About Medium's distribution system

Updated: June 13, 2021

Medium is a relational network, which gives creators more freedom and agency over building and maintaining relationships with their audience. Our goal is to create the best of both worlds: An open and simple platform where anyone can publish—once or occasionally—that also allows for deeper connections between readers and writers. 

Medium is an open platform on which anyone can write. Your content is always yours, completely owned by you, and it will be hosted for free, indefinitely. This applies whether or not you choose to make money by putting your stories behind the Medium paywall through the Medium Partner Program, or make them completely free to all readers.

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

Your post immediately appears 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 every Medium author and publication they follow.

While relational Medium is your best bet for building a reliable readership, there are other routes for further distribution as well:

Medium’s recommendation algorithms

In addition to reliable relational distribution, it’s also possible for a story, writer, or publication to be recommended across additional Medium surfaces via algorithmic or human featuring, for example in recommendations on the homepage on desktop and mobile apps, or through dedicated topic pages which people can follow. 

While Medium does not review every published post, if your writing is chosen for further promotion, you will see that on your post’s stats page. Learn more.

The goal is to build an even more robust network of thinkers and perspectives, where ideas get better because they’re connected to others, and where links between people and posts lead to more discovery. As Medium places a greater emphasis on the connections between readers and writers, curation should not be a bottleneck to those connections. Instead of focusing or waiting on curation, creators are free to focus on creating—doing their best work for themselves and their audience.

If one of your goals is to be featured on Medium, concentrate first on quality, but also ensure that your stories meet our Distribution Standards.

Medium digests

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

Email newsletters

Medium also allows you to send you links to stories you published directly to users that 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 emailed to them, you will see a checkbox on the pre-publish screen before publishing. Here you can adjust the setting to email a link to your story directly to them.

If you check that setting, the link to your story will immediately be emailed to them. If you do not check it, your story will still fan out onto the Medium network.

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, and 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 additional distribution to all publication followers. Learn more about submitting your story to your 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 additional distribution 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, and it will be part of the 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 Curation Guidelines 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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