A Thousand Lives was initially established as a publication on Medium. From there, we have grown our base and are now setting up this site to accompany it. Although we believe Medium is still one of the best places for writing, we also recognize that only publishing our content via this platform, may restrict our readership.
We thought we would make this post to explain to writers and readers what Medium is, what the benefits of publishing on there are and why we have it as our primary platform. Hopefully, it will be useful if you are considering writing for us, and are not sure whether to publish through the Medium Partner Program or not.
What is Medium?
Medium is an online publishing platform that writers can sign up to for free and get paid for their work. Unlike WordPress or other blogging sites, Medium pays writers for their read time. Crucially, this isn’t based on advertising, but for the amount of time people have spent reading your articles. This is enabled by the Medium Partner Program (MPP). Readers can make an account costing $5 a month for unlimited access to articles, and a proportion of this fee goes directly to supporting writers on the platform.
When using Medium for free, you get allocated three articles for reading per month. To write on the platform, you do not have to sign up for a paid account to start earning money, but it’s generally recommended so that you can read more on the platform and involve yourself within the community.
Medium is also known for its good relationship with Google and has a unique algorithm which recommends your articles to readers who have read similar topics. Meaning, that despite an article being published say, a few months ago, it will continue to be recommended to readers interested in that topic, and hence, earn money.
Some people like to think of Medium as the writing version of YouTube. Unlike WordPress and other blogging sites, Medium takes care of distributing your work to readers and shares it among topic pages, as long as it reaches its editorial standards.
What are Medium publications & Why do They Matter?
A Thousand Lives was set up in December 2020 as a publication on Medium. Although an online publishing platform in itself, Medium has publications within its platform that writers can submit to and set up themselves.
Publications on Medium vary in size. Some of the most popular ones, such as Mind Cafe, The Ascent and P.S I Love You, boast follower bases of 100,000+. However, there are publications of all sizes. And it’s genuinely suggested that every writer try and publish their work inside publications as they will likely get more views. You can self-publish stories on the platform, but to increase readership (and earnings), it’s advised to try and publish within publications.
Depending on the publication, it can take a while to be added and accepted as a writer. For popular publications like Mind Cafe, it can take several attempts before Editors accept your work. But smaller publications matter too. Our editor, Violet, has had most of her success through publishing in smaller publications such as Books Are Our Superpower. This is partly because they tend to publish less content a day and may have a more loyal readership.
How do You Sign Up to Medium?
Creating an account and opting for the MPP (for the opportunity to be paid for your writing) is relatively simple. You can sign into Medium using your email address, or a third-party social account. After that, if you would like to earn money from your articles, you will have to opt into the MPP.
Unfortunately, enrolling in the MPP is only available in a select few countries because it is facilitated through Stripe. But when you sign up for Medium, it will allow you to opt into the MPP. You’ll have to fill out a tax form to set everything up – but it’s pretty straightforward. Because Medium is a US-based company, you have to complete the W-8BEN form if you are an international writer. After everything is set up, you will be paid through Stripe, which connects to your chosen bank account.
Now, pay attention because here’s something crucial – which Violet, only learnt four months into being on the platform.
Medium claims that international writers are subject to a 30% withholding of tax on their earnings. Still, crucially, they don’t tell you when signing up to the partner program that there are several countries exempt from this, the UK included. When you sign up to the MPP, there should be a list of countries you can choose from which are exempt from this, so make sure you tick that box. Otherwise, they’ll take 30% of your earnings.
We might not have explained it very well but this article is great.
How Do I Submit to A Thousand Lives on Medium?
Overall, if you choose to publish articles for us on Medium, everyone benefits. Firstly, you benefit as you get the opportunity to earn money for your writing, which currently, we can’t offer. Secondly, Medium is far easier and less time consuming to use, so we will probably be able to edit and publish your articles faster if you submit to us that way. But if you would like your articles on both platforms, that’s fine too, just let us know.
So, once you’ve signed up for Medium and opted into the MPP go to our publication and click “Write for Us,” and take some time to familiarise yourself with our guidelines. When you’re done, comment your Medium username on the article, and you will be added as a writer.
From then on, you can submit article drafts directly to us, and we can publish them. On Medium, when you’re drafting a story, click on the three dots next to publish in the top right-hand corner, select “add to publication” and if we’ve added you, it should give you the option to submit to ATL. We will try our absolute best to get your article turned around within 48 hours of submission, but please bear with us as there is only one editor at the moment.
We hope this has explained how to use Medium. At first, it can seem a little complicated, but it’s very simple. If you need any extra help or information, please contact us, and we’ll be more than happy to assist with setting you up.
If you decide Medium is not for you, we can still publish your pieces on this website and give you a platform to write on. We’ll need your email address to add you to the site, and you’ll need to make a WordPress account if you do not have one already. But, please be aware, we cannot offer payment at this early stage.
Violet has been writing on Medium for close to six months. She has written about her journey on the platform right the way through, and if you’re interested, you can read some of her articles here:
Reviewing My First Month on Medium
How to Go from $1 to $100 a Month on Medium
15 Things I Love about Writing on Medium