How Medium can make more money.
Medium is a magical place where a bazillion and one people actually give a damn about words.
Because of this truth, I really give a damn about Medium and its continual success.
I will admit that part of my obsession with Medium’s success is selfish –– considering it is the best platform in the world for a writer to ensure his writing gets read.
However, another part of my obsession with Medium’s success isn’t selfish at all… but rather the opposite.
I think Medium (unlike Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat) makes the world a more intelligent and thoughtful place.
In other words, the world is better with Medium in it.
Or, at least, much better than it was without it.
But, in order for Medium to succeed and not suffer the fate of tech darling has-beens like Vine, they will need to keep the moolah flowing.
While I do believe the subscription based model is effective, I think Medium can make more money, and in turn increase their chances at staying relevant, by exploring another revenue stream –– online courses with a twist.
Introducing Brisk by Medium
I see a huge gap in the market right now for online courses. There are really only two options for individuals interested in learning something new online…
- Free courses offering minimum value that just skim the surface of a subject
- Paid courses that cost hundreds of dollars (and still probably only skim the surface of a subject)
Brisk by Medium would be detailed, in-depth online courses that cost $9.99 a piece.
They would be created by writers on Medium whom are experts in specific niches (legitimate experts not self-proclaimed experts).
These writers would of course be compensated depending on how well their particular course does.
Once created, these courses would be delivered in the form of 500–1000 word daily emails over a 2–3 week period.
Students would simply have Medium charge $9.99 to their accounts and over the next few weeks, they could look forward to having a short yet hugely insightful daily email delivered right to their inboxes containing previously unknown knowledge on how to kick-ass at[fill in the blank].
Here are some course examples:
- Using technology to build a stronger relationship with your significant other.
- The english class you slept through in high school: 14 short lessons on grammar, punctuation and everything in-between.
- The comedy writer — how to send funnier emails and texts to co-workers and friends.
- The not-so-amateur bartender –– everything you need to know about making a damn good drink in 14 days.
I could see this model being effective for several reasons.
One. We are going to see more young people opt out of college and choose more affordable online educations. After all, Ev Williams himself dropped out of college sophomore year.
Two. The majority of online courses are complete shit. Medium has the knowledge and bandwidth to offer high-caliber courses for much more affordable prices.
Three. A daily email means that students will be reminded to read/study the courses they purchased. The email notifications serve as both an alarm clock (wake up for class or rather your class is in your inbox), as well as an easily accessible storage system.
Four. A daily email means that the courses won’t be overwhelming –– just 10–15 minutes of reading each day for a couple of weeks.
Five. Extremely low cost –– $9.99 is the cost of a lunch.
Six. It fits Medium’s current model. Writers on Medium will be getting paid to create courses for readers/students. And, unlike other sites like (CreativeLive), you won’t have to be an A-list celebrity like Tim Ferriss to make some money from your online course.
Anyways, that’s my idea. I know there are a few companies doing stuff similar, but I think Medium could take it to a completely new level.
I want this to be an open dialogue. So, if you have any ideas… please add them to the comments below. I would love to hear them!
And, as always… thanks for reading, homies.
By Cole Schafer.