I’ve always wanted to be a writer.
As a kid, I started with short stories and poems. As a teen, I turned that passion into being a rapper. Now, I do a little bit of everything.
But writing online and actually making money from it has been this mysterious beast that I haven’t quite been able to figure out. I’ve had my blog since 2018, though extremely inconsistent. I also found Medium in 2019.
I was intrigued with Medium, but I didn’t find my groove with how to actually make money with it until 2021. I was determined to make something shake, and I finally did after 48 articles.
So how did I do it?
First, make sure you are enrolled in the Medium Partner Program. Once you are, just make sure each article you publish is submitted behind the Medium paywall. When Medium members spend time reading your content, you earn. When you refer people to Medium’s membership, you also earn. Beautiful, now let’s get to the good stuff.
Finding Ideas — Testing Out Different Genres
I’m not sure why, but I think sometimes we put ourselves in a box of our “niche” even when it comes to writing. We only want to write about certain things due to personal reasons or to grow our business.
I found much more success when I stepped outside of my comfort zone to find and create the stories that were already in my life. I highly recommend not only writing about what you know and/or have learned but also taking it to the next level by writing your personal experiences etc.
My best performing article was about a moment I thought my mom was going to die. Sad, I know. But people loved it.
Titles and Layout
I, unfortunately, think this can very important. I’m not saying it always matters, but just like with anything, it’s more enjoyable to read if the aesthetics are on point.
I recommend incorporating Titles, Subtitles, Quotes, Pictures, etc throughout your articles for the skimmers out there. Link other articles or resources when you can. Include dividers at good breaking points, and split your paragraphs at points that feel right. I also always go through to bold and italicize certain phrases or words. It gives the piece style and lets the audience know what you want to emphasize.
I also found a tip from Zulie Rane very helpful for including an outro to the referral program. I haven’t had a ton of people sign up, but every person counts!
Reading Medium Articles
Medium is a social media network of writers, and it is FULL of inspiration. Please don’t copy other people’s articles, BUT it helps tremendously to begin finding writers you enjoy, see what they write about, and have them help to click on a section of your brain you may have been keeping switched off.
Reading Medium articles gives you a direction to start. You don’t have to come in and start walking in a circle. You can come into Medium and immediately feel at home, inspired, and motivated if you give it a chance. If you haven’t already, I also recommend signing up for the $5 a month premium Medium.
We need to support each other here.
Submitting To Publications
If you didn’t know, now you will. Submitting to publications and being accepted to them is the #1 way to grow on Medium. At least for now.
I’m still working on writing the right articles that fit with certain large publications, but here’s a list of some of the ones I’ve found success in thus far.
There are many, many other publications, but these are just a few that I have been accepted to and enjoy. The next ones I’m looking to get into are Mind Cafe & Better Marketing. Goals.
Consistency — Find Your Number
With anything creative, consistency is king. Probably the most important thing you can do on Medium is to just write more. Test things out. Try new ideas and layouts. Write articles for specific publications.
I recommend attempting to write a certain number a week or month. I don’t recommend just writing 5 articles in a week and not writing again for 5 months. Stay consistent, and you will learn what works and what doesn’t.
Right now, my rough goal is to write 4–8 articles a month, alternating between personal stories/experiences, pop culture/politics, and entrepreneurship. If you can only write 2 a month, that’s totally fine. Just put your all into those two and find the perfect publication with a lot of followers to submit to. You never know. It could go viral.
If you know how to tell a story or teach, and you do all of the above, I have no doubt you will begin to make money on Medium.
But if you’re anything like me, you will also be interested in other platforms you can put your articles to hopefully earn as well.
For my personal blog, I have Google Adsense enabled, but with my traffic being between under 1,000 views a month, I have made around $30 the past couple of years. I do think that will steadily grow as I become more consistent etc.
For Vocal Media, I’ve made about $30 so far. I don’t like Vocal near as much as Medium, but I do like that they have “challenges” that motivate me to write outside of my comfort zone.
There are definitely other options out there as well, but in my view, Medium is your best bet. I love it!
If you want to learn more about writing on Medium, I highly recommend you tune into Zulie Rane and Ayo The Writer on YouTube. They both teach a lot about making money with writing. Good luck.
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