I Earn $14.91 Per Story on Medium — is That Enough to Keep Writing?

Or are there better ways to earn money?

Photo by Jamie Templeton on Unsplash

I always aim to maximize my time, so need to earn the best hourly rate that’s available. It sounds straightforward, but it’s not. It’s not just about the hourly rate I can earn right now.

I’m a data guy, so I’m always analyzing my stats here and elsewhere. I like to know what’s coming in, what’s going out, and where I’m headed in the years ahead.

This is my ninth month of writing on Medium, so it’s time to ask myself if it’s worth continuing. Are there other places where I could be earning a better income?

The short answer is that I could earn better money elsewhere but as I mentioned above, this is about more than just money.

Where could I earn more money?

That’s easy. I could get a day job. It would pay more than I could earn here. But I don’t want a day job. It would interfere with my life. I have better things to do with my time than work for someone else.

This is possible because I’ve already reached financial independence. I worked hard to achieve it.

When I started writing here I wasn’t sure how it would work out, so I decided to write 100 articles before making a decision.

I realized that I enjoyed writing more than I expected, so decided to carry on.

But if there are ways to earn more money for the same amount of effort, why wouldn’t I do that instead? That’s assuming I also enjoy whatever that is.

Evaluating where I’m at

The first step is evaluating where I’m at.

To date, I’ve published 355 articles and earned $6,006.11. That works out at $14.91 per article. Each article takes around 30–60 minutes to research and write. Some may only take me 15 minutes. A few have taken me 2–3 hours.

If we assume the average is an hour, then I’ve earned $14.91 per hour.

If the average is 30 minutes, it means I’ve earned closer to $30 per hour.

This doesn’t take account of the time I spend reading here and interaction with other writers. That means my real hourly rate is much lower.

There is a lot of fluctuation in these figures though.

My worse month for earnings per article was in February. I earned $402.22 for 52 articles. That works out as a meager $7.74 per article. I’d probably give up if that was as good as it got.

The best month was in May. I earned $1,081.01 for 34 articles. That’s $31.79 per article. I wish every month was like that.

July is turning out to be my second worst month at just $10.28 per article so far. If that number stayed consistent, I’d need to write almost 100 articles to earn $1,000. That’s just not going to happen.

What else could beat these figures?

I am considering starting a niche blog. I think it’s possible to earn more money doing that than I earn here. It will take longer to start seeing decent income though, which is one of the downsides.

An upside of owning a blog is that it can be sold if it’s successful. A blog earning $1,000 a month could be sold for around $40,000. It’s nice to have that option, which isn’t available with Medium.

Writing a blog would feel more like building a valuable asset, whereas writing on Medium is more like a job.

What will I do?

I think we’re currently in a summer slump here, although my views and earnings are down much more than expected this month. So maybe it’s more than a summer slump for me.

I’ve committed to writing until I’ve reached 500 articles here, so I will re-evaluate once I reach that figure. Things can change quickly around here from one week to the next.

In the meantime, I’ll almost definitely get started on a niche blog. That can run alongside my writing here.

I’d need to re-evaluate the blog idea every 3–6 months.

I like the idea of having multiple streams of income because you never know when one will fail. It’s time to add another one.

I’ll evaluate everything at the end of the year.

I want to follow the most efficient path forward.

Do you have any other income-generating plans other than writing on Medium?

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