I’ll never forget the first time I saw my work published in The Ascent, one of Medium’s top publications. Once I got into a top Medium publication, I started getting more views, earnings, and follows than ever before. But back then, I’d never written for any popular publication on Medium.

I was just starting out and had basically nowhere to publish my work, and I found a cool tool called Smedian that claimed to list all Medium publications. But it was intimidating looking at hundreds of publications, particularly since many are no longer active.

(As of last count, Smedian tracks 12,312 Medium publications, and the vast majority of those are defunct — even many of those with more than 50,000 followers.)

Screenshot of Smedian.com showing top publications on Medium

All the great work on Medium is in these top publications, but I had to confront the reality: I had no idea where to start. There were too many to choose from, but getting into top publications was key to me eventually making money on Medium.

So, if you’re ready to publish your work on Medium, you’ll find a home in one of these top 20 Medium publications. It’s the list I wish I had when I was starting out.

All of the publications accept stories from new writers. Each has its own submission guidelines, which I’ve also included in the list.

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The Top 20 Medium Publications in 2021

1. The Startup (750K Followers)

The Startup is Medium’s largest publication. They publish articles on a wide range of topics touching on technology, from programming to business and entrepreneurship.

Topics: Entrepreneurship, Creativity, Personal Development, Startups, Technology

Submission guidelines for The Startup

2. The Mission (551K Followers)

The Mission is less active than it used to be as a publication, but it still publishes great work on Medium. They have a huge following and love to feature stories about improving the human condition, especially through technology, science, and exploration.

Topics: Personal Development, Creativity, Technology, Science

Submission guidelines for The Mission

3. Towards Data Science (528K Followers)

Towards Data Science is for the technical writers out there, and they reach a large audience interested in data science and programming.

Topics: Data Science, Python, Programming, Technology, Machine Learning

Submission guidelines for Towards Data Science

4. Personal Growth (509K Followers)

Personal Growth deserves a mention, but good luck getting into this one. This is a great place to read authors like Thomas Oppong and Brian Pennie.

Topics: Entrepreneurship, Creativity, Personal Development

New writers can submit work to editor Dan Pedersen directly (danpedersen@live.com), but I wouldn’t get your hopes up.

5. UX Collective (405K Followers)

UX Collective is the largest design publication on Medium. UX Collective focuses on, you guessed it, user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design. Share your love of design with the world! (Unfortunately, UX Collective doesn’t accept metered articles, those eligible to earn money from the Medium Partner Program — but they do accept new authors!)

Topics: Visual Design, UX, Art, Programming, Software Engineering

Submission guidelines for UX Collective

6. Better Humans (392K Followers)

Better Humans strives to provide the best self-improvement articles available on Medium, and they have clear instructions about what they’re looking for. I suggest you pitch them your best work about personal development that fits their guidelines.

Topics: Personal Development, Productivity, Life

Submission guidelines for Better Humans

7. UX Planet (281K Followers)

Does it ever seem like visual design is everywhere? Because it is: and it’s popular on Medium, with UX Planet reaching thousands of user experience designers daily. (Like UX Collective, you can’t earn money contributing to UX Planet through the Medium Partner Program.)

Topics: Visual Design, UX, Art, Programming, Software Engineering

Submission guidelines for UX Planet

8. P.S. I Love You (264K Followers)

The largest publication focused on relationships on Medium, P.S. I Love You also publishes fiction and poetry (for Fiction Friday and Poetry Sunday, respectively). They are just a fantastic publication, and I read their stuff all the time.

Topics: Love, Relationships, Life Lessons

Submission guidelines for P.S. I Love You

9. The Writing Cooperative (226K Followers)

Want to write about writing? The Writing Cooperative is the top publication on Medium for writers to trade tips on their craft.

Topics: Writing, Creativity, Productivity

Submission guidelines for The Writing Cooperative

10. Entrepreneur’s Handbook (189K Followers)

Founder stories are all the rage, but everyone loves a good startup story — whether everyone got rich or the project crashed and burned. Inspirational stories and how-to articles by entrepreneurs are the Entrepreneur’s Handbook specialty.

Topics: Entrepreneurship, Business, Startups

Submission guidelines for Entrepreneur’s Handbook

11. Better Programming (166K Followers)

Programmers are people too, and Better Programming covers everything from mobile app development to robotics. The focus is usually on web development, but they also publish tech journalism.

Topics: Programming, Software Engineering, Android Dev, iOS Dev, JavaScript

Submission guidelines for Better Programming

12. The Ascent (149K Followers)

The Ascent is run by my friend Steve Campbell and is one of my favorite publications. They publish top content from top authors like Tim Denning (who himself has 149K Followers), yet it’s relatively easy to get into.

Topics: Life Lessons, Business, Entrepreneurship

Submission guidelines for The Ascent

13. Slackjaw (132K Followers)

Now for something lighter. Slackjaw is good, old-fashioned, jaw-dropping comedy: humor so funny your jaw goes slack. Does that sound like you? Then submit to Slackjaw!

Topics: Satire, Humor, Writing, Creativity

Submission guidelines for Slackjaw

14. Mind Cafe (117K Followers)

Mind Cafe started as a passion project helping people worldwide live happier lives and has now grown into a print magazine.

Topics: Personal Development, Mental Health, Life

Submission guidelines for Mind Cafe

15. Better Marketing (114K Followers)

With the advent of personal branding, we are all marketers. Better Marketing is a great place to share your tips about successful, ethical marketing strategies.

Topics: Marketing, Business, Freelancing

Submission guidelines for Better Marketing

16. ILLUMINATION (60K Followers)

Some publications accept the kitchen sink when it comes to topics, and ILLUMINATION is one of them. ILLUMINATION is rapidly growing and publishes diverse authors.

Topics: Poetry, Fiction, Philosophy, Science, Technology, Personal Development

Contact editor Dr. Mehmet Yildiz directly at https://digitalmehmet.com/contact/

17. Invisible Illness (54K Followers)

I’ve always thought that Medium attracts really valuable content in the arena of mental health — especially personal stories with actionable advice. Invisible Illness is a great place to write on the challenging subject on mental health.

Topics: Mental Health, Self, Psychology, Science, Life Lessons

Submission guidelines for Invisible Illnesss

18. Publishous (44K Followers)

A top publication focused on writing, Publishous routinely features work by financially successful writers like Ayodeji Awosika, Sean Kernan, and Anthony Moore.

Topic: Writing, Creativity, Freelancing, Education

Submission guidelines for Publishous

19. JavaScript in Plain English (43K Followers)

JavaScript in Plain English is top Medium publication for JavaScript programming, the language that runs in web browsers. Web developers love publishing here.

Topics: JavaScript, Programming, Software Engineering, UX, Work

Submission guidelines for JavaScript in Plain English

20. The Post-Grad Survival Guide (41K Followers)

Rounding out the list is the publication I run with my editor Stephen Moore. We love new writer submissions, so please send over your best writing about millenial work, money & life advice!

Topics: Work, Freelancing, Money, Life

Submission guidelines for The Post-Grad Survival Guide

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You Should Write for Top Medium Publications

When my work came out in The Ascent, my article actually didn’t do that well. But I had built up the confidence to get into any other Medium publication. By choosing a top publication to shoot for, I was able to launch my Medium career and create a blog that makes $1500 every month.

Now, I’ve been published in many of the pubs from this list, but I started from nothing — like everyone else on Medium.

One of the keys to my success has been identifying the pubs that work best for my writing. It’s important to be a good fit for what they’re looking for.

You can reach a much bigger audience (often 10x or more) by publishing in the right publication, particularly if the niche is a great fit for your article.

Plus, there are even Medium publications that pay writers directly.

What do you think? Did I miss any of your favorite pubs to write for? Let me know.