Georgia NeSmith
3 min readAug 14, 2021

-- it isn't. I've been writing in Medium's partnership program for 18 months. In all that time, not a single one of my 60 pieces written in this time has been curated. I have earned a total of $21 during that time, or $1.65 per month.

I got a respectable amount of traffic for several of my articles. So why the low payments? Because the majority of my traffic comes from outside sources. Biggest contributor? Google.

But they aren't Medium members. People have googled my subjects or my name. That ALONE promotes Medium.

Now they want you to work at getting outside traffic to become members.

Given all the work I do to write and polish my articles -- I often spend up to 3-4 days on ONE -- I am not going to do Medium's work to bring in subscribers. Outsiders already come to my articles. If Medium appealed to them, they'd become members. Plus I have no way of knowing who they are or how to get in touch with them!

So I suppose Medium expects me to promote my work.

I already promote my articles -- with every new post -- to my 7K+ subscribers divided between Facebook and Twitter. A few times, when relevant, I have linked appropriate Medium articles on my Quora page -- where, btw, I've had more than 140K hits since I started, in a rather short time period.

I put in more time with Quora even tho -- until now at least -- I wasn't paid. Why have I done that? Because there's no one deciding whether to promote my questions and answers to the platform. I.E., there are no gatekeepers. They rely on participants to inform them of inappropriate content.

And the readers are the "gatekeepers."

So I get A LOT of responses...for which Quora will now pay me as well as for the main posts I do. Whatever traffic I get, whether through my main posts or my responses, I will get PAID for.

AND I get respect from respondents. I am a rather excellent 'Ann Landers" type respondent building on my 73 years of living and the brain and knowledge gained through 30+ years of therapy, as well as a doctorate in mass communication. But while Landers was limited in the amount of detail she could put into her columns, I can use whatever space I need to give what I consider to be a satisfactory and helpful response.

I also promote my articles -- when relevant -- on Linked in.

Bottom line, I spend more time on Quora because I get MORE INTERACTIONS because there are no GATEKEEPERS deciding whether to pass something on. And now, that will translate into income. Significant income.

I will still write on Quora because my work here involves essays. And a few times I have translated my most popular content on Quora into essays here.

Oh, by the way, Quora managers have given me kudos for what and how I write. Now I can turn that into income. EVEN for my replies to others. AND they don't distinguish between members and nonmembers as far as payment goes. So, the more I participate with my genuinely helpful advice, the more money I make.

So now, not only will I be paid for my articles, I will be paid for the apparently very helpful responses I give to others. Time spent will NOW equal income earned.

Right now I am suspecting that Medium won't promote my articles because they think I'm too old for their "target market," which I suspect is Millennials and younger.

Funny thing. The youthful (and I mean, like, TEENAGERS) on Quora really appreciate me. I don't give advice that those who stereotype old people would expect. My 30 years plus of teaching college students...uhhmmm...TO WRITE...has kept me young and open to new ideas, new information.

Well I have taken up a lot of space here. But of course you can quickly skim over and skip if you don't find it interesting. You can even delete this reply. (I've learned to copy in case someone decides to do that. So far it's happened only once.)



Georgia NeSmith

Retired professor, feminist, writer, photographer, activist, grandmother of 5, overall Wise Woman. Phd UIA School of Journalism & Mass Communication, 1994.