Medium Paying Pennies Per Read and Blaming Writers For Engaging Incorrectly is the New Low Bar

What game are we playing here?

Steffany Ritchie


Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

I’m tired and confused, like many of my writer brethren here. And I will say I had a decent month (for me) because I was boosted, so I know we are not all in the same boat.

But the payment rates as they stand on non-boosted stuff I worked just as hard on (if not harder) is enough to make a writer howl at the moon in frustration.

I just did the math, out of curiosity, on an article that by no means was a great success, but still. I couldn’t figure out why something with twenty-five reads had paid a dollar and change. Turns out that’s because Medium paid me five cents per read (I never claimed to be good at math!). My latest is averaging even less.

Maybe if I wrote everyday and hustled and scraped I could turn that into a medium sized latte, but still. I thought we weren’t supposed to do that now?

Are boosts paying better? Sure, and I am grateful to have received any. Honestly, without them I don’t know why I would bother writing here anymore when it comes to the money. It’s dire.

What twitched my nose to look at my stats, which are largely so depressing lately I don’t bother, was a combination of factors:

a. My Medium “bonus” this month — like many others, I received a small recompense for the mysterious mass scam attack that happened. I wasn’t expecting much, and just as well because I received a little over $4. Which in no way recovers what I was earning for reads between August and September.

b. They UNBOOSTED me. For real. One of my boosted articles last month had the boost marker removed. Luckily it had pretty much petered out but one of the few supposed perks of boosts is that they pay more per read — so that’s the end of that gravy train with any residual reads!

Unexplained goings on about how writers keep getting shafted does nothing for morale, no matter how they try to sugar coat it.

And all of this out of nowhere weird talk about how our $5 membership must be meted out and we mustn’t engage too much or none of our writer friends will see a dime is all a cherry on top of…



Steffany Ritchie

Hi, I write memoir, humor, music, and pop culture. American in Scotland.