Is it worth it to write on Medium? Well, in this article I dive into the pros and cons of writing on Medium, including its benefits, user interface, distribution mechanism, monetization, competition, and issues of control and ownership.

Medium has some pretty impressive facts that make it worth considering writing on the platform.  Some of the key metrics that make it worthwhile are:

  • Medium boasts over 170 million monthly readers
  • 54 million people use Medium worldwide
  • 60% of Medium users are middle-aged professionals ranging from 18 to 34 years old
  • Medium users earn more than $100,000 annually

With facts like this and the fact that you can post the same articles on Medium that you can post on your website makes it worth considering.  Also, with stats like the ones above, it is easy to say that your ideal customer is more than likely also on Medium.

The Benefits of Writing on Medium

Stepping into the world of Medium, you’re instantly welcomed into a thriving community of passionate readers and writers. This platform is more than a mere canvas for words. It’s a bustling, global marketplace brimming with people hungry for quality, thought-provoking content. That’s the beauty of Medium—it offers a substantial, varied audience that craves for intellectually stimulating reads.

From ardent tech enthusiasts to die-hard fiction enthusiast, Medium’s readership is as diverse as it is extensive. This allows your work to cross paths with people from different walks of life who are likely to be interested in your writings. The diversity and size of the audience on Medium are undoubtedly a step up from many other blogging platforms that focus on niche markets or have smaller user bases.

But what sets Medium apart isn’t just the large audience. It’s the value that the platform places on rewarding its writers. Unlike many platforms where ad-revenue is king, Medium dances to a different tune with its Partner Program. It’s an initiative designed to pay you based on how readers interact with your posts. This refreshing approach encourages writers to focus on creating engaging, substantial content rather than resorting to click-bait tactics to drive views. And who wouldn’t appreciate being rewarded for meaningful content that resonates with the audience?

In a world where ad-driven revenues dominate, Medium brings back the essence of writing—engagement and quality. As a writer, this platform offers you the chance to be read, appreciated, and importantly, compensated for your work. You write to be read, to inspire, and to ignite a spark in your readers, and Medium provides a stage where your work can achieve just that. So, step into the Medium community and let your words work their magic!

The User-Friendly Interface of Medium

One of the shining jewels in Medium’s crown is its user-friendly interface. As soon as you log in, you’re greeted with a clean, uncluttered design that’s as refreshing as a cool breeze on a hot day. Medium has prioritized simplicity and functionality, providing an environment where you can let your creativity flow freely without wrestling with complex formatting.

The writing editor, which is Medium’s canvas for your thoughts, is so intuitive that you’ll feel like a pro in no time. It offers a seamless writing experience that prioritizes your content, not the clutter of tools and widgets. The goal is clear: keep you, the writer, focused on the one thing that matters most — your words. After all, aren’t we here to paint pictures with words rather than waste time on tedious formatting details?

But Medium goes beyond just offering a serene space for writing. It also takes off the heavy load of SEO optimization from your shoulders. Yes, you heard it right! With Medium, you can bid farewell to the perplexing world of keywords and search engine algorithms. Medium handles all the behind-the-scenes work to ensure that your content is optimized for visibility. So, all you need to do is sit back, relax, and let your words do the talking.

Navigating through Medium is like taking a walk in the park, thanks to its simple and streamlined design. Whether you’re writing, reading, or engaging with the community, you’ll find that Medium’s interface is all about enhancing the user experience. It’s about making things easy and enjoyable for you.

In a nutshell, Medium is a platform where your creative juices can run wild. It provides a space where you can express your thoughts and ideas without being bogged down by technical details. With its clean, straightforward interface, Medium enables you to focus on what you do best: writing!

Medium’s Curation and Distribution Mechanism

Think of Medium as your personal book promoter, effortlessly connecting your writing with readers who are eagerly waiting for it. How does it manage to do this, you ask? The secret lies in Medium’s innovative curation and distribution mechanism.

It all starts when you hit the publish button. Your freshly minted piece doesn’t just go out into the void. Instead, it’s attentively reviewed by Medium’s in-house curation team, a group of individuals committed to identifying quality content. They peruse your writing, analyze its content, and mark it as a recommended read for certain categories if it fits the bill. These categories, or topics as they’re called on Medium, range from Technology and Leadership to Poetry and Humor. Essentially, Medium uses its own experts to sort and recommend your content—like having your own personal publicist.

But the magic doesn’t stop there. Medium’s algorithm then steps in, playing matchmaker between your writing and readers. It’s constantly learning about the likes, dislikes, and reading habits of every individual on the platform. So, when your work is ready for the spotlight, the algorithm ensures it’s presented to the readers who are most likely to appreciate it. If your article is about machine learning, it’ll find its way to tech enthusiasts; if you’ve penned a heart-wrenching piece about personal loss, it’ll reach those who gravitate towards emotional narratives.

This personalized distribution allows for a higher level of engagement with your content, as it lands in front of readers who already have an affinity for the topics you write about. In return, when readers clap, comment, and engage with your work, it signals the algorithm that your content is resonating. This encourages the algorithm to recommend your work more often, amplifying its reach and visibility.

So, Medium’s curation and distribution mechanism is more than just a feature—it’s a strategic ally in getting your work noticed. It’s a journey where your writing, guided by expert curators and an intelligent algorithm, reaches the screens of readers who are genuinely interested in your narratives, amplifying the chances of meaningful engagement. This is the beauty of Medium’s distribution—you don’t just write, you connect.

The Downside of Medium’s Monetization

Imagine you’re at a concert, playing your heart out on stage, your notes resonating with the audience, your passion palpable. But, at the end of the night, your pay isn’t based on the number of attendees but on how long each one stayed and how loudly they applauded. This is the reality of Medium’s monetization model.

Yes, Medium’s Partner Program has a unique payment structure. It’s not about how many views your articles amass, it’s about the quality time readers spend with your piece, their reactions, their interactions. Sounds fair? In theory, yes. In practice, it can be a double-edged sword.

For instance, suppose you’re a writer who enjoys crafting concise, punchy articles rather than sprawling epics. In Medium’s world, you might find yourself in a bit of a pickle. Since payment is determined by reading time, your brief but brilliant pieces might not ring the cash register quite as much as a longer, more in-depth article. You’ve written a short, impactful piece, yet the financial appreciation might not match the quality of your work.

Similarly, if you pen introspective pieces that leave readers silent in contemplation, you might not see a flurry of comments or likes. But that doesn’t mean your work isn’t valuable or thought-provoking. However, in Medium’s eyes, the lack of engagement might translate to a smaller payout.

It’s a bit like being a street performer playing for a crowd. You could gather a large audience, yet the coins tossed in your hat depend on how long people stayed to watch and how much they clapped or cheered. And let’s not forget, the crowd’s appreciation isn’t always the most reliable measure of your performance’s worth. The same goes for Medium’s monetization model—it may not always fully recognize the value of your work.

So, while the opportunity to earn from your writing is certainly a tantalizing proposition, it’s worth remembering that the Medium’s monetization system comes with its own unique quirks.

The Overwhelming Competition on Medium

On Medium, the presence of a broad, bustling community is both a boon and a challenge. It’s akin to setting up a bookstore in a city teeming with well-established, popular bookshops. On one hand, there’s a crowd of voracious readers, but on the other hand, you’re vying for their attention against a sea of talented writers. The competition on Medium is like a vast ocean brimming with writers who, like you, are casting out their lines hoping to reel in a swarm of eager readers.

Diving into Medium, you’re not just dipping your toes in a small pond. Instead, you’re plunging into a giant pool where writers from all around the globe come together, producing a constant stream of high-quality content. The competition isn’t just the local town poet—it’s Pulitzer Prize winners, New York Times journalists, best-selling authors, and countless other skilled scribes from across the globe.

The sheer scale of content on Medium, while a testament to the platform’s popularity, can make it feel like you’re a single star in a vast galaxy, trying to shine amidst a multitude of other dazzling celestial bodies. Your posts, as well-crafted as they might be, are nestled amongst a plethora of other articles, stories, and think pieces, all vying for the same spotlight. This could lead to your masterpieces potentially getting lost in the crowd, like whispers drowned out by a chorus of voices.

However, keep in mind that competition isn’t always a foe—it can also be a fantastic teacher. It pushes you to hone your craft, to strive for excellence, to continually raise the bar. So, while the competition on Medium may seem overwhelming, it could also be the spur you need to evolve, grow, and shine even brighter. A spark of challenge can indeed ignite the flame of creativity.

Lack of Control and Ownership

Venturing into the world of Medium, it’s akin to setting up shop in a bustling marketplace: you’re part of the energy, the dynamism, the vibrancy. However, this bustling bazaar isn’t your territory—it belongs to Medium. Unlike owning your own slice of digital real estate with a personal blog, writing on Medium means accepting that the landlord sets the house rules.

Yes, Medium offers a spectacular arena to display your literary prowess, but it also retains control of the playground. This means your creative endeavors are at the mercy of Medium’s rules, policies, and whims. As a Medium writer, you’re playing in someone else’s sandbox, and that can mean making certain sacrifices when it comes to control and ownership.

Take, for instance, the structure and presentation of your content. While Medium’s sleek, clean interface is undoubtedly a treat for the eyes, it leaves little room for personalization. Your stories are framed within Medium’s minimalist aesthetic, and while it’s a beautiful frame, it’s not one you can alter to suit your style. You’re crafting the painting, but Medium holds the brush.

Then there’s the question of your readership. Building an audience on Medium feels like growing a garden in a shared plot. While you’re nurturing your audience, remember that they’re part of the larger Medium ecosystem. If Medium were to fold tomorrow or revamp its policies overnight, your carefully cultivated reader base could be swept away with the tide.

This isn’t to say that Medium is a risky gamble—it’s a well-established platform with a robust infrastructure. But the lack of control and ownership does make it a bit like surfing on someone else’s wave. You’re catching the thrill, enjoying the ride, but the wave isn’t yours to command.

In essence, while Medium offers a fertile ground for your words to grow and flourish, it also keeps the reins firmly in its hands. It’s a dance where Medium sets the rhythm, and you, as a writer, follow the beat. It’s worth considering how comfortable you are with this dynamic before striding onto the dance floor.


Toni Coleman-Brown
Toni Coleman-Brown

Toni Coleman Brown is an author, coach, motivational speaker, social media strategist and professional networker. She is also the Founder of the popular, Network for Women in Business, which is an online community designed to train, connect and advance women in business.

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