So…I’ve Been Officially Removed From Medium’s Partner Program

And it’s not the removal that I’m bothered by.

Adobe Stock: Treety

31st March.

I opened my email and saw a new sender — Medium Creators. I hardly receive emails from them. Actually, I’m not even sure that I did before.

It was a ‘Notice of Removal from Medium’s Partner Program’.

It was finally my time.

The funny thing was I don’t recall receiving a warning notice about the removal prior to this email. I have yet to reach 100 followers. But I had thought the slow but steady growth of my followers had pushed the warning back.

Shortly before I got the email, I wrote an article about my reasons for removing my stories from Medium’s Paywall.

What a coincidence that I would receive the removal notice just days after this post.

So why should this make me upset?

Even though I wasn’t paid for views after taking off my stories from the metering, I was still getting paid from people who subscribed to Medium through my referral link. And that amount was a lot more than what I was paid for views. Sure, it’s just $2.57 but it’s still better than pennies.

Now that I’ve been removed from MPP, I will no longer be receiving my share from the subscriber’s payment. But Medium is still taking from the subscriber. If you think about it, it’s actually pretty unfair since, in a way, I’ve helped Medium gain another subscriber through my stories and platform even though I didn’t reach the 100 follower mark.

In this aspect, I felt cheated and used.

In spite of it all, I was okay with it. I’ve already braced myself for this unfairness, especially with a lot of articles from other writers who went through the same issue.

What rubbed me the wrong way was the content of the email.

“It’s part of a larger effort designed to make the Partner Program work better for more creators on Medium.”

I honestly do not understand how gaining 100 followers makes the Partner Program work better. To me, this is a system to filter out people who perhaps don’t write as often so maybe Medium felt they’re not entitled to a payout. In this sense, it’s not exactly ‘better’ for creators.

Perhaps it’s Medium’s way to motivate people to write more. But in my opinion, it’s just another capitalistic strategy disguised as ‘help’ and ‘improvement’.

This new requirement has caused many old and new writers to leave the platform. Even though they didn’t have 100 followers, they worked hard at their articles despite getting cents for views. And this recent implementation just makes it harder for them. Perhaps for some, it’ll push them to write more frequently whereas others will feel like it’s a waste of their time and effort.

“Our 100-follower requirement is one way we’re ensuring that creators in our Partner Program are well-positioned for success. Reaching this audience size means you’ve built a readership that will help you succeed in our Partner Program.”

Once again, I don’t understand how having a 100-follower requirement helps position us for success. It may just be one of the ways but this requirement is quite impactful on the writing community and has also seen some repercussions.

Having 100 followers doesn’t necessarily grant you $100. You could still get pennies from the reading time especially if your readers aren’t Medium subscribers. Many people use the follow-for-follow tactic as well and may not necessarily read our articles, which means we’re also not earning from our followers. Having 100 followers doesn’t guarantee Medium subscriptions either.

I guess it really depends on their definition of ‘readership’. Many seasoned Medium writers have written about how their views are mostly external and despite their high number of followers, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the amount they’re earning.

In all honesty, I just can’t see how having this requirement would help writers succeed. In my opinion, it’s just a way to save money on people who don’t write about what the general public wants to read, people who are not frequent writers, or people who treat writing as a side hustle but not exactly giving their all.

It’s just a way to justify their actions and cushion the blow.

Of course, writers who have already established themselves on this platform prior to this implementation may not have any issues. But for new writers seeking to get a start on Medium or writers who already started but haven’t reached the goal could be quite demoralizing. The external motivation is not as appealing now that the goal is harder to reach. They would need to dig deep within themselves to find the motivation to write for free before they meet the requirement and are allowed into the program.

I guess it all depends on perspective. Some people would see this as a source of motivation while for others, it’s a turn-off and a discouragement. A discouragement not because they can’t get ‘easy money’. But for me, a discouragement because Medium is taking steps towards capitalism that is not necessarily beneficial for writers, especially new ones.

Perhaps the 100 follower mark is a way for Medium to gauge the popularity of their writers. Perhaps they needed to justify paying writers who are not bringing views or new readers even though they’re just cents. I mean, hey, cents also add up.

It’s understandable from a business standpoint. But as a Medium writer, subscriber, and consumer, not so much.

If money is my motivation, my writing pursuit won’t last. It’s a good motivation for many and it was for me too for a little while. But it no longer works as it’s now dictating my life and decisions.

I started to get anxious about the goals I set for myself and writing no longer felt fun but a burden. It’s like writing for publications except I gave myself my own deadlines so that my articles can finally reach a bigger audience (due to Medium’s algorithm — quantity). And when I didn’t meet them, I felt incompetent. I’d start to spiral and I’d find myself in places of my mind that I don’t want to be in. It’s something I’m working through which is why I took my stories off Medium’s paywall.

I’m writing for free now because I choose to. Most people don’t as side hustles are becoming part of many people’s work lives to earn a little extra for a little more comfort.

Who knows what other requirements they would come up with in the future in the name of ‘helping writers’.

Will I leave Medium because of this? No. Because I enjoy writing. It’s one of my outlets for release. The money is a bonus. And it’s nice not to think about money for once and allow passion to re-engulf me.

I just didn’t like how Medium positioned themselves seemingly to help writers. I guess I prefer brutal honesty to sugar-coated words. If you’re changing rules for profit, so be it. That’s okay. It’s part of the capitalistic society we’re living in. Just don’t say you’re helping writers because I know it isn’t entirely true.

Still, maybe some writers approve of this new requirement. And if you do, I’d love to hear your opinions on how it’s beneficial to the writing community. I’m open to listening or reading other people’s perspectives too, of course, if done in a polite way without any form of personal attack.

If you’ve given up on writing on Medium, I totally understand and I wish you well in your future writing endeavors. I hope you’ll find a platform that fairly meets your needs both in writing and financially.

And if you want to keep writing on Medium even without 100 followers, I applaud you, admire you, and I support you. Do it for yourself and for your future.

Money will come after.

I write occasionally on my Instagram posts too

Instagram Life: @justwildcass
Instagram Photography: @casswildcat

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