I’m Not Happy with Medium, Either

The new model is failing.

Jessica Wildfire


It’s been a weird couple of months.

Writers on this platform usually vent when nothing’s going well in their careers, and they want to take it out on someone. That’s not exactly my situation. It feels like I’m producing better work than ever. My stories are going viral on other platforms. Publications like Forge are asking for my stuff. Medium even followed me on Twitter.

Recently, one of my stories got “featured.” Honestly, I have no idea what that means anymore. It just showed up in my stats, without the slightest bit of context. Nothing really came of it. There was a slight bump in traffic, and a very humble increase in earnings.

My stats for this month are down, but they’re holding steady.

What has changed is my earnings.

Despite all the apparent love, I’m on track to make about a third of what I was before Medium rolled out its new “relational” model.

It’s a huge drop.

Like lots of other writers on this platform, I’m left with a big WTF when it comes to what’s going on here. I see excellent stories in my feed, but they aren’t gaining any traction. I’ve done what I can by dealing out claps and tweeting the great stuff I read.

The thing is, I don’t see anyone really benefiting from this recent round of changes. All I see are people grinding it out the best they can, because Medium remains the best place to showcase your writing. The problem is that none of us know how much longer that’s going to be true. Medium certainly doesn’t seem interested in paying writers fairly for their content anymore. They’re not being transparent with us, and they’re not really listening to us about what we want, either.

I’ve seen the defenses of and excuses for Medium, including that we shouldn’t expect too much out of the creator economy, and that it’s naive to rely on one stream of income. Regardless of how true that might be, these are deflections. I know how to survive as a writer. The issue isn’t us, it’s about how a platform that relies on our content is treating us.

Here’s the bottom line: