Are you looking for a real and trustful way to earn money online while using your creativity and writing skills? Then you should definitely read this article.
What is Medium?
Medium is an online publishing platform launched in 2012. Anyone with a registered account is able to write articles that can be shared and published on the platform. It is like a big blog, containing guest posts from various people around the world.
Some of the categories you can find there are: Money, Writing, Relationship, Politics, Technology, Art, History and so on. Basically there are covered so many topics that is impossible not finding something interesting to read.
First of all I should warn you: their articles are called stories. That is because they encourage writing about a topic using our personal experience. You will see for the most of the stories that the tone of the writing is professional, but has a personal touch that makes you wonder and connect with it.
How is Medium earning money?
The first question is how is this online platform earning capital,and how is affording the payment for the writers present on the platform. In a world where every website is flooding us with ads, I am so happy to say that Medium’s method for monetizing is not related with ads.
They have a subscription program, that costs $5 per month or $50 per year, and once you become a member, you will be able to read every story published on Medium. It also allows you to listen to audio narrations of popular articles and some other benefits. There are free accounts too, but with those you can only read a limited amount of stories every month.
What I find interesting is that even though you can read all the articles for free if you do not have any type of account, there are still many users that pay the subscription. The amount is not high, so I guess they are mainly paying for having the chance to interact with people, writing comments, subscribing and supporting their favorite writers. In addition to that, they are getting some features like personal recommendations or audio stories.
How is Medium paying its writers?
First you should now that every story has a comment section and a like button. That like button is basically allowing readers to clap when they find an articles they really like. Each person can clap 50 times for a single article as an appreciation for the quality content read.
When a paying member claps for a story, a portion of their membership fee goes directly to the author. This way, Medium membership let readers support their favorite writers and help them earn money. Nobody knows exactly how the claps are calculated, as there is no fixed value for that. Let’s see an example:
We have an article with 1000 views and 10 claps.
The views are not taken in consideration for the payment, so we are interested only in the claps number.
We got 9 claps from person A and 1 clap from person B.
Person A, clapped at least 500 times this month, so one clap will be worth 5/500 = $0.01.
You have 9 claps worth of $0.01 resulting in a payment of 0.09 cents.
Person B, clapped only 2 times, so one clap will be worth 5/2 = $2.5
You have 1 clap worth of $2.5 resulting in a payment of $2.5
Non paying members can clap for stories too, the only difference is that their clapping is bringing appreciation for the writer, but not bringing any money. All this information is hidden, so you do not know the number of claps of each fan. A nice thing is that you know which one is a paying member or not, the ones that are paying have a green circle around their profile (see the picture bellow).
My advice is to write quality content in order to attract as many readers as possible. The main advantage of this method is that is encouraging writers to publish quality content over quantity and poor articles with catchy titles that only attracts views, but not engaged readers.
How do you create an account?
Everyone can create an account from here and the great news is that you can publish stories and earn money with a non paying account. The menu is pretty simple, I recommend you to fill your profile description and add a representative picture as this will increase the credibility of your writing. You can connect your social media account: Twitter and Facebook and just start writing.
You can choose between writing stories that are not monetized, and write story that are in their paywall program, meaning you’ll earn money for it.
How are you paid?
All the payments are done automatically at the end of the month, I can tell you from my experience, they are not missing a payment and it is 100% trustful website that is paying its writers.
They are using Stripe for the payments. The countries supporting it are still limited, so I recommend you to check the list of available countries. But there are some tricks to get over that. For example, my country is not included in the list, but I am still able to receive the payment through my Revolut account (which is actually a GBP account from UK). So there are still some ways to achieve your goals, you just need to be open and think outside of the box.
You can find all the information about how to create and add the stripe account on Medium website. Everything is pretty good documented, but if you have any question please let me know in the comments and I will try to guide you.
How to write for Medium Publications
First lets see what exactly are publications. They are shared spaces for stories that are written around a common theme or topic, usually by multiple authors. Each publication is owned by a single user account, the publication’s owner. The owner account has full rights to manage the publication and can add other users as publication editors and writers.
You can start your own publication, where you can add your own articles or invite other people to publish for you. The main challenge is finding followers. If you have no followers is pretty hard to convince writers to publish their articles in your publication.
There are many established publications on Medium, and anyone could try to publish for them. Some of them are paying your for article, some not. You can find the best 100 publications with all the data available. You can see that freeCodeCamp.org, which is at the top in the moment I wrote this article, has almost 600K followers. The main advantage of writing for a well known publication is exposure to a greater audience and the chance to grow your views and followers.
If you are wondering how to start writing for a publication there are 3 ways:
- The first method is the easier one, you’ll see there is a Contribute button for some publications. You just press that, and follow the instructions.
2. The second method is going to the publication page and finding information about submitting articles. Or you can contact the owner with a message saying you are interested to write for them.
3. And the last method is when your work gets discovered by a publication and they invite you to contribute. I got one invitation like that, you’ll get a note added to the specific article.
Pros on writing on Medium
- Very easy to start – It offers a simple way to structure your article, edit your text and add photos to it.
- It’s free – Starting your own blog involve some costs, like domain name, hosting, theme, design. On Medium the writers don’t have to worry with such things.
- Marketing – They have several ways of promoting your work, like sending daily e-mails, publications, suggesting your work when similar content in shown and so on. The authors can focus on what is more important: writing.
- Regular payments – The results of your work appear quickly and you’ll start earning money from the first months. If you create you own blog, there is a chance that you’ll not be paid even after a year of writing.
- Importing articles – You can import articles from your personal blog. The main advantage is that google will not see that as a duplicate content and will still know that your original article came from your personal blog.
- No niche – You can write about any topic there. A personal blog is recommended to be focused on a specific area, like passive money, travel, or beauty, but on Medium you can write as diverse as you want. That is not influencing the visibility of your articles at all.
Cons on writing on Medium
- No personal brand – There are thousand of writers and even more articles on Medium, your work will be just lost there and the attention of your readers can be quickly stolen by other articles. When you build a personal blog, a brand is created and it’s easier to get loyal followers, that will read your articles and support you in everything you do.
- Money – On the long run (several years), there are more opportunities to monetize your work on a personal blog. It takes time and effort to create a successful blog, but the potential of growing is endless. Medium is a bit limited on this side, as you are only an intermediate between Medium and final readers.
As a final though, I think Medium is a great way to start writing without worrying about anything else. Having your own blog involves more effort, but in the long run is more fulfilling. Also it gets you bigger opportunities to grow and to write articles as a full time job.