Welcome to the internet’s first open paywall.

Publish your stories to the world. Earn money from a community of readers that believes ideas and creativity are worth paying for. Get rewarded for how deeply you connect with your audience, not for the clicks you drive for advertisers.

Join the Medium Partner Program

What’s an open paywall?

Instead of every writer and publication on the internet having to build their own subscription audience from scratch, we’re taking an open platform approach. To empower thinkers, storytellers, and experts from around the world, the Medium Partner Program is open to everyone. You can register for free and instantly publish behind our open paywall for all our members (who each pay $5/month) as often as you’d like.

A woman in a red sweater intently browses Medium

How it works


Write a story

Members are paying for your most insightful, in-depth ideas, so write your best content for members because those stories tend to get the most engagement.


Write for members

Set your story to be for members within our editor before publishing. Your story will feature a star icon so members can spot it easily.


But still reach everyone

Your stories still reach anyone on the internet. Each month, readers can access a select number of stories for members for free, even without a Medium account.


View weekly estimates

Every Wednesday, your Partner Program dashboard will update to show you how much money you’ve earned so far for each story you’ve published for members.


Earn money monthly

At the end of every calendar month, we’ll pay you based on the performance of all the stories you’ve published for members. (When members read stories you published in previous months, you’ll earn money for that new engagement, too.)


Build your audience

Stories for members are distributed in the same way as public stories on Medium, so be sure to promote your work and grow your following. The more members that love your stories, the more money you’ll earn.

Mobile view of a user clapping and coins gently floating into the void

How payment is distributed

Our system is designed to reward quality content, not clickbait, so we focus on the depth of engagement on your stories. We distribute a share of each member’s monthly contribution in proportion to his or her individual activity on stories written for members that month (with reading time and claps as the primary signals we use).

Payments vary based on the monthly engagement of members. In January 2018, 43% of authors who published at least one story for members earned money — making $76.52 on average for the month. $11,316.74 was the most earned by a single author, and $1,435.57 was the most earned for a single story.

What content is allowed behind the open paywall?

Our Partner Program seeks to foster original writing that entertains, informs and educates, expresses truths boldly, and seeks ways forward thoughtfully and inclusively. So we’ve set additional guidelines for member-only stories to create a fair environment for writers in our Partner Program and a richer reading experience for members.

See all the guidelines


Your words only

We believe it’s important for creators to be rewarded for their work, so all the writing and images you publish for members must be your own (or be used with permission or citation).

Ad-free zone

Our members are paying for an ad-free experience. We’re not showing any ads, so member-only stories shouldn’t either. Stories cannot primarily market yourself or other products, feature advertisements, or include requests for claps, donations, or email lists.

your best work

Our analysis shows that members tend to clap for deep, insightful stories — not listicles or fluff. So save your best analysis, reporting, essays, and stories for members to perform well in the open paywall.

What writers are saying

Medium opens doors. I started out writing online with the sense that I was dropping sentences into the void. Medium showed me that people are listening, and that they care about what I have to say.

I love that Medium is trying to support art and writing without shoveling its users into the gaping maw that is the soul-crushing advertising machine.

I like the format, the layout, the clean feel of it. It’s easy and intuitive to write and read on Medium. There’s freedom to be weird, to experiment, to take risks, and I appreciate that. And there’s not pressure to deliver or hit target goals.

As a professional writer I am a hired gun: I don’t always get to pick my paycheck. But Medium is a place where I can be untethered from fashion and write what I want and hope others will read it.

Medium has been a huge step toward a more egalitarian internet that lets people tell their own stories and rewards them for doing so.

Medium is catering to those looking for fresh, authentic voices; looking for true and honest expressions of self. I believe wholeheartedly in their mission, and as a writer, their tools have allowed me to broaden my reach in a way I would have never thought I could.

Join the Medium Partner Program to start writing

Join now

Frequently asked questions:

  • Do you have to be a member to publish behind the paywall?

    You do not have to be a Medium member to join the Partner Program and publish stories for members. Only members are able to fund stories though. So if you want to support your fellow writers, you can sign up here. Your monthly membership fees go directly to the writers whose work you enjoy.

  • How much will I make?

    You’ll be paid based on a variety of signals including the number of claps your stories for members receive, who is clapping, and the time spent reading your story. We calculate the share of each member’s monthly contribution in proportion to his or her individual activity on stories written for members that month.

  • How does the open paywall work for publications?

    Publications are an integral part of the Medium experience, and publications can earn money from our open paywall, too. For stories for members that are posted in publications, the publication receives all the revenue generated from members. It’s up to the publication to arrange payment details with the individual writers and contributors they work with.

    Currently publications are included in the Partner Program on an invite-only basis. To sign up for an invitation when they become available, please email us at partnerprogram@medium.com and include a link to your publication.

  • Can I add or remove stories from the paywall after they are published?

    Yes. You can move a story you previously published for free to be for members. You can also set a story for members to be public at any time. You’ll only earn revenue from your stories, though, when they are set to be for members.

  • Can non-members read my stories for members?

    Yes. Readers can access up to three stories for members per month for free. To access more, they need to upgrade to membership. You won’t earn any money from the engagement of non-members.

  • Why has Medium developed this model?

    We believe the current media model is broken and it’s time for a better system — one designed for writers and readers, not advertisers. So we’re building a place where you can share ideas and get rewarded for the value they create first and foremost.

  • How do I know if this is the right publishing platform for my work?

    With this new model we’re aiming to create a system that rewards writers based on the quality of their ideas, not the impressions they generate for ads. If you’re a passionate writer, thinker, or storyteller who wants to focus on your story and less on driving clicks, then we hope you’ll join us. These are still early days but, with your feedback and participation, we are dedicated to making this the best place online for publishing your work.