Hi. My name's Brandon. I've had a success on Medium that I never even thought was possible. Why am I leaving?


You have no control on Medium. Sure, Medium claims you own your content. But do you really? First, you have to abide by every rule Medium has laid out.
Some of these rules are:

  • No sponsorships / third-party advertising
  • No images functioning as advertisements
  • No cryptocurrency, unless you explicitly meet their rules on cryptocurrencies

And much much more. Okay, those rules seem reasonable. But now, you can't just write on Medium and get popular. You have to join a publication, and oh boy, do publications have some weird rules.

Firstly, you're not allowed to advertise on your posts. But, your publication can. They can advertise on your posts. They can edit your posts to include advertisements. If you delete them, you get banned. Don't worry, you still control your data right?

Then you make a hit article. It gets 200k, 300k views. Wow, impressive, right? How much money did that make you? Nothing? But your publication made thousands in advertising? Medium made thousands in new users? Wow.

You have complete control over your content. But you must abide by Medium's rules, abide by the publisher's rules, and let the publisher / Medium edit your article to however they see fit.

Sure, you can publish without a publisher. But really, one look at Medium's homepage will tell you that this isn't going to fly unless you already have a large follower base.

How do you make money on Medium?

Seriously, not even Medium knows. Not once in their lifetime have they been profitable. The easiest way is to become a Medium Member, pay £5 a month, publish Medium Member only articles which beg your readers to also become Medium Members.

So, you've written some really good articles. You make no money from them because of course you don't. You choose to make it Medium members to make money from this article. Now everyone who reads your article has to make an account or has to pay for membership. Who's the winner here? You, making £70 from a viral article or Medium making £30,000 + more members from your article?

When you create on your own blog, you own your content. You can make money however you feel. You can do whatever you want. It's yours. On Medium, you do not own your content - no matter what they say otherwise. You do not make a good profit from content on Medium. You are the product of Medium.

Spam, spam, and more spam

Hey! That one person you followed because they wrote an article on computer science you liked? Guess what, they post daily about fictional erotica. Nice. Your entire Medium feed is now erotica. That publication you followed? Enjoy daily letters from them and getting spammed with so many articles about things you don't care about.

We are in an information overload society. We need less information in our personal lives, not more. Sure, you can just not follow anyone. But Medium's algorithm will show you stuff you've looked at, assuming you loved every single article.

Have you ever read a cryptocurrency article? Good luck reading anything but crypto articles on Medium.

With this blog, you'll only ever get sent things that you care about. Seriously. Did you like this rant? Sign up to my email list, I have it specifically set up so you will only get emails about rants.

With Medium, you get spammed no matter what. Liked this one publication? Suddenly they can send you letters, a new letter for every article. They'll spam your inbox to hell. This feature took me half an hour to set up in MailChimp. No more spam. Only things you'll love.

My point is, why can't websites be like this? Why do they beg me to enable notifications or to install their mobile app?

Publications can get fucked

Are you a big publication? Let us buy you. Oh, you won't let us? Well, go fuck yourself. We're banning you from ever making a profit on your publication.
Oh, you've let Medium Members post to your publication so they can make money? Haha, cute. You'll get exactly 0% of that. What's that? It takes you 12 hours a day to work through, edit and publish the best content on Medium? Remember. If you make even an ounce of profit from our platform we will destroy you.

This is what happened with HackerNoon. A big publication, Medium wanted to buy them, they said no, they were banned from advertising on the platform. No more money for them. This is why they've recently sought funding to build their own CMS system - to move away from Medium.

So, let's get out heads around this. In order to be big on Medium, you need a publication. Your publication starts to make money when they advertise, so starting a publication seems like a great idea right? Well, until Medium fucks you over.

Suddenly, this massive publication has no incentive to help you grow. They no longer make money from you. You never made any money in the first place.

Some publications are still allowed to advertise, some put advertisements into your articles. Some are banned from advertising. Who knows why that is? 🤷‍♀️ No one fucking does.

Medium is dying

Medium has never made profit. All of those followers you've gotten on Medium will be gone when it dies. It's going to die like Google Plus did. Sure, Medium did a lot of things right. Like MySpace invented social media - Medium practically invented blogging. Well, reinvented it for the everyday user. Ghost made a pretty good article about how toxic Medium is at trying to get people to sign up / use their app.

If you're just starting out, Medium is a good option. If you enjoy blogging, please don't stay on Medium. Choose literally anything else. Wordpress, Ghost, Jekyll - anything.

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