Today’s post is going to be a little different. Since I also produce content on Medium.com, and that content isn’t always the same as what I post here, I wanted to take a minute to talk about how you can support Medium authors.
Oh, and if you’re interested in seeing what I’m doing on Medium, check me out @RhianninB on that platform.
Cool, thank you.
The internet has created a huge open market for creators of all stripes. But, all that creation, and all those different platforms, means that it’s often hard to know how to support your friendly neighborhood creative.
No two platforms are exactly the same, so I wanted to take a minute to talk about how Medium works, since some of my content calls Medium home. Consider this your roadmap for effectively supporting creators on Medium.
Paywall, Friends and Family Access, and Sharing:
Okay, first things first. Medium does have a pay wall, although they also offer a lot of their content free of charge. In fact, Medium allows authors to decide what content goes behind the paywall, and what content is free to access.
For instance, I will not be putting this article behind a pay wall, since I think it’s most useful for readers who aren’t as familiar with Medium’s platform. If you already pay the $5 monthly subscription for full access, you probably know how all this works.
Authors are also given a friends and family link, basically a backstage pass, they can use to give access to their subscriber-only content. If you’re lucky enough to have access to that link, you should keep it to yourself, or ask the author for permission before sharing it.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t share the article! Once you’ve loaded the article itself on Medium, using their share buttons will not spread the author link you’ve used to access the content.
If you enjoyed an author’s work, you should share that content. Interacting with and sharing online content is the single biggest thing you can do to support a creator, short of donating to a patreon, ko-fi, or other account.
Which brings me to my next point.
Interacting with Good Content:
More and more websites are prioritizing content that makes you, the viewer, do something. It’s no longer enough to spend time reading an article or looking at a great photograph. Websites, Medium included, do still track how much time you spend with their content, but those number matter much less than other interactions.
For instance, Medium’s payment program (the way authors make money from their content on Medium) relies not on viewership, but on claps. If you want to pay an author for their creation you need to do three things:
- Create a Medium account and subscribe ($5)
- Read articles
- Clap (Medium’s equivalent of a like button) on good content.
But, even if you don’t have a subscription, clapping is still an important way to support authors. Medium pays attention to what articles are generating claps, author subscriptions (subscribing for updates on an author is free), and comments.
If you have free access to an article the author isn’t making money on that post. But, by showing your support for that post, you make it more likely for Medium to share and boost that author’s content. Both paid and unpaid.
Consistent engagement is also important. One post getting 500 claps is great, but Medium, and most other websites, are looking for content creators with consistently high rates of engagement.
That’s up to the author, of course, not you. But, consistently showing your appreciation for posts that catch your interest helps make the system work more effectively.
Commenting is also a great way to show support for a post. The more claps and comments a post has, the more likely Medium is to think that that content is worth boosting. That means more eyes, more potential subscribers, and a wider audience for your favorite authors.
Supporting content, helping it get out there, is critical to getting your favorite voices heard. The internet has democratized the flow of information and opinions. It’s all driven by people like you, who decide something is worth your time, energy, and engagement.
Finding Good Content:
There’s another part of this equation worth mentioning. If you’re going to support good content, you need to be able to find good content, right?
One of the easiest ways to find your favorite content on sites like Medium is to follow the themed publications on the website. But, a lot of those are also locked behind Medium’s paywall so that their top-contributing authors are paid for their efforts.
A free alternative? Pay attention to who your favorite authors follow. Generally, good authors are looking for good content and follow other people whose writing is engaging, similar, or challenges them to do better themselves.
Another great option for finding new content? Look at your favorite author’s comments on other work. Since Medium includes comments as their own type of post, you can easily find them from each author’s personal profile.
Some of this content is likely to be behind the paywall, since authors must be members to post content behind the paywall themselves. But not all of it will be.
Want to Be a Medium Author Yourself?
Wonderful! I’m so glad you want to put your hard work out there.
Posting on Medium is free. You can create and account and an author page without having to spend a single penny.
However, if you want to try your hand at making money from your writing (and who doesn’t?), you need to be a subscriber. Fortunately, subscriptions are cheap, only $5 a month at the time of writing.
Once you’re subscribed, you’ll have the option to enter your articles into Medium’s Partner Program. That means the article is behind a paywall and you’ll get paid a small amount of each clap the article gets from other subscribers.
There isn’t a set amount you’ll be paid each clap, it’s a portion of the clapper’s subscription and seems to vary. But, it’s another possible source of income, and a great way to start monetizing your writing.
Thank you for reading!
I’ll keep a light on.