I published my first story on Medium on October 30, 2019, but I only found out about the site less than a week before. I absolutely love this platform. In this post, I'll explain why you should love it, too.
What is Medium?
Medium is a combination of a social media platform and a blogging platform. Visit the site on the web or download the app. One of the great aspects of Medium is the presence of real live editors who review stories and choose whether or not to curate them. Curation is the process of assigning broad subject categories to stories. Curated stories are promoted and receive more attention from site visitors.
Another interesting aspect of Medium is its publications. A publication is a subsite within the main site. The most sought-after publications by authors are the ones owned by Medium, as articles within them receive more attention. An author must apply to be accepted into a publication. Anyone may start a publication, though, providing a platform for their own work.
Anyone may read up to three stories in Medium for free (unless you're reading a story using a friend link, which negates the limit). To read unlimited stories costs $5 per month. If you love to read, this subscription price is a bargain. A large benefit of subscribing is support for the authors. More about that shortly.
By the way, I've used the word “story” generically, but Medium is not just articles. You'll also find poetry and short stories!
Each story includes a brief bio of the author at the foot of the story and a small clapping hands icon. Clicking on the icon (up to 50 times) allows you to convey to the author how much you enjoyed the story. Prior to the end of October 2019, claps were the method of determining how much an author was paid.
Paid? Yes, authors who join the Medium Partner Program (and are subscribers) receive payment based on (now) how many times the story was read. Claps are still appreciated, but just reading the story is a huge benefit. Each story may make a few dollars, but the amounts accumulate over time. We don't know for sure what the new algorithms are, but indications are that if a reader subscribes to Medium after reading a particular story, the author of that story receives money as well.
How to Help
If you enjoy reading an author on Medium, you can help her by reading the entire article, clapping 50 times, and subscribing to Medium. Sharing the link to the article through social media is also greatly appreciated, as well as clicking the Follow button next to the author's bio. Following an author will allow you to receive emails when she posts another story to Medium. If an author you like provides a link to an email list, sign up for that as well.
I downloaded the Medium app, and now I have many stories to read while I'm waiting or otherwise killing time. I follow several publications and many authors, so I receive regular emails of updates.
I think you'll enjoy Medium as much as I do. Jump on board and read!