One of the first things that new Medium readers probably notice is that tons of the articles on this site are behind a paywall. You get access to three freebies a month, but beyond that, you need a paid membership to access them.
The paid membership is priced fairly low, at $5 per month or $50 per year. Despite that, a lot of new readers are reluctant to pay the fee.
When I first came to Medium, I was hesitant myself. Now though, I’ve had a paid membership for exactly two years, and I can say that I’ve certainly gotten my money’s worth.
In my opinion, the best thing about Medium is the incredible variety of content available on the site. This was something that I didn’t really understand before getting a paid membership.
If you only look at the top posts on Medium, you’d think that the site is devoted to nothing but tech, politics, and self-help. Although each of these categories is popular on the site, they aren’t fully representative of what you’ll find here. Medium actually covers just about every niche topic on earth.
One of my favorite things on Medium are the comics. There are tons of very high-quality web comics, and even a few mid-length graphic novels. To get a taste of what’s available, I’d recommend one of my favorite comic creators on the site, Sam Nakahira.
Another genre that many people don’t realize exists here is poetry. There are thousands of poets on Medium, writing everything from traditional poems to experimental verse. You can check out Medium’s poetry topic for some examples.
The topics that I spend the most time reading and writing about are mental health and sobriety. You can see more of my writing by checking out my profile.
Medium is much deeper than it appears on the surface. You can find articles about essentially anything you can think of here.
Another reason that I’m happy with my membership is because part of the money goes to supporting writers on the site. Medium has a “partner program” which allows writers to gain earnings based on how much time people spend reading their articles. As a writer myself, I appreciate this system much more than ad-based revenue.
Because Medium is essentially ad-free, I don’t need to worry about selling something or optimizing my writing for search engines. I can focus solely on writing things that I think readers will actually enjoy and benefit from.
This payment model isn’t perfect, but it does a good job of promoting higher-quality writing than you’d find in more ad-heavy sections of the web.
Learning to Write for Medium
The last big reason that I’m happy with my membership is that it has helped me learn how to write for Medium. Contrary to some rumors, you don’t need a paid membership to write on Medium, but I do think you’d be crazy not to get one.
Reading the work of my fellow writers helps me understand what does well on the site and what doesn’t. It also helps me find areas that people haven’t written about yet, that I think might do well.
In addition, it’s taught me a lot about how to structure a blog post, some of which I ignore, but most of which I use.
I’ve managed to develop a decent number of readers over the years, and I don’t think I could have done that if I wasn’t also reading and learning from other writers on the site.
If you’ve been on the fence about a membership, I hope I’ve convinced you to try it out. For just $5, it’s at least worth a one month test run.
My biggest advice for when you first start reading on the site is to proactively explore what’s available. There is a ton of high-quality content waiting to be discovered.