Medium’s latest rule change is a slap in the face to niche writers

Medium now requires writers to have 100 followers before they can earn any money. It seems like a push for less writing and more promoting of Medium?

Photo by Mike Tinnion on Unsplash

Yesterday I saw Medium had changed their Partner Program rules again. This saw a number of changes, such as the way writers earn from newsletter subscribers, and more importantly (for me), that eligibility is changing for the Partner Program.

While previously anyone in an eligible country could join the program, under new rules you have to meet a specific criteria which no new writer would be eligible for. Namely, you will need “at least 100 followers [and] have published at least one story”.

But how many new writers start with 100 followers?

Medium is full of articles explaining how to get more followers and readers. The simple trick is publish a lot, follow a lot of people, and leave comments on others work so they will look at yours. But honestly who has the time?

For me, I’m on Medium to publish regular articles and the fact I can earn a little bit of money is great. My articles are very niche music related stories which aren’t likely to draw in a huge audience, but my stats have been growing and I might even get to 100 followers one day.

But that’s just it, one day. One day I will get to 100 and I shouldn’t be penalised until then.

By forcing writers, especially new accounts, to reach 100 followers before they can earn any money from their work, it says follower count is more important than quality and content.

Ultimately it will lead to people spam following accounts in the hope of getting a follow-back and reaching 100, and if everyone is doing that then why even bother?

For now, I’m eligible to remain within the Partner Program until 2022. By then if I don’t have 100 followers I will be removed from the program and have to apply to get back in if I manage to find 100 followers. But maybe I’ll have already have moved on by then, and I imagine many others will have too.