Is Medium Worth It? (SOLVED for Readers and Writers)

I’ve been writing on Medium and reading articles on Medium for several years, so I have strong opinions on this topic.

Is Medium worth it?

Yes, Medium is worth it. Medium is a great platform for writers, readers, data scientists, and programmers. The $5.00 membership fee gives you exclusive access to an unlimited amount of articles (called stories on the platform). As a writer, you can make a monthly income of between $500-$5,000.

That’s the quick and dirty answer, but what makes Medium worth it differs depending on who asks. Read the rest of this article to find out exactly why Medium is worth it for you.

To read all of my stories and thousands of others, join Medium here.

Is Medium Worth It for Writers? (Solved w/ Examples)

I’ve written on Medium since the end of November 2019. I had no idea what to expect going in but I wanted to try out the platform for myself (something I highly recommend that you do).

So, is it worth it?

Yes, personally I think Medium is an awesome platform for writers. I could talk for days about why I think it’s so great, but let me try to streamline my answer into a few specific examples.

You can make good money

Making money is why I started on Medium. I think that’s true of most writers. You hear rumors of writers who rake in $5,000 or $10,000 per month and want to jump on the money train.

And, yes, you can make good money.

Some writers such as Zulie Rane, Tim Denning, and Ayo the Writer (among others) are killing it on the platform. Many other writers I personally know make between $1,000 to $4,000 per month. I’m also in this category.

You might have heard that fewer than 10% of writers on Medium make more than $100 per month. This is also true. But, in my experience, a skilled writer who studies their Medium analytics and consistently writes for 3-6 months will see a steady increase in monthly income. For example, I reached $100 my second month on the platform.

By the third month, I made over $1000.

Here’s a YouTube video where I cover one of the highest-earners on Medium:

Video by Writing Secrets via YouTube—Is Medium Worth it in 2021?

You can scale up quickly

That brings me to my next favorite aspect of writing on Medium. You can scale your income quickly. In addition to writing on Medium, I also run multiple websites, which take anywhere from 6-12 months to start ranking on Google, bringing in traffic, and making me money through display ads and affiliate marketing.

When I finally went full-time as a freelance writer, I needed a monthly income sooner than later, so I tried Medium.

Surprisingly, I made $60 my first month, which far exceeded my expectations (I thought I would reasonably earn only a few dollars). I’m not saying everyone will make that much their first month, but it’s possible.

In my second month, I made $800. I crossed the $1,000 threshold in my third month.

Here’s a screenshot showing my average monthly income:

Screenshot of Medium earnings by the author—Is Medium worth it?
Image by Author via Canva—Is Medium worth it?

As you can see, I consistently make between $1,000 and $3,000 per month. It depends on how many articles I write and how well they do with paid Medium members.

Some months go better than others.

Again, I wouldn’t expect a new writer to make this much right out of the gate (I think it’s something of an anomaly), but it can certainly be done. Most writers seem to make under $20 their first month and grow from there.

No matter how much you make, if you consistently write quality articles, you can scale your income on Medium faster than most other platforms. For this reason alone, I think Medium is absolutely worth it for writers.

You can send traffic to your websites (or other platforms)

Writing on Medium is worth it because you can send traffic to your personal, self-hosted website. I do this almost every week for my own portfolio of sites.

Medium is a great place to establish yourself as an expert (or authority) in your chosen niche because it allows you to share content and get thousands of views within days or even hours.

Traffic is crucial, especially to a new website. You can also make money with Medium through affiliate marketing.

You can drive traffic directly to a sales page, or you can send traffic to your website where they can read more content that will eventually help them make a purchase decision. You can promote your products and services by sharing links to any page on your website (online store, blog, testimonials, etc).

Obviously, there are some restrictions. You should always follow the rules and regulations of Medium when posting affiliate links.

You can build an email list

One of the best ways to make money as a writer or blogger is to build an email list. You can develop an audience and email list on Medium, then offer your list valuable information and recommend affiliate products.

Medium gets hundreds of thousands of visitors every day.

Every person who reads one of your articles on Medium is a potential subscriber to your personal email newsletter. As you grow your email list, you can take that list to any other platform (so that you are not 100% reliant on Medium itself).

I use Medium to build email lists for all of the websites in my portfolio.

You can write what you want

Another aspect of Medium that I love is the freedom to write on any topic. You can literally write about anything—golf, fishing, finance, fitness, history, true crime, pets, relationships, programming, movies, music, and more.

It’s like YouTube in that you decide what you want to write.

Best of all, you get paid to write anything you want. On my websites, I write on topics related to my sites. I write based on keyword research, not personal preference.

However, on Medium, I can write about history one day and dating another day. I can write about self-improvement, history, animals, and humor. Anything and everything can be monetized on Medium.

Is Medium Worth It for New Writers? (YES, and Here’s Why)

But what about new writers? Yes, Medium is worth it for new writers, too. You can get paid to get better at writing, build your audience, and write on topics that interest you.

If you are just starting out on Medium, you will need 100 followers and one published Medium article to join the Medium Partner Program (and start earning money). The sooner you join Medium, the sooner you can get your first 100 followers. It’s not too hard, especially if you publish consistently and join Facebook groups related to Medium.

I think Medium is very good for new writers because:

  • Medium pays new writers quicker than almost any other platform.
  • You can establish yourself as an expert in a topic or niche of your choice.
  • You can meet more experienced writers who can help you in your writing career.
  • Writing on Medium will make you a better writer (you are paid by the quality of your articles, so Medium forces you to improve your introductions, formating, editing, etc).

Is Medium Worth It for Readers? (5 Good Reasons)

I’ve heard people ask the question in many different ways: Is a Medium subscription worth it? Is it worth paying for Medium monthly? Is joining Medium worth it? Is paid Medium worth it?

Let’s settle these questions right now.

Yes, Medium is worth it for readers. There are five good reasons why paying the monthly Medium Membership fee (currently $5 USD) is worth it.

Here are those five reasons:

  1. You get access to thousands of quality articles on a wide range of topics.
  2. You can interact personally with the writers you love (Medium encourages a responsive environment).
  3. You can learn tons about a subject or topic (I’ve learned about coding, formatting, affilate marketing, side hustles, and more).
  4. You get an ad-free reading environment (worth it for this alone in my opinion).
  5. Most current subscribers (approximately 75%) report satisfaction with their monthly fee.

I should mention that I, myself, happily pay the current $5.00 membership fee each month. As a reader and a writer, I get so much value that I think it’s absolutely worth it.

Is Medium Worth it in 2021-2030?

Yes, Medium is still worth it in 2021. For the foreseeable future, Medium will be worth it for at least the next decade. Sure, there will be changes to the platform for both writers and readers. There have been several big shifts since I started.

None of those changes hurt my earnings. In fact, most of them increased my income or provided other possibilities for me to earn even more money.

For example, Medium recently introduced the Medium Membership referral program where writers earn half of a paying member’s monthly membership fee forever (if the paying member signs up through the writer’s referral link). This is an awesome new way to make passive monthly revenue on top of getting paid when members read your articles.

If anything, I think Medium is even more worth it now (between 2021-2030) because of these changes.

You get two ways to make money. There is still plenty of room for new writers to join Medium, scale their income, build their audience, and earn a sizable monthly payout.

Is Medium Worth It for Data Science?

If you write or read about data science, Medium is a go-to source for good information. There are a TON of quality articles about beginner topics and some more advanced tutorials.

One of the most popular publications (essentially a channel or magazine on Medium) is called Towards Data Science.

Here are a few reasons Medium is worth it for data science:

  1. Many readers say that articles on Medium introduced them to new data science ideas.
  2. Many articles explain data science concepts in layman’s terms (easier to undersatand).
  3. You can practice writing in preparation for producing a paper or thesis for your Master’s Degree or PhD program.
  4. You can break up rigerous journal article reading (or writing) with something more palatable.

Keep in mind that some of the data science articles will be better than others. My best suggestion is to find writers you like and trust, and then follow them on Medium.

Is Medium Worth It for Developers?

Medium is a good place for developers to write and read about programming.

Medium provides an easy and clean platform to monetize your experience and expertise. You can also learn about programming on Medium in publications such as Toward Data Science, Better Programming, and Java Script Scene.

No, Medium might not be the best platform for learning deep technical concepts. Yes, writing code in Medium is not always easy.

However, I still think it’s worth it as both a reader and a writer. As a writer, you can publish programming-related content on the site. As a reader, you can learn about the basics of programming in beginner-friendly language.

Is Medium Worth It For Fiction Writers?

Maybe you write fiction and you’re wondering if writing fiction on Medium is worth it. Again, I say, “Yes.”

I know a few authors of Medium who publish their fiction directly onto the platform. Other writers publish articles related to their fiction or books, which earns them an income and builds their audience before their book release.

Here is why I think Medium is great for Fiction Writers:

  • You can earn money while you write your book.
  • You can publish small sections of your book on Medium (you own the copywrite), and basically get paid to write your book.
  • You can grow your audience and email list for a better, more profitable book release.

It’s true that writing fiction on Medium is harder than writing non-fiction. Don’t expect to make as much money. However, if you write both fiction and non-fiction on Medium, you can make a good side or full-time income.

Sidenote: Once you write enough articles on Medium, you can easily turn them into an ebook with programs like Sqribble (you can get a 7-day trial right now).

Is Medium Worth It For Poets?

Many people write poetry on Medium. I’ve even dabbled in poetry on the platform.

But is it worth it for poets?

Yes, Medium is a good place for poetry. You can publish poetry faster because it is usually shorter than long-form articles. You can also get paid for your poetry. Once you write enough poems, you can combine them into a book and sell your book of poetry on Amazon or your own website.

You might not make as much money writing poetry as you would writing non-fiction, but you can still earn some money while you build your audience.

Once you build your audience, you can mobilize that audience onto other platforms (such as your personal website or YouTube channel).

If you join online communities for Medium writers and poets (such as on Facebook), you can get even more exposure, encouragement, and earnings. The life of a poet is often a struggle, but you can leverage Medium to help accelerate your potential.

Is Medium Always Worth It? (No, and Here’s Why)

Ok, time for some hard truths. Medium is not always worth it. Some high-earning writers have fled the platform after losing half their monthly income. Others complain about reduced exposure, over saturation, and the poor quality of some curated articles.

These are all reasonable concerns.

Therefore, here are a few times that Medium might not be worth it:

  • If you want to make $1,000 the first month (or even the second, third, or fourth month).
  • If you struggle with writing grammatically correct sentences.
  • If you don’t like change.
  • If you are not commited for the long-haul (when I started, I gave myself at least a year to make it work).
  • If your time is limited and you’d rather build your own personal, self-hosted website (something I highly recommend along with writing on Medium. I do both).

Final Thoughts

The bottom line is that I think Medium is worth it. The sooner you join, the sooner you can find out for yourself. I hope to see you there!

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