Substack Vs Medium: Which Is the Best Platform for Bloggers?

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By Shrey Kajaria

Many of my fellow blogger friends ask me this Substack vs Medium which is the best one for us to work on.

If you are a passionate writer struggling to choose which platform to use between Substack and Medium to showcase your skills?

If so, then you are at the right place.

Substack and Medium are one of the highly popular writing platforms on the internet and an assistants for writers to generate passive income sources and build a huge fan base.

However, within every writer, a question appears: Which platform stands out as distinctive and efficient for writers?

Don’t worry. This extensive guide will present an in-depth comparison between Substack and Medium, explaining which platform to use, how they operate, and how a writer can utilize these platforms to monetize their work.

So, without any further delay, let’s get started.

What is Substack?

Substack is an online content-sharing platform, focused on email newsletters and subscriptions. 

It is typically used by writers, bloggers, journalists, and those particular content writers aiming to establish a loyal audience base and monetize their premium content through email newsletters.

substack vs medium

According to the date of SimilarWeb:

  • In April 2022, Substack got more than 30 million monthly visitors.
substack traffic data

And Backlino data shows:

  • Substack collected a total of $82.4 million across 4 funding rounds.

So, Substack is quite popular across the internet as a content-sharing and money-making platform among writers.

How Does Substack Work?

In general, Substack functions uniquely, combining the attributes of both blogging and email marketing.

So, we will explain how Substack operates by targeting all those major attributes step by step:

1. Create an Account and Publish Content 

To start, writers have to sign up, create a Substack account and customize and set up their profile.

After that, writers start publishing their content.

The best thing about Substack is that it presents:

  • An in-built editor to smoothly write and edit the content.
  • And a bunch of modifying and designing options that include text, images, and links.

2. Build and Grow Your Audience 

Writers can share their content on social media platforms, and attract and grow more subscribers.

3. Subscription Model

Substack puts together both blogging and email marketing strategies and runs on a subscription model.

Journalists, writers, and content creators can offer their writings for free or charge a certain amount for those readers who opt for premium content.

To add more, writers usually deliver this premium content via newsletters, and it is not accessible to non-subscribers.

4. Chatting With Subscribers 

With the Chat feature, Writers can easily chat with their subscribers.

In addition, subscribers can get more engaged with the content via such features as commenting and discussion threads and take part in the conversation.

5. Revenue Sharing Model

As per the agreement, Substack runs on a revenue-sharing model, and it cuts a percentage of the subscription revenue gained by the writers.

6. Add-ons 

Substack provides several advanced additional features absolutely for free to improve the content publishing experience such as 

  • Scheduled publishing
  • Email list management
  • Statistical dashboard to analyze the Traffic, Subscriber Report, Readers Sharing, Audience Overlap, etc. 

What is Medium?

medium traffic stats

Medium is an online content publishing platform that gives space to writers, bloggers, and journalists as well to publish their writings, ideas, stories, opinions, and perspectives.

It is also like a social journalism site where you can have major discussions with the reader community.

Medium offers a nice commenting box that drives readers to share their opinions and ask any questions. Consequently, you can engage in an amazing conversation with like-minded people.

Medium was founded in 2012 and so far it has become quite popular among the writers on the internet. 

As per Medium’s report,

  • It has approximately 85 to 100 million monthly active users.

How Does Medium Work?

So, you can imagine its massive audience base and popularity of content.

Now, we will break down how Medium works:

1. Make an Account and Publish Content

To get started, you have to sign up. 

Then after setting up your profile, you can start publishing content.

2. Content Editing

Medium provides several editing tools such as 

  • A nice and straightforward text editor,
  • Image importing option,
  • Code block, etc.

3. Free and Paid Content 

Medium provides two types of publishing options for content:

  • Public: Accessible for everyone.
  • Members-only: Accessible for only premium Medium members.

4. Medium Partner Program 

Medium offers a Partner Program that enables every passionate writer to earn money for the valuable content they publish.

And the earning is calculated based on engagement from both Medium members and those users who have converted to Medium members.

Features of Substack?

Substack provides a variety of features to the writers to build, grow and manage their subscriber base.

Here are some essential features of Substack:


Substack provides newsletter features to create, publish and allocate the newsletter content to their subscribers.

It provides an easy-to-use text editor that lets you format your content

  • Text Styles
  • Font Formatting
  • Headings
  • Lists and Bullet Points
  • Hyperlink
  • Blockquotes 
  • Images and Videos 
  • Inline Code 

Subscription Model

Writers can offer both free and paid content to their audience.

Through paid content, writers get the opportunity to monetize their newsletters.

Method of Payment:

Substack manages payment processing for the writers.

Substack itself handles

  • Subscription Payment,
  • Credit card transactions,
  • Writers get a share of the revenue gained from the subscription,
  • Also, it cuts a percentage of the revenue generated by the writers.

Growing Audience 

Until or unless you are specifically targeting the potential audience, you won’t be able to generate revenue from your content effectively.

To help users attract the targeted audience, and grow their subscribers base, Substack supports 

  • In-built email capture form,
  • Easily customizable landing pages,
  • Integration with social media platforms to heighten newsletter.

Easy to Customizable Newsletter:

Substack writers can edit and change the look of their newsletters with the help of its Customization options.

Such options are:

  • A range of templates
  • Colors and fonts 
  • Logo
  • Banners 

Email Distribution

Substack simplifies the process of sending emails to your subscribers, handling all the technical aspects connected with it.

In fact, it effectively manages your email lists, making sure of flawless delivery of newsletters to your subscribers.


Substack’s inbuilt analytical features present all-inclusive data of your newsletter’s performance to the table:

  • Published, Drafts, and Scheduled content,
  • Subscribers Growth,
  • Open rates,
  • Likes and Comments,
  • Click-through rates,
  • Free Subscriptions and Paid Subscriptions.

Ownership of Content and Earning:

One of the best advantages of writers in Substack is that they get complete control of their content and earning.

Writers can independently fix the price of their subscription, and plan the content strategy and publishing time.

Features of Medium?

Medium is also a popular platform for writers.

Here are the key features that are people attracted to:

User-friendly Writing Interface:

Medium offers a smooth, and multi-featured writing interface with a range of customizable options.

And this dynamic interface uplifts the writers to easily personalize and publish their articles.

Content Publishing 

Medium writers can publish their content as public or members-only.

Public content is accessible for everyone and members-only content is accessible for only those who pay a subscription fee.

Recommender System

Medium’s Recommender System algorithm is built to recommend relevant items to the user based on their interests, habits, and likings. 

Social Media 

Medium offers a bunch of social media features that allow readers to engage with the article and connect with the author as well.

Such social media features that Medium includes:

  • Response or comment
  • Clap to show admiration for the articles
  • Readers can highlight a specific point of an article and comment, ask a question or share their opinions.

Sharing Options

Readers can directly share any Medium content on any social media platform such as:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn 

Following Authors

Medium provides the following option for the readers to connect with the author.

By following the authors, readers will get notifications and further updates on publications.

Full Comparison

There are many distinct and subtle differences between Substack and Medium as writing platforms.

Here is a full comparison of these two platforms based on some key aspects:

1. Aim:


  • Substack’s main focus is to provide flexibility to the writers to publish and monetize their content through subscriptions.

Here writers get several in-built features and customizable tools from the Substack itself, that simplify the process of writing and distributing newsletters.


  • Medium aims at publishing content and building a community of like-minded people.

2. Ownership of Content


  • Writers get total ownership of their content as well as the price they set for the premium content.


  • Medium also provides full ownership to the writers over their content 

3. Revenue 


  • In Substack, writers can offer premium content, set up a price, and generate revenue from it.


  • Medium offers a Partner Program where writers earn money based on content engagement with the readers.

4. Interactions and Engagement


  • Substack only aims at engaging writers and subscribers with fewer community features.


  • Medium primarily stresses increasing engagement and interaction between writers and readers.

There are many features such as article responses, clapping, highlighting, commenting, following authors, etc.

5. Discoverability


  • Substack doesn’t provide any in-built discovery algorithm within the platform.

Its discoverability entirely depends on the writers’ effort, social media, and other external aspects.


  • Medium has an in-built recommendation algorithm that promotes relevant content to the readers based on their habits and interest.

How to Reach and Grow Your Audience With Substack and Medium?

Building and growing an audience on any platform depends on both internal and external factors. 

Not only do you have to create engaging content that is packed with in-depth information, but also immerse yourself in SEO and marketing.

Here are some effective ways you can consider utilizing:

Specify Your Audience

First and foremost, you have to define your target audience, according to their interests, to produce ideal content that resonates with them.

Focus on Quality 

Always invest time in building your expertise within your niche.

For that, you can do these best practices, you can

  • Read books, 
  • Visit blogs,
  • watch podcasts or YouTube videos,
  • gather present-day information, etc.

This continuous learning about your niche will elevate your content to the next level in terms of expertise, information, and engagement with the readers.

SEO Techniques 

If you want to enhance the visibility of your content and win organic traffic, you must consider adopting SEO techniques to optimize your content for ranking on search engines.

  • Find relevant keywords, 
  • Write a catchy and effective Meta Title,
  • Craft a compelling Meta Description,
  • Use relevant and high-quality graphics.
  • Do Marketing and Engage with Your Audience

Use social media platforms effectively, a collab with other writers within your niche, and most importantly, engage with your audience actively through DMs, emails, and comments.

Data Analyse

You must take advantage of the analytical features provided by both Substack and Medium to trace the performance of your content.

By maximizing these techniques, you will significantly grow your audience on Medium and Substack as well, creating a way of generating revenue from your content.

How to Monetize Your Work With Substack vs Medium?

Whether you are a writer or reader, at the end of the day, we have to make both ends meet.

So, it is quite obvious that we all passionate writers aspire to monetize our content and make a living from our content.

Here are some techniques to follow for monetization for each platform:


As you know, with Substack you can offer both free and paid content to your audience. 

Therefore, here are some tips you can consider implementing

  • Offer some free content to attract a wide range of audiences,
  • Provide special bonuses to your subscribers,
  • Collaboration with relevant brands and scout potential sponsorships.
  • You can sell your own products such as courses, e-books, merchandise, etc with your audience.


Although Medium’s primary focus is not on monetizing content, it can still benefit you in building a community of like-minded individuals who share similar interests within your niche.

Here are some strategies to follow to monetize your content on Medium:

  • Join Medium’s Partner Program,
  • Influence your readers to engage with your content through clapping, commenting, highlighting, etc.
  • Make Custom Publications and present paid subscriptions for the premium content.
  • Incorporate affiliate links within your content.

Which Platform Should You Use: Substack or Medium?

Both Substack and Medium are beneficial under conditions and each platform has unique positive outcomes.

And, their contribution to the writers’ growth depends on the writers’ goals, requirements, and audience.

Here is the ultimate advice about which platform you should use as a writer:


Substack mainly focuses on newsletter monetization through premium content.

It offers a bunch of comprehensive in-built tools to manage paid newsletters, analyze how your content is performing, and examine the audience.

Therefore, if you build a community of loyal audiences on Substack, you can charge money for the exclusive content.

So, if you prefer direct monetization and a dedicated platform for newsletters, then Substack is for you.


In contrast, Medium stands out from the ground with a huge active audience base of readers that are highly engaged with the writers.

It supports in-built distribution channels that boost the visibility of your content and elevate the reach to the potential audience.

So, if you aim for reaching a wider audience, and want to build an engaging community of readers, then you must go with Medium.

Can I publish on both Medium and Substack?

Off course Yes, It will benefit you to gain a lot of different audiences as many people who use Medium doesn’t use Substack and vice-versa.