So, there are a few reasons for this, namely:

  1. More readers. It may seem counter-intuitive, but I’ve noticed that I get more readers for member-only articles, and I believe that medium prioritizes these articles in their promotion algorithms.
  2. Non-members get to read a small number of member-only articles. I don’t remember how many or if it refreshes, but as far as I can tell, anyone who is using medium often probably has a membership, and if they don’t, then they could very easily have enough free reads to access this article.
  3. Membership is cheap, and I support it. While it is far from perfect, membership does promote a space where writers can create content without worrying about excessive advertising or pandering. It’s a way for the consumer to pay the writer directly, which I enjoy. I am a member, and I like that I support other writers.
  4. All my content is free at my website Everything I write on medium that is related to health is also available on my own site, with no restrictions. Anyone who likes my work but does not want to be a medium member can access all of it at my site. This particular article isn’t there yet, due to the fact I’m actually improving it for a larger project that will be on my site over time, but in general none of my content is completely exclusive. It can all be found on my personal site.
  5. Helps pay the bills. I started my site, and my writing, because I have chronic fatigue syndrome. I cannot yet work a day job, so my online work is how I make $ to heal. It’s a slow process, but writing on these topics is what I’d want to do even if I were completely healthy. It may not seem like medium is a good income, but I’ve seen many a popular writer average $500 a month from just medium. I don’t have any bills or payments, so $500 goes a long way for me towards healing, and also trying new biohacking techniques I can write about. This isn’t the primary reason I put articles behind the paywall, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit it is nice, and helps me build other elements of my business/blog.

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