Quora Monetization 101: Answers, Paywalls, and Subscriptions

Nicolas Cole
7 min readAug 6, 2021

I have been writing on Quora since 2014, but today is a big day.

Quora officially launched their monetization features, which include:

  • A site-wide “Adaptive Paywall” called Quora+
  • Exclusive Quora Spaces subscriptions
  • And a mix of both (ads + subscriptions)

I remember back in 2014, and 2015, and 2016 (and 2017, and 2018, and 2019, and 2020…) how this was the #1 question writers asked within the Quora community. “How do we make money?”

Quora’s first attempt at monetization was with their Partner Program in 2018, which rewarded users (modestly) for asking questions that went on to attract significant viewership and quality answers. At the time, I was a bit underwhelmed by their choosing to reward users who asked questions because despite the fact that I was one of the most-read writers on the entire platform (out of hundreds of millions of users), I think to-date I’ve asked less than 20 questions on the entire platform.

But now, in 2021, Quora+ and their rolling out ad-revenue splits and subscription payments feels like a much stronger step in the right direction.

Let’s break each monetization method down.


This is basically a replica of Medium’s paywall model.

On Medium, writers can choose to put pieces behind the paywall—meaning only users who are paying the $5/mo subscription to Medium will be able to read your content. Based on a blend of views, “claps” (engagement), and readers who convert into paying subscribers after reading your piece, you (the writer) earn a % of revenue. The best way to think of how this works on Medium is to draw the equivalent to how musicians make money off Spotify or Apple Music streams. Similar idea, but the number of writers who make more than a few thousand dollars per month on Medium is slim.

For context, I had been publishing *an article per day* behind Medium’s paywall for almost 2 and a…

Nicolas Cole

100M+ Views | 5x Author | Co-founder of Ship 30 for 30 | Want to start writing online? Get the Ultimate Guide: https://startwritingonline.com