‘Bout This Clapping Thing…

The guide I wish I’d had when I first started interacting on Medium.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Paying member, non-member, MPP person, it doesn’t matter. You will never be charged for your clapping. This is awesome!

Obviously, in order to read as many stories as you want, you have to be a $5/month memberbut if you can access the story, you can clap for it. No limits.

Self-explanatory, yes?

PRO TIP: pressing/clicking the clap button and holding it down will generate claps without you having to wear out your fingers. You’re welcome.

(I counted.) If your fingers are faster, it’s less.

Writers have the opportunity to earn money for their hard work — and here’s the thing: if you are a paying Medium member, your five bucks a month is going somewhere. And, you determine where it goes, based on how you interact with what you are reading.

From the Medium Partner Program FAQ page, “How do my stories earn money?”


This can be a tough one — it took the amazing Iva Ursano and her bombshell article below to help me figure it out. I had to disconnect my brain from believing that by maxing out on my claps I was converting to the author’s perspective, or supporting every word they typed.

Instead, I realized that I was supporting the person, and acknowledging the time and effort that they put into their work.

I don’t give 50 claps for every single story I read; but I do it far more often than I don’t, for those reasons.

Writers pay attention to their stats. It’s part of the job.

When I, as a writer, see another writer consistently engaging with my work, and regularly leaving high applause, I take note. Then, I make it a priority to reciprocate.

The opposite is also true — if I see a writer routinely leaving one or two claps for my work, I have to assume they haven’t connected with Facts #1–6. That’s okay — but engaging with their work may have to take lower spot on the to-do list.

Does this sound like “scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours”? Maybe. Here’s my take:

Writing on Medium is climbing a mountain; it’s important to know who’s holding your rope.

Does it mean I’ll never hold someone else’s rope, if they don’t “hold mine”? Of course not — when someone needs help, you help them because they’re a companion on the journey, not for what you get out of it. It’s a fantastic thing, and a win-win.

But you also recognize your team. At the end of the day, they’re the ones with a grip on your lines — and you can’t wait to give them a boost!

Writers and readers, what did I miss? What would YOU like people to know about the clap on Medium? Share in the responses.

Special thanks to Stefani Vader, Iva Ursano, Mark Escalera, Violet Escalera, Zach J. Payne, Janis Cox, Dharmesh Basapati, Christina Hausauer, Michael Shook, Cheney Meaghan, Randy Shingler, Martine Weber, Jenny White, Elle Fredine, Shae Jackson, Michelle Monet, David Dzimianski and so many others in the Medium Mastery Facebook group.

The generosity you give away, the words you write, and the encouragement you bring to the table every. single. day. inspires me, and fuels my fire. Thank you!

Inviting pew-weary Jesus people to embrace + experience their truest identity as beloved through subversive spiritual disciplines. Hope*Writer. Creative mentor.

Inviting pew-weary Jesus people to embrace + experience their truest identity as beloved through subversive spiritual disciplines. Hope*Writer. Creative mentor.