- How to make money writing on Medium
- My Medium monthly earnings
- How many stories should you publish to make money on Medium?
- Best-performing Medium topics
- Is writing on Medium worth it?
Before getting to the core article’s topics, let me quickly introduce myself and share my Medium journey.
I’ve been actively writing on the Medium website since March 2020.
I published over 270 stories, discovered my writing niche that resonates with people, and earned $10,000+ from the Medium Partner program alone by December 2022.
In a nutshell, blogging on Medium is much more than writing and publishing random articles. The platform can help you reach millions of readers online, earn money, build a personal brand and an online business through your writing.
If you want to try Medium as a user first, I encourage you to become a Medium member and support other creators on the platform. By signing up through this link, you get full access to every story on Medium for just $5/month.
Let’s start with the basics, which will be helpful for those unfamiliar with a Medium website.
What is Medium.com?
Medium is a US-based company developed by a former CEO of Twitter, Evan Williams, and launched in 2012.
In short, it is an open platform for writers where anyone can share their ideas with over 170 million readers worldwide. Can you imagine?
According to Medium’s about page,170 million readers worldwide visit Medium to read stories and get inspired. It’s half of Europe or 40 U.S. states!
The Medium writing platform is a unique, closed environment with its own rules, a room for creators to thrive and for readers to learn.
Your unique experience and stories are the only things that matter on Medium.
You don’t have to be an experienced writer to get published on Medium, nor should you be a savvy marketer to drive audiences to your stories. Medium will do it on its own.
If you come to Medium, you can focus on creating powerful stories people will love to read.
This is what Medium strives to create — a room for ideas to evolve and spread without incentivizing destructive advertising.
Is Medium.com website reliable?
Let’s quickly see how the Medium platform works as a business and then make ground-based conclusions about its reliability.
How does Medium make money? And how much?
Medium generates revenue from user subscriptions that cost $5 a month or $50 a year. With this tiny contribution, the Medium publishing platform pays its writers over $2 million monthly! That’s incredible!
Here is the official statement made by the platform founder, Ev Williams:
“We pay out over two million dollars per month to writers, editors, and publication owners. With several hundred thousand members today, we are confident in the durability and scalability of the model. And, thus, we are continuing to invest in the long-term vision, for which we have much to do.“
From April 2021 to July 2021, Medium rewarded the 1000 most active and successful creators with cash bonuses worth $500 as gratitude for the value writers bring to the platform.
1000 writers and $500 for every writer makes a $500,000 bonus paid to writers besides the partner program earnings.
It’s half of the USD million! The platform can afford it!
As a Medium top writer, I was rewarded with bonuses four times in a row, in April, May, June, and July 2021.
It was an unexpected but delightful surprise from Medium.
I could not find an official financial statement to share Medium monthly revenue. However, how they value and support their contributors makes me feel confident in Medium’s future.
Medium is a dynamic and fast-growing platform with unprecedented growth in 2020. Look at how fast their page views have been growing:
To say more, Medium turned ten years in August 2022.
The platform has undergone a massive transformation to serve its readers with the best content and writers with the most seamless experience.
In their reflection post, the Medium team revealed that an enormous 18 million articles had been published on the Medium website since 2012. That’s huge!
The following are the most prominent Medium milestones since 2012:
- Hillary Clinton sets up the first-ever campaign publication on Medium.
- Barack Obama publishes his State of the Union address on Medium.
- Yelp customer service representative Talia Jane writes an open letter to her CEO, leading to a public reckoning over income inequality.
- Medium Partner Program was introduced that lets writers earn money from their stories.
- Natalie Portman responds to the #MeToo movement’s critics.
- Medium acquires The Bold Italic, a publication covering Bay Area culture.
- Coronavirus hits. Medium breaks the record for visitors and sign-ups as millions of people take to the platform to learn what’s going on.
- In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, Medium started a new blog called Momentum, where writers share their perspectives on anti-Black racism.
- Medium introduced a new email subscription feature.
- Medium turns 10. Ev Williams steps down as CEO, and Tony Stubblebine takes the reins.
- Medium brought back old-good custom domains and mobile editing.
- A new audio experience for listening to Medium stories on the go.
More yet to come!
I am sure.
Considering Medium’s latest stats, updates, and bold plans, Medium seems to be a reliable platform to partner with.
As a writer, I have not experienced any issues with Medium. In case of any questions, their support team is always responsive and ready to help.
How the Medium Partner Program works
The Medium partner program was developed to help writers get paid for writing online.
Medium partner earnings are calculated based on two components:
- How much time paid Medium users spend reading your stories.
- How much of their monthly reading time is spent on your stories.
If you want to learn more about how Medium calculates writers’ earnings, they have a detailed article about it.
You have to do two things to monetize your stories on Medium: (1) join the Medium Partner Program and (2) put your stories behind the payroll before publishing.
The Medium Partner Program is only available in some countries.
You can find the up-to-date list of supporting countries below. If Medium updates its partner program terms, you can find the latest information on this page.
Please, be informed that Medium has introduced entry requirements to the partner program.
It’s no longer enough to register on Medium and get paid for your stories.
You have to fulfill the following conditions to apply to the Medium Partner Program:
- Be over 18 years old
- Live in the eligible location (countries are listed above)
- Have at least 100 followers on Medium
- Have published at least one story on Medium in the past
Once you fulfill all the above-mentioned requirements, you can submit this application form. The Medium team will review your application and get back to you with (hopefully) some great news.
How much does it cost to join the Medium Partner Program?
It’s free. There is no fee or hidden charges to enter the Medium Partner Program.
You can still get paid for writing on Medium even if you opt out of paying a $5 Medium member reading fee.
Can Medium remove active writers from the Partner Program?
The short answer is yes!
Here is what Medium writers on their official website:
“If you do not publish within a six (6) month period, we may disable your ability to receive any revenue under the Partner Program. Before disabling your ability to earn under the Partner Program, we will notify you. “
How do you start making money on Medium?
You have to join the Medium Partner Program to receive earnings from your stories.
You get paid through the Stripe payment system by the 15th of every month. Note that Stripe is only supported in some countries! You can check the up-to-date list of countries here.
Here is what the Medium Partner Program registration process looks like:
Medium partners with Stripe to send payouts to writers. It takes roughly 10 minutes to set up the Stripe account and link it to Medium.
You will have to upload some documents to verify your physical address. But once it’s done, you are officially a part of the Medium Partner Program.
Note that Medium earnings are displayed in USD.
Your payout will be automatically exchanged if your bank account is in another currency.
How to make money writing on Medium
According to the Medium monthly update, here is how much writers made in September 2020:
- 68.7% of writers or publications who wrote at least one story for members earned money.
- 6.4% of active writers earned over $100.
- $49,705.40 was the most earned by a writer, and $16,685.5 was the most earned for a single story.
In September 2020, the best-performing story earned $16,685 for its writer. How cool is that? It seems you can blog on Medium and make more than any other full-time job would pay you.
This opportunity attracts many new and established writers to the platform who want to share their voices with millions of readers worldwide and make a living from it. It’s a fascinating part of Medium.
However, don’t be deluded by these gorgeous numbers. If you take another look at the numbers above, you may notice that no more than 6.4% of writers managed to earn over $100 in September 2020.
It is, perhaps, the last monthly writer’s earnings update by the Medium curators’ team. This is why there has been no new data since 2021.
As an established Medium writer, I know Medium writing is challenging and unpredictable. Some writers report making four figures monthly on Medium. While others barely make $100.
The following are four ways how I make money blogging on Medium.
P.S. Yes, there is more than one way to do it.
1. Medium Partner Program
I joined Medium in March 2020, and I’ve been actively blogging since then.
This is what I achieved after consistently blogging on Medium for over two years — from March 2020 to October 2022:
- Published 244 stories
- Earned $10,349.80 in total
- Made $3,000 from a single article as an affiliate
- Gained 6,000 followers
- Received $500 bonuses four times
Am I doing great on Medium?
I am an average writer who consistently makes over $900 on Medium and gradually grows my follower base.
Many established writers earn way more money than me. However, even more writers struggle to make $100 on Medium.
Everyone’s journey is different.
You won’t be able to predict your earnings by following what other Medium writers say or do. I assure you!
How to get paid on Medium? The answer is to consistently publish articles, learn your audience and slowly shift towards topics that work best!
I blogged about everything on Medium. However, I discovered that my best-performing topics were my solopreneurship journey, SEO, my website growth, and my side hustles.
Therefore, I no longer write unsolicited and shallow pieces on Medium.
Instead, I share exclusive details about my journey as a solopreneur and an SEO specialist. This is what my readers want to read.
The more they read, the more I earn. It’s easy now!
However, it took me two years to figure out my writing niche and build an audience that knows me and patiently waits for my stories.
2. Medium Referral Program
Medium introduced its referral program in August 2021.
It’s another way to make additional income on Medium besides payment for views.
Some say Medium introduced the referral program to offer stable and recurring monthly income to its writers because the changes Medium has made to its content distribution algorithm adversely impacted writers’ views and earnings.
I’ve experienced these algorithm changes several times. However, there was nothing I could do about it.
I could either complain and quit writing or shut up and continue working no matter what.
I chose the second option.
If you don’t expect quick wins and are ready to build your presence on Medium slowly, you’ll make it.
The referral program is one more proven way to make money on Medium.
Before showing my referral income stats, let me explain how to find your unique referral link.
1. Navigate to Settings > Publishing> Promote Medium memberships.
2. Customize your Medium referral page.
You can customize the headline and the body message that Medium users will see on your referral page.
Come up with a compelling copy that explains why someone should pay $5 monthly to Medium.
Here is how my Medium referral page looks:
3. Promote your Medium referral link.
Once you are ready with the customization, start promoting Medium membership.
For example, I include a tiny call-to-action at the end of my Medium posts. Readers who find my content valuable and want to read more are subtly invited to become Medium members.
Here is what I write at the end of my stories:
“You can get full access to every story on Medium for just $5/month by signing up through this link.”
Furthermore, I also promote Medium membership through my website.
According to Medium, here is how much money you can make from every referred member:
|Per month for 1 referred member||$2.01||$2.27|
|Per month for 100 referred members||$201||$227|
You’ll get $2.27 for every referred member with a monthly subscription or $2.01 with a yearly subscription.
Here is how much I make through the Medium referral program by sharing a tiny CTA in my content by October 2022:
3. Medium Tipping
This has been a feature request for a long time.
Unlike Medium, many content writing platforms, like Vocal.media, had a tipping system.
Finally, Medium added a quick solution to collect tips from readers in July 2022.
If you enable the tipping feature in Settings > Publishing > Manage tipping on your stories, you’ll see a short call-to-action at the end of your Medium stories like this:
It’s worth knowing that Medium tipping is not integrated with the Partner Program.
It means your tips won’t be added to your monthly earnings. Instead, you can choose the preferred payment platform yourself.
PayPal and Ko-fi are among the popular tipping options.
If you are interested to know how to collect tips on PayPal, this short how-to guide will help you. Alternatively, I have an in-depth Ko-fi review, which shares how I use the platform to collect tips.
Despite having over 30,000 monthly views on Medium, I’ve only made $20 as tips.
Tipping is a nice-to-have feature on Medium, but you should not treat it as a stand-alone income source.
4. Selling your offers on Medium
I joined Medium two years ago to get paid for my writing through the partner program.
However, I realized that Medium is much more than an environment for blogging.
Medium is a powerful platform to build an audience, validate your business ideas, grow your email list, and sell your offers.
For example, I sell my ebooks through my Medium stories, which helps me make up to $1,000 monthly extra.
Since many Medium readers know and trust me, they are more open to making a purchase.
You can learn more about ebook sales in my Gumroad review.
My Medium monthly earnings
Medium earnings are unpredictable.
You can make a few cents from your stories today, but one of your stories can suddenly go viral and make you three and even four figures income.
Many high-performing writers admit that less than 10% of all their articles make the most of their monthly income on Medium.
This rule works for me too.
I joined the club of lucky writers who earned above $100 in June 2020. It was my third month writing on Medium. It merely happened because my story about TikTok made over $50.
With the Medium website, you can publish once and continuously make money from your old stories, as they are recommended to readers repeatedly.
For example, my first Medium story made me just $7.
How much does Medium pay me now?
After two years of consistent writing, I make $50-$200+ from every Medium story, which results in $900+ monthly income.
How many stories should you publish monthly to earn money on Medium?
Let me share a myth new writers anxiously believe about Medium.
”I will earn more money on Medium if I publish daily.”
Active writers, indeed, have a higher chance of attracting more readers. However, if stories are poorly written and have no value for readers, they won’t get many views.
I used to publish around 15 stories a month which earned me up to $200. Now, I make the same amount from posting a few stories.
I don’t overwork and force myself to be a writing machine. Instead, I focus on topics that appeal to me and my target audience.
You can’t predict Medium earnings. Period. After some time on the platform, you can say what will or won’t work with higher certainty. However, you won’t know how much money a random article will make you.
Everyone has a unique journey on Medium. If you want to get paid for writing on Medium, you will have to find your own writing pace, discover topics that interest you and your audience, try, fail, try harder, and see what works.
Best-performing Medium topics
Many writers write about random topics on Medium and share their personal stories.
They don’t realize that most readers only care about themselves, not someone else’s life, family issues, new cat, impressions from a trip to Mexico, etc.
People want to know how to solve their life challenges. They will start reading your stories if you can help them do it.
The following are the most popular Medium topics based on my own experience, judgment, and discoveries:
- Money making culture and tips
There are exceptions, though. Some writers publish stories about politics or relationships and do well on Medium.
If you have something insightful to share with the world — do it! However, don’t forget that your stories are not about you. They are all about your readers!
Is writing on Medium worth it?
The answer to this question heavily depends on your goals.
If you aim to develop your writing skills, become a better storyteller, and reach millions of people with your message — then yes! Writing on the Medium website is worth it.
Over time, you will notice that Medium opens up many opportunities and helps you gain life-changing connections. Payouts are great, but they become secondary once you learn the platform rules and utilize them fully.
If you aim for quick wins, then Medium is not for you.
Remember the statistics I shared earlier in the article? Over 95% of writers don’t even make $100 on Medium. The majority fail. Only a tiny percentage of writers crush their goals because they are dedicated to making it happen!
If you are serious about writing on Medium, you will eventually make money. Period.
In April 2020, I earned $7. Exactly one year later, my paycheck was $636.
I don’t know what will happen in a year, but I stay optimistic about crushing my Medium writing goals.
Everyone’s Medium journey is different, but I am here to inspire you, believe in yourself, and give it a try. Who knows, you might be another Medium success story.
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