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How to Make Money on Medium (3 Ways That Work!)

10 Mins read

Featured image courtesy of Unsplash.

Are you new to the world of blogging? Some writers and entrepreneurs want to break into the online space, but aren’t ready to launch their own website. That’s where Medium.com comes in!

Medium is a great opportunity for creating and sharing content. Think of it as a “YouTube for writers.” This site is special because you can get paid directly for writing blog posts.

Whether you’re looking at Medium to be your primary online income or just want an extra income stream, we’re going to cover all that you need to know about how to make money on Medium!

What Is Medium?


Image courtesy of Medium.

Medium is a fairly new website for bloggers to use. Founded by Evan Williams, the site launched in 2012. Williams, best known for founding Twitter, came up with the idea for Medium after wanting a way for users to post writing that was longer than the low character count for tweets. And so, Medium was born!

The platform seeks to utilise the content method of social journalism, featuring posts by amateurs and professionals alike. This means that you’ll find professional publications right alongside blog posts written by complete newbies!

Due to the newness of the platform, the first few years of Medium focused more on the editorial side of things. This meant that a lot of the content being produced was top quality and written by real journalists. Now that the site has taken off, it’s inching closer to a takeover by outside writers. These writers (which could include you one day!) are not Medium staff, but still get to benefit from the platform and its publicity.

In addition to writing and learning how to make money on Medium, plenty of users flock to the site as a way to read great content. For every writer on the site, there are even more people coming to learn from them!

Visitors are targeted with trending articles and can also discover content based on categories, such as “politics” or “programming.”

You’ll have limited access to Medium content. To get the full experience, you’ll need to purchase a subscription. You can choose between paying $5 per month, or $50 per year.

Image courtesy of Medium.

Writing on Medium


Anybody can read content on Medium. However, you will need an account to post content. This means that the first step to learning how to make money on Medium is to sign up for the platform!

Simply hit “get started” on Medium’s home page. You can choose to sign up with your Twitter, Facebook, Google account, or email. Signing up really does only take a few seconds, which is one of the fastest sign-ups online!

Image courtesy of Medium.

Medium won’t immediately prompt you to make your profile unique. You’ll have to do it yourself, and we think that it’s a pretty important first step in the process of using the platform. Head on over to your settings menu and set up your profile photo, a brief bio, and your writing name.

Now that you have a profile set up, it’s time to get writing! The world is yours when you join Medium, as you’re able to write on any topic that interests you. These articles should be related to news, interesting opinion pieces, or detailed guides to various topics. Alternatively, there is some space on Medium for more creative writing, depending on which topic you write for.

Curation

You may be wondering how stories get picked up on Medium. While you can share an article on other social media accounts, hoping that it gets spread far and wide, the easiest way to do it is to try and get your story curated.

Being curated occurs when Medium curators pick your article to distribute it under various tags. This puts your story on the feeds of other users, increasing the chances for visibility.

The best way to get curated is to write content that people want to read. Topics on Medium range across various categories, but here are the top five:

  • Ideas
  • Politics
  • Tech
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Life

If you want to get plenty of views with less promotion, picking an article that suits one of these categories is the best way to do it. You’ll wind up on various feeds in no time!

Publications

You don’t have to write content for Medium and throw it out into the atmosphere, hoping that it lands and does well. You can always go the route of submitting to publications, increasing your chance at visibility.

Publications are shared content spaces where writers submit ideas and articles relating to the specific theme of the publication. They may be online magazines, collections of stories, company blogs, or community spaces.

This option is great for emerging writers, as it sets your piece apart without having to do a lot of the leg work. Publications will often have newsletters and other places to promote their work, and submitting to a publication will mean that you have access to these things.

To get your work published through a publication, you’ll need to be added to a unique publication as a writer. Each individual publication will have different guidelines to be added as a contributor, and it will often make you fill out a form to apply.

So, take a look at the various publications available and start thinking about which one is right for you!

The Benefits of Medium


Medium is about more than just writing for money. Utilising this platform comes with a whole bundle of advantages! Let’s explore some of the ways that Medium can help boost your experience.

A New Income Stream

Medium is a great way to make money. Reports have found that 8% of active writers will earn at least $100 per month. Those 8% and $100 figures may not sound like a lot, but consider how many people actually put in the work to earn money. If you’re willing to invest your time and efforts, you’ll be capable of shooting beyond that $100.

In addition, earnings from Medium can become passive income. You’ll be able to make money from articles you have written weeks, or even months, ago. Who knows when an old article will make the rounds, boosting the money that goes right into your pocket?

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

You’ll Reach A Bigger, More Diverse Audience

Let’s face it. It’s tough to make it as a blogger, especially when you have no name recognition. Most of us start from nowhere, promoting our work to friends and family and on our social media accounts. This method works, sure. But it can take a long time. And, more importantly, it can limit your reach and potential.

Using Medium promotes your work on a platform filled with like-minded readers, as well as to the dashboards of people who might never find your work elsewhere.

You can also network with other writers and publications by using various Medium writers groups, such as this Facebook group with nearly 10k users.

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

A Good Motivation To Learn

So many of us love writing but never have the push to practice our skills. Sure, we might call ourselves writers, but what about when we don’t keep writing? Using Medium serves as a motivation to learn how to get better at writing, improve your networking skills, and read writing by similar authors.

Has Medium sparked that joy for blogging and writing that you thought you once lost? Keep up the momentum of learning how to make money on Medium and re-fresh your skills with online learning that will directly benefit your ability to succeed at Medium. Skillshare has plenty of related courses, from marketing to grammar! Try Skillshare out here and keep feeding your mind!

Skillshare - photography blogging
Image courtesy of Skillshare.

You Get To Pick Your Own Hours and Output

Writing for other people can be frustrating. You’re forced to work on their schedule and may not be able to find enough work to keep you afloat. With Medium, the sky is the limit.

You can write as much or as little as you want, all on your own time. Figure out what works for you, and stick with it!

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

It Can Give You The Confidence Needed To Blog Elsewhere

Have you always wanted to start a blog but didn’t feel ready? After spending some time on Medium, you’re bound to pick up the following:

  • Loyal followers of your writing.
  • New marketing skills needed to promote your work.
  • The confidence to keep going.

With experience on Medium, you’ll feel even more ready to sign up on a different blogging platform and create your own website! If you find yourself in this category, then head on over to Bluehost and start forging your own path today.

How to Make Money on Medium In 3 Different Ways


Have we convinced you that Medium is a great platform? Well, now we’re going to focus on how to make money on Medium.

There are plenty of forms of site monetisation online, from affiliate marketing to advertisement revenue. With Medium, there a few different ways that you can make big bucks.

Here’s how to do it!

1. Become a Writer in the Partner Program

Becoming a writer in the Medium partner program is the easiest way to go about making money through Medium.

This program is the way that Medium directly monetises your content. Almost anybody can join, too! As long as your content meets Medium guidelines and you’re able to link your bank account to the platform, you’ll be able to start earning.

Take a look at the content requirements below to see if you can learn how to make money on Medium.

Image courtesy of Medium.

After you’ve enrolled, you’ll want to check to make sure that each article you submit is eligible to make money. This is done by checking a box before you hit publish.

Once you have enabled this, your article will be put behind a paywall. What this means is that it becomes accessible only to those who pay to access Medium. Medium will then pay attention to how many people engage with your content, mainly by analysing how many minutes are spent reading your content.

The more engagement, the more money!

2) Link to Your Affiliate Site or Blog

Keeping Medium as your primary stream of income is fine if you’re able to make enough off of it. Generally, it’s better as a stepping stone to boosting other content. This may include your affiliate websites, your personal blogs, or other online spaces where you earn money.

If you include links to your website through Medium, your traffic numbers can go way up! This indirect revenue will come from new site visitors from Medium who click on your own advertisements and affiliate links.

The best way to ensure that you’re pulling in visitors is to stay on top of your keyword research. While Medium does help advertise your work, there is no more efficient way to get traffic than by boosting your keyword game. As a site with high domain authority, Medium gives you a leg up in ranking for keywords that you may have a difficult time doing on your own.

Not sure which keyword tool is the best option? There are a number of free or cheap tools like UberSuggest or Longtail Pro, but SEMrush is our tool of choice when you need assistance with SEO, content marketing, social media marketing, competitor research, and more!

Find out more about SEMrush here!

affiliate marketing website examples
Image courtesy of SEMrush.

3) Build Credibility as a Thought Leader

Thought leaders are the people within online spaces that you go to because you can trust them. They might produce content that inspires you, educates you, or motivates you to do more. It’s likely that there are various influencers that you see as a thought leader. But have you ever wondered whether you could become a thought leader too?

Publishing consistently on places like Medium will produce a showcase of your vast knowledge and competency in different areas. This might be done by posting dozens of articles on fitness and motivation, inspiring plenty of gym-goers and athletes around the world. Or perhaps you work in the health and wellness niche, promoting mindfulness to women everywhere.

This kind of exposure and influence increases your credibility and helps boost your overall exposure online. You never know where this could lead you! You might find yourself getting into more side gigs, writing books, or speaking at conferences in the near future – all because of a few well-written articles on Medium!

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

How to Succeed on Medium


All of this sounds pretty perfect, doesn’t it? Writing content that you want to write, earning money from people that genuinely like your stuff. While it might sound too good to be true, there are a few things you’ll need to do to keep it from just being a pipe dream.

Now that you have learned how to make money on Medium, let’s look at how to succeed while doing it!

Write Consistently

Like with any type of online content creation, consistency is key. Producing a consistent and frequent output will ensure that you have enough stuff for people to read, and will give your readers a sense of normalcy. Not only will regular visitors keep coming back, but you’ll increase your odds of bringing in new readers with each post.

Many writers post as many as two posts per day. What will your consistency look like?

Develop Your Own Voice

Why do people want to read your content? Surely, there is a good chance that something similar already exists. However, they want to read it because it’s presented in your unique voice. Write in a way that reflects who you are as a writer, solidifying your place as an original content creator, even in a crowded space.

Find Your Niche

We talk a lot about finding a niche when it comes to blogging, and that’s because it works. If you write about completely different topics and expect your visitors to become loyal followers, you’re missing the point. People come to you to learn about a specific topic or things within the same general idea.

Not sure which niche to settle into on Medium? Jump back up to where we talk about the most popular topics and categories on Medium and go from there – or read our article on the best blogging niche markets here.

Don’t Stop Applying to Publications

Put simply, it can suck to be rejected from a publication and not get the reaction that you deserve. This might convince some of us to stop trying and continue publishing on our own. Some people can thrive without publications, but it’s going to be a lot tougher. So, keep applying to them!

Being accepted and posting through publications is the fastest way to boost your visibility and followers. Being published in a publication with enough followers can make your engagement go from 0 to 100 in less than a day!

Continue browsing publications that you enjoy reading, and work some of your articles into the kind of piece that you would see within them.

How to Make Money on Medium Wrap-Up


Blogging has been around for almost as long as the internet. What began as a way to express yourself has evolved into a form of monetisation, while remaining an excellent space on the internet for people to explore topics that they genuinely care about. With Medium, you get to benefit from both of these!

If you want to go from a basic blogger to a money-making Medium writer, you’ll want to remember to do the following:

  • Create a follow-worthy account on Medium
  • Post content that will get people excited, informed, and entertained
  • Apply to Medium’s partner program
  • Try and get your content shared on publications
  • Keep refining your skills

Who knows, maybe your next story will wind up on the front page!

As for our most important piece of advice for people who want to learn how to make money on Medium? Never stop writing!

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