2. Requires Little Effort for Writers
Even if Medium did have other established ways for many writers to make money on the platform (writing contests, allowing publication owners to charge readers a subscription fee, payment based on article’s performance outside of Medium, etc.), these methods would all require writers to spend a significant amount of time doing work other than writing, in order to earn money.
Medium’s affiliate program (or any affiliate program really) make it almost effortless to earn extra money.
All you have to do is include your affiliate link in your content, and should someone choose to upgrade from a free reader to a paid Medium member, you will receive a commission on a recurring basis.