Medium vs Substack: Which Platform Should You Choose for Your Blog?

When starting a blog or newsletter, two popular options are Medium and Substack. Medium is a content platform where writers can publish articles and reach a broad audience, while Substack is focused on building a subscriber base for newsletters. Each platform has benefits and drawbacks; choosing the right one depends on your goals and priorities.

Medium offers a built-in audience that can help you gain exposure for your writing. Articles posted on Medium have the potential to gain traction on the platform and get shared across social media. Medium also allows writers to earn money through its Partner Program, which pays based on engagement metrics such as reads and claps. However, Medium’s Partner Program is not the most reliable source of income, and writers may find it challenging to build an email list or develop a loyal subscriber base.

Substack, on the other hand, prioritizes building an email list and cultivating a direct connection with readers. Substack makes it easy to create and send newsletters and offers a range of customization options and tools for managing subscribers. Substack also allows writers to earn money through paid newsletters, meaning subscribers pay a monthly or annual fee to access content. However, building a subscriber base on Substack can be challenging without an existing audience, and competition on the platform is growing rapidly as more writers and creators join.

Ultimately, the decision between Medium and Substack depends on your priorities as a writer or creator. For example, if you want to gain exposure for your writing and have the potential to earn money without relying on a subscriber base, Medium may be the better choice. On the other hand, if you value building a direct connection with readers and want more control over your content and monetization strategies, Substack may be a better fit.

Comparing Medium and Substack

When it comes to publishing content online, Medium and Substack are two popular platforms that come to mind. However, while they offer a way to share written content, there are some differences between them.

Platform & User Experience

Medium is a centralized platform where writers can create an account, start a blog, and publish their content directly on the site. Readers can also follow their favorite writers, like and share articles, and create their collections of articles.

On the other hand, Substack is a decentralized platform that enables writers to create and host their email newsletters. Subscribers can choose to receive updates via email and can read the content right from their inbox.


The ability to monetize content is an important aspect of online publishing, and both Medium and Substack offer options to writers.

Medium has a Partner Program that pays writers based on engagement with their articles. To be eligible, writers must apply and get accepted into the program. Payment varies depending on the number of readers that engage with a writer’s article.

Substack, however, allows writers to charge for their newsletters. Subscribers can pay a monthly fee to receive exclusive content from their favorite writers.


One key difference between Medium and Substack is their audience. Since Medium is a central platform with various topics and writers, it attracts a broad range of readers. Substack, conversely, is more niche-focused, with writers tending to have a specific area of expertise.

Final Thoughts

Medium and Substack offer unique platforms for writers to share their content online. The decision to use one over the other ultimately depends on the writer’s goals. Medium is a great platform for writers who want to reach a broad audience and can benefit from the potential for monetization through engagement. Substack, on the other hand, is a good choice for those with a dedicated following and looking for a way to monetize their content through subscriptions.

Medium VS Substack

Medium and Substack are two of the most popular options when choosing a platform for your content. Medium, in particular, has been around since 2012 and has a large user base that has grown steadily. Here are some pros and cons of using Medium:


  • Wide reach: Medium’s platform offers a vast audience of readers from all over the world. This means that your content has the potential to reach a broader audience than it might on other platforms.
  • Social aspects: Medium allows you to create a profile, follow and be followed by other writers, and read their work. It also has a clapping system that lets readers show appreciation for your writing by clicking on a clapping hand icon.
  • Ease of use: Medium’s user interface is sleek and user-friendly, making it easy to navigate. Additionally, it provides a straightforward writing experience that doesn’t require much technical knowledge.
  • Potential for earnings: Medium lets writers monetize their work with its partner program, making earning money through their writing possible.


  • Lack of control: When you publish on Medium, you’re bound by their terms of service, which means that they own your content, and they can remove it at any time.
  • Limited design customization: Medium’s design customization features are limited, meaning your content may not be as distinctive as you might want it to be.
  • No email newsletter management: Unlike Substack, Medium does not provide newsletter management features. You must use a third-party service to handle the management and distribution to have a newsletter.
  • Paywall limitations: Medium’s partner program relies on a paywall system that requires readers to pay a subscription fee to access your content. This could limit the number of readers viewing and interacting with your content.

In conclusion, Medium offers a wide reach, social aspects, ease of use, and potential earnings. But, on the other hand, it gives up some control over your content, has limited design customization, no email newsletter management, and paywall limitations.

Why Substack is Gaining Popularity

As a subscription-based platform, Substack has emerged as a competitor to Medium, a platform that started as a free-to-use publishing platform.

Here are some reasons why Substack is gaining popularity:

  1. Tailor-made for Writers and Journalists

Substack is designed specifically for writers and journalists who want to monetize their content and build an audience. With its clean interface and customizable templates, writers can focus on creating content without worrying about the technical aspects of running a website. As a result, writers can build their brand and audience on a platform solely dedicated to their craft.

  1. Incentives to Create Quality Content

Substack’s business model is based on a revenue-sharing model, where writers keep most of their subscription revenue, and Substack takes a percentage of it. This model incentivizes writers to create high-quality content that resonates with readers, as the more subscribers they attract, the more revenue they can generate.

  1. Direct Relationship with Readers

Substack allows writers to build a direct relationship with their readers. Writers can communicate with their subscribers through email newsletters, create podcasts, and host events. This direct relationship creates a sense of community and loyalty that is hard to replicate on other platforms.

  1. Monetization Flexibility

Substack offers writers the flexibility to monetize their content in various ways. In addition to subscriptions, writers can offer exclusive content, merchandise, and even courses. This flexibility allows writers to experiment with different revenue models and find what works best for them.

  1. Curation and Discovery

Substack’s team curates their platform, providing readers with recommendations of high-quality content and a way to discover new writers. This curation signals to the reader that their reading content is worth their time, making it easier for writers to attract and retain subscribers.

In conclusion, with its focus on writers, monetization flexibility, and community building, Substack has emerged as a viable alternative to Medium. Substack’s popularity will likely continue to rise as more writers discover the platform’s benefits.