How Much Money Can You Make Writing for Medium?

How Much Money Can You Make Writing for Medium?

Medium Partner Program Earnings FAQs

how much money can you make writing on medium, medium writer pay, make money medium, medium earnings, casey botticello mediumSource: Medium Blogging Guide

Can You Make Money Writing on Medium?

Medium is the only platform on the Internet right now that allows anyone to sign up, post an article, and get paid earnings immediately. And yes ? you definitely can make money through Medium?s Partner Program. The Medium Partner Program has been used by thousands of writers, and it is not a scam (as a few have suggested).

However, the amount earned writing for Medium can vary widely (the top writer in September made a staggering $30,638.81). However, this is an anomaly. As you will see, later in this article, the average earnings on Medium are nowhere near this amount.

I?ve published content on Medium for over a year now, and have updated this article to reflect my experience.

How Much Money do Writers Make on Medium?

Screenshots of Medium Earnings

In the era of internet marketing and self help gurus, it?s hard to trust what you read online, especially if it involves earning money.

So while this is by no means a thorough scientific answer, the following screenshots offer some testimonials about earning potential on Medium.

Given that exceptional results are typically bragged about (and would subsequently be posted) I?m going to assume that these authors all experienced at least short term success that would place them in the upper 10?25% of paid writers on Medium.

I divided the earnings screenshots into two categories: monthly Medium Partner Program earnings and article specific earnings for articles in Medium?s Partner Program.

Monthly Medium Partner Program earnings, Medium Earnings, Medium Partner Program writer payments, medium payment screenshotsSource: Medium Blogging GuideMonthly Medium Partner Program earnings, Medium Earnings, Medium Partner Program writer payments, medium payment screenshotsSource: Medium Blogging GuideMonthly Medium Partner Program article earnings, medium article pay, medium article money, medium post payment, medium moneySource: Medium Blogging GuideImage for postSource: Medium Blogging Guide

To see a comprehensive overview of Medium article-specific earnings, check out my post, which assembles an unprecedented collection of screenshots of actual Medium articles that have earned anywhere from $20?$3,000, over their lifetime:

How Much Do Individual Medium Articles Earn?

An in depth look at real examples of Medium Partner Program story earnings

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Earnings Data Released by Medium

Another way to estimate Medium writer earnings is to look at the data provided by Medium. Medium provides some data in its monthly Partner Program update.

new medium earnings data added monthly, medium earnings, medium writer earnings, medium article earnings

The Latest Official Medium Earnings Figures

Here are some other stats Medium included on their Partner Program as of June 2020:

  • $6,386.48 ? the highest amount earned for a single story
  • $33,617.89 ? the highest amount earned by a single author
  • 5.7% ? the percentage of active writers who earned over $100

For comparison, the same stats from January 2019 were:

  • $4,290.43 ? the highest amount earned for a single story
  • $8,390.03 ? the highest amount earned by a single author
  • 8.1% ? the percentage of active writers who earned over $100

It?s also worth noting that Medium changed its earnings reporting methodology in July 2018 to report ?percentage of active writers who earned over $100? instead of revealing the average earnings per author.

There are three charts below:

The first chart consists of all the available data from Medium Partner Program Updates. Some of these stats (such as most earned by a publication) are no longer applicable due to changes in the Partner Program payment structure. I have kept them in an effort to preserve all Medium related earnings as data.

medium partner program earnings, medium writer earnings, medium author earnings, make money on medium, medium monthly earningSource: Medium Blogging Guide

The second chart highlights (1) the most earned by an author in a single month; and (2) the most earned by a single article in a month.

The third chart shows the % of ?active authors? who earned any money that month, and the % of authors who earned at least $100 in that month.

As noted above, Medium changed its earnings reporting methodology in July 2018 to report ?percentage of active writers who earned over $100? instead of revealing the average earnings per author.

It is also worth noting that going forward (after October 28, 2019), Medium earnings will not be based on claps, but on member reading time.

Medium?s New Method of Calculating Earnings

Dissecting the changes to how Medium Partner Program writers are compensated

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Anecdotal Medium Results

Based on my experience over the last year, I would say that it is realistic for someone putting in decent part time writing effort to make $100?$500 per month.

Given that the Medium search algorithm weighs story recency so heavily, I would say that a writer that can consistently produce marketable content could earn $500-$1,500 per month without being featured on Medium?s home page or in major publications.

How Often Do Top Earning Medium Writers Publish Stories?

Patterns in the frequency of article publication by Medium?s highest earning authors

If you can manage to be featured in Medium?s own publications repeatedly, develop a large following, and can produce multiple articles per day that are curated, you have the potential to earn $2,000?$25,000+ per month.

How to Get Your Article Distributed by the Medium Curators

And is being curated essential to being successful on Medium?

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How are Medium Payments Calculated?

Note: Medium changed its payment methodology on October 28, 2019. The old payment system, based on claps, is noted below, for reference. The new payment system, based on member reading time, is listed below.

New Medium Payment System (Member Reading Time)

Medium?s New Method of Calculating Earnings

Dissecting the changes to how Medium Partner Program writers are compensated

Medium recently announced a total revamp of how writers are compensated under the Medium Partner Program.

medium earnings, medium partner program earnings, how are medium earnings calculated, medium partner program updates payMedium Email

These changes were implemented on October 28, 2019.

What Stats/Data Points Will Be Used to Calculate Medium Earnings?

According to the Medium Announcement:

  • Earnings will be based on the reading time of Medium members.
  • Reading time from non-members will be counted too, once non-members become members.
  • Earnings will be updated daily, not weekly.
  • Story stats will show new metrics to explain your earnings.
  • Earnings will be updated daily but payments will still occur monthly.

Clearly, there are a number of changes being implemented. The key changes, which affect writer earnings, are summarized below:

New Earnings Calculation ? Factors That Affect Earnings:

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Medium describes the new payment system as consisting of the following:

Partner Program writers are paid monthly based on how much time Medium members spend reading their stories. We?re always working to improve our model as we learn. Initially, we will calculate earnings based on two components:

How long members spend reading your story

As Medium members spend more time reading your story (?member reading time?), you will earn more.

We?ve improved our story stats page to show both your story?s daily total member reading time and its daily earnings, so that you can understand how much you are earning over time and where your earnings come from. Note that you will still be paid once per month.

When we calculate your story?s earnings, we?ll also include reading time from non-members if they become members within 30 days of reading your story. So we encourage you to share your stories widely!

How much of their monthly reading time members spend on your story

By calculating a share of member reading time, we support authors who write about unique topics and connect with loyal readers. For example, if last month a member spent 10% of their monthly reading time on your story, you will receive 10% of their share (a portion of their subscription fee).

Imagine an author writes about fly fishing. She finds an audience of fly fishing enthusiasts who subscribe to Medium primarily to read her stories, meaning she receives a strong share of reading time from each of her readers. In contrast, an author who writes about a wide variety of topics might receive smaller shares from a broader audience of readers, who also read a variety of other authors. While the generalist will often earn a lot through the first total reading time part, the fly fisher is well equipped to earn through this share part ? even with a smaller audience.

Note: You may receive earnings up to weeks after a given user views your story, due to the time lag involved in calculating shares.

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Old Medium Payment System (Claps)

Note: As of November 1, 2019, this system is no longer being used to compensate authors. I have only left this information for reference, as all Medium Partner Program earnings prior to this point were calculated using this methodology.

Additionally, while claps do not directly impact Medium writer earnings, anymore, they do still impact the reach of Medium stories, and the amount of claps (fans) is still a good proxy for measuring success.

What are Fans on Medium?

Understanding the most valuable metric for Medium writers

When you enroll in the Medium Partner Program (which is free and open to the public), you can start earning money with your Medium content.

With Medium, users are able to read up to 3 articles per month. If readers want to enjoy any content past that limit, they must become a Medium member for the price of $5 per month.

When Medium Members clap for an article, a portion of their $5 monthly subscription fee is paid directly to the author.

How Do Claps Work on Medium?

A look at the (limited) published info by Medium on applause and how they impact earnings

According to Medium:

Partner Program writers are paid every month based on how members engage with stories. Some factors include reading time (how long members spend reading a story) and applause (how much members clap). Each member?s $5 per month subscription is distributed proportionally to the stories that the individual member engaged with that month.

In other words, you are paid per clap on Medium. Generally speaking, the more claps you receive, the more money you make. Each reader is limited to 50 claps per article (with no total clap limit across all articles they read).

The confusing part of this payment system is that your payment per clap varies using a weighted average. Since clap payments are a fraction of a user?s $5 per month subscription fee, users who clap very frequently have lower paying claps than users who only clap a few times per month.

This means a single clap ranges from $0.01 to $5 depending on who is viewing and clapping for your article. This assumes the person clapping is a paying member (non paying readers may create a free account and clap however these claps do not factor into your earnings).

Old Earnings Calculation ? Factors That Affect Earnings:

medium new earnings system, medium partner program, medium partner program new, medium claps earnings, old medium paymentImage for post

Other Questions and Answers About Medium Author Payments and Writer Success

How Do Writers Actually Get Paid Through Medium?

Medium Partner Program Earnings are updated every day. Medium uses UTC days, meaning they include all earnings from activity during midnight UTC to 11:59 PM UTC. Earnings are then updated within a few hours.

Your earnings are deposited into your bank account by the 8th of every calendar month. Medium makes all payments through Stripe. Payments may take 5?7 business days to appear in your bank account.

Do I Need to be a Paid Subscriber to Write for Medium?

No, you do not need to be a paying member to write for Medium. Writing for Medium is free.

Can My Friends, Family and Followers Read my Paywall Restricted Content?

Yes! Authors receive Friend Links for every story that?s behind Medium?s metered paywall. You can share a Friend Link directly to friends, family, or even through any social media platform.

medium friend link, medium friendlink, medium friends link, medium share, medium free link, medium friend link buttonMedium?s Friend Link | Source: Medium Friend Link

The Friend Link that gives anyone free access to your story ? even if they?re not a subscribing Medium member and have already read all their complimentary stories for the month.

The Medium Friend Link

Medium?s tool which allows you to share your articles with anyone

Do I Need to Be a Previously Published Author or Professional Writer to Succeed on Medium?

Partner Program stories are rewarded by readers who believe writers should be compensated for the quality of their ideas, not the attention they attract for advertisers or their status as a previously published author. So, no ? you do not need to be a ?professional author? to succeed on Medium.

Is the Medium Partner Program Worth It?

Some thoughts on writing for Medium?s Partner Program

How Do I Find Publications to Submit My Content To?

I created Active Publications, a Medium publication, which contains lists of publications organized by topic, that are looking for new writers:

Active Publications

Active Publications is a compilation of active Medium publications, which are currently accepting submissions from?

Do I Need to Promote my Articles Outside of Medium?

Medium won?t be the right platform to promote all types of articles. However, certain industries have really great, established audiences.

Topics that do really well on Medium include:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Startups
  • Political Commentary
  • Cultural Critiques
  • Technology
  • Motivational/Self Improvement
  • Personal Essays

Even if you are not publishing articles focused on the above topics, Medium can still provide sufficient traffic. Medium?s unique monthly viewers is approaching 250 million and the site has extremely strong domain authority!

Medium site global rank, medium domain authority, medium unique monthly visitors, medium views, medium traffic

7 Amazing Medium Platform Statistics

Reasons you should be publishing your writing on Medium

As an example, I posted a link to my Medium article on Uber Vomit Fraud on LinkedIn to see whether it would gain any traction. I was shocked to see that within a few days I had amassed 45,000 views and nearly 20,000 reads:

How Sharing a Story on LinkedIn Can Generate 45,000 Views on Medium

Why you should post your Medium articles on LinkedIn

However, if you really want to boost your Medium article views, I would suggest sharing your article on other social media platforms and improving your Medium article SEO.

Medium SEO: Medium Article Search Engine Optimization

A beginners guide to making your Medium stories search engine friendly

The best free tool I have found to promote Medium articles is Signal. Signal auto-tweets your articles on repeat to help you share your articles and grow your audience on your schedule.

Signal Review: Tool That Auto-Tweets Your Medium Articles on a Schedule

A look at the best tool to automate Medium article promotion

So while it is not necessary to promote your Medium articles on other platforms, it should certainly be considered to maximize traffic.

How Can I Increase My Medium Earnings?

There are a number of strategies to increasing your Medium Partner Program earnings:

  • Write and publish on a daily basis ? There is no substitute for hard work and consistency. If you want your new and old articles to gain views, you need to write and publish on a daily basis.

How Often Do Top Earning Medium Writers Publish Stories?

Patterns in the frequency of article publication by Medium?s highest earning authors

  • Learn to format your Medium articles ? A little bit of formatting goes a long way on Medium. Whether you are customizing the meta description of your articles, adding alt tags to your images, or incorporating symbols to give your article some original flair, there are many ways to make you article stand out. Check out the Medium Blogging Guide section on formatting for more tips and tricks.

The Best Medium Article Formatting Guide

A comprehensive guide to formatting Medium stories like a top writer

  • Get your stories published in Medium publications. Although not a prerequisite for success, having your article published in a major Medium publication can be a game-changer. This is especially true for new writers. If you are struggling to get published in someone else?s publications, consider creating your own.

How to Get Published in a Medium Publication

A guide to submitting your articles to Medium publications

How to Create a Medium Publication

A comprehensive guide to starting a Medium publication

  • Focus on building long term success. I?ve had articles that initially only received minimal views, which have now grown to receiving 1,000+ views per day and over 150,000 total views! Similarly, you will cultivate long term followers by focusing on creating content that is consistently useful to readers.

How to Increase Your Medium Followers

7 actionable tips to get more followers on Medium

How to Get Your Article Distributed by the Medium Curators

And is being curated essential to being successful on Medium?

  • Keep yourself informed about Medium platform changes. I have a newsletter for Medium writers that covers Medium platform updates, and also includes useful writer tips and tricks. There are also a number of publications that cover Medium writing:

Medium Publications for Writers to Follow

Best Medium publications dedicated to helping writers

  • Study what other top writers have done. Many top writers have created a number of valuable and free resources to help new Medium writers. I have created a list of 59 Medium writing tips to improve article performance, which many new writers have found useful. You can also utilize Medium Blogging The Ultimate Guide to Writing on Medium, which contains answers to virtually any Medium question.

The Ultimate Guide to Writing on Medium

Answers to practically any question relating to writing on Medium

This collection of resources should be enough to get you started writing on Medium. However, if you really want to go down the Medium rabbit hole, I have put together a collection of all my Medium articles.

You can also check out my main website, for more tips and tricks on blogging platforms (including Medium)

Best Wishes!

? Casey Botticello

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Thanks for reading this article! Leave a comment below if you have any questions. Be sure to sign up for the Blogging Guide newsletter, to get the latest tips, tricks, and news about writing on Medium and to join our Facebook group, Medium Writing, to share your latest Medium posts and connect with other writers.

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If you liked this article, here are some other articles you may enjoy:

59 Medium Writing Tips

Medium writing tips and Medium writing hacks

Medium Publication Stats ? Unique Daily Visitors, Views, and Minutes Read

The often overlooked Medium publication metrics that are very valuable

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Casey Botticello is a partner at Black Edge Consulting. Black Edge Consulting is a strategic communications firm, specializing in online reputation management, digital marketing, and crisis management. Prior to founding Black Edge Consulting, he worked for BGR Group, a bipartisan lobbying and strategic communications firm.

Casey is the founder of the Cryptocurrency Alliance, a Super PAC dedicated to cryptocurrency and blockchain advocacy. He is a graduate of The University of Pennsylvania, where he received his B.A. in Urban Studies.

You can connect with him on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or by visiting his website, Blogging Guide.


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