What Is The Grey Star At The Top Of Some Stories On Medium?

What Is The Grey Star At The Top Of Some Stories On Medium?? By Natalia Golenkova
Photo by Natalia Golenkova

What Does The Little Grey Star At The Top Of The Stories On Medium Mean?

This tiny grey star at the top of some stories means that these articles are for Medium members only. Other users won't be able to read them. However, non-members can read 5 member stories per month for free.

The Good The Bad & The Ugly About The Little Grey Star

The Good.

If your goal is to earn money on Medium and enroll in the Partner Program, you probably want to make sure that those grey stars are lighting your path to financial success on Medium. Otherwise, you might not earn any money for the pieces without the star.

The Bad.

If your goal on Medium is exposure, including external views, the gey star will be limiting the impact of your writing. A little grey star at the top of certain stories means that is article will be available for Medium members only. Other people won't be able to read it.

The Ugly?

We do not have control over Medium's algorithm. But if the article did not get metered after publishing, you can still go back into edit mode and try to meter it. In addition, writers can flag any of their stories for the Partner Program.

How To Remove The Grey Star Form Yur Post On Medium?

You can only unmeter a post if you're in the Partner Program. So please follow the steps below on your desktop to remove your post from Medium's paywall.

  1. Enter edit mode by visiting your post page, clicking the three-dot button in the top-right corner, and choosing Edit story.
  2. In edit mode, click the three-dot button in the top-right corner of the page.
  3. From the drop menu, click Manage meter setting.
  4. Uncheck the Meter my story, so it is eligible to earn money checkbox.
  5. Click Save. Your post is no longer behind the metered paywall.

Medium Earnings Basics

Medium writers are paid monthly based on Medium member activity and Referred memberships. A bit vague, right? Yes, earnings on Medium are pretty unpredictable and not so straightforward as it was before. So you probably won't get exactly money for the same amount of views. Why?

Basics Of Earnings on Medium
Photo by Natalia Golenkova
  1. Only internal views count, so your earnings go down if your external views are high.
  2. Not the views that count; it's the reading time. More precisely, the member reading time. You get paid when a Medium member reads your story.
  3. Reading is calculated by time spent on the post and scrolling actions, e.g., the scroll of the reader.
  4. Claps and engagement are not taken into account for the earnings anymore. It was easy to hack the system; that's why Medium stepped away from relying on claps.


I suspect that there are a lot of writers like me. Like most writers on Medium, I have a well-paid, full-time job. Writing is my hobby, and a few hundred bucks a month will never move the needle for me. Although, I occasionally write on Medium not because of the money:

  1. It is gratifying. It is lovely to get feedback and see the impact of your writing. In addition, medium publications rank pretty high in Google search results (SERP). So, if you need mentions about your personal brand or your writing — it was the right starting point.
  2. 2. It is addictive. You can find yourself investing more time here on Medium for peanuts than investing your time in other projects, which are much more lucrative! Also, it is kind of addictive to share your thoughts and choose your subjects.

✍ ️Share your thoughts with me in the comments!



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Natalia Golenkova, M.M 🏆

A Nocturnal 🌒 Writer & Diurnal ☀️ Digital Advisor. New Jerseyan, Skier, Scuba-diver & Tea-lover. I Write About Digital Marketing, Addiction & Mental Health ⭐