I too was attracted for the possibility of getting money from my Medium articles. However, coming from outside the USA, it seems I am required to do some paperwork before I can be a paid Medium contributor. I didn’t think the effort of that paperwork was worth it— as I have more important objective than a little side cash.
And being paid is a moot point. The Medium algorithms don’t seem to be putting my articles out there. And I don’t think that is a reflection of my work. I have recycled articles I posted on other internet forums, and they have generated a fair amount of discussion. But on Medium, I might get 10 views.
In spite of that, I do enjoy being on Medium. There is a higher quality of writers (here I am average, maybe lower; other places I was near the top). After reading maybe 1000 articles, I have been both entertained and enlightened. Medium has been my most “fun” internet forum.
Here’s two things I have noticed on Medium. First, most articles get less than 100 claps, which means these writers are not getting traction, similar to my experience. Second, most writers have been here less than one year, which means they get frustrated with Medium and direct their efforts somewhere else. The bottom line: it is very competitive on Medium. At least 90% of us are never going to be paid a reasonable wage for our efforts on Medium.
So I’m pretty sure many Medium contributors are asking the question: “Should I quit?”. There’s an old saying “Stop beating a dead horse”. The trouble is it is hard to know whether whether our Medium horse is dead or not. Are we at the cusp of becoming a valued Medium contributor? Or should we quit and move on to something else? I think these two questions have been asked by many artistic people as they try to make a living in their craft.
As I said, I have a more important objective on Medium. I have developed an alternative system of governance that I’m hoping one day will replace western democracy. I have been working on this project for 22 years, and have put it on the self to collect dust several times over this period. I was hoping that the election of Mr. Trump would convince a few people to consider my ideas. Like the other internet forums I have taken part in, I’m not getting tangible results.
I do have a new marketing angle to try out. I will try it out in Medium in late January. I suspect it is not going to go very far, so my departure from Medium is a likely result.
I am thankful for Medium for putting this forum together for me to try my work out.
Maybe in the future, those of us who want to work as artists will find employment in the arts. But until then, we have to understand this field is very competitive. Many of us will have to make the decision to drop out.