How I Earned $3.30 In My First Month on Medium

Learn to dominate this platform like I clearly have.

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One of the coolest aspects of Medium is how the Medium Partner Program allows everyday people to earn money through writing on the site. However, raking in the dough isn’t easy. Wouldn’t it be helpful to gain advice on how to be successful from one of the writers who’s really made it big on this platform?

Of course! Lucky you, that’s exactly why I’m here — to tell you everything you need to know for your writing career to really take off.

You’re welcome.

Why should you trust me? Because I’ve absolutely killed it here on Medium. Smashed it. I’ve grabbed hold of this site and showed it who’s boss. Complete and utter domination. And I’ve got the numbers to prove it.

Ready for this? In May of 2019, my very first month in the Medium Partner Program, I made a whopping $3.30.

You heard me. Three dollars and thirty cents!

I’m positively rolling in it. Are you ready to have the financial freedom to make those extravagant purchases you’ve always dreamed of? After I received my payment, I went straight to 7-Eleven and bought myself an ICEE. I had earned it.

And you can too.

So let’s get down to business. Here’s how you, like me, can make $3.30 in just one month here on Medium.

Write About One Topic with a Smaller Following

Zulie Rane will tell you that and that the platform is more about sharing your personality through writing on a wide range of topics rather than trying to be an expert in one field.

But look at me! I earned multiple dollars last month writing exclusively about sports.

There are plenty of big categories here on Medium, such as startups, life, travel, and writing. Many of them share thematic similarities, leading to significant crossover appeal.

Then, there’s the sports section. It’s not as popular as some of those other topics, and certainly doesn’t align with much else on Medium. In fact, I’ve had some people tell me they didn’t realize Medium had a sports section at all.

However, it does offer you the opportunity to quickly rise through the ranks. I became a top writer in sports and the NBA in just a few weeks. By staying in sports, I was able to earn my first dollar on Medium. Then I earned another and another.

So, if single-digit income is what you’re after, make sure you keep a narrow-minded approach to what topics you choose to write about and stay the heck out of the mainstream.

Choose to Write Stories That Are Irrelevant

Generally speaking, stories come in one of two varieties. There are current events stories, which relate to more time-sensitive things happening in the world, and evergreen stories, which aren’t news-related, and thus can be read at any time without losing relevance.

If you really want to flourish on Medium, though, there is a third type of story I would recommend: the irrelevant story.

Irrelevant stories are special in that they are only important at certain times, but aren’t published at those times.

I know — genius.

To show you what I mean, here’s an example of a story I wrote about March Madness, the annual college basketball tournament that takes place from March to early-April. When did I choose to write about it? May 4th — nearly a full month after people stopped caring about it.

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Check it out! I earned a pretty dime for this one (and a penny!)

You can’t argue with these results. I wrote a story no one wanted to read, and was rewarded with money. What random, pointless things will you choose to write about?

Have a Modest Following

It’s very important to have an intimate relationship with your followers — after all, these are the people that have signified that they like your work and want to see more of it. Without followers, a conversation can’t take place. But with too many followers, each individual might feel you’ve grown too large to appreciate their own opinion.

I ended my first month on Medium with 15 followers, which I think is the sweet spot. That’s too many people to count on your fingers, but not so many that you run out of fingers and toes.

You wouldn’t want to start adding extra fingers and toes, would you? The same concept applies to followers. If you follow the above rules and write irrelevant stories about smaller, niche topics, racking up unnecessary followers shouldn’t be an issue.

However, if you feel yourself starting to become too popular, do not hesitate to close the floodgates by deleting your stories or taking a break entirely.

That way, no one new will find you, while existing followers will eagerly anticipate your return. When you stage your comeback, these people will be sure to read and clap for your stories. Believe it or not, a few dedicated readers are all you need to make a couple of bucks.

Post Whenever You Feel Like It

Let’s face it — being a writer is hard. Just finding time to write can be difficult enough, but there’s also the process of coming up with an idea, crafting the perfect title, and finding captivating images to supplement the text.

Oh, right. The text. That’s important, too.

Some days, writing anything at all is like pulling teeth. Either you have no motivation at all, or you just can’t seem to find the right words. Know what I like to do on those days? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

I take the day off. Maybe a few days. Sometimes even a week. I try not to force anything. Instead, I wait for the inspiration to come naturally. And clearly, it’s worked. After just four weeks of writing only when I’ve wanted to, I managed to earn $3.30, almost an entire dollar per week. That’s serious stuff.

This pattern of publishing will keep your readers engaged, too. Having an inconsistent schedule will have your readers on their toes, constantly refreshing their browser to see if you’ve posted something new.

So there you have it. By following these four steps, you can join me as an elite content creator here on Medium in no time. Go forth, my students. Become the superstars of the future and earn that cold, hard cash.

I look forward to the day we can get ICEEs together in celebration of our immense success.

Sportswriter. Medill graduate student. Host of the Slept On Sports podcast. Relentlessly curious. My book: .

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