Why waste years trying to corral your ideal readers when someone else has already done it for you?

Medium is an open-source self publishing platform that has been around for over 10 years. Within Medium, there are publications: topic-specific blogs and digital magazines that any Medium writer can submit drafts to for consideration. Submitting your written article to a Medium publication can help you reach a wider audience, grow your Medium profile, and help refine your overall content strategy.

Key Takeaways

  • If your articles get published with top publications, they have a much better chance of being distributed both to that publication’s followers and to Medium users as a whole.
  • Additionally, if your article is published behind Medium’s paywall, and Medium members read it, your article will make you money if you’re enrolled in the Medium Partner Program.
  • Submitting to publications is a Medium strategy suitable for all skill levels, and most publications make their submission guidelines very clear in order to attract the best stories.

This post gives you a rundown of what Medium publications are, the difference between Medium-operated and user-operated publications, an active list of current publications accepting writers, and how to start a publication of your own, if you so choose.

Jumpstart Your Presence on Medium.com

My Medium Jumpstart Toolkit includes a downloadable top tips PDF, an audio mini-series, and a walkthrough video that, together, show you what you need to do to gain traction on Medium quickly.

What Are Medium Publications?

On Medium, a publication is a digital magazine or niche online media publication that exists entirely within the Medium ecosystem. Publications are part of Medium’s DNA; the platform has experimented with many different strategies over the years.

  • In the early days, Medium experimented with acquiring professional publications.
  • 2019 is where things got exciting. Medium allowed users to start up their own publications. We’ll call these “user owned publications” moving forward.
  • Medium themselves experimented with hiring professional journalists and editors for some of their in-house publications, which we’ll call Medium owned publications, but in 2021 this strategy was scrapped in a much-publicized layoff round.

Starting a new publication can be a serious time commitment for a Medium writer. Some writers choose to start a publication that houses only their articles for a certain topic. You do not need to have your own publication on Medium in order to self-publish, but you may want to create one down the line as you build up your writing portfolio to have all your work published in one place.

A publication doesn't have to always be about growing an audience. You could start a publication of your own that just features a certain category of articles you write.

The top Medium publications, which include both user owned publications and Medium owned publications, can help you reach more readers on the website. When you publish an article with a publication, you’re more likely to be curated and featured with that publication’s followers.

It’s a win-win scenario: your favorite publications grow, because writers are contributing articles and feeding the overall content flow around a common theme, and the writer’s audience grows as a result of having visibility within that particular publication.

Related: Writing on Medium: The Ultimate Guide for 2023

The Difference Between Medium Owned and User Owned Publications

A Medium owned publication is owned and operated by Medium. Medium staff manage submissions and may commission writers. Some Medium-operated publications are listed below, but it’s important to note that many of these publications are now relics.

Medium poached many top editors and journalists in 2019 to launch these publications, but they weren’t profitable, so in 2021 the company offered these professionals a six-month severance package, which most of them took. My professional opinion is to be aware that these publications exist, but not to overly focus on pitching them in your Medium writing career.

Most Medium-operated publications are now defunct, as of late 2022.

In contrast, a user-owned publication, while still technically owned by Medium, can set its own rules on what it covers and which articles it accepts. Most publications want to accept as many articles as possible, as long as the articles are of a certain quality, because this is one of the only ways the publication can post enough content.

User-owned publications also can develop their own email lists, promote their own offers, establish their own communities on platforms like Slack and Discord, and create their own domain if they so choose. Many publication founders use Medium as a way to grow an audience of like-minded readers.

User-owned publications are usually easier to get into, which is good news for new writers, and they actually also perform better than Medium publications with regard to traffic. Every publication has its own submission guidelines, though most of the guidelines are similar.

Medium is especially popular for articles related to personal growth, web development, the human condition, international news, design inspiration, and the startup grind, but there’s a wide range of subject matter. Here’s a list of some of the publications that are actively taking submissions.

Methodology Notes

Logic

I often see writers do curated lists similar to this one. Some of them include publications that have no contributing opportunities in order to ratchet up the total number of publications on their list. They want to appeal to new writers and those who are new to having a Medium account, but this approach wastes time.

Yes, the Netflix Tech Blog and Airbnb Tech Blog are publications that live on Medium. But you can’t contribute to them. Those publications have been left out of this list.

I also left Personal Growth off the list, despite it being popular, because the only way to contribute for the outlet is to be invited by the outlet founder, which is not transparent enough of a process to be included in this list.

Publication archives

In addition to submission information for each publication, I’ve also given you a link to the publication’s archive page, sorted by article performance for a given month. This is a handy way to see what articles are currently getting the most traffic in that publication, and it helps you bypass vanity metrics like claps and comments, which are sometimes artificially inflated.

On the archive page, sort by “most read”, then select a year and month to see the articles published that month that received the most views.

There may also be a third party Medium tool that gives you this data, but I find that looking at what other writers are creating is helpful to get ideas moving.

Follower count

There is temptation to only aim for publications that have the largest followings. This is a superficial perspective on traffic. Submitting your Medium story to an engaged publication that has 3,000 followers may yield far better results than writing for a bloated publication that has 300,000 followers.

Strive to be intentional; since the submission page usually requires that you send in an already-written article, the labor is frontloaded, and your resources are finite. Be smart with your time.

(If you like this list, and also want to write articles for media outlets or magazines, you might also find the sister blog post helpful: 72 media publications.)

Jumpstart Your Presence on Medium.com

My Medium Jumpstart Toolkit includes a downloadable top tips PDF, an audio mini-series, and a walkthrough video that, together, show you what you need to do to gain traction on Medium quickly.

Top 20 Medium Publications of 2023, Organized by Category

  1. Business and Entrepreneurship Publications
  2. Self Help and Personal Development Publications
  3. Science and Technology Publications
  4. Miscellaneous Publications

Business and Entrepreneurship Publications on Medium

Start It Up

Home Page | Submissions Page | Submissions Form

Formally called The Startup, Start It Up is a publication focused on creators. Their tagline is “Get smarter at building your thing.” They are the largest active Medium publication, and publish trustworthy writing, career advice, and life lessons in the creator economy.

Example articles:

➡️ See what’s currently popular at Start It Up.

Entrepreneur’s Handbook

Home Page | Submissions Page | Submissions Form

How to succeed in entrepreneurship and business. This outlet features founder stories, design articles, and startup deep dives to inspire your entrepreneurial journey. They focus on appealing to the Medium member, and new writers can start pitching the publication whenever they like.

Example articles:

➡️ See what’s currently popular at Entrepreneur’s Handbook.

Better Marketing

Home Page | Submissions Page | Submissions Form

They publish tutorials, case studies, how-tos, inspiration, writing advice, industry trends, and tips from industry and business experts. Part of the same family as Better Humans and Better Programming.

Example articles:

➡️ See what’s currently popular at Better Marketing.

Making Of A Millionaire

Home Page | Submissions Page | Submissions Form

A publication dedicated to stories about how to make more money.

Example articles:

➡️ See what’s currently popular at Making Of A Millionaire.

Self Help and Personal Development Publications on Medium

Better Humans

Home Page | Submissions Page | Submissions Form

Aggressive self experimenters, rejoice! This is the largest publication in the self help world on Medium, focusing on human potential, and you can start writing for them as soon as you have an active Medium profile. Their tagline: “Explore your potential, find a new level of productivity, live healthier, make an impact on the world.”

Example articles:

➡️ See what’s currently popular at Better Humans.

Mind Café

Home Page | Submissions Page | Submissions Form

Mind Café is a publication focused on self improvement and wellness. A past byline of theirs was “Relaxing, inspiring essays about happiness”, and new writers are welcome to submit drafts to the editor for consideration. The pub is one of the top Medium publications in existence.

Example articles:

➡️ See what’s currently popular at Mind Café.

Invisible Illness

Home Page | Submissions Page | Submissions Form

A Medium publication all about mental health that publishes a lovely range of personal stories, and often has articles make it onto the front page. The submission page is clear, and new writers are welcome to submit drafts to the editor for consideration.

Example articles:

➡️ See what’s currently popular at Invisible Illness.

Curious

Home Page | Submissions Page | Submissions Form

Run by the same people who run Start It Up, this outlet runs stories about personal growth. Pitch your completed draft to the editor.

Example articles:

➡️ See what’s currently popular at Curious.

Big Self

Home Page | Submissions Page | Submissions: chad (at) bigselfschool (dot) com

Big Self refers to itself as a self-discovery outlet, not a self-improvement outlet. They focus on emotional wellbeing, mental health, and soulful work, and have a clear submission page.

Example articles:

➡️ See what’s currently popular at Big Self.

Human Parts (Medium owned publication)

Home Page | About | Email: humanparts (at) medium (dot) com

One of the top publications on all of Medium, and probably the hardest Medium publication to gain entry to, because the submission process is hazy. The outlet publishes stories on life lessons and personal perspectives.

Example articles:

➡️ See what’s currently popular at Human Parts.

Jumpstart Your Presence on Medium.com

My Medium Jumpstart Toolkit includes a downloadable top tips PDF, an audio mini-series, and a walkthrough video that, together, show you what you need to do to gain traction on Medium quickly.

Science and Technology Publications on Medium

Towards Data Science

Home Page | Submissions Page | Submissions Form

Towards Data Science is one of the top publications on the site — it’s the second-largest Medium publication by followership — and is about everything related to, you guessed it, data science.

Example articles:

➡️ See what’s currently popular at Towards Data Science.

UX Collective

Home Page | Submissions Page | Submissions: hello (at) uxdesign (dot) cc

The UX Collective is an independent design publication and blog built to help designers think more critically about their work.

Example articles:

➡️ See what’s currently popular at UX Collective.

UX Planet

Home Page | Submissions Page | Submissions: info (at) uxplanet (dot) org

Another large Medium publication on UX which claims to be “a one-stop resource for everything related to user experience.”

Example articles:

➡️ See what’s currently popular at UX Planet.

Better Programming

Home Page | Submissions Page | Submissions Form

Advice for programmers, with stories on topics like product design and machine learning. Part of the same family as Better Marketing and Better Humans.

Example articles:

➡️ See what’s currently popular at Better Programming.

Prototypr

Home Page | Submission Form

Prototypr is a niche publication that focuses on prototyping, UX design, and front-end development. The publication’s submission page is a call for all types of contributors, so there may be opportunities to partner with the publication beyond submitting articles.

Example articles:

➡️ See what’s currently popular at Prototypr.

Miscellaneous Publications on Medium

The Writing Cooperative

Home Page | Submissions Page | Submissions Form

The Writing Cooperative, a publication from Write Together, Inc., is a community of people who help each other write better.

Example articles:

➡️ See what’s currently popular at The Writing Cooperative.

Publishous

Home Page | Submissions Page | Submissions Form

Wide range of material focused on discovering new up-and-coming writers.

Example articles:

➡️ See what’s currently popular at Publishous.

Age of Awareness

Home Page | Submissions Page | Submissions Form

Age of Awareness is Medium’s largest publication dedicated to education reform.

Example articles:

➡️ See what’s currently popular at Age of Awareness.

Slackjaw

Home Page | Submissions Page | Submissions: slackjawsubmissions@gmail.com

Medium’s biggest humor publication which publishes a wide range of material intended to make the reader laugh.

Example articles:

➡️ See what’s currently popular at Slackjaw.

Zora (Medium owned publication)

Home Page | About | Submissions: zora (at) medium (dot) com

Zora is about the voices of Black women and other women of color. The outlet has an About page rather than a submission page, but welcomes pitches for stories that are a match for the vertical.

Example articles:

➡️ See what’s currently popular at Zora.

Start Writing on Medium today

Medium continues to be a terrific place to develop your writing skills and grow your platform online.

Use this information to start submitting to publications quickly and efficiently, and you’ll see your online audience grow with time.

Jumpstart Your Presence on Medium.com

My Medium Jumpstart Toolkit includes a downloadable top tips PDF, an audio mini-series, and a walkthrough video that, together, show you what you need to do to gain traction on Medium quickly.

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