How to make money on Medium: Five strategies that work

Since 2012 Medium connects readers and writers through its online platform. Anyone can become a reader or a writer; they offer a $5 paid membership to access unlimited stories and a free subscription plan. With time, Medium has become one of the best platforms to get paid to write stories.

In this article I will cover five different strategies to make money writing on Medium in 2021 and beyond:

  • Join the Medium partner program
  • Use affiliate links in your Medium articles
  • Write content marketing post to promote your websites or products
  • Get paid to write guest posts
  • Brand journalism articles
Infographic: Mind map showing various ways to make money on medium.
Sales funnel traffic, freelance guest posting, medium partner program, brand journalism, affiliate earnings

Although the platform was not originally designed for advertising, skilled writers know how to highlight a product while telling an interesting story.

What you should know before you start writing on medium

Writing on Medium is a remote online job that gives great results for people who are dedicated and stay consistent. It is not about trading time for money, after a while writers can make more money for the same amount of work. To become successful on the platform, focus on:

· Writing good content

· Understanding the curation process

· Learning how to submit a story and to get accepted by a publication

. Growing your followers

. Make your own research on the other methods presented here.

Create a Medium account and complete your profile

No need to get a paid membership to make money on Medium.

However, in order to be able to read unlimited articles and for networking purposes I highly suggest that you consider the paid membership.

Complete your profile and add a good picture.

A brief, informative, and enticing bio will bring more followers and also more readers over time. Keep in mind, not only readers but also all the publications you apply for will have access to your account profile. A good practice is to include your medium profile at the end of your stories.

Complete tax information and payment method

While joining the Medium partner’s program you will be asked to link a debit card or a bank account via Stripe. Unfortunately, only people from countries where the stripe is available can benefit from the partner’s program. If you don’t fill out all the information, you may not be able to receive your future payments.

Take time from the start to read terms, conditions and the guideline to know how to behave on the platform. Make sure to read all the information and to check if you are eligible to join the program depending on your country.

Medium curated content

The platform has a group of people responsible for reading every new article. When one of your articles meets Medium’s curation guidelines it can be promoted which means more readers will see your article.

The process depends both on human eyes and an internal algorithm. In general, stories are reviewed within a fortnight and you must select “Allow curators to recommend my story to interested readers” if you want your article to be eligible for curation.

One of the first things you have to do as a writer is to learn everything about the curation process because this is one of the best ways to make money on Medium.

How to publish on Medium

Your content or articles are called stories. On your dashboard you select new story. As you write your article, keep in mind some basic rules:

· Your story is not just for you

. Write stories with good readability and engaging content

· Use proper English: grammar, punctuation, spelling, …

· Blog post formatting: appealing title, headings and subheadings, small paragraphs, use bullet points, bold text to emphasis, …

· Insert relevant pictures, videos, tables, and charts

· Use data to support your story

Most importantly, respect medium general rules and follow the guidelines for curating stories.

Image of computer screen in blog post editor

Medium publications (what is a publication?)

One powerful way to get traction on Medium is through publications. Many writers take advantage of established publications to reach the maximum of readers. Each publication has specific rules and submission guidelines that you should follow if you want them to publish your work.

As a beginner, it can be hard to get accepted in big publications like The Startup for example. But, there are certainly one that will accept your articles if you are doing a great job.

If you plan to write about the same topic you can create a publication. You will become the owner of the publication and grant access to writers and editors. You will also have the possibility to contact people who had followed your publication whereas writers have no means to contact followers on the platform.

Medium partner program and alternatives to make money

There are different ways to get paid to write on Medium.

Join the Medium partner program

As a writer, with the partner program, you can make money from self-published stories even if they are not curated. Whenever possible, submit your stories to publications because a story publishes in a publication gets more exposure. You will be able to reach thousands of people and make a decent amount of money even if you have no followers.

– Guest posting on Medium

On a high domain authority website like Medium, an article is more likely to rank in google search even for high competition keywords. Many people also use guest posting to get quality backlinks. For example, you can have a gig on a freelance website and offer guest posting.

– Content marketing post on medium: drive traffic to your store or a sales funnel. Posting on Medium can be a good way to have extra free traffic to your website.

– Use affiliate links on Medium

Affiliate links are allowed but you should use them with caution and disclose them. A link to a product must be part of a story and not the other way around.

One thing to keep in mind is that direct linking is not how you build a sustainable business but instead it is better to drive traffic to a landing page to collect email for example. Be careful not to confuse referral with advertising.

– Brand journalism, write branding articles

You can write sponsored content stories, but you should avoid third-party ads to comply with the rules and policies. If you know how to write compelling stories that would drive targeted traffic to any website you can get paid for that.

However, you will need a strategy to find new clients that will pay you so that their business gets more exposure. This is not about quantity but instead developing a high-income skill. For example, make $3,000 a month by writing only one article per week.

How much does Medium pay

Since 2019 medium has established new rules to determine how much money writers earn per story. They calculate monthly earnings depending on how much time Medium members spend reading your stories. Although earnings are updated daily you will get paid once a month. Here are two important metrics that determine your earnings:

· Reader engagement and reading time

In other words: the more views the more money.

· Percentage of members’ share who read your story

– You will earn more money for a view from someone who reads only five stories per month then someone who reads 40 stories per month.

– Some categories will get you more money

If your article is published in two categories, you will probably get more money for a view from a niche where fewer articles are published. Note that a short and engaging story may also earn more money than some long stories.

Bar chart showing how much writers earned on Medium in April 2020

Find more details on medium writers earnings here.

How to promote your Medium articles

In addition to publication and curation, it is possible to increase the exposure and the click-through rate of your stories. Follow some basics rules like having a good image and title. Link to other social media. Be part of the community. Reach out to other people and share.

Conclusion:

You can definitely make money on Medium if you are willing to put in the work. Some of the most successful writers are making more than $10, 000 per month on the platform. You may only make a few dollars at the beginning and grow your income gradually.

Or, you can try one of the other strategies to make some money a bit faster. Writing on Medium is a great home-based job to earn some extra money or a full-time income.

Note:

If you have some other skills, you can apply for a job at medium and work in their San Francisco office, New York office, or remote within the US. In June 2020, they had job openings for engineering, design, marketing, and product.


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