Unlock Your Posts On Medium and Gain Big Advantages.

The surprising results from publishing less than half of my posts behind the paywall on Medium.

Sam H Arnold
Jun 19 · 3 min read

Recently I have been unlocking a large number of my articles. The benefits have been huge.

So huge, I haven’t even thought of the money I have missed out on.

In a moment of complete madness, I decided to set up a Medium publication dedicated to daily posts. These posts are written as a journal and include details of my writing journey. I also include writing tips and tricks I have discovered on my journey.

Due to the fact that the average length of my post is 2 minutes, I made the decision to unlock these posts. None of the posts is behind the paywall.

There are Two Main Disadvantages with this Approach.

The first is the one that concerns me the most. As unlocked posts, none of them are considered for Medium curation. Not a huge problem, as many of my posts are not curated. At present, I have also not discovered a huge advantage in readers to curation.

The second obvious disadvantage, is I am not paid for these posts. I also find that as these posts are appealing to new members, many only clap once, claps are low.

Or am I being paid?

I am not receiving any money from Medium for these posts. Yet, the advantage of these posts has been surprising, indirectly I am being paid.

The first thing I noticed from publishing unlocked posts is the number of views I have received. As more writers publish behind the paywall, members who do not subscribe need to search for posts.

This increase in views has led to a massive increase in followers.

The increase in followers has also led to older posts being read, some of these behind the paywall. My analysis shows that when readers clap for older posts, the monetary reward seems to be higher. I also add links to locked posts I publish that day, these also have increased engagement. Whether these readers are using their 3 free reads or later subscribing, I have not studied yet.

The Future of Medium’s Paywall

The advantages of publishing unlocked posts, to date, have far outweighed the negatives. As writers would it be better to publish a mix of locked and unlocked posts to grow engagement. Offering free content encourages readers to engage with our locked posts.

On LinkedIn, I have published free content and this had led to writing opportunities.

By offering something free I am gaining more rewards from it.

Whether other writers will follow this example and unlock some of their posts, remains to be seen. As other opportunities open, then our reliance on Medium and its strange algorithm will diminish.

Personally, I will carry on publishing free content to my publication and lock my other posts. I am also looking for alternative forms of income. As writers it is essential, to not be reliant on one income stream. At present, I am working on my Patreon following, where I offer friends links to all my posts. I am also completing edits on my new novel. Having an additional two income sources helps me sleep a little easier at night.

What are your views on locked and unlocked posts?


Thank you for readingSam H Arnold is a writing mentor and author. She runs an online mentoring course on Patreon. She has also had a children’s novel published — The Detective Two.

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The Post-Grad Survival Guide

We're confused twenty-somethings, but we know the 9–5 isn't for us. Tips on blogging, freelancing, and building your side hustle. A good bit of life lessons and travel tips thrown in, too. Living life on our own terms.

Sam H Arnold

Written by

I can help you write better. UK writer & mentor. I share articles on writing, parenting & more. Join my mentor program at https://www.patreon.com/samharnold

The Post-Grad Survival Guide

We're confused twenty-somethings, but we know the 9–5 isn't for us. Tips on blogging, freelancing, and building your side hustle. A good bit of life lessons and travel tips thrown in, too. Living life on our own terms.