As a content writer and solopreneur, I am constantly looking for new ways of making money online.
I’ve already shared my experience about making money on Medium. It’s time to share my Vocal.media review.
In this article, you’ll learn the following:
- What Vocal.media is
- Is Vocal legit?
- How Vocal.media works
- What Vocal + is
- How to make money on Vocal.media
- Vocal open challenges
- Vocal vs. Medium — which platform pays more?
- Vocal.media updates
Without any further ado, let’s get started.
What is Vocal.media?
Vocal.media is a US-based platform for content writers, creators, podcasters, and anyone willing to share their message with the world and make money out of it.
Vocal.media reports its user base consists of over 700,000 unique users, with roughly 38% of users coming from the USA.
The platform was introduced in 2016 and has grown to around 3.8 monthly visitors, according to Similarweb.
If you wonder whether Vocal.media is legit, keep reading my thoughts and review as a Vocal publisher.
Is Vocal.media legit?
I joined Vocal.media in July 2020 and have published over 50 stories there. Despite a relatively small number of published articles, I managed to get bonuses, tips, and referrals on Vocal.
I track the performance of my posts in the “Stats” tab and see how much money they make.
Note that you can only see the stories’ stats for the past 30 days, even if you joined Vocal a long time ago.
However, Vocal does show you the percentage change. In other words, to what extent did your stories’ views increase or decrease compared to the previous 30 days.
Vocal repays earnings through the Stripe payment system. You can read about Stripe supporting countries and how to set up an account here.
To answer your question, “Is Vocal.media writing legit?” I should say that I’ve never had issues with the platform. Once filly requested and verified, the payment always goes to my Stripe account.
I believe Vocal treats its writers with respect. Otherwise, it would have already lost its reputation.
How Vocal.media works
It’s easy to get published on Vocal, but there are certain peculiarities you should know about how the platform works.
- Vocal.media is free to use. Publishing, engagement with the audience, and tipping are done at no cost.
- You have to be at least 13 years old to become a Vocal creator.
- You reserve the right to your stories after publishing them on Vocal.
- It takes 24-72 hours for moderators to review and publish your story.
- You can republish your old content from other platforms on Vocal.
- Stories with less than 600 words are not accepted for publication, same for poems with less than 100 words.
- Content in foreign languages (other than English) is not accepted.
As a Vocal creator, you are provided with an essential toolkit for formatting, which lets you create H2 headlines, bold, underline, and italic the text, create quotes and bullet lists.
This is what the writing section looks like:
As a creator, you can promote your products or services in your story, encourage readers to like your posts, and tip you. Unlike Medium, Vocal does not mind your promo as long as it helps the platform reach new people.
Here is how I finish my Vocal posts:
If you find this piece interesting, please consider leaving a ❤️, or even a tip. Your support means a lot to me as a writer! You can also read more of my stories here.
Once your article is ready, submit it for review. If it’s in line with Vocal’s rules, it will be published automatically.
The more you post on Vocal, the shorter your review time is. I’ve made this conclusion solely based on my experience. Perhaps, it might be different for you. Anyhow, please, share your experience with Vocal in the comments below this article. I’ll be happy to learn from you too.
There are a few more creator tools I recommend using on Vocal. These are pinned stories, “subscribe to my stories,” and comments.
Vocal has recently announced a new feature — pinned stories.
If you believe your best stories are buried somewhere on the 10th page, you can now pin three stories to your profile and help readers learn more about you.
This is how it looks on the profile page:
Vocal users will be able to see your pinned stories above the rest content. Besides, they’ll be invited to subscribe to your updates and tip you. More on this below.
Subscribe to my stories
Who we usually call “followers” all over the Internet are named “subscribers” on Vocal.
Note that subscribers don’t pay anything to you when they hit a “subscribe” button. It only means they are your loyal readers who want to hear more from you on Vocal.
Unlike Medium, Vocal does not display content from the creators you follow on their main page. Its main page shows stories handpicked by its editors, Vocal challenges, and resources.
If you want to see stories from the content writers you follow, click on your profile link in the right corner > select “Your Subscriptions” > Your Feed.
This way, you’ll see content from the creators you follow, excluding all the rest.
In my opinion, this feature has its pros and cons. You can easily track what your preferred content creators publish. On the other hand, you can’t discover new creators this way. You have to navigate to the home page to read fresh content.
Vocal has been working on enabling comments for its creators.
It’s been a long-awaited feature that is now available in the creators’ settings. From now on, you can turn on and off comments for your stories.
This functionality is available for both regular and Vocal+ members.
If you are new to Vocal, here is what the Vocal+ membership unlocks for creators.
What is Vocal+?
Vocal+ is an upgraded membership for creators with additional value and features.
You don’t have to pay to publish and make money on Vocal. However, Vocal+ gives you extra benefits, like the following:
Vocal regularly adds new features for the Vocal+ creators. Therefore, I’ll keep updating this list whenever new features are available.
In short, Vocal+ lets you try and benefit from all tools on Vocal.
If you are a Vocal+ member, you’ll earn more, pay fewer fees for money withdrawal, get access to exclusive Vocal challenges and pledges. These benefits are not for free, though. You have to pay $10 monthly to maintain your Vocal+ membership.
Many creators wonder if it’s worth paying for Vocal+ membership. Here is my opinion on this matter, which will hopefully help you make the right decision.
If you are an established Vocal.media creator with at least a few thousand monthly views, then Vocal+ will help you earn more money.
Let’s say, you have at least 3000 monthly views, here is how much you would make:
- Regular Vocal creator: $11.40
- Vocal + creator: $18
Your pure profit from content views would be $8 compared to $1.40. Besides, there are more ways Vocal rewards its creators I will talk about later in this article.
However, if you barely make a few cents on Vocal, it’s not worth paying $10 regularly.
A tip for Vocal creators:
If you win a Vocal challenge or get some bonuses, sign up for Vocal+ for one month to withdraw your money with the minimum fee.
How to make money on Vocal.media
Vocal is an excellent alternative to Medium. Therefore, it’s one more opportunity to monetize your writing skills online.
In this Vocal.media review, I’ll share how much Vocal pays per view, how else you can make money on Vocal.media (besides writing), and how much money you can make during your first month on Vocal.
Make money per views
Vocal.media pays this much per 1000 views:
- Regular Vocal creators — $3.80
- Vocal+ creators — $6.00
In my opinion, both options don’t seem that promising. For instance, some of my Medium blog posts make way more money. Here is proof:
However, Vocal does have some competitive advantages. It pays for both internal and external views, which is incredible!
Let’s say you are a new Vocal.media creator with an established social media presence. If you promote your blog posts on social and attract an army of readers, Vocal will gladly reward you for your efforts.
If you publish an optimized blog post on Vocal, it has a high chance to rank on Google.
According to Ahrefs, Vocal’s domain authority is 78 out of 100, which is pretty solid to rank for some low competition keywords.
I don’t have an extensive social media follower base. However, I do share newly published content on Quora. Here is a list of my top-performing Vocal stories based on views and earnings.
You should know that pay-per-view is not the only way to make money on Vocal. I’ve earned much more than these in total.
Furthermore, Vocal.media allows republishing old content.
In other words, if you published stories elsewhere, you can give them a second life on Vocal.
For example, I have over 200 blog posts published on Medium as of March 2022. I republish some of them on Vocal and keep making money with my old content. How great is that?
Vocal.media rewards its active and loyal writers with bonuses. Here is how much you can make guaranteed on Vocal.
- $5 — every time your story is featured as a “Top Story.”
- $5 — if your story gets engagement on Vocal’s Twitter and Facebook pages.
- $10 — as soon as you publish ten stories on Vocal.
- $5 — as soon as you like 15 random stories on Vocal.
- $50 — as soon as you post 50 stories on Vocal.
- $5 — as soon as you reach the first 1000 reads on Vocal.
You can see some of my bonuses in the screenshot below. I’ve got this money for republishing my old blog posts on Vocal. You’ll get these bonuses guaranteed too.
Besides, Vocal regularly runs surveys and sends promo emails, offering $5-10 for your feedback. You can read more about Vocal.media bonuses here.
Tipping is an accepted and widely used practice on Vocal.
Readers can tip their favorite content creators for their stories. You cannot predict when it happens and how much money you’ll get as tips. All you can do is keep creating engaging, emotional, and helpful stories.
Furthermore, Vocal encourages content creators to promote tipping within their stories. Like me, you can write a few additional lines and invite your readers to tip your stories.
Besides, Vocal has a sticky footer, reminding readers to subscribe and tip your stories.
If someone tips your story, you’ll see how much they tipped you and for which story in the “Wallet” tab. Note that tips are sent to your Stripe account right away without a payment request.
As a content creator, you can ask your fans to support your effort through pledges. It is a more stable and recurring income source on Vocal than bonuses, tips, and payment for views.
If your readers decide to support you, you’ll be getting a recurring $2.30 fee directly to your Stripe account monthly as long as they keep paying you.
Pledges are available for Vocal+ members only! It implies you’ll have to pay $10 monthly to benefit from this feature. You can learn more about how pledges work here.
As a writer, I don’t believe it’s possible to make living writing with pledges. As for me, it’s an additional bonus, which is nice to get, but you should not necessarily rely on it.
Vocal.media challenges are another luring opportunity for content creators.
Vocal runs various storytelling contests to let writers embrace their creativity and earn a decent income.
New challenges are open every month and guarantee $1000 as a grand prize. Some sponsored challenges, like a “Little Black Book” challenge supported by Moleskine, offered $20,000 as a reward.
This way, Vocal encourages more users to become paying members. It’s solely my opinion, and you won’t find it written in the Vocal’s resources.
For instance, over 12,000 submissions competed in the “Little Black Book” challenge sponsored by Moleskine, including mine. Vocal has probably earned over $120,000 from a single challenge. That’s a lot of money!
Some raise concerns over Vocal writing contents legitimacy due to a high number of submissions. We don’t know who checks submissions and how they assess stories.
I participated in a few challenges but did not end up winning them. However, I know a few Medium writers who made it. They confirmed that Vocal indeed sends a reward to the Stripe account and challenges are legitimate ways of making money on Vocal.media.
If you sign up for Vocal+ membership, give Vocal challenges a try. Perhaps, your story will be the lucky one to bring you fame and rewards.
Vocal Open Challenges
“Campfire Ghost Story” — Write the scariest fiction story. Win $10,000.
Vocal provides the first sentence. Here it is:
“The cabin in the woods had been abandoned for years, but one night, a candle burned in the window.”
Your story must begin with the sentence above to be eligible.
The challenge is open for Vocal+ members only.
- July 08th, 2022 5:59 AM CEST
Results to be announced
- July 21st, 2022
- First Place: $10,000
- Second Place: $2,500
- 25 Runners-up: $50
“Dads Are No Joke” — Dads are great at telling stories. Now tell the story of your dad. In at least 600 words, tell a story about a father figure in your life.
The challenge is open for Vocal+ members only.
- July 5th, 2022 5:59 AM CEST
Results to be announced
- July 19th, 2022
- First Place: $2,500
- Second Place: $1,000
- 15 Runners-up: $50
Vocal.media Ambassador Program
Since May 2021, Vocal has introduced its Ambassador Program.
In short, it’s a referral program that allows you to earn $20 for every Vocal+ creator you refer.
Even if you don’t actively write on Vocal, I encourage you to sign up for the Vocal Ambassador Program here.
You only need to provide your name and email address to register as an ambassador. Once you sign up, you’ll get access to the dashboard. Here is what it looks like:
The dashboard shows you the summary of earned commissions and referrals.
Furthermore, you are given a personalized link to promote Vocal services. For instance, I only need to add ?via=victoria to any Vocal.media URL to track referrals.
The referral links have a 60-day cookie, meaning that anyone who signs up for Vocal+ within these 60 days via your URL will be counted as your referral.
If you refer at least five users, you’ll make $100. Not bad, right?
Unlike the Medium referral program, which only pays $2.27 per referred member, you can make decent money by encouraging people to try Vocal.
Vocal.media vs. Medium — which platform pays more?
If your primary goal is to make money writing, none of the platforms will work for you, I am afraid.
It’s challenging and time-consuming to make a living writing. Most people just can’t make it. They are happy if they earn additional bucks, but this income is not high enough to pay the bills.
Medium and Vocal are entirely different platforms, despite offering similar opportunities to content creators.
Medium writers can only make money if their stories are read by paid Medium members, who pay $5 monthly to get full access to Medium stories.
A Medium story published a long time ago can still make money thanks to Medium distribution algorithms. It’s something you won’t see on other platforms. You should push hard to get eyeballs to your Vocal stories, while Medium does this job instead of you.
I regularly publish a few posts on Medium, making me over $100 every month. If you want to learn more, I have an in-depth guide on how to make money on Medium.
On the other hand, Vocal offers more monetization opportunities for content creators and an attractive referral program.
I summarized my Medium and Vocal writing review in the table below. I hope it will help you decide which platform to focus on.
|The fee covers||Full access to all Medium stories||Pledges|
Reduced withdrawal fees
Increased earnings per 1000 reads ($3.80 to $6)
Reduced withdrawal balance ($35 to $20)
Quick edits to published stories
|My top-earning story (March 2022)||$484.74 (payment for reads)||$15.58 (bonuses and payment for reads)|
|My first month’s earnings||$7 (payment for reads)||$50.58 (bonuses and payment for reads)|
As you can see, both platforms have their pros and cons.
I personally know writers who make four figures a month, effectively leveraging Vocal and Medium, which gives me a sense that it’s possible.
Have you tried Vocal.media? What are your thoughts about it? Feel free to share in the comments below.
If you are new to the writing world, sign up to Vocal+ and give it a try.
Update from March 22, 2022 — Vocal introduced Reader Insights
If you’ve ever wanted to get inside the head of your readers and learn what they think about your stories, that’s exactly what “Reader Insights” is about to do.
Vocal has introduced a new feature to collect readers’ feedback and help creators understand how well they do their job and what can be improved.
The feature is accessible for paid and free Vocal members.
In a nutshell, you can now share your feedback at the end of every story by clicking on “Add Your Insight.” Here is what the Reader Insights form looks like:
As a creator, you can see how readers review your story by navigating to that story on your profile and any “Reader Insights” will appear in a window at the bottom of the page.
The official update page can be found by following this link.