Skip to content

I Don’t Want Medium To Continue To Try To Do It All On The Cheap Writers

  • 4 min read

There’s a too-small group of top earners.

It seems as if the second CEO in the history of Medium gives the blogging platform a fresh start and an exciting leader.

What most writers don’t know is

  • Stubblebine has been actively using Medium for ten years.
  • He was an original beta tester and even shared office space with Medium’s team.
  • Additionally, he’s the founding father of the “Betters”. Better Marketing, Better Programming, and Better Humans. All of them belong to Medium’s biggest publications on the platform.

Some changes Tony as the face of the company introduced were good (tipping feature).

Some were bad (“true follow feed” and killed curation”).

Additionally, a lot of creators think Tony has been talking about its “readers” way too much in the last past few weeks.

What about the writers?

They are the heart and soul of this platform.

Medium exists because of us.

Medium = writers.

Thoughtful writers get the readers-first approach. It’s nothing new.

Tony wants us to add value to the lives of our readers, share helpful advice, and first-hand experience, or, even better, share our knowledge as “subject matter experts”.

For some, it’s just: “bla bla bla” because it distracts us from the most important question:

“What’s in it for us writers?”

Medium = cheap writers.

If we focus on the writers of Medium for a minute, our feed shows that their question number one in the community is:

How do we make money?

The number of writers who make more than a few thousand dollars per month on Medium is slim.

If any Top Writers are still making a full-time living on Medium, they’ve been awfully quiet lately.

If any Top Writers are still making a full-time living on Medium, they’ve been awfully quiet lately.

The average Medium writer earns less than $100.

Only 6–8% earn $100 per month.

Medium = too small group of top earners.

It’s not a new approach to extracting the maximum amount of value out of the least expensive writers.

“(…) it does feel somewhat out of step with the times”, Silicon Valley reporter Casey Newton stated in a recent interview with Tony Stubblebine.

He adds…

“Because for all the hype about the creator economy, it has created avenues for a (too-small) group of independents to earn massive amounts of money by cultivating their niches.”

Medium = quantity triumphs quality.

But would you want to belong to the too-small group of writers who actually earn good money here?

Let’s reverse-engineer the success of one writer from the group.

Here’s what Medium Top Writer Nicolas Cole shared:

“For context, I had been publishing *an article per day* behind Medium’s paywall for almost 2 and a half years, and earned more than $100,000 in total revenue. This averages out to around $2,000 (on the low end) to $8,000 (on the high end) per month.

If this sounds like a lot of money, it is, and it isn’t.

This only works on Medium if you are publishing something new every single day.

That level of output is not easy.”

Check out Tim Dennings's profile. The legend and full-time creator is pumping out tons of content.

Sometimes even 4 posts per day.

Here’s the proof:

Let me repeat it: 4 posts per day!

Final Takeaways

Some call Medium a “content mill”.

Content mills “rely on volume and pay very little to writers so they can charge low rates or publish a lot of content to make a profit.”

Medium also *sells* mass amounts of content to its readers.

Content that is written by us, its writers.

They say the prospects for content mills are not getting better and you’re cutting your teeth on them.

I hope Medium will invest in its writers more.

Steps in the right direction could be:

  • paying writers more for referred members and helping us to keep them
  • paying writers for external views because this means external traffic for Medium as a platform
  • increasing payouts for reading time
  • distribute our stories at least to our followers (less than 1% are seeing our posts in the feed) and also beyond
  • letting us know how we can make more money here and what exactly Medium is looking for
  • talking more about writers

Remember: Writers are the heart and soul of this platform. Medium is nothing without us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *