Substack vs. Medium: Everything You Need To Know

Now, being a writer is a terrific job! Why? Every day, you get to investigate a variety of topics! Writing can help you improve your vocabulary game!

Being a skilled writer allows you to write on various themes, demonstrating your understanding of the world. Writing abilities are equivalent to having the ability to rule the world with words! Please correct me if I’m wrong.

To earn money writing, consider using a blogging platform. Alternatively, you might be looking for a platform that uses email marketing to assist you in creating a weekly newsletter for your readers. 

If you are a casual writer or a person who is obsessed with SEO, you must select the correct platform to assist you.

With the help of this article, you can choose the perfect platform for your write-ups! Have you heard of Substack and Medium? 

Both these platforms serve different purposes, Substack for newsletters and Medium for blogging; they assist independent writers in monetizing their material.

Substack and Medium promise to assist new and seasoned writers in publishing their work, building an audience, and making money. Which should you use when writing? 

Let’s explore Substack and Medium.

Overview of Substack and Medium

Although both Substack and Medium allow you to share what you write with the world, their techniques are fundamentally different.

Substack enables you to create your audience of subscribers with whom you can communicate via the built-in email newsletter capabilities or your Substack website.

You may either distribute your material for free or monetize it with paid memberships. You can even combine the two, providing free material to draw in the audience and paid material to monetize your job.

Substack also provides its producers with material beyond the written word, such as podcasts and videos, which Medium needs to include.

Moving on to Medium, Ev Williams launched it in 2012. This online blogging system has quickly become among the most popular choices for marketing content and new enterprises. 

Medium’s partner program is intended to assist content authors with online advertising by managing content for them and compensating writers for superior read time.

When you post your work on Medium, you are paid based on how much time someone spends reading it. 

Even though the exact measure is unknown, you should anticipate being paid a few cents each minute someone reads your article.

Content Creation on Substack vs. Medium

Moving on! We will now put some limelight on how both Substack and Medium work! 



Beginning with Substack, you all know that Substack is just an email newsletter platform that has made it easier for writers to publish and earn through their posts on the web! 

Substack relies heavily on publication for revenue. You may quickly and easily use Substack to publish posts as emails or to the web.

The easy interface strikes you to use once Substack is up and running. Even if the canvas is empty, users are creating incredible things on it.

The majority of Substack’s users are traditional authors, but a ton of media personalities, journalists, opinion leaders, and, well, anyone else with a keyboard and something to say can also be writers.

On Substack, creating an account and submitting content is really simple. If you follow these instructions, you’ll be posting in no time.

  • Identify your market niche

Naturally, this is the initial step in any online activity. Regardless of how your job, topic of conversation, or content kind develops, planning ahead before you begin will be beneficial. 

Before you begin, choose an audience and learn as much as you can about their issues, wishes, reading preferences, and other factors.

  • Create a new account

Visit the official Substack website and select the big orange “Create your Substack” button. This will start a simple setup procedure. 

You will initially be prompted to link the account to a Twitter account that you have. You are free to forego this step and join a Twitter account later. 

Enter your email address to create a Substack account. 

I would suggest you choose Substack’s Twitter connection if you’ve got a sizable following on Twitter because it’s simple to link to your followers, and you can additionally prominently highlight your newsletter close to your profile.

  • Make a profile

The steps are indeed that easy. Here, you can confirm both your login and email address.

Additionally, you should supply a picture for your profile to be displayed on your page.

  • Make your publication

A popup to provide your name and a bio will appear after you enter your email address. One or two phrases serve as your bio.

You can alter it at any moment, and it doesn’t surface frequently on Substack, so it’s okay to postpone that for now. 

In short, Label your publication, briefly describe it, and make sure the URL is correct. 

Also, the URL of a magazine is always a subdomain when you first establish it. That is, the final part of the URL for your publication is always

  • Write a post

After the registration is done, you will be sent to the Dashboard where you can start a new post, thread, or episode.

You will be given the choice of sending the post via email or publishing it without emailing it when you are ready to send or publish your email.

The most straightforward method to launch a newsletter on Substack is to follow the five steps I’ve talked about above. 

When you master the art of composing pieces, you can further personalize your newsletter by altering its design, the email headers and footers, the default About page, and other elements.

To assist users in creating and customizing their material, Substack provides a variety of editing tools. The following are some essential editing tools:

  • You can format your text with Substack’s rich text editor by using standard formatting features like bold, italic, underline, headings, and numbered or bulleted lists. These formatting choices are available through the editor’s toolbar.
  • You may quickly and easily insert tweets, podcasts, movies, pictures, and other material into your Substack postings. You only need to paste the media’s URL, and Substack will take care of the embedding for you.
  • As you work, Substack automatically saves your drafts, preserving your progress. You have access to earlier iterations of your posts and can go back to them if necessary.
  • You can alter the look and feel of your newsletter using Substack. To produce a visually beautiful newsletter, select from a variety of pre-designed themes, alter the colors and fonts, and include a logo or header image.
  • You can view a preview of your newsletter before you publish it using Substack’s preview tool. This enables you to check your content’s formatting, organization, and overall presentation.
  • In addition to the rich text editor, Markdown, a lightweight markup language, is supported by Substack. Using a straightforward syntax, Markdown lets you include more complex formatting, such as tables, code blocks, and footnotes. Depending on your desire, you can switch between the Markdown and rich text editor modes.
  • You can choose the day and time you want your posts to be published by scheduling them in advance with Substack. If you want to have a regular posting schedule or are creating content in advance, this option is quite helpful.

These are some of the most important editing tools on Substack. The platform puts an emphasis on simplicity and use, offering writers a simple interface to generate and publish their material while preserving a tidy and expert look for their newsletters.



Now switching over to Medium! 

Open to everyone, Medium is a collaborative blogging platform where a wide variety of tales, ideas, and viewpoints are shared. 

On Medium, anyone can contribute individually. Popular themes include mental health, social media, foreign politics, trending news, and productivity tips.

No extra authentication process is necessary; anyone with a Medium account is eligible to write for the platform.

All you have to do is simply create a free Medium account to begin going, and you can start writing right away.

Now how to do that, I’ll tell you! The steps involve, 

  • Making a User Account

Although anybody can access Medium content, it’s necessary to have an account as well as be logged in in order to publish and engage with other users.

The good news is that by simply visiting the site and getting started, you can set up an account in under a minute.

Three sign-up choices are available to you while you’re there: Google, Facebook, and email.

What I advise is to use Facebook to register for Medium. As soon as your account is created, all of your Facebook connections who are also on Medium will be following it immediately.

By doing this, you can avoid the hassle of having to start a brand-new audience from scratch.

  • Set up basic info

When you sign up with Medium, you must set up a few things.

Create an easy-to-read bio.

Set your profile picture, then your username, subdomain, etc. You are free to use your real name or a pen name when writing. Your option is it.

  • Begin crafting your narrative

In the top-right corner of your Medium homepage, there is a tab labeled “Write.” 

When you click it, the stunning, minimalistic, and robust Medium editor will appear. Write something!

But whatever you write, make sure you give your story eye-catching titles and sub-headings! 

To assist authors in creating and formatting their material, Medium offers a variety of editing tools. 

On Medium, the following essential editing tools are available: 

  • Basic text formatting choices are available in Medium, including headers (H1, H2, etc.), bold, italic, and underline. You can use the keyboard shortcuts or highlight the required text and choose the formatting option from the toolbar. 
  • By highlighting the text you wish to link and clicking the link symbol in the toolbar, you can quickly insert hyperlinks within your Medium article. This enables you to cite outside sources or add further information. 
  • In order to visually separate and highlight quoted material or important insights, Medium offers a blockquote tool. The desired text can be chosen, and then you can choose “Quote” from the formatting toolbar.
  • Creating lists in Medium is possible with both numbered and bulleted lists. Simply choose the text you wish to transform into a list from the formatting toolbar, then click the corresponding list button.
  • Medium lets you include pictures and media (like tweets or videos) straight into your articles. To add media, select the “+” symbol from the editor toolbar and follow the on-screen instructions to upload or embed files.
  • Medium automatically saves your drafts as you work, ensuring that your progress is not lost. It also keeps track of all of the revisions. If necessary, you can go back in time by accessing your article’s modification history.
  • It also offers collaboration options if you work with other authors or are part of a publication. You can ask people to edit your drafts or let them submit their own articles for publication in your journal.

Among the most common editing tools on Medium are those listed above.

The platform strives to offer an easy-to-use and intuitive editing process while upholding a clear and uniform formatting style throughout the articles.

Monetization Options

Now let’s talk about their monetization options available for users!

Substack Monetization Options

We’ll start with a Substack! 

For writers to monetize their material and newsletters, Substack provides a number of choices.

  • Paid subscriptions are the main way for Substack to make money. A recurring subscription fee can be requested from readers in order to access their premium material. In addition to offering tools to manage subscriber lists and communication, Substack also handles payment processing.
  • Authors can blend both free and paid material on Substack. This implies that you can make some articles publicly available while holding other content for paying subscribers only.
  • Writers have the option to just make certain editions or the complete newsletter available to paid subscribers.
  • With the help of Substack, authors may sell subscriptions as gifts, enabling readers to buy subscriptions for friends and family.
  • The ability to bundle subscriptions is supported by Substack, enabling authors to provide a number of newsletters at a single, discounted fee.
  • On Substack, authors can use their subscriber base to market more goods or services in addition to the newsletter.
  • Although Substack primarily emphasizes the subscription-based approach, certain authors may decide to include sponsored material or adverts in their newsletters. This can be done strategically and in a manner that complements the writer’s subject matter and target market.

It’s vital to remember that Substack charges a platform fee that is deducted from subscription earnings.

Review Substack’s terms and price details for the most accurate and recent information since the specific charge structure may vary.

In the end, Substack’s monetization choices give authors the freedom to profit directly from their audience while still keeping creative control and content ownership.

Medium Monetization Options

On the other hand, what Medium offers its users so as to monetize are as follows: 

  • Through the Medium Partner Program, authors can get paid when readers interact with their pieces. 
  • Medium Membership is a membership service provided by Medium. For a monthly or yearly charge, readers can sign up for Medium Membership, which gives them unrestricted access to all content on Medium. Based on how long members spend reading your tales, you, as a writer, can receive a portion of the money made via Medium Membership. 
  • In addition to paying writers based on reader engagement, Medium also gives writers bonuses on occasion based on the success of their articles, recommendations for the Medium Membership program, or involvement in special projects. 
  • Authors can record and publish audio versions of their stories using the new audio storytelling option that Medium has introduced.
  • In order to access the material in some publications on Medium, readers must subscribe to the publication in question.
  • Selected pieces are featured and promoted across the platform as part of Medium’s curation strategy.

Generally speaking, Medium gives authors a chance to possibly monetize their writing through the Medium Partner Program, Medium Membership, bonuses, and participation in sponsored publications.

Audience Reach and Growth

Both Substack and Medium are well-known platforms for writers, but they have different audiences and room for expansion.

We’ll first put some limelight on the audience reach, and then we’ll move on to the growth stuff! 

The two platforms are contrasted in the following areas when it comes to hitting up clients:

Customer Reach:

  • Substack: Reaching a broad audience, Substack has become increasingly well-liked and well-known among authors and readers. It has a loyal following of subscribers who actively seek out and sign up for particular newsletters. 
  • Medium: When compared to Substack, Medium has a broader and more varied audience. It draws readers from a diverse spectrum of backgrounds and interests. Readers can find content on Medium’s platform based on tags, suggestions, and custom algorithms. 

Growth Prospects:

  • Substack: Substack gives authors a chance to amass a devoted following and develop close ties with their readers. As their subscriber base expands using the paid subscription model, authors have the ability to make recurring income. 
  • Medium: Writers have the opportunity for higher exposure and discoverability thanks to Medium’s broader and more diversified audience. Through Medium’s curation system and recommendation algorithms, well-written and interesting pieces have the potential to reach a larger audience. 

Ownership and Independence:

  • Substack: Substack promotes the ownership and independence of the writer. The content of writers’ newsletters and subscriber information is completely under their control. They have complete control over their pricing structure, monetization options, and direct contact with subscribers.
  • Medium: Authors on this platform work inside its confines and are bound by its monetization procedures and policies, even if they retain control of their content. The membership structure and curation system of Medium have an impact on how readers find and interact with content. 

Overall, Substack gives authors access to a more narrowly targeted and devoted audience, fostering a strong relationship with members and the possibility of recurring income.

However, Medium provides a wider audience reach and better discoverability, giving the content a chance to be read by more people.

Now moving on to the growth strategies, there are tons of common strategies that both platforms must use. 

  • Produce compelling, insightful, and high-quality material that appeals to your target market.
  • Know who your target market is and what attracts them. To adapt your material to their requirements and tastes, conduct research, interact with your current readers, and collect feedback.
  • Promote your articles, newsletters, or publications via social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram.
  • Create an email list of interested readers and keep them engaged by sending out regular newsletters or updates.
  • Engage your audience directly by answering questions, comments, or emails.

Keep in mind that developing an audience requires patience and ongoing effort.

Try out various approaches, evaluate the results and user comments, and modify your strategy as necessary.

On both Substack and Medium, true connections with your audience and a steady stream of great content are essential for development and engagement.

Pricing and Plans

For their users, Substack and Medium both have different pricing and options. Here is a comparison of the two pricing plans:

Substack Costs:

  • Free Plan: Substack provides a free plan that enables authors to launch and distribute their newsletters with no out-of-pocket expenses. However, 10% of the money earned from paid subscriptions goes to Substack as a charge.
  • Premium Subscriptions: Using Substack’s premium subscription option, you may make money off of your newsletter. The cost of a subscription can be decided by the author and starts at $5 per month or $30 per year. The platform fee for paid subscribers at Substack is 10%.

Medium Costs:

  • Free Plan: Medium provides a free plan that enables authors to post articles on the website without having to pay anything upfront. Without actively monetizing their writing, writers can still draw readers and grow their audience.
  • Medium Membership: Medium also provides readers with a subscription service referred to as Medium Membership. For $5 per month or $50 annually, readers may become members of Medium, giving them access to special features and content.

In Conclusion

Now that we are almost at the end, I hope you got a clear picture of what both the platforms are and what their benefits are, and everything for writers and creators! 

I will conclude by adding that Both Substack and Medium provide special advantages and support various kinds of creators.

Your particular aims, the nature of your material, and your target audience will determine which option you should use.

For creators that wish to concentrate on developing and monetizing a loyal audience through newsletters, Substack is a good fit.

It offers direct monetization alternatives through paid memberships and is especially advantageous for material that is specialized. 

In addition to giving you more ownership and control over your content and subscriber list, Substack enables direct communication with subscribers. How great is that? 

The built-in discovery features of Medium, on the other hand, make it a better choice for artists who want to reach a larger audience.

Longer pieces can be published on it, and a variety of readers are drawn to it.

The opportunity for greater exposure and access to a broader audience outweighs the fact that Medium’s monetization is engagement-based and occasionally less straightforward.

When selecting a choice, take into account your content kind, monetization objectives, target audience, and degree of control over your material and subscriber list. 

It could also be worthwhile to compare the two platforms side by side to see which one better suits your requirements and appeals to your target market.

I hope this post was helpful enough! 

FAQs [Frequently Asked Questions]

How do Substack and Medium differ in terms of audience?

Substack attracts a more niche-oriented and highly engaged audience, while Medium has a broader and more diverse audience with varying levels of engagement.

Which platform is better for monetization: Substack or Medium?

The best monetization platform will ultimately depend on your unique goals, content kind, audience, and preferences.

If you want to directly monetize your email and have a loyal readership, Substack might be a better option.

If you prefer a larger platform and are willing to earn money depending on engagement from a larger audience, Medium may be helpful.

Can I use Substack and Medium at the same time?

It is possible to use both Substack and Medium simultaneously. There is no exclusivity constraint that precludes you from utilizing both platforms at the same time, and they both function independently.

What are the key differences in terms of content creation tools on Substack vs. Medium?

I would say that with a straightforward editor and few customization choices, Substack’s content production capabilities are tailored for making newsletters.

However, with a powerful text editor and numerous formatting options, Medium’s content creation tools are designed for publishing articles.

Are there any content guidelines or restrictions on Substack and Medium?

Yes, content limitations and rules are in place for both Substack and Medium to guarantee the caliber, compliance, and legality of the content uploaded on their platforms.

Simran - Shivansh's Affiliate Team

Simran Sharma

A content writer and affiliate subject matter expert who knows her stuff – have always been expressing via my written word. And here I am, an honored member of Shivansh’s team. Apart from this, I’m a fully family & friends person, keeping an interest in autobiographies!

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