Medium vs. Substack vs. Other Freelance Writing Projects
My ultimate goal is to create multiple revenue streams
The one factor I don’t see in Substack compared to Medium is reader and writer engagement. It’s important to engage readers and writers on Medium, but Substack is a newsletter. A writer’s income is dependent only on paid subscriptions. To earn money on Substack, a person must purchase monthly or yearly subscriptions.
As a writer, there are several differences in how I approach writing an article. I can write a Medium essay in under an hour and still get paid for the article. However, writing pieces on Substack requires more thought.
Writing query letters and pitching to editors to magazines takes me much longer. I haven’t mastered that skill; I’m still searching for my first content writing gig.
The two changes I noticed since I decided to spend more time on Substack and other freelance writing projects are time and effort.
- I spend more time organizing and researching other writing projects.
- I spend more time writing and editing drafts.
The time and effort spent on writing are proportional to the income I can earn online. Putting more effort will increase my writing income on Medium. But from a mathematical perspective, I believe I have a better chance of making $500 per month on other writing projects, including Substack, than on Medium. Here is why.
Only 6% earn $100 or more on Medium.
I don’t have any data to back up my claim, but it looks like the rate of increase on Medium is not proportional to the effort a writer puts in over time. The logarithmic function describes this perfectly.
I’ve read writers put in more hours writing on Medium to break the ceiling only to be disappointed and burned out after writing and not seeing a significant pay increase on Medium.
Logarithmic function describes this same behavior. Money does not increase proportionally equally over time. Think of spending 100 extra hours per month on Medium only to see a $6 increase in pay. That would discourage anyone.
The Ultimate Goal: I believe the ultimate goal is to create multiple online revenue streams outside of the Medium platform.
It will require more time and effort, but in the long term, with consistency and persistence, I think I’ll see significant income with my freelance writing.