Medium Vs Substack: Which is Better for Making Money?


Blogging and publishing content is essentially what the internet is all about. Content comes in many forms, but back in the day, it was all about blogging.

With the modern age ushering in social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube, platforms for bloggers are evolving, too. Case in point: Medium and Substack.

Medium vs. Substack

Medium and Substack are two writing platforms that are very different from each other, but in some ways are quite similar.

Medium is one of the best writing platforms. They’ve made publishing so easy and made it more fun. Plus, they’ve also paired it with a reward system. Substack, in comparison, is a somewhat different writing platform. It’s a more inclusive site, which has no built-in traffic. Each writing platform, of course, has pros and cons. Let’s discuss in detail what these are to find one which one makes you more money.

How does Medium Work?


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The Medium business model is a subscription-based one. You can read limitless Medium articles only if you are a member.

Writers are paid based on the additional reading time from more Medium members. As a Medium blogger, you don’t make money off readings from people who aren’t part of Medium. There is a limited opportunity to make money on Medium.

However, Medium has a broad domain authority, which ensures that your article is ranked by strong keywords. High competition keywords also have a high search volume, which means you’ll have more clicks on your blog.

Medium operates on the basis of algorithms. The algorithm advises that your content is close to how Facebook, YouTube, and Quora have an algorithm to show content that a person may be interested in. This may be beneficial for others, but not good for some.

How Does Substack Work?


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You can write fantastic, high-quality articles on Substack and create an email list of interested readers using the Substack framework. Several sites pay money to collect emails, but Substack does it for you for free.

If you create an email list, the list is yours and you can move to another site to take the list of email subscribers with you. This is one of the pros that outperforms all other blogging sites, even Medium.

Email is a more personal means of addressing your target audience. It’s a really poor decision if you focus on algorithms alone. When you post content on your Substack blog, Substack sends the article to all your subscribers via email.

Substack is designed to maximize the number of email subscribers for your content.

One of the great aspects of Substack’s paid newsletter is that you can expand your newsletter and make money on a monthly basis.

You can now get your own domain name and add it to the Substack newsletter. Attaching your custom domain to Substack is really easy, and you could brand yourself more effectively.
And the most interesting thing about Substack is that  Substack makes money when the customer makes money. Their business model is focused on writers who post excellent content on Substack. They’re going to get a 10% commission on what you make in a month from a user.

Comparison between Medium and Substack

Medium has fantastic search engine optimization while Substack is not that designed for searching because of the subdomain factor and the popularity factor. One explanation may be that Substack is new relative to Medium.

Substack makes money because a writer gets a paid member, while Medium is a place where authors are paid on the basis of Medium member reading time.

While Medium also has a newsletter framework, Substack is highly designed to collect emails from your readers. The feature of sending emails is accessible in both Medium and Substack, but Substack is more geared towards email marketing.

As Substack now offers a custom domain feature, you can connect your custom domain to Substack that will help you create an audience for yourself. Even though Medium has a wide domain authority, with your own domain name, you can achieve much more flexibility compared to writing on Medium.

The Medium Business Model is more appealing than Substack, but if you just do a decent job on Substack and do your best, Substack might be more successful in the long run. Companies pay higher if you have an audience interested in a similar topic, and you only need to click a button to give them your thoughts.

Medium search engine optimization is even easier than Substack. Substack brings you a subdomain that’s not a good thing for search engine optimization.

In addition, the community functionality is not on Substack. Medium is a social media website for writers. Substack is a platform where you can post, create an audience, and that’s all. Substack is something like a personal blog. So, Medium is the winner again.

On Medium, you could make money on your very first post, but on Substack, you have to compete more frequently and use social networking to advertise your work.

The disparity between Substack and Medium in terms of the business model is well known. You could make money from Medium through the Medium Partner Program and by Substack by locking up your posts and having regular readers to pay you. If you want to start making instant money, Medium is a gold mine for you.

Just make an account on Medium, join the Medium Partner Program, and start publishing. You’re going to make that money by the end of the month. When on Substack, you need to build a following, build an email list of at least 1,000 people before you add a paywall on any of your stories, or reach out to sponsors.

Wrapping Up

Medium and Substack are free to use and free to publish. So in this case, they’re both winners. 

If you can’t decide right now, try both platforms, devote some time to each channel and use it as a marketing platform for your writing, offer high-quality content, and you’ll see a spike in your readers and email subscribers.

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