Making Money on Medium — My First Medium Paycheck

Tom Blake
Tom Blake
Apr 6, 2018 · Unlisted

Edit: 08/01/2018: I’ve edited this post on my blog with updated look at my earnings on Medium and how the platform can help other bloggers or content creators. Thanks for reading!

I started writing on Medium on March 25, 2018 after someone recommended I try publishing on Medium to drive traffic to my blog.

All I did was republish a phone farming guide from my blog to Medium.

I’m writing this story to share that within roughly 24 hours, I made $100 from republishing my content on phone farming:

I also earned $3.27 within a week for additional traffic and views on my stories, and some more money will trickle in as Medium updates the information:

If you have ever wondered how you can make money by writing on Medium, I’m here to share my experience and a few tips along the way!

Let’s get started.

Making Money on Medium — How Clapping Works:

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.

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

In other words, you are paid per clap on Medium. The more claps you receive, the more money you make.

The tricky part is that your payment per clap varies.

Since clap payments are a fraction of a user’s $5/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 typically ranges from $0.01 to $1-$2 depending on who is viewing and clapping on your article.

Don’t use this as an absolute clap benchmark, but keep it in mind when deciding if you want to write on Medium in order to make money online.

Making Money on Medium — Author Bonuses:

I made $100 in 24 hours after reposting my phone farming guide on Medium due to a Partner bonus:

Earning bonuses for blogging on Medium is a fairly new concept, but it’s certainly exciting.

This March, Medium announced they would be paying out bonuses to Medium Partners for quality work.

You shouldn’t rely on Medium bonuses as a reliable source of income since Medium Editors will only be rewarding bonuses to a few dozen stories every week, as they explained in a Partner Program email to me:

However, you have to admit that if you’re looking to make money by writing, choosing a platform that actively rewards quality submissions should seem like a no-brainer.

Ultimately it’s really promising to see Medium making an effort to reward quality, pay their authors, and encourage interesting content.

Here’s some other stats Medium included in their Partner Program email for March:

  • 48% of authors or publications who wrote at least one story for members earned money. The average amount earned for the month was $77.04.
  • $7,924.22 was the most earned by an author, and $2,400.40 was the most earned by a publication.
  • $1,744.21 was the most earned for a single story. 10.6% of stories that earned money made over $100.

The fact that a single story on Medium earned $1,744 blows my mind. And one single author earned $7,924!

The Benefits of Medium — Traffic and Reach for Bloggers:

I like writing on This Online World (my blog) because it’s my own platform. I write about what I want, choose my own design, and make decisions about how to monetize the website.

You don’t have this level of control on Medium.

However, the traffic you can generate by writing on Medium is immense.

According to Alexa, Medium is the 272 most popular website in the world in terms of traffic, and is ranked 137 in the United States.

Medium also draws more than 60 million monthly readers, and while their algorithm isn’t fully understood, it’s clear that Medium is a powerful blogging platform with incredible potential.

Here’s a snippet of my Medium stats:

When you examine a breakdown of referral traffic for a Medium article, a few things are also apparent:

As you can see, a variety of referral sources contributed to views on my phone farming guide and provided a noticeable spike in viewership.

Medium even pushed the content to more readers by having the article trend on the entrepreneurship section of the website. Additionally, other outlets like also decided to direct readers to the article.

For bloggers who are just starting out, it’s hard to compete with Medium’s algorithm and massive amounts of monthly traffic.

However, blogging on Medium allows content creators to take advantage of Medium’s monthly traffic and established audience.

You can also benefit from Medium without sacrificing the SEO profile of your own website.

Importing Stories to Medium:

Medium allows bloggers to import past stories onto their platform, allowing them to maintain control of their content (on their own blog) while benefiting from Medium’s massive amounts of monthly traffic.

In this sense, it’s the best of both worlds.

Importing content to Medium is really a form of content syndication: the process of making existing content available on other platforms.

However, when you import a story to Medium, they add the extremely crucial rel=canonical tag.

This tag essentially informs Google that your original article maintains ultimate authority over the website that houses imported content. This means Google will prioritize your blog in the SERPS, not Medium.

Considering the use of the rel-canonical tag, there is no reason not to import your blog posts to Medium.

You can earn money, drive additional reach, and even grow your blog in the process as your Medium followers trickle over to your original blog.

Making Money on Medium — My Suggestions:

I’ll admit, after making $100 in about 24 hours after publishing my first post of Medium, I did question why I’m writing on This Online World.

But at the end of the day, it is rewarding to have your own corner of the internet.

The ability to import your best articles to Medium already allows bloggers to establish a presence on Medium. Additionally, if you have another article or series you’ve always wanted to write that falls outside of your current website topic/niche, just publish it on Medium.

I’m a fairly political/opinionated person, and I have dozens of ideas for posts and pieces that simply wouldn’t fit on This Online World. You better believe these will all be published on my Medium profile.

In short, here are my suggestions for using Medium alongside your own website:

  • Create a professional Medium profile: include your picture, credentials, interests, and why you write on Medium.
  • Import your best articles: Start out by importing an article or 2 to Medium.
  • Tinker with the algorithm: If some of your work isn’t receiving viewership after a few days, just delete the story and re-import it. Medium doesn’t care if you do this, and republishing a story might place it in front of the right set of eyes.
  • Treat Medium like a partner blog: Don’t be afraid to outbound link to your own blog/website, or link to other great articles on the web. Medium doesn’t like overly pushy affiliate links or tonnes of links in general, but you can get away with a few.
  • …But don’t Hesitate: If Medium starts to gain some traction and you are earning money, consider putting more effort into Medium and putting your other side hustles on hold. Medium doesn’t just need to be a partner blog.
  • Test and retest: I’m still learning how to use Medium. However, like any learning process, you need to put in some work. Monetize some of your stories…leave others free to view. Comment on other stories, or clap for authors. Write a variety of content, experiment with your images, titles, and headlines. Just figure out what works for your topic of writing and audience.

That’s all for now! I hope my transparent look at a $100 Medium paycheck has provided fellow writers with some insight!

If you want to read more on the topic of making money on Medium, I would love if you checked out my post on Medium Partner Program Updates!

Originally published at on April 6, 2018.


Tom Blake

Written by

Tom Blake

Blogger at Passionate about marketing, passive income, and side hustling. Visit my blog to read more of my latest work!