Medium is an online publishing platform for writers and bloggers. It can be used as a primary channel for posting articles, or as a secondary platform for gaining more exposure to your website’s content and promoting affiliate offers. Most affiliate marketers on this platform generate upwards of $2 000/ month by promoting the offers in Medium articles.
The platform has a massive audience of readers and is among the most visited websites in the world. This makes it a great platform for generating traffic for your affiliate websites or offers.
To get traffic from Medium, you need to publish posts with your affiliate links on the platform. You can either create new articles or repost your previous articles from your website.
How to Publish on Medium
To publish on Medium, you need to sign up to the site using your email address, Google, or Facebook account — and then set up your profile.
Once your profile is set, you can then click on your profile image on the right sidebar and then click on "Stories".
This will take you directly to the publishing page named “Your stories”. Here, Medium presents you two options:
Importing a Story
Choose "Import a story" if you have an article already published on your website. You'll need to provide the page URL of the article and Medium will do the work. After importing, you will be presented with a page to format your article according to the requirements of the Medium platform.
You can then format and edit your article. And once done, you can publish it on the platform.
Imported posts on Medium automatically have a link at the top that leads to the original article on your website. If readers click that link, you can start getting traffic immediately to your site. You can then implement strategies to monetize that incoming traffic, like email collection and more.
Writing a Story
To create a new article, simply click on "write a story" and then you will be presented with a writing pad that has all editing and formatting features.
Ranking Your Article on Medium
Once you have your articles published, it’s important to take the right measures for them to be ranked highly. Medium has its algorithm for ranking posts. It also has curators who perform quality checks on articles and ensure the content meets the platform's guidelines.
If your published article meets the guidelines, the curators will recommend it to the readers, and this will help you get the initial appearance on the list of recommended posts.
Curators consider factors like:
Other factors that may help rank your articles highly include; getting claps from readers who like your post, the level of expertise shown in your article, keywords, and the backlinks from social platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
How to Use Affiliate Links on Medium
Medium accepts the use of affiliate links but highly regulates their usage. According to Medium rules, you have to mention somewhere in your story that if the reader buys anything from the link in the Medium story, you will receive a commission. Not having a statement of this nature will be against the Medium policies and will lead to your account getting suspended or deleting that particular story.
It is clearly said in the Medium rules:
- Don’t spam. Don’t use deceptive tags or links or otherwise mislead other users about what you’ve posted. Don’t embed malicious code in your posts. Don't use deceptive means to generate revenue or traffic, or create posts with the primary purpose of affiliate marketing.
- You must disclose affiliate links or payment for a post. Affiliate links, such as link out to Amazon with your code, or any other link out where you will receive a commission or other value, are allowed in posts. But you must disclose somewhere in the post that it includes affiliate links. If you have received payment, goods or services, or something else of value in exchange for writing a post, you must still disclose this fact in writing within your post (as per FTC Rules and Guides).
How to Ethically Monetize Medium Traffic
Many affiliates go to Medium and start throwing a bunch of articles with links to affiliate offers and programs, and then wonder why they are not getting conversions. Or sometimes they get suspended on the platform.
One of the best strategies to use is email collection, and here Kaye Fedillo, specialist at Convergys explains this on Quora:
"Unfortunately, a lot of the affiliate marketing articles that I see on Medium drop the ball. They think that they just need to publish an affiliate link and somehow, someway, some visitors would click the link and buy something. It doesn't work that way.
Generally, you would have to get that person on a mailing list so you can continue to send that person useful information that will gain their trust. Once they trust your brand enough, then you can get them to click on a product link and possibly buy.
The good news is, once they're on your list, you can continue to send them promotional materials for a long time to come, and they may be able to buy later on. That's how it works."
Working with Well-Known Popular Affiliate Programs
As mentioned, Medium highly regulates the links placed in articles. Using CPA links for niches like sweeps, dating, and so on are considered to be spam. So, using them in your articles can lead to suspensions and bans.
The best option remains to promote affiliate links from well-known sites because Medium trusts them. Programs that you can promote include:
The Complex Relationship Between Amazon Affiliate Program and Medium Traffic
Promoting Amazon links in your articles is accepted by Medium. However, recently, Amazon has been cracking down affiliates that send traffic from Medium in the Amazon Associates program. Amazon rejects and shuts down associates' accounts that send traffic from social media sites that they "seem" not to recognize, including Medium.
Amazon will cancel your affiliate account if you add your Medium-blog. Amazon considers Medium as a social network, and it doesn’t allow any social networks other than YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Twitch.
Here is a complaint from an affiliate who went through this situation:
Therefore, placing your Amazon affiliate links in Medium articles will not work for you in the long run. It's better to use your own website to promote their products.
You can actually set up your own site, copy the contents over, and then edit the Medium post to be a rel=canonical to the new location. Try googling "Medium blog rel canonical."
Amazon also offers low commissions on referrals. You are going to need a lot of clicks to make a significant amount of money on Medium, especially at the start. So, it's better to go with other affiliate programs that pay relatively higher commissions, unlike Amazon, which has many hurdles.
Having your affiliate articles published by bigger Medium channels is a great way to earn money immediately. It's like the influencer ads strategy for Instagram. The channels that already have a strong reputation and receive higher ranking positions can easily get you a ton of traffic to your link.
Popular Medium channels may charge you an amount upwards of $300 to have your article published. Your negotiations will determine the price. If you have a strongly converting offer, you can see profits from this strategy immediately. It also works for a long time, bringing you monthly recurring income. Here is a case study showing an affiliate who earns $2 000 / month from one Medium post using this strategy.
In the case study, the affiliate wrote a detailed "how-to" guide for an Instagram Bot Service. The article further explained bots, and how Instagram users can grow their business accounts organically using the bots. He included affiliate links in the article and then partnered up with a big publication channel on Medium to post it. Right now the article generates him $2 000/ month passively. Read more about the case study here.
Medium Partner Program
Medium’s very own partner program provides a chance for writers on the platform to monetize their articles. Medium pays its writers according to the article views and engagement they get. The more the readers engage and spend time on your articles, the higher your payout will be.
Reader's engagement is counted by:
When uploading a post on Medium, you have the choice of having it open for the public or having it locked behind a paywall. By choosing the paywall option, your article can be read-only by members with a paid subscription. Members that haven't subscribed only have access to 3 articles behind the paywall.
You get paid when subscribed members read your articles, not the non-subscribed members unless they become paid members within 30 days after reading your article. Here is a detailed guide on how to earn via the Medium Partner Program.
To maximize your opportunity of earning with Medium, you need to utilize all these monetization strategies mentioned. Yes, it’s possible to apply all of them at the same time.
When it comes to Medium, where attention goes, money flows. You should always target the niches that successful writers go for. This is because such topics will have a big number of readers with a higher engagement rate. These niches are; tech, entrepreneurship, productivity, personal development, marketing, business, relationships, and so on.
As an affiliate, you should promote products or affiliate programs that are in any of these niches. That way you can fetch traffic from Medium and earn money easily from sales and commissions.