Substack Vs. Medium: Which Platform Is Best For You?
If you are a copywriter, imagine that many platforms will allow you to launch a personal brand and make money from your quality content.
In this article, we will talk specifically about two platforms, Medium and Substack, two writing software prevalent for bloggers. We will take a closer look below at what they differ in.
Medium And Substack, enable you to create an audience and monetize your content creation. However, there are some differences that we will see between the two platforms.
After all, they use different business models. So, if you are looking for which one to choose, this article is ideal. Read to the end. But first, let’s understand the two platforms.
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Substack is a software designed to help content creators make money and monetize their audience through paid email newsletter subscription services. It provides writers with an online platform to publish their content.
Compared to Medium, Substack is relatively more current. It was launched in 2017 by Hamish McKenzie and Jairaj Sethi. The goal was to provide a different blogging platform than the traditional one for people.
So the idea behind Substack is that you can earn from email marketing. If you capture a lot of subscribers to your newsletter subscribers via email, you will likely make money fast.
After all, Substack profits more when you make more money. As such, your goals are on par with the platform. Plus, you can direct individuals to social media platforms via your Substack newsletter service.
How Substack Works
With Substack, you can set up a paid newsletter with paid subscriber members. In that sense, subscribers will pay a monthly fee to access your content. So Substack is an email marketing platform as well as a writing platform.
So if you want to avoid paying for expensive software, like Mailchimp, for example, Substack is an excellent publication tool. In this respect, this email marketing platform is one fantastic Article editors available, and subscribing members can access the paywall to see their information on the content publishing platform.
Moreover, using Substack, you can brand yourself with your custom domain. So you can connect a unique environment to your publication with Substack. This is a great feature. You will pay a $50 fee, and you can host your website through the technology you can access with Substack.
Because it is difficult to rank in Google traditionally using a subdomain, this custom domain feature of Substack is essential. Plus, you can generate good traffic with your email newsletter in Substack, guiding them to your website. Be assured that this will help you build a compelling brand.
Suppose you love writing news articles and are looking for a way to expand your email subscribers. In that case, Substack is an affordable option to do. And it is you who will control how much you charge for your email newsletters, so it is possible to make good money.
The medium is already geared towards being a blogging and social networking platform and is designed to give excellent place for independent writers to make their voices heard, . Bloggers can use the platform as their sole blogging platform. Or as an add-on to a WordPress blog.
Writing on the platform can be very lucrative, as there are ways that writers can monetize their content type. Moreover, it enables writers to build an audience and establish their chosen niches and subscription model.
The Medium was launched in 2012 by Ev Williams. And it is a blogging platform that has become a highlight for content marketing and startups. The Medium partner program was created to help content creators with digital marketing, manage content management for them, and pay writers for good quality reading time.
The platform had significant growth in the last few years. Then many companies saw this growth and started using Medium to write articles. Some sites have even moved all their blogs to the platform.
How Medium works
When you post on Medium, you will be paid based on the time someone has read your work. Although this metric could be more straightforward, you will expect and then get paid a few cents for every minute someone reads your stories.
This may seem like little, but you may have a large audience, and these people spend a good deal of time reading your work. So your money can increase very quickly. This way, the more engaging your content is, the more people will enjoy and read your work.
If you are tired of doing your SEO on your blog, it can be beneficial to publish in the Medium Partner program. Because if you are not worried about driving traffic to your site and are not concerned about your domain authority. It may be an excellent option to expand your readership by publishing your blog on Medium.
Differences Between Platforms - Business Model
The business model of the platform is paid newsletter subscriptions. So you can publish your blog and make it accessible, which will be done as a teaser. And the goal is to be a means of familiarizing people with your content so that they can see what they will get on the platform and how good it will be, and they will subscribe.
Although you don’t have to charge for a subscription and can publish your content for free, Substack’s primary business model is different.
The platform receives a fee for premium subscriptions. That’s how it makes money. So you will need to start with an excellent newsletter.
All your content can be published on Substack if you post it for free and do not hide it from paid access. That being the case, you will not have to pay the platform for the privileges of hosting a particular free blog.
But after setting up a premium subscription, Substack will receive a 10% commission on your total revenue. This is in addition to the payment processing fees that Stripe charges, which is the payment processor that is tied to Substack.
Something cool to consider is that you can choose how much to charge your subscribing members. And the smallest you can set is $5. The vast majority of premium subscriptions are around $5 or $7.
You can set up a few subscription options, which can be monthly or yearly, and give a discount to those who prefer to subscribe to an annual subscription.
It may offer the “Founding Member” subscription option, but it can be a bit more expensive as it has valuable features. Still, it gives subscribers some unique advantages, such as sending a copy of an autographed book to its founding members and other gifts.
Another idea is to write personalized posts for each founding member. This way, you can have flexibility in the fees you charge and the perk options you offer subscriber base.
And another alternative is to allow your fans to decide how much they want to pay for their annual membership subscription. This way, fans of your work can support you with the amount they can afford.
Like Substack, Medium allows you to publish your content for free.
But let’s look at the crucial difference. While your blog on Substack is secondary in reaction to the email newsletter and is a way for people to get to know your content before they sign up. On Medium, your main feature is the blog.
The platform allows you to create an email list, but there are other focuses of Medium. It’s more of a secondary aspect. So, building your blog on Medium and capturing an online audience is the platform’s primary goal.
And what is the way to make money? What is your business model? In that respect, it’s simple. By default, all content offered to the public on the platform is free, and anyone can read it.
However, you can choose to hide your content behind Medium’s paywall. The platform has a so-called Medium Partner Program, and if writers want to, they can join as soon as they qualify.
So, being eligible is not tricky, but you won’t be able to join as a new entrant. You must have at least 100 followers and one published blog post. And after entering the Medium Partner Program, you will start earning money from subscriptions on the platform when people read your work.
Medium will mark your content as “Premium.” And all readership members of the platform will be able to read the number five premium articles in the month for free.
And once they have exhausted those five free premium articles, they will need to become a premium member by paying $5 per month or $50 per year to be able to read more premium content, premium newsletter. So if a member of your platform reads your content, Medium will pay you for it.
And you don’t have to join the Program Partner. There are other reasons to publish a blog and different ways to monetize your content. For example, you can complement your main blog with Medium’s to create your personal brand and increase your visibility. You can link your main blog with your Medium posts to generate extra traffic.
You can also include partner links in your Medium posts. And there is nothing to stop you from doing this, although overdoing it can harm engagement rates on Medium. That said, Medium is about publishing your work on the web and creating a blog.
Key Differences Between Platforms
If you want to build your brand through SEO, Medium may be your best alternative. Although Substack has the best option of adding a custom domain, Medium is better than Substack.
Even though you can send emails to your subscribing members using any platform, Substack will be the best option. Substack is explicitly designed for the newsletter and email writers.
If you want to become a writer and are looking for the right platform to improve your blog, Medium will be your right choice. It has a higher domain authority, increasing your online visibility. Plus, you will have more tools that will help you drive traffic to your blog.
Medium is an excellent platform for connecting with writers and other business professionals, especially regarding startup space and personal development, as many companies have blogs on Medium. And it will only take a few minutes to enter the Medium Partner Program and start earning for your work.
So if your goal is to earn money from your writing and earn money from subscriptions, these two platforms are the most popular. However, they work differently.
A medium might be the best option to start your work if you prefer to write a blog. On the other hand, if you want to reach people to subscribe to your email newsletters, the best option is to use Substack.
It is vital to make this comparison between platforms, so you can decide which one will fit better with what you want to do. You can make money with either Substack or Medium.
We hope this article has been helpful and clarified your doubts about some details of both platforms. If not there is a ton of content around these topics in our ecommerce business hub.
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Paul Martinez is the founder of EcomSidekick.com. He is an expert in the areas of finance, real estate, eCommerce, traffic and conversion.
Join him on EcomSidekick.com to learn how to improve your financial life and excel in these areas. Before starting this media site, Paul built from scratch and managed two multi-million dollar companies. One in the real estate sector and one in the eCommerce sector.