The Voices on Medium
By Laura Ingate, Frankie Harnett and Alice Fusai
Medium is a platform focused on storytelling, ideas and insights. Evan Williams, one of the Twitter founders, first launched the online publishing platform in 2012 with the aim of creating a new place on the internet where people can share content that is longer than 140 characters.
On Medium, writers and creators are encouraged to share different perspectives, useful knowledge and wisdom for anyone to consume. For readers, Medium allows them to follow people and topics that matter to them and receive a personalised feed of content suggesting new articles or posts they may be interested in. Medium states that ultimately “their goal is to deepen our collective understanding of the world through the power of writing.”
Over 100 million people across the world connect and share their thoughts and ideas on Medium every month. This includes professional writers, scientists, business leaders, entrepreneurs, amateur novelists and CEOs. Anyone with a story, idea, insight or concept can share this publicly on Medium. Despite there being other similar platforms out there such as Substack, Medium offers a vast reader base, community feel and the opportunity for new writers with smaller or non-existent followers to leverage the Medium algorithm and reach millions of readers.
Medium’s platform also allows readers to delve into niche categories or a category they have specified interest in easily, with the homepage tailor-made to suit each user individually. Although readers can access free content on Medium, there is a cap on the number of articles you can read a month on the free subscription model. For $5 (approx. £3.95) per month, users can access every story without paywalls or ads. This fee also helps to support quality writing and fund the voices you want to hear more from.
Since its launch in 2012, Medium was designed to be ideal for amateur writers. However, in 2021, the company officially made a move to prioritise their independent writers, designating them with more funding and dramatically reducing the established journalists on the staff. As a result, Medium has been dubbed “the best place to publish on the internet” for aspiring writers.
The setup could not be easier: creating an account is the work of a few clicks and requires no start-up costs, offering an immediate opportunity to publish. Upon publishing, new writers can almost immediately begin earning, offering the unique chance to be paid while still experimenting with their writing. This is done either through the Partnership Program or through referrals, with the most established writers earning up to $49,705.40 a month.
The platform also contains a feature called Publications, which allows writers to publish under a collective banner, allowing new writers access to a built-in audience. However, well-established Medium writer, Zulie Rane, warns against using Medium simply to make money. In her experience, only a handful of writers have managed to turn publishing on Medium into a full-time paid job. Instead, she encourages writers to use Medium as a vehicle for their goals, such as establishing an audience and reputation, building up a portfolio of freelance work or networking.
Medium has successfully established itself as a unique and powerful platform. Over the years, Medium has grown into a vibrant community where writers and creators from diverse backgrounds can share their perspectives and knowledge, fostering a collective understanding of the world through the power of writing. Thanks to its algorithmic reach, new writers can connect with a vast audience and gain recognition even without a substantial following.
Medium can serve as a valuable vehicle for writers to achieve their goals, such as building an audience, establishing a reputation, securing freelance opportunities and networking within the industry. The platform's personalisation features further enhance the reading experience, allowing users to explore niche categories tailored to their interests. Medium remains a dynamic and accessible platform that empowers storytellers and creators, fosters a sense of community and promotes knowledge-sharing worldwide. Whether you are a seasoned professional or an emerging talent, the platform offers an exciting opportunity to explore, connect and contribute to the collective understanding of our ever-changing world through the art of writing.