Hey fellow writers, I finally did it. I can now say I write on two platforms: HubPages and Medium! I published my first article today. I've been getting the daily articles for about 2 years but never made the time to become a writing member. I'm glad to be in the company of those who encouraged me to check it out. I'd love feedback on your experiences and how writing for Medium influenced your writing/participation at HubPages. We'll see how it works out for me.
Good work, Jan. What's your Medium username?
I find writing at Medium is completely different to writing at HP. I get my topics from my own life experiences.
But... you can publish the same piece at both sites, if suitable. You simply add the HubPages link to the (advanced) story settings, which tells search engines to ignore the Medium article. As you get paid for internal views on Medium, it makes sense to do it when appropriate. Best of both worlds.
I've only done it once with an article published at my own site, but I have repurposed quite a few old HP articles.
Hi Bev, wow! Thanks for the heads up about publishing on both. Great idea to repurpose old articles and poems that are just sitting here doing nothing, not even on a niche site.
Um, I think my user name is @janshares same as here. I'll check. But in the mean time I'll follow you. I need to start building followers now.
Congratulations Jan! As you begin your Medium journey, don't worry about getting everything right according to the Medium experts. I do everything "wrong" and earn 6k a month. Just be you, write and publish regularly, and rest assured that you will find your audience.
That’s awesome. I just joined medium but haven’t written anything yet.
Well done, Jan! You took the step. I have published about three articles at Medium, haven’t devoted enough time there to make it worthwhile. Good luck.
I've been writing there a couple of months. Personal and opinion pieces work well there, compared to the how-to/factual/neutral tone that works well here.
It's easy to earn at Medium, but I do still prefer the passive earning thing here. No matter how well I do at Medium, I still feel like I'm on a treadmill, because earnings begin to fade if you don't keep posting.
Yes, Paul. That's the feeling I get. It said you only have to post every six months but that won't be enough to drum up followers and earnings.
That's right Janis. Medium just changed the rules for getting paid. By the end of this year, those of us in the Partner Program need to have 100 followers and publish at least once every six months. Anyone who signs up new needs to meet those requirements now.
Yep. I just signed up and I’m overwhelmed a bit by the idea of having to get 100 followers.
You don't necessarily need a lot of followers. If you focus on getting "curated" (distributed) and then getting into publications, you will get exposure.
Even the writers who have a lot of followers (eg Old Roses) use publications for exposure.
Plus, the more exposure you get, the more followers appear, I've noticed.
That sounds like the opposite of what I want to do, not a go get followers kind of guy.
I'm going to cancel my membership, not my thing at all.
My heart and gut are with you, Nate. But I'm going to stick with it for a while and see how it goes, for writing's sake.
You'll probably gain followers by osmosis or by following people them and getting a follow back or commenting on stories. I've gained 40 so far with little effort. Making money is another matter though. I might have to cancel membership if I don't get more reads.
I think you're right, Eugene. Maybe I'll pop over there once in a while and follow a few more people here and there. To be fair, I'm not that active over there. I prefer Hubpages.
Nate, I would be cautious about hoping to get followers who merely follow you back. I can’t be sure, but it seems likely that the algorithm ranks based on how many followers actually stay engaged and come back to read new content.
It’s best to get followers who want to read your articles. They are usually acquired by leaving meaningful comments that add value to their articles. And, of course, you also get followers when you write articles that attract their desire for more.
Yes, I get it. When I actually went over there earlier, I started reading articles I was interested in and commenting, and following the authors who write those articles. I'm not really a follow you you follow me kind of guy anyway. But I took the point that being active on there can bring about getting followers. My interest in the site is mostly marginal but I might take a look around and see if I can make some connections.
It's actually rather simple to gain followers. Simply read Medium articles in the same niches that you write in and leave thoughtful comments on them. Other readers will read your comments and very often will check out your profile, see what you have written and start following you.
When I started on Medium, I devoted my lunch hour to reading and commenting. I started getting followers right away.
Here's a best practice to follow: never link one of your articles in a comment on someone else's article. It's considered rude and a lot of us delete those comments.
Concentrate on leaving thoughtful comments. The readers who check out your profile will see your all of your articles anyway.
I started doing that already and it does work. I like the idea of cutting out specific time to read articles.
That's pretty much how I operate anyhow. I've never been a spammer fortunately.
Congratulations on getting started on Medium. I've been publishing there for over two years.
I discovered the same thing that Paul Goodman said, that earnings begin to fade unless you keep writing. The reason for that is due to earnings coming only from subscribers, as I discuss in my Medium tutorials. Even when an article is evergreen, earnings shrink over time.
Many of my articles on Medium build up increasing traffic from Google eventually. However, we don't get paid for organic traffic on Medium.
For that reason, I prefer HubPages for long-term residuals. This is where I still get paid for articles I wrote ten years ago.
Good points, Glenn. I did read your Q&A article on Medium about the differences. It was very helpful and informative.
Thanks Janis. I'm glad you found it helpful.
It's funny how I ended up writing that article. Another Hubber asked me a bunch of questions about Medium, and I typed up answers to all her questions. But then I realized I had written enough for an informative article on the subject. So I reworked my response into the article you had read.
I made my 5 dollars subscription back this month. Still trying to get accepted by some publications though. I wonder how the algorithm works as regards paying for reading time? I had an idea about posting images/digital artwork and writing a short blurb about them.
Yeah, I can't really work out the payment thing either.
I mean, it's definitely worth writing work that's 5 minutes or longer, difficult to make much money off shorter pieces. Presumably that's because even if a minority read it all the way through, they boost the total time.
Successful articles seem to get much higher rates of pay when they're tailing off. It seems like the longer it stays in the "hit parade" (gets views), the better the rate gets.
It's like an inverse world in some respects. Stuff that does well here gets nowhere at M, and stuff that would struggle here can do well there.
My approach is to try all sorts of stuff and see what works. I'd like to find at least three topics that work well.
It’s correct that we get paid based on reading time. So, longer articles tend to bring more payment. But it’s also dependent on how many articles a reader reads.
Since they pay $5 per month, and part of that goes to Medium, the remainder is divided among all the authors of the articles they had read. I think the algorithm determines that from what remains of the $5 on a daily bases.
Interestingly, I sometimes see payments for zero reading time. I think that must be from people who had read a few days ago and signed up since then. Medium does say they pay retroactively in that case.
I wonder how they work out the reading time? I presume it's more complicated than just timing how long someone stays on a story page and maybe they work it out from the number of lines readers scroll down through. As an experiment I've created a "masterpiece artwork" as a story, with not much text and I'll wait in anticipation to see what happens.
I have my own idea of how they work out reading time. I could be wrong, but based on my background as a systems programmer, I would think their algorithm is not only based on pure “time.”
It needs to determine actual reading. So, it’s possible that the algorithm includes random scrolling to determine reading time. When one reads, they tend to scroll a little, then stop to read, then scroll some more. And many times they scroll backward to catch something they want to review.
If one merely leaves the page open on their computer and walks away, it would not include the time with that algorithm.
I noticed a few times when my stats show views by subscribers, but no payment. So I assume those were instances when the reader opened the page and left it unattended. That proves my point about the algorithm.
Eugene, I’m looking forward to the results of your experiment with using mostly artwork. If one would scroll to each succeeding image and stop to view it, then scroll to the next, and so on, then you probably would be paid well for the time they are doing that.
I seem to consistently get several dollars/day for some old articles that receive less than 10 daily readers. It makes things closer to passive income than it might otherwise be. The successful articles generally follow a normal distribution of views but the tail end of the bell curve seems to always over-achieve.
It only happens with a few though. Most articles just fizzle out after 20, 30, 40, 50 views... sometimes much less.
On HP, you can build incrementally, but on Medium it seems to be more about hitting the jackpot as often as possible, and then you have to try and do it over and over. It's hard work! I guess the top earners have a lot of followers and have figured out what works for them.
I don't think any money goes to Medium. They don't make enough to cover expenses, and venture capital dried up. Ev Williams pays the difference out of his own pocket is my understanding. He's either got a lot of faith in the project, or he's desperate at this point, or a bit of both.
Paul, I have to disagree with your opinion that no money goes to Medium, and that Ev Williams supports it from his own pocket.
Ev is one of the co-founders of Twitter. He is a professional with a history of successful endeavors. I doubt he would be so foolish to use his own money to keep Medium going.
Besides, it’s publicly stated in editorials that a portion of the subscription fees go to the authors when a subscriber reads their articles. That leaves the remainder for the business. Here’s a reference article with that information:
“The Medium Business Model – How Does Medium Make Money?”
https://productmint.com/the-medium-busi … ake-money/
Glenn - That article you linked to isn't all that different to what I was saying, apart from the bit at the very end where he says that although he doesn't know the figures (Medium is private), he *assumes* it's profitable or close to profitable. That's not at all convincing.
We do know that Medium *wasn't* profitable from 2012-2019. (see below)
https://www.niemanlab.org/2019/03/the-l … 2-present/
In his more accessible style, JJ Pryor examines the financial and managerial turmoil at Medium in this article:
https://medium.com/feedium/is-joe-biden … cf29425e91
It's normal for big companies to not be profitable for years, that's a function of how capitalism works, but Williams seems low on funding. It's also why the big shakeups have happened. The previous model was failing.
I'm not saying Medium will close down tomorrow. But they are paying out more than is coming in and have been for some time now.
Thanks for those links, Paul. The article by Laura Owen was interesting, although based on what was happening two years ago. I like how she said it is "an endless thought experiment." I think of most content platforms in the same way.
They are all trying to find the best way to succeed. As it's been, most failed, but HubPages has been doing the best except for their struggle with advertising.
When I was invited to Maven's Coalition conference in 2018, I had the chance to chat with one of the people from "Say Media," one of the media advertising agencies placing ads on our articles. We discussed some of their experimental plans. Now that sounds similar to what Laura Owen described as a thought experiment.
We all merely need to go with the flow as these experiments are worked out, profitable or not.
That second article you mentioned was weird. Pryor started talking about algorithm problems for Biden and finally got into Medium's financial turmoil. I can't put much weight on his articles. He dabbles a lot with humor, and much of his content is opinionated. Nevertheless, he had some interesting opinions.
I saw Ev experimenting with many changes over the short time that I was on Medium. Once, we were paid for claps until people started clapping without reading. Then he changed it to pay for reading time, which I think helped a great deal for those of us who write content people actually want to read.
Now he is focusing more on supporting writers rather than the publications. That's going to be interesting to see how that turns out.
Anyway, it all boils down to one thing; don't keep all yours eggs in one basket (as the saying goes).
Thanks Paul and Eugene for your feedback. Very enlightening and helpful,
I found Glenn Stok's beginner's guides to Medium on here useful.
There's a guy on Medium called J J Pryor who writes a lot about various aspects of writing on Medium, which I have also found helpful.
Thank you, Paul, for your feedback on my guides.
My traffic is currently at the level back when I started. That's the problem with Medium and why I prefer the HubPages model. Medium's like treading water: if you stop paddling or underperform, you sink. With HP, I can take a three month break from doing much and it has little effect on earnings.
I can find Medium very clickbaity too. There's a lot of crap on there. I guess that's a problem of the internet generally, but still...
I agree. What I like about HP is it is basically residual and regular income. Medium appears to be a popularity contest and about pleasing the platform's peculiar preferences. I toy with it, don't take it seriously. Especially when I look at some of the articles on that platform. Vapid.
Since you are already there, create a Medium publication. They are easy to create and I think they display for articles in a much nicer way than how they appear on your profile. My 1st publication is called Express Yourself. I like the publications because it gives me an opportunity to meet new Medium writers. I publish my articles via the publication but had added other writers so they can share their content. I really like Medium but the Publications feature is neat!
I’m not sure if you were replying to me. I already have two niche publications on Medium. “Writer's Unblocked Potential” is where I publish my Medium tutorials, and “Relationship Crossroads” is where my articles about relationship issues are published.
You’re right about the appearance. I like that we can choose how each publication appears with color and font control.
LOL. I'm sorry. It's been a while since I have been active on HP forums. I was trying to reply to the person who initiated the discussion. But I'm glad to know about your publications too. I really do like Medium publications.
This sounds really cool. I need to read more deeply to learn the tools so I can make a publication. Glenn, I think she was referring to Eugbug. I followed one or two of your publications.
Possibly. She never came back, but that makes sense. I hope you find the articles in the pubs you're following interesting. Did you know that once you created a pub, you can include other authors to submit their work. I only use my pubs for my own content, but that is another option. Medium has lots of flexibility.
Wow, it sure sounds like it. I went in cold to publish an article for the challenge and didn't explore the site too much. Now I'm thinking my article may not even qualify for the challenge because I'm not in the Partner Program.
I have a different opinion on this. I think when you are a beginner, it's best to seek publishers for your work, rather than be your own publisher or self-publish. Other publishers generally have many more followers and can therefore give your work more exposure than you'd otherwise get.
I signed up there but have never posted any of my work.
I like the idea of getting paid by the amount of readers.
Have any of you looked into Vocal?
I keep getting information about it.
Is Medium placing a 100 member restriction on joining the Partner Program? This is specified in their help info, but maybe that criterion hasn't been implemented yet.
https://help.medium.com/hc/en-us/articl … er-Program
Yes, I saw that when I was on the site yesterday. It was kind of a let down to see that I have to get that many followers before I could join the partner program. Is this new?
It's already implemented for anyone new who joins the Partner Program now. But for us, and anyone else who already is earning, we have until the end of this year. I already have over 700 followers there, so I'm all set.
All their changes make me realize more than ever how wonderful HubPages is. Here, we don't need to meet silly thresholds. Our evergreen articles continue to earn revenue without much additional effort, although it still helps to update old articles when necessary.
I'm happy to hear my little word prompts have helped you.
You are so welcome & I wish you must success in this venture.
Do not know of them. Names come up regularly of other platforms, but I do not write them down. Congratulations. Hope it works out for you.- Manatita
I agree with both Nate and Paul's previous posts. I discovered that articles do better on HubPages over time with little extra effort (other than updating them from time to time). With Medium, I found I need to keep writing new content to keep my older articles earning income. Otherwise, they die after a strong start.
Many of my articles on Medium build up Google traffic, as they do on HubPages. The problem is that they don't earn money from non-subscribers. So for that reason, I am slowly moving my articles from Medium to HubPages after a year or so. That's when they stop earning from Medium readers and pick up Google traffic.
Interestingly, articles do have a strong start on Medium. I even earn well from them in the first few days after publishing. That's unheard of on HubPages, where organic traffic builds gradually. But, as I said, on Medium, subscriber traffic dries up after a while.
I've had rare occasions where articles would continue to do well for a long time. I think that's due to Medium's algorithm that keeps showing it based on prior reader engagement. That could be things such as lengthy read-time, applause up to 50 claps, and attracting comments. But no one knows for sure how the algorithms work.
I agree with that summary.
I do wonder whether the Medium earning process is any easier with a big amount of followers, say 2,000+.
I suspect from my research that it's still not that easy to earn in a sustained way without churning out two or three crowd pleasers week in week out.
I'm happy to work my ass off for sustained periods, but I also like the option of taking a break!
That's correct, Paul. At least I see it that way. Others may have different opinions. But since Medium requires continuous crowd pleasing content (I like that term of yours), it's very different from HubPages where we can take breaks and still earn from older articles.
I have 3700 Medium followers and have to publish 6 times a week to keep my earnings up. I've been writing on Medium since June 2020, so I have a catalog of articles now. I've found that linking to older articles in my new articles gives the older ones new life.
That sounds like good advice.
I think the algo throws up old work by the same writers if you clap them/comment. If I clap or comment certain writers multiple times over a period of time, I see older and older work by them coming up in my feed. Rather, than showing you their current content that you've already seen, it progresses backwards in time. August, July, June, May, April... etc.
It's a good site for writers pursuing one niche. At some point, I will have to just narrow everything down, as I need the money. But naturally, I prefer writing about multiple topics.
That's very interesting, Paul. I didn't know that it did that—showing older content when you clap or comment. Cool!
HP's historic problem is that it controls the content, but Google chooses which articles gets traffic. Medium is a closed system and acts as both judge and executioner.
One can only assume therefore that the Medium algo is deliberately set up to reward a small percentage of writers with bigger earnings and the vast majority with not much income.
I'm just thinking aloud here...
I think Ev Williams wants quality content and for Medium to be the future of publishing that he envisions (hence the writing competitions etc).
The problem is that the way the site is set up, coupled with the algo, encourages clickbait titles and vapid content (to use Nate's word).
I have to respectfully disagree. I've worked incredibly hard to build an audience and earnings on Medium. My first month writing on Medium, June 2020, I earned 48 cents. Now I earn enough to comfortably live on. Medium isn't "rewarding" me as you claim. I've earned every cent that they pay me.
That's why I clear out my reading history every few days or so. It's under 'control your recommendations'.
Is it better to just write a few articles first, then build up a large following before writing any more articles? Otherwise articles will go out of date and get archived before followers have a chance to be notified about them. Also if anyone's thinking of changing the published date of an article by deleting and republishing, take note of this :
https://medium dot com/the-partnered-pen/medium-update-you-can-no-longer-delete-and-re-post-old-content-e4882ddf2bd5
Please can you post the article you have written on HP on medium?
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