One of the most exciting things about the evolution of the media, is that there are new publishing opportunities springing up all the time. Medium is one of those opportunities. So, what is Medium?
It’s an online publishing platform that began in 2012. What’s great about Medium is that it has a mix of bloggers, artists and writers creating their own work as well as publications that accept and pay for submissions from freelance writers.
Lots of freelancers I speak to are confused about Medium – they know that some writers are making good money on the platform, yet others aren’t.
And most aren’t sure exactly how they might go about pitching.
The key, I believe, is to pitch to Medium’s own publications – at the moment this is about 10 or so core publications that have an editorial staff and pay around $1/word.
Medium is rapidly adding new ‘magazines’ – in 2019 it launched seven new publications.
So while freelance writers can contribute to over 10,000 ‘publications’ on Medium (and get paid through their Partner Program), I’d recommend starting with those that will pay you well for your words.
Let’s take a look at the Medium publications that pay and how freelance writers can pitch them.
And just a note before you dive in – there are no ads on Medium so if you want to read more than three stories a month, you’ll need to become a subscriber and pay $5/month or $50/year.
Is it worth it? Absolutely.
[Just something to note – As of mid-November 2020 some freelance writers have reported that editors at some Medium publications have accepted pitches but have asked the freelancer to contribute via Medium’s Partner Program, rather than paying them outright. Make sure you check with the editor first]
Medium publications that accept freelance submissions and pay $1 a word
Health and wellness writers will want to consider pitching to Medium’s science and wellness publication, Elemental. They’re specifically looking for evidence-based reported pieces, insights from experts and science-backed personal essays.
Interested in writing about technology and the future? Interestingly and encouragingly, One Zero makes a point of commissioning ‘independent voices’ (e.g. not only professional journalists) and are looking for original pitches around where technology impacts society, culture, politics and science. They’ve recently run pieces on how algorithms can identify cancerous cells better than humans and the timebomb of DNA testing and race.
It’s worth noting that because most of their readers are in the US, so pitches should be focused on (or relevant to) a US audience.
Pitch: Michael Zelenko – executive editor – firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow: Editor in chief Damon Beres
Future Human is a new publication from Medium, run by the One Zero editorial team. The idea is that the stories cover the science that’s shaping the future. So, if you have an idea for a deeply reported, narrative-driven story about biotech, climate science or food/ag science that impacts ‘real people’ it’s definitely worth pitching.
Follow: Senior editor Yasmin Tayag
Professional development freelance writers, listen up. Forge is Medium’s publication on professional development and it’s fantastic. They feature deep dives into problems and what experts say about tackling challenges. But be warned: they “don’t use vague inspiration-speak or glibly suggested quick fixes to major personal problems.”
Pitch: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Pay: Reportedly 85c – $1/word
Follow: Deputy editor Cari Nazeer
Were you thinking that Medium publications were only for science and tech writers? Nope. Heated is all about showcasing how diverse food writing really can be. Their goal is to highlight “the links between food and … agriculture, politics, history and labour; culture and cooking; identify, family and love.”
So if you’ve got stories about food and injustice, profiles or food and health, start pitching.
If you’re after the full list of Medium publications to pitch to, you can find them here.
Have you written for any of Medium’s publications?