September Earnings Disaster — Time to Quit Medium?

September was the worst month ever

Photo by Mikhail Nilov

All my stats for September were a disaster. Partly my fault, but is writing here a good use of my time? I’m beginning to think I’m wasting my efforts.

Let’s get into the stats first. After that, I’ll compare my earnings here to some of my other projects from the past. Starting a new project could be a better use of my time.


Medium views for Sep 2022 — Screenshot by author

Views came in at just over 10,000 for September. That’s down from almost 30,000 in August. It’s my worst month since November last year, which was my first fill month on Medium. My best month was last April when views were over 50,000.

Medium audience stats for Sep 2022 — Screenshot by author

My number of followers grew by 227 to reach 4,466. That’s the lowest month ever for new followers. I’ve also realized that the follower count is a bit pointless. Most have probably left Medium. Most of the remained probably aren’t interested anyway.

I gained another 5 subscribers, so now have 137. This is also the lowest month ever for new subscribers.

I got one extra referral. I now have 15.

Medium earnings for Sep 2022 — Screenshot by author

My earnings came to $228.95, which is pretty disappointing. July and August earnings were both almost $400. This month is the second worst month since I started writing here. I earned almost $1,700 in April, so it’s quite a big drop for there.

What went wrong?

I only wrote 19 stories in September. That’s around half the total of August. It’s the lowest number of articles I’ve written in any month. On average, I’ve published around 40 stories a month.

If I’d written 40 stories in September, I don’t think y earnings would have reached much more than around $300, so it would still have been a bad month.

I don’t feel like my stories are much different from what I usually write, so I can’t figure out why my stats are getting worse every month. I’ve gone from over 50,000 views and $1,700 in April to 10,000 views and $220 in September.

I’m a great believer in doubling down on what works and ditching what doesn’t work, so that’s made me consider quitting this platform.

Although I’ve done better than I expected to over the last year, I expected things to improve not deteriorate.

When I compare where I’m at with some of my past projects, it seems like I’d be better off starting a similar project to one of those.

My past projects

I had success with three main projects in the past.

The first one was my ecommerce store. It earned me around $100,000 a year for the three years that I ran it. I then sold it for around $250,000. So I made $550,000 over three years.

I built an ecommerce store that earned me over $500,000 in 3 years.

Ecommerce was easier back then, so I doubt I’d have the same success today. But even if I had half that success, I’d be happy.

Another project that produced great results was my travel blog. I earned a total of around $60,000 over 3 years. That’s an income of around $20,000 a year, which is about 3 times what I’ve earned here in the last year. I plan to go traveling for 6–9 months soon, so this could be a good option for me to try again.

I built an ecommerce store that earned me over $500,000 in 3 years.

The third project that worked well was building websites, getting them to earn income from AdSense, and then selling them. I earned around $12,000 in six months. There have been many Google algorithm updates since then, so this has become super-tough these days.

So, the idea of starting another ecommerce store and a travel blog are two things I’m considering. If I did both, it would leave little time to write on here.

What I like about building my own websites is that they can be sold for good money. A travel blog earning $1,000 a month could be sold for around $40,000. If I could get to $1,000 a month in a year, I could sell the site if I wanted to.

If I earned $1,000 a month on Medium, I’d need to write for 4 years to make a similar amount.

The bottom line

The bottom line is that I feel like it’s hardly worth my time to be writing here for what is often $1–2 an article when I could be earning much more writing elsewhere.

Comparing Medium to owning my own blog is like comparing being a low-paid employee with owning my own business.

I won’t leave just yet though. I enjoy writing here and interacting with other writers. I will make a big effort this month and see how things pan out. If I have another disaster month, I’ll probably call it a day.

I likely won’t leave completely, but maybe just write the odd article here and there to keep you updated on what I’m working on.

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