How Much Money Can You Make Writing for Medium?

Medium Partner Program Earnings FAQs

Casey Botticello
Aug 19, 2018 · 14 min read

Can You Make Money Writing on Medium?

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

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.

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:

Earnings Data Released by Medium

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

The Latest Official Medium Earnings Figures

  • $9,237.19 — the highest amount earned for a single story
  • $23,488.16 — the highest amount earned by a single author
  • 8% — 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 two 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.

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.

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.

Anecdotal Medium Results

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.

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 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 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 pay
medium earnings, medium partner program earnings, how are medium earnings calculated, medium partner program updates pay
Medium 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:

  • 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:

new medium payment methodology, new medium pay, medium pay authors, mpp earnings, medium partner program updated earnings
new medium payment methodology, new medium pay, medium pay authors, mpp earnings, medium partner program updated earnings

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.

Old Medium Payment System (Claps)

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.

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.

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 sytem, medium partner program, medium partner program new, medium claps earnings, old medium payment
medium new earnings sytem, medium partner program, medium partner program new, medium claps earnings, old medium payment

Other Questions and Answers About Medium Author Payments and Writer Success

How Do Writers Actually Get Paid Through Medium?

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?

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

medium friend link, medium friendlink, medium friends link, medium share, medium free link, medium friend link button
medium friend link, medium friendlink, medium friends link, medium share, medium free link, medium friend link button
Medium’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.

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

How Do I Find Publications to Submit My Content To?

Do I Need to Promote my Articles Outside of Medium?

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

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:

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.

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.

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?

  • 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.
  • 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.

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.

Best Wishes!

Casey Botticello

medium blogging guide, blogging guide, blogging guide publication, medium writer publication, new medium writers, medium post
medium blogging guide, blogging guide, blogging guide publication, medium writer publication, new medium writers, medium post

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.

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

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 following his Medium publication, Blogging Guide.

Blogging Guide

Medium Blogging Guide is the premier publication dedicated to helping writers achieve success on Medium! Follow this publication to join our community. Click to join our Writer Newsletter ➜ http://bit.ly/medium-sign-up | Facebook Group ➜ www.facebook.com/groups/mediumwriting

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Medium Blogging Guide is the premier publication dedicated to helping writers achieve success on Medium! Follow this publication to join our community. Click to join our Writer Newsletter ➜ http://bit.ly/medium-sign-up | Facebook Group ➜ www.facebook.com/groups/mediumwriting

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