If you’re a blogger, freelance writer, or even just a writing enthusiast, then you probably already know a lot about Medium. In fact, you probably already share your writing on Medium just like 175,000 or so other people. But are there other sites like Medium out there?
If you’re looking for somewhere new to take your writing or just some alternatives to Medium, then check out these 5 sites that are similar.
Vocal provides an all-in-one platform where writers can share their work, build an audience, and earn money. The site started in 2012 and has grown steadily over the past 9 years. It is set up as a collection of communities, with each community focusing on a different topic. The site accepts a wide variety of content, including fiction, creative nonfiction, op-eds, and reviews.
Vocal offers writers two types of account: a free account and a paid subscription called Vocal Plus. With a free account, writers can publish their stories through one of the Vocal communities, earn money, and collect tips from fans. Vocal Plus adds in higher monetization options for writers, early access to new features, and a custom creator page that you can publish to.
Joining Vocal is fairly simple, and as long as your content meets their basic editorial guidelines, you can start seeing your work published on the site within just 24 hours. Vocal also allows writers to maintain rights to their stories even after they’re published, which is beneficial for folks who want to promote their content on multiple sites.
While Vocal primarily operates the same way as most of its competitors, their reader tipping options provide a unique monetization tool for writers. Essentially, tipping gives readers a way to directly pay writers after reading their stories, and these payments go directly into the writer’s Stripe account so they can instantly access the funds.
Vocal is a growing platform, and it’s a great outlet to hop onto if you’re already finding success on Medium.
Founded in 2006, HubPages allows users to publish articles and earn money based on the number of views the article receives. The site organizes content based on topic, but the main categories the site caters to include the arts, business, entertainment, politics, sports, and technology. The company also has several partner, or network sites that cover additional topics like beauty, pet ownership, and food.
Although HubPages does provide writers with the tools to monetize their work, the company states that it’s looking for writers “whose main motivation is to inform and inspire” with their work. Furthermore, all content must be original and not previously published anywhere else. Besides these basic guidelines, anything goes in a HubPages post, assuming it’s well-written and not plagiarized.
Hubbers can monetize their content by choosing an ad program within their profile. By doing this, you give permission for advertisements to appear on your articles. You then earn money based on the number of views each article gets since these “clicks” often generate exposure and potential revenue for the companies providing the advertisements.
Unlike other content mills, HubPages actually provides an editing service called HubPro. These editing services can really help clean up your article and drive additional traffic to your pages, but they’re only currently available on a limited basis and HubPages determines which articles will receive their HubPro editing services.
HubPages can be a great site for anyone who is looking for another place to publish work, especially if you’re not solely focused on monetization.
Most sites like Medium operate like a digital magazine or single blog—they publish your content, and then categorize it along with submissions from thousands of other writers. While you can earn money based on views and advertisements, you only collect a small percentage of the money and it usually takes a lot of time. It’s also hard to easily show off all of your work in one place, especially when sites don’t provide a landing page for each writer.
However, Substack takes a different approach—they give you the tools to create your own digital publication where you own all of the content and manage your subscribers on your own. Substack accounts are free to create and take just minutes to get started, and then you just work on building your subscriber base.
If you don’t want to monetize your content, you don’t have to. However, Substack does give you the option to charge a small fee to each subscriber, meaning you make money directly from the people reading your content. This can be a great way to not only focus on a specific niche, but it also lets you write directly for your audience and gain a following of people who care about what you have to say.
Overall, Substack is a great option for writers who either already have some subscribers or for someone who is looking to build a reader base in a specific niche.
4. News Break
News Break promotes itself as the “#1 intelligent local news app,” but the site offers much more than just breaking news. In fact, the site offers many of the same categories of writing as Medium and many of the other sites on this list, such as politics, health, entertainment, and lifestyle topics. The site also has a wide reach, with as many as 1 billion pageviews per month.
Like most of the other sites on this list, News Break pays writers based on ad share revenue. Base payments start at $25 per month, and go up from there, depending on the quality of your work and the amount of traffic your articles receive. Additionally, writers can earn extra income for qualifying articles on high-interest topics that attract a lot of site traffic.
Unlike most other sites on this list, though, News Break does require writers to apply to their News Break Creator Program before they can start submitting articles. However, this process only requires a few pieces of information and takes less than a week to receive an acceptance email in most cases.
Between the large audience base and the easy application process, writing for News Break can be a great fit for anyone who enjoys writing breaking news stories or is looking to expand their journalism portfolio.
Since 2016, Steemit and its partner sites on the Steem blockchain have been trying to redefine the way the world looks at social media. While the site isn’t what most would consider a form of “social media,” the company defines it as “a new kind of attention economy” in which everyone is rewarded for sharing their voice with the world.
Steemit is an open platform, which means that users can post anything they want—with some exceptions. It does allow creators to maintain the rights to any content they create for the site, but the company also maintains the right to retain anything that is posted to their site under intellectual property laws. Steemit also holds the right to remove anyone from the platform who breaks copyright laws and shares content to which they don’t have the rights.
While Steemit does provide payment for writers, its payment system is very different from most of the other sites on this list. First off, Steemit uses cryptocurrency instead of traditional forms of payment. While this means you can’t simply post a few articles and “cash out,” you can trade your Steem Tokens anywhere that cryptocurrency trades take place.
Additionally, Steem Tokens are paid out based on the votes that content receives, meaning that your articles only bring in money if readers upvote your work (much in the way that users upvote posts on Reddit). Users can also earn tokens by upvoting content that “goes viral” later or by simply holding onto their Steem Tokens and letting them accumulate interest.
While Steemit can be a bit of a challenge to learn at first, many people like the fact that it’s a very open platform where pretty much anything goes.
Where Will You Take Your Writing Next?
Medium has been an industry leader in the content creation space for years, but that doesn’t mean they’re the only option out there. Each of these five suggested sites provide some sort of benefit to you as a writer, be it monetization options or a fresh audience for your content. While they may not all be a best fit for your content, at least some of them will provide the perfect home for your individual voice.
So now the only question left is: Where do you want to take your writing next?
Now that you know where you can write, are you still not sure what to write about? Here are over 100 topic ideas to get you started!
Megan Glosson is a mother and freelance writer based Nashville, Tennessee. She enjoys writing on a variety of parenting topics, but loves taking on anything with a personal connection to her own life. When she’s not writing, you can probably find Megan building Legos or playing board games with her two adorable daughters. To check out more of Megan’s work or to contact her about freelance opportunities, visit meganglosson.com