A while ago I wrote a post saying I'd just started publishing on the Medium website and promised an update when I'd used it for a while. Recently a few people have asked about my experience there, so I think the time has come to share some facts and tips.
A few facts
1. It costs $5 a month to join Medium. You can opt out anytime.
2. The money writers earn comes from these fees. Non members can publish, and can read three stories per month. Members have no limits to the number of stories they can read.
3. Everything posted on Medium is referred to as a story, whether fiction, non fiction or poetry. Most of the stories are actually articles.
4. You can opt to have your work behind the pay wall or not. You can mix and match. This applies to members and non members.
5. Even if your work is behind the paywall there's a way to share it so non members can read it for free.
6. You only earn money when a member reads a story of yours which is behind the paywall. The rate is calculated according to how long they spend reading. Long stories can earn you more, assuming readers reach the end.
7. You can upload previously published work as long as you didn't give up your rights. Here's one of mine. If the work is published elsewhere online they like you to mention this and include a link at the end of your story. Here's an example.
8. You may upload to your own page. This is instant and your work isn't usually assessed for quality. (I understand there is some quality control and if people post total gibberish it may be removed.)
9. You may apply to publish through one of the many 'publications' on the site. These all have different rules. Some let anyone in, some are very selective. When you upload to a publication the work has to be approved and may be edited. This can take a few days. I've never had anything declined, but I understand this can happen.
10. In my experience, it's much better financially to use a publication, rater than posting on your page. Paying members may establish their own publication. (I haven't done this.)
11. You need to set up an account with Stripe in order to be paid. There's a minimum payment (I think it's £1 for UK writers). If you don't earn that much the payment is rolled over until you do. Payment is monthly and arrives in your bank towards the end of the month following that in which it was earned.
12. You can use your own images, or select from a large number of royalty free ones.
1. Set up up a profile page with a few details about yourself and include a photo if you're comfortable doing that. Here's mine. The information I entered there is what shows if you click on 'about', and under my profile picture.
This profile page allows people to 'follow' you or to subscribe by email to your posts if they wish to.
2. Find some publications which publish the kind of story you wish to write and apply to submit to them. This will involve reading stories which are behind the paywall, so you'll probably want to join the site to enable this.
3. Write a longer bio / 'About Me' piece and pin this to your profile. If readers have taken the trouble to look at your profile they're quite likely to want to know more, and this extended bio can be placed behind the paywall.
4. Use at least one image at the top of your story. Add other images only as appropriate. Don't forget to add the credit if you've used one you didn't obtain directly from the site. Here's an example where I've used an image from the site (the top one) and also some of my own.
5. Use appropriate keywords to allow people to find your stories. When you type these in
you'll see how many other stories have the same keyword, which may help you decide which option to select.
6. Don't publish dozens of stories all at once. Some publications don't allow this and followers are more likely to read new pieces published at regular intervals than 20 in one go.
7. If there's a subject you find you're constantly answering questions about, or explaining, as I am with wildflower meadows, then write an article for the site and share the link instead of having to repeat yourself. You can do that with a 'friend link' to make it free, but might also earn from other people reading it.
This post has got very long, so I'll stop for now. If you have any questions, please ask via this post rather than social media and I'll do my best to answer them and will add the information into the post too. Once it's as complete as I can get it, I'll try my luck at posting it on the site!
Tonight's #WritingChat topic is 'writing for online markets'. Everyone is welcome to join in (as they are every week). To take part tweet between 8 an 9 UK time, using the hashtag.
If you're completely new to writing anything, you may like to read my article on getting started as a writer.