Medium vs. Quora

Why Most Quora Users Should Switch to Medium

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One of the most common questions asked about Medium is its status related to Quora.

Which is better—Medium or Quora?

This Google search result and countless others like it, are searched thousands of times per day.

Obviously the answer varies based on your purpose, but given that Medium is filled with Quora “refugees” it seems worthwhile to examine the differences between the two platforms.

Medium describes itself as:

A place to read, write, and interact with the stories that matter most to you. Every day, thousands of voices read, write, and share important stories on Medium.

Quora describes itself as:

A place to gain and share knowledge. It's a platform to ask questions and connect with people who contribute unique insights and quality answers.

The truth is these two platforms are meant to be used very differently.

Medium was created to host longform content. It is both a platform and a publisher. The content is housed behind a metered paywall, in an attempt to get readers to subscribe to its vast array of content.

Quora is intended to be a question and answer site. It does not put up a paywall but it does have an adwall which encourages readers to sign up and become users. Quora generates money through ad revenue.

Similarities Between Medium and Quora

  • Both allow anyone to create a free account and publish their content to a large built in audience.

  • Both sites have high domain authority and dominate search engine results.

  • Both contain a social component in addition to their publishing platform.

  • Both were founded by Silicon Valley tech superstars.

  • Both have allowed famous entrepreneurs, CEOs, politicians, and other prominent individuals post on their respective platforms.

  • There are no real constraints on content length. While Medium may be designed for longform content, plenty of Quora’s best answers are long, detailed, well thought out responses. Similarly, there are really no minimum post lengths on either platform.

  • Both offer a Partner Program to help users make money.

Differences Between Medium and Quora

  • While both Medium and Quora offer Partner Programs, there are major differences between how the two compensate users. The Medium Partner Program offers writers a chance to earn significant amounts of money for their writing based on member reading time. The Quora Partner Program rewards members of the program for asking engaging, thoughtful questions on Quora. Basically, you get paid if you ask questions which garner significant responses/internet traffic, which result in increased ad engagement. While you can make decent money on Quora by asking questions, earnings have declined as the platform has become saturated and few have the opportunity to make more than a few hundred dollars per year. Medium has thousands of writers consistently making at least this much by writing articles.

  • Quora’s BNBR system. Quora allows users to easily downvote and report responses that violate its Be Nice Be respectful Policy. Quora’s BNBR policy requires that people treat other people on the site with civility, respect, and consideration. There is no inherent problem with this. But people abuse it and Quora’s moderation team randomly bans hundreds of accounts per day for arbitrary reasons or without any explanation. This affects both small and large writers on the platform. Even those with an established following are regularly banned for no apparent reason. While Medium does restrict accounts, it is only in clear cases of copyright infringement or overt hate speech, that a post will be removed.

  • Medium allows you to better organize your content for your readers using tags and publications. While Quora does offer “Spaces” these are not the same in terms of customization as Medium publications.

Why Most Quora Users Should Switch to Writing on Medium

  • Medium offers the potential for writers to be well compensated for their contributions. Top writers, who post consistently, can easily make over $100 per month on Medium. There are many making over $1000 per month. Achieving this success is not only rare on Quora, but it is virtually impossible to do consistently.

  • While CTAs that collect emails do affect Medium curation rates, Quora does not allow overt CTAs at all, making it much harder to build an off platform following or email list.

  • Low quality content tends to sink on Medium, but it can easily rise to the top on Quora. This incentivizes Medium writers to strive to produce their best possible writing.

  • On Quora, you can only make money by asking questions. On Medium, you are paid for any story you write (whether it is a one off topic or your attempt at answering a broad question that is being asked online). Just make sure it is part of the Medium Partner Program and posted as a story, and not a response (as responses do not earn money).

I hope this article has been useful in assessing which platform—Medium or Quora—is right for you. I hope if you are only writing on Quora you consider trying Medium. You don’t need to stop writing on Quora (in fact, writing on both, is probably the best strategy). But when it comes to monetizing high quality content, Medium is definitely the better choice.

Until next time!


For more Medium writing tips, tricks, and the latest platform updates, sign up for the Medium Blogging Guide Newsletter. Get exclusive Medium writer content sent straight to your inbox!