What Is Medium? (Full Website Guide)

Do you enjoy reading about all types of topics and staying on track of what’s going on in the world? Do you dream of writing your own content in a place where likeminded people can easily find you without having to worry about building your own website? Have you ever asked the question “What is Medium?”

This article is a comprehensive guide on what Medium is, how you can enjoy it as a reader or a writer and how you can actually succeed as a writer on Medium. If you want to learn more about using Medium, read on!

What Is Medium?

Medium is a writing platform that has become extremely popular among online writers and people who love to read. Anyone can write on Medium. From free-thinkers, politicians and journalists, to brands, amateur bloggers, and anyone that has a passion for writing.

What Is Medium Used For?

Medium is used by writers that want to produce content without having to worry about setting up an actual blog, hosting a website, or knowing much about SEO. Moreover, readers get to experience a vast collection of posts without being bombarded with advertisements.

How Does Medium Work?

Medium offers an easy solution for writers who don’t want to learn website development. Instead, you can just write what you want when you want. It’s that easy!

Medium For Writers

Anyone can write on Medium. It’s free to set up an account and start writing. As a writer you can choose what type of content you want to write, and how you want to write it. You can create single posts or contribute to publications, and Medium will curate your posts if they’re good enough. Let’s see how Medium works in more detail.

Medium Posts

You can write about anything you like on Medium. Whether you’re a journalist, blogger, or company owner, no matter your background and experience, there’s a place for you on the website. Medium offers you many tools to customize your posts however you want.

You can make them short or long, and you can add images, videos, links and embeds. You can even share a draft with a selected group of people that can preview it and give you some feedback before you post.

Another interesting feature are Medium’s various keyboard shortcuts. With these shortcuts you can take your writing and organisation to another level as it allows you to insert page breaks, reminders, bullet points, word counts and much more. This makes it very easy to use Medium and create easy to read articles.

Other Handy Features

You can categorize your stories with tags that make your posts easier to find when readers are searching for keywords. Scheduling posts is easy too, and you can easily share your own work to Twitter and Facebook.

You can also check on your stats, to learn how your stories are performing. This allows you to keep tabs on your views and see how many people are reading your articles. You can also monitor how your stories are performing individually.

Medium Publications

Publications on Medium work like full-blown blogs where people collect different posts based around a common theme. You can write for someone else’s publication, or you can create your own. As the creator of a publication, you become an editor of sorts because you get to pick and choose the topics you want to have.

You also choose who you want in your team as a writer, and you can review and edit every post. If this seems too much work for you alone, you can choose to have other people in your team to work as editors alongside you. In this way, it’s like running your own blog within a blog!

Medium Curated Posts

If you’re lucky (and post quality content, of course), Medium may select your stories for curation. In their Help Centre, they explain: “Medium’s editorial teams regularly review stories published on the platform, selecting those that meet our distribution standards and exhibit a high level of quality for additional distribution in Medium’s emails, apps, homepage, and more.”

So, if the Medium team likes your content enough they might give you a boost and promote you across the website. This can in turn boost your views and earnings. So, be sure to write your best work and follow the distribution guidelines.

Medium Partner Program

The minute you decide you want to start posting on Medium, you can sign up to the Medium Partner Program in order to receive payment for your stories. Signing up is completely free. All you need to do is set up an account on Stripe and then provide Medium with your tax information, whether you’re a US resident or not.

When everything is set up, you’ll start earning money based on how well your stories perform. How much you earn depends on how much time paying members spend reading your work. You can learn more about how Medium pays its writers in this article.

Medium For Readers

As a reader, you’ll find the way Medium works to be similar to other online platforms because it allows you to like (in this case, clap for) your favourite stories, follow authors, publications and specific tags, and to recommend, share and bookmark stories. However, Medium stands out with a little twist on the commenting feature.

As you’re reading a story, if you highlight a specific word or phrase, a little bar will pop-up that allows you to leave a comment about that specific part. It feels just like adding commentary to a Word document, where you leave little notes in the margins.

This feature tends to be more attractive than leaving comments at the end. Plus, it’s a great tool for writers to get feedback and even leave notes with information that complements their stories.

Because the responses are treated as the commenter’s own stories (other readers can clap for them too) it puts more weight on each comment. This reduces the amount of spam on the posts, and the comment sections are (usually) more constructive than on other social media sites.

Medium Membership

All Medium readers can view up to three articles per month for free. If that doesn’t seem enough for you, you can consider becoming a subscriber. This costs $5 (about £3.80) per month, or $50 (around £38) per year. This subscription gives you unlimited access to all stories and publications and it also helps support your favourite authors. This is because a portion of your membership goes directly to the writers you read the most.

Who Founded Medium?

Medium was created by Evan Williams, more commonly referred to as “Ev”. Ev is also a cofounder of Twitter and founder of Blogger, one of the original blogging services.

Since 2012, when Medium launched, Ev has been not only a creator and developer but also a user of the platform. One of his first posts served to welcome new users and explain what Medium is and what their intentions and goals are as a company. So far, the main focus still remains: your words. According to his post: “Medium is a beautiful space for reading and writing – and little else. The words are central.”

He also mentioned that nowadays we are overwhelmed with options to share our thoughts, pictures and lifestyles. But the information we gather from current media is not always the best when it comes to its quality and validity.

So, Medium was also created as place to gather clear and quality information, from people all over the world. Ev said: “Now that we’ve made sharing information virtually effortless, how do we increase depth of understanding, while also creating a level playing field that encourages ideas that come from anywhere?”

The Medium Team

Even though there is no certain way of knowing how many people work at Medium, they explain that they’re a company that “celebrates diversity in people, backgrounds, and life experiences”. Besides having a truly tech savvy founder, among the team you’re sure to find “outdoor explorers, podcast fanatics, amateur chefs, and inspiring mothers and fathers who balance leadership with parenthood.”

Top Writers on Medium

Seasoned Medium writers are sometimes named Top Writers in one (or more) specific subjects. This means Medium considers their content both valuable and relevant, and that they deserve to be featured for their work.

When you search for any tag, a page appears with the best and latest posts, the number of stories with that tag, the number of writers who use it and a list of Top Writers for that tag.

Being considered a Top Writer has nothing to do with how much exposure and followers you have, nor does it necessarily have to do with how much content you write. Louis Chew, a Medium writer, had only written eight posts in a span of two months when he was named Top Writer in the topic of Self Improvement.

Here are a few Top Writers for you to check out:

Ella Alderson

Ella Anderson is an astrophysics student that has been writing for over a decade. She has 21,000 followers and is currently a Top Writer in Science, Education, Future and Technology.

Neeramitra Reddy

Neeramitra Reddy introduces himself as a thinker, bookworm, gymrat and a personal growth addict. He has 2,300 followers and is a Top Writer in Health, Advice, Reading, Self-Improvement, Inspiration, Books and Productivity.

Zulie Rane

Zulie Rane is a biology expert and psychology lover. She made it big while exploring her passion for writing. She has 27,000 followers and is a Top Writer in Writing, Creativity, Entrepreneurship and Productivity.

How to Become a Top Writer on Medium

To become a Top Writer on Medium you have to get the attention of the website’s algorithm. That comes with a mix of getting good reader engagement, publishing frequently and focusing consistently on specific topics. However, there are some other tips and tricks to get you there faster.

Choose Your Tags Wisely

According to Casey Botticello’s Medium post, “There are only 73 tags/topics eligible for top writer status, and you must use these EXACT tags to become a top writer.”

Sounds tricky, since there’s essentially a limitless number of tags for you to use on Medium, depending on what you’re writing. Casey created a list, which he updates monthly, with all the tags that are eligible for top writer status, so be sure to check it out!

Submit to Publications

When starting out on Medium, getting a steady and loyal following can be tough. So, it might be a good idea to try and submit your posts to Medium’s many publications. They normally already have a following of their own and that could be a great way to receive exposure, if your work matches what each publication is looking for of course.

Continue Working on Your Writing

Quality content is always going to be what matters the most in the end. So, be sure to always be at the top of your game when writing and posting your work on Medium. Always work on your grammar, especially if the language you write in isn’t your mother tongue.

Writing well comes from reading well, so keep on top of the best and most recent articles on the topics you write about to gather ideas and inspiration. You can also take online writing courses and work on your SEO to really boost your articles up the rankings.

So, What Is Medium?

As we’ve seen, Medium is a great place for blogging. On the ad-free platform, focused on writing and sharing ideas from people all around the world, everyone gets a voice. Everyone has an opportunity to express their thoughts, opinions and emotions.

As good as it is for writers, it’s also a great place for readers too. Readers can get information from real people and experts who actually know and love what they’re talking about.

You can write in a variety of ways about anything you can think of and, most importantly, you can get paid for it. With the help of publications, good topic choices, quality writing and catchy headlines, you too can see success on Medium!

Sign up to Medium here to start the next leg of your writing journey! 

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