About Medium's distribution system

Updated: September 28, 2021

Medium is an open platform on which anyone can write. As a creator on Medium, you will always completely own your content, and it will be hosted for free indefinitely. This applies whether you choose to make money from your writing by putting your stories behind the Medium paywall via the Medium Partner Program or make them freely accessible to all readers.

When you publish on Medium, your post is immediately accessible and available to share with readers. There is no review, no approval, and no waiting.

Your post will appear in these places: 

  • On your personal profile page: Every Medium user has a personal profile page with a unique URL that contains all your posts. You can share this profile page and your stories with your friends and on social media.
  • On your followers’ homepages on desktop and mobile apps, where people can see the latest posts from Medium authors and publications they follow.

Medium also recommends thousands of stories to readers across various surfaces — like the homepage, topic pages, and emails — based on their interests. Medium uses both human curators and algorithmic distribution methods to share great stories with readers. All stories published on Medium are eligible for further distribution.

If one of your goals is for your story to be shared across Medium’s network, concentrate on quality and ensure that your work meets our distribution standards.

Medium digests

Medium users receive a daily or weekly email digest, which contains a mix of recommended stories based on interests, follows, and reading history. Your story may appear in your followers' digests because they follow you and may also appear in the digests of people who don’t follow you via Medium’s recommendation algorithm.

Newsletters

Medium also allows you to send your published stories directly to users who subscribed via email to your profile for more direct communication. Learn more.

If other Medium users have subscribed to your account and chosen to receive your stories via email, you will see a checkbox on the screen before publishing. Here you can choose whether to email a link to your story directly to them.

Medium publications

Publications are collections of stories by a single or multiple authors that live on the Medium network. There are distribution advantages to creating or joining a publication:

  • Publication followers: Medium readers can also follow publications, so when your post is published or included in a publication, it goes out to its followers.
  • Publication Newsletters: Medium readers can subscribe to a publication’s Newsletter, and editors can send emails to their subscribers as often as they like. Learn more about Newsletters.

Learn more about Medium publications.

If you are a writer in a Medium publication, you can submit your story to them for distribution to that publication’s followers. Learn more about submitting your story to a Medium publication.

Distribution through third-party search engines (SEO)

Medium has invested a lot of time and work improving Medium’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and posts published on Medium generally rank high in search results on search engines. Learn more about SEO and Medium.

Medium Partner Program and distribution

If you are a writer enrolled in the Medium Partner Program, when you publish a story, you will be prompted to choose whether to make your post eligible to earn money as part of Medium’s metered paywall.

Making a story eligible for earning money does not affect your distribution status. Your stories are eligible for recommendation regardless of your Partner Program or paywall status.

If you choose to meter your story, it will be eligible to earn money based on member reading time. It will be part of Medium’s metered paywall and accessible only to Medium members, who are paying Medium subscribers. If you do not want to meter your story, it will not be eligible to earn and will not be part of the paywall.

Learn more

  • Review Medium's distribution standards to learn what curators look for in a story and what disqualifies it from being curated.
  • Follow the Creators Hub publication for additional resources about how to be successful writing on Medium. 
  • If you want to learn more about writing, start here.

Read more about relational Medium in this blog post.

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