What Is A Locked Story On Medium, Exactly?

Medium Partner Programs and locked stories and paywalls–OH MY! Say, what is a locked story on Medium? Why are we paying for blog posts?

What the heck kind of a world is this? The internet should be free!

Okay, calm down. I’ll explain to you just what a locked story on Medium is.

What Is A Locked Story On Medium, Exactly?

Well, it’s a story that you have to pay to read, basically.

Writers, on the backend, can choose to “lock” a story so that only Medium Members can read them. If you’re not a Medium member, you can’t read it.

Well, that’s not entirely true. If you’re not a Medium Member, Medium allows you to read 3 locked stories per month as a sort of grace offering before they lock you out.


Because they want to keep you happy, I guess.

Are All Stories On Medium Locked?

No they are not. There are many “free” stories you can read. In fact, I would wager that about 50-75% of the stories on the platform are free to read for everyone.

Why Do Medium Writers Publish Locked Stories?

To make money! There’s a whole process behind this that I’ve outlined in other blog posts, but when Medium Members read and clap (Medium’s version of a FB Like) for your story on Medium, you get a portion of that reader’s Medium Membership fee.

People pay $5 per month to read unlimited locked stories on Medium. So, in essence, the more people you can get to “clap” for your stories, the more money you make.

How Do I Lock A Medium Story?

It’s really, really simple. Just visit this blog post that I wrote. I break it down with pictures and snappy sentences and lots of personality.

Trust me. 😉

How Much Can I Expect To Earn With Locked Medium Stories?

Well, are you ready to put the work in?

My friend Shannon Ashley made $1,400 last month on the Partner Program. The catch?

She wrote 2 locked stories per day.

That’s 60 locked stories. By the time she was done, she was averaging about $23 per locked post.

Some writers earn up to $10,000 PER MONTH on the Partner Program. But my friends, these are the outliers.

Most Medium writers earn about $100-$200 per month on the Partner Program, which is really awesome pocket change for those that like to write for fun.

So, that’s that.

I hope this blog post cleared up the “What Is A Locked Story On Medium, bro?” question. It’s just a way for writers to make money, that’s all. It’s actually a pretty damn good way for writers to make money if you want my honest opinion.

Maybe you should try it sometime?

If you want more info on Medium and how to build your influence there, just sign up for my free online course. It’s called “Your First 1,000 Followers.”

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By |2018-08-15T14:58:00+00:00August 15th, 2018|Medium|1 Comment

One Comment

  1. Celine November 17, 2018 at 2:35 am - Reply

    Hi Tom

    I just joined Medium a week ago, and wonder if you have any advice on whether someone new to Medium, like me, who is in the Partnership Program, should start with un-locked posts or not? My posts / articles tend to be about self-help and life topics, and so far I have had most of them locked for members only. However they are not receiving any claps, which makes me think readers don’t applaud the sort of content I am writing. But perhaps I should not be locking my stories to begin with, and / or perhaps I need more patience and to wait for more interested members to find my posts!

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