Medium Just Gave Me a $500 Bonus for High Member Engagement

That’s one way to keep writers writing!

I have been writing on medium for about 6 months. In that time I have published 75 stories, amassed 184 followers, and become a top writer in LGBTQ+ and Travel (the latter only for one day so far).

Needless to say, I'm not exactly Tim Denning.

My earnings have slowly gone up month on month, but have never been anything too exceptional. I had my best result recently with just over $60 in April, up from around $30-$40 in the months prior, most of which was due to a single article about what it's like to be gay and fat.

Whoever said fun topics were the ones to go for?

Then, today, I get an email telling me that Medium has sent me $500.

WHAT?!

I immediately jumped onto my account to see what's up, and this is what I saw.

‘A one-time bonus for receiving high member engagement.’

After searching through my emails, I found the original message tucked away in some automatically sorted folder.

Now, perhaps it's just me being a bit new to Medium in the grand scheme of things, but I didn't even know that bonuses like this were a thing!

Funnily enough, as I have been getting closer to the 6 months mark on the platform, I have noticed the dreaded lethargy begin to set in. Ideas don't come as easily and the words don't flow as readily. A couple of weeks ago I barely wrote at all because I didn't feel I had much to say and what I did write just felt like yelling into the void.

And then this happened.

As a new freelancer who was screwed over by the pandemic, $500 is a significant amount of money for me. Like, I called my mum as soon as I saw it kind of significant.

It's also significant because it’s not the kind of thing you expect from a website. Medium has always been a place to be creative, where writers were allowed to be just that — writers. The freedom we are offered here is unlike anything else online. That, alone, is an incredible thing for Medium to offer its members.

The fact that we can get paid for writing about whatever we like is even more ridiculous. I remember when I first found this platform, my eyes nearly fell out of my skull they were so wide.

Here was a place where I could be myself and, if what I had to say resonated with people, I could even get paid for it. Incredible.

I always got the impression that, at their core, the Medium team basically just wants to foster good ideas and good writing. Yes, this site has its ups and downs, just like any business or organization. But especially when working within a groundbreaking model like the one used on Medium, we have to be willing to weather the rough patches if we want to enjoy the calmer waters down the line.

This bonus thing has only further solidified in my mind that this website is something unbelievably special, warts and all. Rather than just relying on the basic partner program payment scheme, Medium actually goes out of its way to support and encourage its writers, creating a much more personal, emotional connection with their hoards of creators.

What other company can you think of that would pay someone over 8 times what they were going to get paid just to say ‘well done’ and encourage them to keep going?

This is so much more than just money. Being a writer can sometimes be a solitary and confidence-draining pastime, and feeling like your work is valued is one of the most important things for a creator of any kind of content.

So, why has Medium suddenly done this?

Good question.

We know that Medium has been going through some changes recently, so this may be their way to securing the loyalty of writers and encouraging us to continue writing. Perhaps it's indicative of similar future stunts, or maybe this is just a one-off. Who knows?

Regardless, if the aim was to make us writers feel appreciated, I think it will work fairly well. I certainly feel more energized than before.

As for what comes next for Medium… that remains to be seen. But this is an incredible platform, so I hope you all stick around with me to see what's around the corner.

(He/Him) Writer, editor and all-round curious so and so. Writing about politics, being queer, and lots besides! Get in touch at sean.writing27@gmail.com

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