Why You Shouldn’t Put Your Medium Story Behind a Paywall

How To Promote Your Affiliate Links on Medium


When it comes to sharing stories on Medium, one crucial decision you face is whether to put your story behind a paywall.

This choice can significantly impact your reach, engagement, and overall influence as a writer.

While paywalls offer the appeal of direct monetary gain, they also come with notable downsides that might outweigh the benefits.

I was once caught between making this decision but decided to seek out other monetization means, which have been more beneficial to me.

In this article, I’ll explore why keeping your Medium story accessible to all readers might be the better option, especially if you’re aiming for broader exposure and engagement.

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What is a Medium Paywall?

Have you ever been engrossed in a fascinating article on Medium, only to be met with a frustrating message: “

This story is only available to Medium members”? That, my friend, is the Medium paywall.

Let’s break down what this paywall is and how it works.

The Money Behind the Medium

Unlike many websites that bombard you with ads, Medium boasts a clean, ad-free experience.

So, how do they keep the lights on, you ask? Here’s where the paywall comes in.

Medium operates on a subscription model. Readers pay a monthly fee to become members, and this membership grants them unlimited access to paywalled articles.

These articles are typically the cream of the crop — in-depth analysis, unique perspectives, and high-quality writing from a diverse range of voices.

The Medium paywall is a system designed to create a sustainable platform for writers and readers alike.

It offers a balance between free access and premium content, allowing readers to decide what works best for them.

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Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Put Your Medium Story Behind a Paywall.

So, you’ve poured your heart and soul into a fantastic Medium article. You’re excited to share your knowledge, insights, or that captivating story you’ve crafted. But then comes the question: should you put it behind a paywall?

While the appeal of monetizing your writing is understandable, there are strong arguments to be made for keeping your content freely accessible.

Here’s why taking the free route might be the smarter move, especially for building your audience and establishing yourself as a writer.

1. Reach a Wider Audience.

Medium boasts a massive user base, but a paywall instantly shrinks the pool of potential readers.

Think of it this way: if only paying members can access your work, you’re missing out on the countless free users who might stumble upon your article through search engines or social media shares.

This could be a huge missed opportunity, especially if you’re a new writer trying to build your reputation.

2. SEO Advantage.

Paywalls can make it difficult for search engines to crawl and index your content. This means your story is less likely to show up in search results, further limiting its reach.

Free, public articles, on the other hand, are easily indexed, increasing the chance of organic discovery by readers searching for relevant topics.

As shown below, my Medium stories that received the most traffic came from search engines.

Why You Shouldn’t Put Your Medium Story Behind a Paywall

3. Building Your Brand.

The more people who read your work, the more likely you are to be recognized and appreciated as a writer. Freely available content allows you to showcase your skills and expertise to a wider audience.

This can lead to attracting followers, establishing yourself as a thought leader, and potentially even landing freelance gigs or publication opportunities down the line.

Consider This: A study by Columbia University found that articles with open access received significantly more citations than those behind paywalls. This translates to greater recognition within your field and a stronger online presence.

4. The Power of Free Doesn’t Mean No Revenue.

Don’t get discouraged! Even with a free story, there are ways to generate income. You can include a compelling call to action at the end, directing readers to your website, portfolio, or social media channels where you offer paid services and courses, or even accept donations.

The key here is to build trust and value with your free content first, making them eager to explore what else you have to offer.

5. Grow Your Email List and Follow.

By offering valuable content for free, you can grow your email list and social media following more effectively.

Encourage readers to subscribe to your newsletter or follow you on social platforms for more updates and exclusive content.

This direct connection with your audience can be more valuable than the immediate income from paywalled stories.

A large and engaged following provides you with a reliable audience for future projects, be it launching a book, a course, or any other venture.

The trust and loyalty built through free content can translate into long-term support and success.

6. Support the Community Spirit of Medium.

Medium was created as a platform for sharing ideas and fostering meaningful discussions.

By making your stories accessible to everyone, you contribute to the community spirit and help create an inclusive space where ideas can flow freely.

Paywalled content can create a sense of exclusivity and division among readers.

In contrast, free content supports the notion that valuable insights and information should be accessible to all, regardless of their ability to pay.

Hey There!

Tired of empty promises and endless hustles? learn how to you exactly how to turn your skills and passions into your first $1,000 online. Stop dreaming, start earning.

Get Started –

What are The Alternatives Ways To Make Money Without Putting your Medium stories Behind a Paywall?

Making money from your writing on Medium can be challenging, especially if you’re not keen on putting your stories behind a paywall.

Fortunately, there are several alternative methods to monetize your writing without restricting access to your content. Here are some effective strategies to consider:

Keeping your stories free and accessible can be a powerful strategy to build your audience and explore alternative income streams.

So, how can you make money on Medium without hiding your brilliant content behind a paywall? Let’s dive into some creative approaches:

1. Create and Sell Digital Products.

Imagine this: a reader devours your insightful piece on travel hacking. Inspired, they crave more.

This is your chance to shine! Offer downloadable ebooks, templates, or cheat sheets that expand on your expertise.

Platforms like Gumroad or Payhip make selling these digital goodies a breeze.

2. Join and Promote an Affiliate Program.

Do you rave about a specific language-learning app or a productivity tool? Promote them within your writing! Partner with relevant companies through affiliate programs.

When readers click your unique link and make a purchase, you earn a commission.

It’s a win-win: you get rewarded for recommending something you genuinely love, and your readers discover valuable resources.

Just remember, transparency is key. Disclose any affiliate links you use.

3. Become a Consultant.

Established yourself as a writing guru or a social media whiz? Leverage your Medium presence to showcase your skills.

Offer consultations, coaching sessions, or workshops (both online and offline) to those seeking your guidance.

The loyal audience you cultivate through your free content becomes your potential client base.

4. Paid Partnerships.

Businesses love targeted marketing. If your niche attracts a specific audience, explore sponsorship opportunities.

Partner with relevant brands who can sponsor your content or even a portion of your online presence.

This can be a great way to generate income while providing valuable exposure to your sponsor.

5. Build Your Email List.

Don’t underestimate the power of an email list. As you build a following on Medium, encourage readers to subscribe for exclusive content, updates, or early access to new projects.

This loyal audience becomes a direct marketing channel, allowing you to promote future endeavours like paid courses, workshops, or even your book.

6. Crowdfunding.

Platforms like Patreon and Ko-fi allow your readers to support you financially. By offering exclusive content, early access to new stories, or behind-the-scenes looks, you can encourage your audience to become patrons.

This method not only generates revenue but also helps build a dedicated community around your work.

7. Become a Freelance Writer.

Your Medium stories can serve as a portfolio to attract freelance writing gigs. Many businesses and websites are on the lookout for talented writers to create content for their blogs, marketing materials, and more.

Websites like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer can connect you with clients looking for your expertise.

8. Accept Donations.

Simply adding a donation button to your profile or within your articles can be an easy way for readers to support you.

Services like PayPal and Buy Me a Coffee make it straightforward to accept donations. Encourage your audience to contribute if they find value in your content.

9. Host Workshops or Webinars.

Hosting workshops or webinars is another excellent way to leverage your expertise. You can charge a fee for attendees to learn from you in a live, interactive setting.

Use your Medium stories to promote these events and offer valuable insights that encourage readers to join.

Hey There!

Tired of empty promises and endless hustles? learn how to you exactly how to turn your skills and passions into your first $1,000 online. Stop dreaming, start earning.

Get Started –


Remember that feeling of wanting to make some extra cash online, but being overwhelmed by all the “get rich quick” schemes and conflicting advice? Yeah, me too.

I spent months trying everything under the sun — surveys, freelance gigs that went nowhere, even those “watch videos and earn” things (total waste of time!). It was frustrating, to say the least.

But then, finally, I cracked the code. I figured out a system for building a real online income, and guess what? I made my first $1,000 online in just 3months!

Now, I’m not some overnight success story. It took work, but it wasn’t magic — it was following a specific strategy that anyone could learn.

That’s why I recommend this course, “How to Make Your First $1,000 Online.

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It’s about the freedom that comes with having an extra income stream.

The security of knowing you can create your financial future.

Here’s a taste of what you’ll get inside:

  • Proven strategies I used to build a profitable online presence (no fluff, just actionable tactics)
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Look, I know where you’re at. You’re tired of the dead ends and want a real roadmap to success. This course is your shortcut.

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Building a sustainable income stream takes time and dedication. Focus on creating high-quality content that resonates with your audience.

The more valuable you make your free content, the more likely readers are to invest in your offerings or services down the line.

Think of it as an investment. By giving away your knowledge and expertise freely now, you’re planting seeds that could blossom into a fanbase that supports you down the line, whether that’s through paid subscriptions on another platform, attending your workshops, or even buying your book.

After all, according to a study by Writer’s Digest, 82% of readers discover new authors through browsing and recommendations.

By keeping your work accessible, you’re giving yourself the chance to be discovered by those very readers.

So, don’t be afraid to hit publish without the paywall. You might be surprised at the positive ripple effects it creates for your writing career.

What do you think?

Written by Udemezue John

Hello, I'm Udemezue John, a web developer and digital marketer with a passion for financial literacy.

I have always been drawn to the intersection of technology and business, and I believe that the internet offers endless opportunities for entrepreneurs and individuals alike to improve their financial well-being.

You can connect with me on Twitter


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