A Quick Guide to Monetization on Medium
Getting paid for the stories you publish and the audiences you build
Medium is the place where anyone is welcome to self-publish their stories and ideas, build an audience, and eventually earn money for their work. The “earn money” part can be a bit daunting if you’re just getting started, so, as part of our Creator Workshop series a few weeks ago, Medium team leads Scott Lamb and Ashley Simon shared an overview of exactly how creators can monetize their work. Here’s the recording, which we highly encourage you to watch:
Monetization begins with applying to the Medium Partner Program* — our umbrella program that allows creators to get paid. Once you’re in, you can begin earning money in two ways:
Member reading time
This is a fancy term for “how long Medium members (who pay $5/month for unlimited access) spend reading your stories.” The more time members spend with your stories and ideas, the more you’ll earn. There’s much more nuance to how we calculate this, which we explain here and in the recording below. To earn money this way, make sure to check the “meter my story” box when you publish a post. This will place your story behind Medium’s paywall and you’ll start earning.
As a Partner Program writer, you have access to a personalized landing page where your fans can pay for unlimited access to your work (plus everything else on Medium). You can access the landing page via Settings > Audience dev > Promote memberships. Whenever one of your fans becomes a member using that landing page, you’ll earn half of their membership fee (and you’ll keep earning that in perpetuity, month by month, as long as their membership is active).
Secondly, whenever a non-paying reader subscribes to emails from you (that is, when they click the little email icon next to your name) they’ll be prompted to become a Medium member. If they choose to do so, you’ll earn half of their membership fee on a recurring basis (as long as they stay a member).
For much more on Referred Memberships, head here. And please note: Making money with referred memberships is totally optional! You can choose to earn from only Member Reading Time if you’d like.
As you earn, you can easily keep tabs on your payments via your Partner Program dashboard: https://medium.com/me/partner/dashboard. Payments typically go out by the end of the first week of each month.
And if you don’t yet qualify for the Partner Program, we encourage you to keep writing! We’ve found that the most successful creators choose to monetize after they’ve built a small but loyal audience. Like anything, this is a process, and building a fan base willing to 1) spend time reading your work, and 2) pay to do so can take time. It looks different for everyone, and we suggest thinking strategically about how (and when) to monetize based on where you are in that journey. Here are some additional resources on earning money and growing your readership on Medium:
Earn for your writing
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*Please note that, currently, enrollment in the Partner Program is only available in the following countries:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States
We are working on expanding this list! We’ll share updates as we do.