Case Study: Medium

Nadejda Milanova

Nadejda Milanova · 26th January 2022·Case Studies

Case Study: Medium

Medium is a great place for writers to publish content without the hassle of all the technical aspects of building a blog. Writers can easily publish their content and don't have to worry about choosing a content management system, finding a hosting provider, or creating an SEO strategy.

The advantages of Medium are significant. For writers, it's easy and simple. The benefits for members are numerous, and the most important is the ability to earn money by contributing articles. But before you join, you should find out as much as you can. You can do that by reading about the stats and facts related to Medium.

Admittedly, Medium are very secretive about their numbers. We’re not sure they publish any metrics on subscriber count, monthly average users, or revenues. However, there are many reports that discuss their performance. And we like to analyze them here. With that said, let’s dive into the latest statistics and facts we have uncovered about Medium.


This start-up company is revolutionizing the way you blog. Here, professional writers are able to share their thoughts, experiences, and ideas. Medium has an easy-to-use text editor that allows writers to write and format their stories before they're published live. Readers can also use the Medium app for Android or iOS while writers can edit their posts on the website.

Ev Williams, the co-founder of Twitter, came up with a new company in 2012 called Medium. The San Francisco company has an office in New York and staff members from around the globe. Crunchbase Data suggests that Medium is a company of between 101-250 employees.

Medium has made many changes in the past few years. In 2017, the company switched from a digital advertising revenue model to one based on subscriptions. The management team announced in early 2021 that it was going in a new editorial direction.


The number of people who have created a Medium account is 54 million and counting. All those who register automatically become followers of the staff member’s account. And the figure can be seen by clicking on your following list under your profile.

A site for publishing content, Medium is a hub for writers with different skill levels. It's not just for professionals. Industry experts, amateur bloggers, and writing enthusiasts can all join in on the fun. But Medium isn't just about the freedom of publishing. It also provides a way for writers to earn money by joining the Medium Partner Program. Since it launched in 2017, over 200,000 writers have joined the program using Medium to reach their audience.

So who is reading your content? There are tons of people out there consuming Medium content. From registered members and registered users to external readers, the numbers are endless. In fact, according to SimilarWeb , in August 2021 there were 161 million visitors on the website.

According to a recent article from The Verge, Medium has a greater percentage of male readers than female. In addition, 53% have a salary of over $100,000. Alexa data suggests that more than 60% of Medium's readers are educated professionals 18-34 years old.

Type of content

Medium is a diverse platform for publishing articles of any length. Readers estimate the reading time and Medium has a tag system to help users find content they’re interested in. The top 10 most popular tags in 2021 were:

Lifestyle (520,000 followers) Startup (487,000 followers) Blockchain (473,000 followers) Poetry (455,000 followers) Life Lessons (452,000 followers) Politics (396,000 followers) Health (374,000 followers) Love (350,000 followers) Travel (334,000 followers) Technology (334,000 followers)

Most searched topics

What are the common interests of your readers? The answer may be different on Medium, but it's still worth knowing. SimilarWeb lists the top five interests of people visiting the site as follows:

· Programming software · Technology, computers, and electronics · News and media · Finance and investing · Games, consoles, and accessories

How does the platform make a profit?

The online publishing company Medium uses the “freemium” model, which is based on paid subscriptions. After Medium’s CEO lamented the pitfalls of using advertising as its main revenue stream, he vowed to give more power to the independent writers who make up the site’s audience.

This model is free for writers and readers alike. Writers can publish as many articles as they like, but readers are only allowed three free articles per month. Any article past that point must be unlocked by becoming a subscriber.

Medium is a publication that can be accessed for $5 per month or $50 per year. $5 of that monthly fee goes to writers who monetize their work by signing up for the Medium Partner Program. This program allows them to place all or some of their published articles behind the paywall so they can be read for $0.99 per article or $19.99 per month.


Medium is still growing. In the fourth quarter of 2020, there were 700,000 premium subscribers on Medium. Even though this is less than projected by Medium’s CEO, the number grew by around two times since 2019.

How much can you earn from Medium?

In order to be a partner on Medium and earn income from reading time, writers must sign up for the platform’s Partner Program. It’s free to join and offers two different ways to make money:

  • Member reading time

  • Through the Referred Membership program

In the first scenario, Partner Program articles can earn their writers up to 50% of the monthly fees paid by readers who sign up for a Medium account with their referral link. In the second case, even more money is on the table. As a writer, you can earn 50% of all fees paid by readers who sign up to become new Medium members through your referral page. What’s more, you will keep earning from each referral for as long as they remain a member of Medium.

The authors of the Partner Program also have a chance to earn monthly bonuses that are based on performance. These bonuses are paid out according to a tier system:

  • Top 1000 writers receive $500
  • Top 1001-1500 writers receive $100
  • Top 1501-2000 writers receive $50

Top earnings

In the past, writers could only assume the potential of their earnings. But now, it's hard to ignore. Back then, Medium published reports about how much money top writers were making, as well as the percentage of writers who made $100 or more per month.

It’s been a bit more difficult for Medium to release such data lately. In 2020, though, the company reported that writers have been collectively paid $28 million since its Partner Program launched in 2017.

It's not surprising that 2020 was a very profitable year for the Medium platform. It paid out over $11 million over that period. The largest payout to a single writer was an impressive $49,705. One of the most profitable articles on the platform by 2020 was written by a single author and it earned $16,700.

This is not the norm, however. But, if you're one of the lucky ones, you can earn up to $100 monthly on Medium. According to estimates, about 5-6% of writers are making that kind of money.

Medium has shown that publications can be profitable, but this comes with patience and constantly producing high-quality content.

About the company

However, there are a few things we do know:

  • It has raised a total of $132 million over three funding rounds.
  • The company has a post-money valuation of around $600 million as of 2016
  • Its annual revenue is estimated to be $48 million
  • The company made raw subscription revenue of at least $42 million in 2020 based on subscriber count.
  • A total of 20 investors have funded Medium, including Andreessen Horowitz, Spark Capital, and The Chernin Group.

Online presence, a website that measures traffic statistics has ranked Medium as 147 for internet engagement with 182 million monthly visitors. For the six-month period of March to August 2021, the site had an average of 234.5 million monthly visits, with the highest number of visitors coming in earlier this year at 234.5 million.

With a steady stream of readers and a growing number of writers, Medium is a popular place to publish content. Compared to blogging, Medium provides writers with a better chance of being read. Furthermore, there is a healthy amount of time spent on the site per day, with users reading 1.72 pages per visit and spending a whopping three minutes a day, on average.

How to Use Medium

Create an account

Anyone can view Medium content without logging in. To publish and interact with the team, you need to sign up for an account and log in.

It's easy to start a Medium account. Just head over to the site and click on the "Get started" button in the center of the page or the "Sign in/sign up" link at the top of the page. From there, you can select your sign-up choice from three options: Google, Facebook, or email.

medium account

You can always go back to the Settings menu for your Medium account and connect your Facebook or Twitter account "at a later date."

connection social pages

Setting up your profile with Twitter is an easy way to find your user page. It will be by default, but you can change it or leave it as it is. And from the Settings menu, you can control what email notifications you want to receive.

There are two main things to remember when setting up your account. First, add a profile photo and a bio. The bio should be no longer than 160 characters. Second, if you sign up via Twitter, your Twitter profile photo and bio will be automatically synced to your Medium account.

Following People, Tags and Publications

When people search for content on Medium, they find it from all sorts of sources - not just the accounts of the people and organizations they follow. What's more, when you search for content on Medium, people, publications, and tags all show up in the results.

relevant tags

Medium is a place for publishing stories. The platform is owned by the people and everyone can publish their own stories. Generally, it's an open field.

As a publication's creator, you will have the ability to edit and publish submissions as well as review metrics for all stories as they are published. You'll also be able to appoint editors so that they will have the same abilities.

Now, on to tags. Tags are similar to hashtags on Twitter. When you post a story on Medium, you can choose up to three tags that will then appear at the bottom of the article. Clicking one of the tags brings you to a page with more articles with the same tag, as well as some suggested tags for other users.

Following tags on Medium helps you find the content that's right for you. Personalized experience based on your interests is just as important as following people or publications with a social graph that's unlike yours.

Interacting with content

The "recommend" button is the "like" of the Medium world. It's a way to show you appreciate the content that someone has shared. At the bottom of any story on Medium, you will see the clapping hand symbol. Clicking this symbol will automatically recommend the story to your network …

Interacting with content

Finally, the navbar is a navigational tool that appears on the left of your screen after you scroll through a story.

clapping medium

To recommend a story, click either the clapping hands icon or the heart. Once clicked, these icons will turn solid green. You can see how many recommendations each story has received by looking at the number next to the heart.

Ongoing feedback is the key to a successful blog. The more recommends a story receives, the more likely it will be to get shared around the Medium network. Stories that receive the most recommends within a given time period get featured on Medium's "Top stories" page.

You can both recommend a story and share it on social media with the push of a button. By turning on the sharing option, you can recommend a story to an audience of your choosing, whether that be via social media sites like Facebook and Twitter or by bookmarking the story for later reading.


Remember the story you want to read later? Save it by adding it to one of your "lists". You can find the "lists" icon on Medium's homepage.

medium homepage

Writing responses

Unlike posts on other platforms, Medium posts are treated like individual blog posts. This means that in addition to appearing at the bottom of the article you respond to, your response is documented on your profile page. If you're lucky, your well-written Medium responses could even take off.


As a newcomer, Medium's response functionality can help you engage with people on the platform. It is also an excellent way to brainstorm ideas for your first story.

How to publish your content on Medium

The Medium homepage lets you write and publish a story. To get started, head to your profile icon at the top-right of the page, and then select "Write a Story."

writing a post

Writing in Medium's editor is easy and fun. There's really no way to mess up your writing style (unless you want to, of course) because the structure is so clean and intuitive.


Medium is making some big changes these days. The platform has experienced many transitions that show no sign of stopping.

Still, blogging on Medium will provide a writer with exposure and possibly financial rewards. This popular platform is among the top websites for bloggers and attracts over 100 million readers monthly.

Nadejda Milanova
Nadejda Milanova

An experienced Content creator in the field of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and WordPress. A true proffesional with a Master's degree focused on journalism.

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