How I Made $1.73 on Medium in One Month: 6 Can’t Fail Strategies

Woman counting out dollar bills
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

There are many thousandaire stories on Medium. This one goes out to the rest of us.

Here are my top 6 can’t fail strategies for how to make $1.73 on Medium in a single month:

#1: I write about personal interests I’m passionate about.

I’m interested in a bunch of different stuff — from organ transplants and productivity strategies, to communication and caregiving. Articles on hot and/or controversial topics get a lot of clicks. But, I firmly believe there’s an audience out there for every writer, on every conceivable topic. Medium is a phenomenal platform to reach these readers — even if your topics aren’t the usual fare or designed to titillate.

#2: I write the story and then come up with the headline.

There are writers on here whose headline game is strong — we’re talking BuzzFeed or even The Onion strong. But, I’m not one of them. Color me old school because I like to write the story first and then figure out, through a decidedly unscientific method, what works for a title. Yes, this process sort of makes me feel like Perry White from The Daily Planet, but I don’t care.

#3: I follow other writers because I like their stuff, without hope or expectation they follow me back.

I’ve read some really compelling articles on here about strategies to cultivate a wide audience of fellow writers as readers. Seeing the benefits of this work in action, I’ve come to greatly admire the marketing savvy and data-driven approach of those who go this route to expand their readership. But, it’s just not my jam. That said, if I was relying on a writer’s paycheck to keep my electric turned on, it would absolutely be my jam. It would my jammiest jam that ever jammed. Speaking of which…

#4: Writing is not my day job.

Writing is my favorite hobby, my morning ritual, what I do in my head on the weekend during long walks, what wakes me up at 2 a.m. and spurs me to reach for the nearest pen or keyboard. Writing is what I do in my head whenever my mind is otherwise unoccupied. A writer never strops writing. But, I do rely on another gig to pay the bills and thankfully I also happen to pretty good at that other gig.

#5: I don’t go for quantity.

Some writers are incredibly prolific. Some writers have made an art out of taking a good piece of writing and turning it into 64 other pieces of content. While I admire their work ethic and creativity, I don’t have the time to do that. Instead, I take as much time as I need, to write something I like, and then post it. (The same goes for the books I write, only swap the word “post” for “publish.”

#6: Yes, I cross-promote, but I also try really hard to not be annoying about it.

If I post something I think would be relevant or interesting to other folks, I might pop the article up on my Facebook feed or post to a group in which I participate. Sometimes I even post it on Twitter, all hashtagged up. That said, the question I always ask myself before sharing with others is: Does this add to the conversation or is it self-promotion? If the answer is the latter, I stand down.

I’m grateful to have the resources that enable to not *have* to write, but really *want* to write. I have the luxury of being able to focus on improvement — writing better, writing in a more interesting and engaging way — while also building relationships with readers and fellow writers over time.

Sure, that $1.73 will buy me a really tasty bag of chips. But, I’m not in it for the chips. And, it’s totally OK if you’re not either.

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