The only constant is change, and that’s even more true on Medium. As soon as you become too comfortable here, as soon as you think you’ve got this and start getting followers and making some money, the one thing you can be sure of is that it won’t last.
The latest deluge of criticism and even rage of some writers over the recent changes thus made me laugh. Not because it would be funny, but because I’ve been here for about 7+ years and I’ve seen all this before.
A bit of history
I started to write here before it was trendy to be on Medium. This was well before they started to pay writers and charge readers. It was a time of sharing our words for free, for the sake of sharing and connecting with others.
It was an amazing platform unlike anything I’ve seen before. Like so many other writers before and after me, I fell in love with it. And then they did it for the first time. Bam, they changed the rules overnight and without asking us, writers, for any kind of feedback.
First, there was a layoff of half of their staff. They were done with ads and they wanted to try something new. The investors were pushing for monetization and wanted to see some ROI.
That’s when they rolled in the paid subscription option and stated Medium Partner Program for writers. Only, not for everyone. I, for instance, couldn’t get paid, for Stripe wasn’t available in my country and there was no other option.
So some writers were paid handsomely while others were paid zilch. Publications and their editors weren’t and still aren’t paid either (other, that is, than publications run by Medium).
Then, many moons later, I learned that Stripe was finally available in my and several other countries. What happened then was that the payouts dropped significantly for everyone involved.
The most I managed to earn at that time was a bit over $200 per month. That was November 2017. Then it got worse and I stayed below $100 per month. Often, way below.
This was also the time when Medium started to call us content generators instead of writers. That choice of words alone spoke volumes.