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When I first started writing on Medium, there were no affordable resources available for writers. Growing my monthly Medium earnings to over $1,000 per month was hard and took me over a year! That's why I created my own Medium Course.
Founder, Blogging Guide
Medium is without question a leader in the digital publishing and blogging space. Perhaps most notable is Medium’s Partner Program which allows writers to monetize their writing with just a few clicks.
Although Medium is arguably the leader of these “pre-monetized” blogging platforms, there are several Medium alternatives that writers should consider.
These alternative platforms can be used to replace Medium or to compliment Medium. Most allow the reposting of content, meaning that these platforms can at least function as content syndication platforms.
When I talk about Medium alternatives, I am really referring to two distinct types of alternatives: direct Medium alternatives and indirect Medium alternatives.
Direct Medium alternatives refers to the platforms that have a similar “pre-monetized” payment system to Medium’s Partner Program. For direct Medium alternatives, you write, publish, and can automatically enable monetization through the platform.
Although the payment programs very for each of these platforms, they all are similar since they attempt to drive traffic to your articles, and reward the most successful articles with higher payments.
Indirect Medium alternatives refers to the digital publishing platforms which many Medium writers choose to use in addition to Medium, or in place of Medium. These platforms are similar to Medium in that they allow writers to publish and monetize digital content. However, these platforms differ from Medium and its direct alternatives, because they do not contain a premonetized payment structure. The onus is on the writer to market their content, drive traffic themselves, and monetize their work using third party systems.
Below is a list of the best Medium alternatives.
Direct Medium Alternatives
HubPages is a user generated content, revenue-sharing website founded in 2006. The company moved from a single-site to a multi-site business model in 2016. The platform that lets you publish articles and you can earn money from those articles, depending on how many views they receive.
HubPages is much less popular than Medium, and writers do not typically earn as much as their Medium counterparts, but it does contain a built in monetization system.
The HubPages writer payment system is based on a formula that primarily measures page views and your article’s contribution to display advertisement success.
Vocal.Media is a platform for supporting, discovering, and rewarding creators. Vocal provides the storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, artists, and all types of creatives to get discovered, and fund their creativity. Vocal was designed to expand the audience for content distribution and advance writers’ efforts on monetizing their content through various features.
Vocal helps writers earn in a few different ways.
First, Vocal pays creators based on the amount of “reads” their stories receive.
- Vocal creators are paid $3.80 per 1000 reads.
- Vocal+ creators are paid $6.00 / 1000 reads.
Second, Vocal also facilitates tips from your fans. Tipping allows your readers to pay you directly for your stories, with micropayments that go straight into your Stripe account.
NewsBreak is a local news aggregation and digital publishing platform. The content from this platform is largely featured on the NewsBreak functions mobile app. NewsBreak now boasts 23 million monthly users with a growing network of more than 10,000 content providers. Sensor Tower estimated the app has more than 50 million installs globally across iOS and Android devices, among which more than 99% are from the U.S.
NewsBreak originally launched with a $1,000 per month “guarantee” for writers who were accepted into their creator program and met certain publishing requirements.
NewsBreak has since shifted to a model that pays a minimum per article based on a CV score of 1-10 assigned to each article published. There is also a payment rate based on page views and referrals.
Steemit is a blogging platform with a social network and cryptocurrency component. It borrows some of the features of Reddit in that it allows users to upvote and downvote content, as well as follow topics, have discussions, and submit content of your own. However, users also have the ability to earn a share of revenues in the form of Steem cryptocurrency. Content creators, people who curate content, and commenters all have the opportunity to get paid.
Indirect Medium Alternatives
Ghost is an open source blogging platform for writers and journalists. It boasts a minimalist and straightforward user interface that simplifies blogging for its users. Ghost offers SEO tools and plugins that are built into the software, making it easy for users to optimize their content. The Ghost platform is utilized by amateur writers, as well as experienced editors based at large media organizations.
Substack makes it simple for a writer to start an email newsletter that makes money from subscriptions. Substack provides web and newsletter publishing tools that are purpose-built for paid subscriptions. Substack is popular with many writers because it’s an all-in-one solution for writers looking to monetize their newsletter. Substack also allows audio creators the ability to charge and distribute their podcasts through Substack’s newsletter delivery system.
Patreon is a membership based website providing a range of business tools to help creators monetize their products via subscriptions. Through Patreon, creators allow fans to access exclusive content, additional viewership, and other perks in exchange for a monthly fee. This business model allows its members – which includes video creators, writers, musicians, game creators, podcasters and more – to maintain creative freedom while getting paid what they are worth.
Wattpad brings authors and readers together online through its website and mobile app. The platform is free for all users and promotes a social community experience based on the original stories that are shared. Both amateur and established writers publish stories on Wattpad from a wide variety of genres, including Young Adult fiction, romance, fantasy, and techno-thrillers. Wattpad has steadily grown in popularity, reaching 80 million readers and writers, due to its ease of use and simple business model.
9. Amazon KDP
Amazon KDP is a self publishing platform used by authors and publishers, to independently publish their books. Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) has also added a paperback option, which uses print-on-demand technology to allow both digital and print capabilities to self-published authors through its platform. Amazon’s main pitch to authors has been the platform’s capability of publishing both e-books and paperbacks through the same platform, without charging any upfront fees and reaching the large audience who frequent Amazon.
Revue is an email marketing company designed for writers and publishers. The business model is strictly about content curation by users who share interesting articles with their mailing lists. Revue makes it easy for anyone to quickly create aesthetically appealing newsletters. Clients from all walks of life and from many countries around the world use Revue to reach a wide audience. The site is unique in that it is possible for users to earn in a variety of ways, including subscription models, advertising, sponsorships, and other digital avenues.
WordPress is one of the world’s most popular open-source platforms. More than one-third of all websites currently run on WordPress. It is commonly used as a content management system (CMS) for websites, as well as for blogging. The appeal of WordPress is that no technical knowledge or experience is required to use it. WordPress is utilized by bloggers, small business owners, and even Fortune 500 companies. In addition, because it is open source software, the source code can be modified to create additional apps and plugins for WordPress sites.
Blogger is among the easiest tools for starting a blog. It is free to use and enables writers to quickly share their thoughts with minimal effort. Blog entries are published with a time stamp and users can add images, videos, and other content. It is owned by Google, allowing anyone with a Gmail account to quickly get started on Blogger for free. Users can design their blogs with a variety of templates or create their own design from scratch. There is also a possibility for users to monetize their blogs using AdSense.
Gumroad is an e-commerce platform that helps creators get their products sold. Artists and creators, including musicians, filmmakers, comedians, writers, software developers, and educators sell directly to consumers using Gumroad. Gumroad make the process of selling online as easy as social sharing, bypassing all the hassle of finding interested buyers online.
Medium is an amazing blogging platform, but as seen from the list above, there are several alternatives. Many of these alternatives have unique features that help distinguish them from Medium.
However, if you are looking for an easy-to-use blogging platform, that allows you to focus on writing (and not marketing your content, collecting payments, building a website), Medium may be a great option to consider.
If you are interested in becoming a successful Medium writer, consider taking our Medium Writing Course. You can also sign up for our newsletter, Blogging Guide, which contains digital publishing insights on all the platforms mentioned above, and more!