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Medium Partner Program Updates

Medium has a new stats dashboard and new monetization protocols.

Step aside, grifters — quality is what pays the bills these days on Medium.

Medium CEO Tony Stubblebine announced Partner Program changes earlier this month. This is the third iteration on Medium's payouts strategy, and the first in nearly five years, as the company makes an effort to make healthy payouts available to a wider variety of writing styles.

Thirty days in, the changes appear to be positive. I republished a blog post on the site that received Boosted status, which only led to a thousand views, but made $58 to-date, as shown above. That's a decent payout, considering the traffic.

Why it matters


Medium historically weighted time-on-page as its biggest payout factor, but that has now changed. Instead of playing for maximum time on page, writers should play for maximum “reads.”

Reads previously referred to the number of users who made it to the end of the article, which penalized longform writing. Now, a read is defined as a user who has stayed on your article for more than 30 seconds.

Other changes are as follows:

  • You no longer need a minimum of 100 followers to enroll in the Medium Partner Program.
  • You do, however, need to be a paying member of Medium. At $5/month to be eligible for royalties, I think that's fair.
  • Membership referral commissions are ending. Also good—these sucked in my opinion, and were taking 50% of the available royalties pot for the two years they were in effect.

I experimented with syndicating SEO blog posts to Medium this summer, and that strategy did not do well at all. But by being more active on Medium, past “winner” articles began attracting attention.

Most of the traffic I saw on Medium this summer was to a post I published back in March that had long died off.​

On Medium, follower count tends to not be a factor in the potential for high distribution, making it great for beginners.

Updated strategic outlook

As with all platforms, the key to traction on Medium is to publish essays or posts that “feel” like Medium and that people would like to read.

My strategy on Medium has mostly remained the same since 2020: Publish essays and invite readers to join my newsletter. Medium is certainly a tougher game to play, but users like to read, which is key for newsletter success.

I'll likely be experimenting for the rest of the year on format types and topics to see what happens. If you're experimenting too, let me know what you find.

And if you're new to Medium, or need a refresher, I have an ultimate guide you can check out here.

ChatGPT Tips for Late Adopters

Source: Canva

So grateful that all these marketing bros are burning out on their get-rich-quick ChatGPT posts, because now we can have real conversations about it.

I've been interfacing with ChatGPT for months now. As with editing, and working with VAs or team members, the key is to give a great setup. I like using the technology for outline ideas, preliminary information on historical figures,

For example, as part of this week's new blog post​, I prompted ChatGPT for an outline to a 2,000-word article on executive coaching. Many of its bulleted recommendations were topics that were new to me, and I actually learned several new things about the origins of leadership coaching and various methodologies that have led to where we are today.

So I think ChatGPT can work well as a tool for tertiary sourcing — the type of source that points you to other sources — as long as you fact-check. It can also summarize large language sets — for example, going through a transcript of a podcast interview and summarizing some top takeaways.

The AI writing itself is still quite bland. So I invite you to keep learning about how to interface with this technology, while also sharpening up your own writing knowledge and style.

🔗 ChatGPT for Copywriting: 3 Strategies to Know

Image courtesy of Your Social Team's program Your Template Club.

🔗 The 10 best video cuts every pro editor should know. ​(Descript)

🔗 The 50 best mysteries of all time.​ (Esquire)

🔗 “What's the least fulfilling line to stand in?”​ — From Defector's fun mailbag series with Drew Magary, an absolutely God-level shit-talker. (Defector)

🔗 My Journey Toward Radical Body Positivity.​ Still a great essay from “Orange Is The New Black” actor and former bodybuilder Matt McGorry on the pressures of Hollywood and image. (Medium)

🔗 Why Fake Punches in Movies Look Real.​ (Vox)

🔗 Breaking News at the End of the Earth.​ A feature on the lone journalist behind Antartica's only newspaper. (Esquire)

🔗 How Will You Measure Your Life?​ One of HBR's most successful articles ever, from 2010. (Harvard Business Review)

🔗 How to Submit a URL or Website to Search Engines.​ (SEMRush)

🔗 The Secret Life of the 500+ Cables That Power the Internet. ​CNET's monthly “Cover Story,” a once-a-month multimedia feature. Someone you know might be writing one of these soon... (CNET)

🔗 As the SAG-AFTRA strike drags on here in Hollywood, Cameo signups are up 137%.​ (CNN)

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Cheering you on,

—Nick