5 lessons learned from 5 months to help you jumpstart your Medium career
When I was first thinking of writing for Medium I was told it was a waste of time.
Rather than listening to the doubters, I did some research to see if others were making money on the platform.
I found that many were indeed making $100s and even $1,000s a month. In fact, today I read a story from @Burk in which he states that he earned $2,595 in February. That’s from writing 300 stories over a year. If others are doing, that proves to me that it’s possible.
If others can do it, then so can I.
If you want to succeed you should model yourself on successful people. Ignore the doubters. Doubters don’t know how things work. Successful people do.
Takeaway: Yes, you can make money writing on Medium.
I’ll assume you’d like to do the same. If so, let me show you what I did and share my top 5 lessons learned over my 5 months here.
30 October 2021
I joined Medium and wrote my first story on 30 October last year. I shared the story on Reddit. It got 92 views.
I was such a newbie that I didn’t even realize at the time that external views didn’t count towards earnings. Almost all those first-day views were external. I had a lot to learn.
When I joined Medium I decided to write every day for a minimum of 3 months. I’ve now decided to write (almost) every day until the end of the year.
During November I also read around 20–30 articles every day. I wanted to find out what the successful writers did so that I could do the same.
I followed other writers whose stories I enjoyed. I clapped and commented often.
I got my 100 followers, which is needed to join the Medium Partner Program, on 12 November. I applied to join and got accepted right away.
I was officially a paid writer.
I earned $92.88 in November.
This was another month of doing what I did in November. I wrote, read, clapped, and commented.
I also took a writing course and started implementing writing tricks that I had discovered.
It was a lot of work but it was fun.
I earned $468.28 In December. I was super-excited.
January was more of the same.
You’ll discover below that consistent writing is one of the keys to being successful here.
It’s not sexy. It’s work. Day in and day out.
You have to put in the hours.
I earned $431.97 in January.
I was a little disappointed that my earnings had dropped slightly, but that’s just the way it goes.
There were only 28 days in February. I’m sure you knew that.
My earnings dropped to $402.22.
The daily average was marginally up from January though.
I was a bit disappointed again. I wanted to reach $1,000.
I’m semi-retired and have enough money to live on. $1,000 sounds like a nice additional amount to help make my life a little sweeter.
More of the same.
Do you see a pattern here?
If you’re a writer, you need to write. That’s what it’s all about.
I published 47 stories this month.
I got 28,390 views and 12,539 reads.
I earned $684.01.
I’m happy with that. I’m heading in the right direction.
Writing is becoming almost effortless. It’s now a habit. It’s easier to write than it is not to write.
I’ve written 212 stories in the last 5 months.
That’s an average of 42 a month.
If I can earn money here, so can you
When I was in school, my English teacher described my writing as “average, at best”. On my O-level exam, I got a grade C. That’s average.
I’m an average writer.
Yet I’ve earned over $2,000 in just 5 months.
There’s nothing to stop you from doing the same.
5 lessons learned from 5 months of writing
Before writing on Medium I used to have a travel blog and also wrote 8 books for Kindle.
That writing was totally different from what I write about on Medium, so I’m not sure if it’s even relevant.
Anyway, onto the 5 lessons learned.
Lesson #1 — Write every day
I know that this sounds like an old cliché, and maybe it is. But it’s the best advice if you’re new to Medium.
You need to build up some serious momentum if you want to earn good money here.
Writing every day will get your name out there in front of the readers. If they see your name often they’ll start recognizing it when they see it. That will make them more likely to click and read your stories.
Writing every day will also improve your writing quickly.
Writing every day will mean you are building up a big backlog of stories that can be found in the future.
Lesson #2 — Read, read, and then read some more
When I first started writing here I had a few ideas for interesting articles. But I worried that I’d soon run out of ideas of what to write about.
That was easily solved by reading.
The more you read, the more ideas you’ll get. I’m not talking about copying what others have written. I’m talking about your reading sparking related ideas in your mind.
When you’re reading, always keep a notebook handy. If you get an idea for an article, write it down immediately.
In the beginning, I’d get some awesome ideas for articles I could write. I didn’t bother jotting them down. They were so awesome that they would be impossible to forget. Until a few hours later when they were indeed forgotten.
Read often and make a note of ideas.
Lesson #3 — When the going gets tough, the tough get going
This is a hard lesson to learn. There will always be times when the going gets tough. My views didn’t grow in a straight line from 0 to 27,000. There were days, weeks, and months when my views dropped.
I wrote a while back about my views dropping 63% in 10 days. It was very demoralizing. But I kept writing every day.
When this happens you realize that there are only two types of writers. Those that give up and those that keep going.
The successful writers kept going. I followed their lead. If it worked for them it would work for me.
Lesson #4 — Learn your craft
Lesson number 1 was to write every day. But it’s pointless if you keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again.
You also need to be learning every day. The top writers give so many awesome tips that it’s almost impossible to keep up with them all.
Choose the best ones and implement them.
Writing great headlines is one of the keys to getting your articles read. If you’ve written a top story but added a boring title, don’t expect anyone to read it. The headline is your one chance to get a reader to click through to your story.
Write 5–10 headlines for each story and pick the best one.
The same goes for images. Choose a great image, not the same boring ones that everyone else uses.
These takeaways from Tim Denning’s 3-day writing course helped me a lot.
Lesson #5 — Check your stats and adjust your strategy
There’s a goldmine of information in your stats. At least once a month I go through my stats to see what’s working and what isn’t.
My strategy is to do more of what’s working and less of what’s not.
I have read that writing personal stories is a great way to get a high number of views. I tried it, but it didn’t work for me. It might work for you, so try it.
What I found was that my stories about writing and making money were always the ones with the highest views. So, guess what? I wrote more of those.
I also experiment with other topics, as you can never tell in advance what will work and what won’t.
But after experimenting I check my stats. I always do more of what’s working. You should as well.
If you want to make money writing for Medium, you need to take it seriously. Writing an article here and there in your spare time won’t cut it.
It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme either. It takes time. It took me 5 months to get to $684 in one month. I know other writers that took over a year to get to a similar amount.
Treat this as a long-term project.
Treat it as a job or a business. Take it seriously.
You’ll get days, weeks, and months where it feels like you’re going backward. These are the times you need to dig deep and keep going.
If you have any questions, let me know in the comments section and I’ll reply as soon as I can.
I’ll be releasing a Medium Writing Guide very soon. Make sure you follow me so that you don’t miss it.
Lastly, I wish you the best of luck with your Medium writing career.