A Warning to Content Creators — Why I’m Putting Medium in the Backseat

When you write on a platform that doesn’t belong to you, you have to play by someone else’s rules.

Lucas Hawthorne


Imagine this.

You’re writing on a platform that makes you money.

You make some pretty good money, and eventually, you make enough to where you can quit your day job and write full-time.

You have a family of 4 that you support with this income.

And then one day, out of nowhere, your earnings get cut down to 1/4 of what they used to be.

You find out that the staff behind the platform you write on spontaneously decided to adjust their payout calculations and you take the fall for it.

Panic sets in and you worry about your ability to put food on the table for your kids.

How could you have seen this coming?

The danger of the variable paycheck

The truth is, you really couldn’t have seen it coming.

And the truth is, there is one person out there who didn’t have to imagine this scenario.

That whole thing I just wrote out? That was their truth.

Their reality.

On Medium.com.

In July, Medium rolled out some new changes to the Partner Program.

Many people applauded this, but there were quite a few others who also suffered tremendously.

Their stories are in the comments of that article I linked above if you don’t believe me.

To share a few:

  • We have the one guy I wrote about above whose earnings went from $200–300/day to $50–60/day.
  • Someone else’s read ratio dropped from 25% to 4%, while their earnings dropped by 90%.
  • Another reported that they went from making $40–50/day to $3–7/day instead.

And there are more.

Whether the changes to the Partner Program were good changes or not isn’t the point.

What is alarming is that we’re all writing…



Lucas Hawthorne

A guide to life and self-improvement, brought to you by a magazine-published Gen Z-er. I'm not on Medium anymore, find me here: https://www.lucashawthorne.com/