A few months ago I didn’t even know you can make money writing on medium. A colleague and I were talking and she mentioned to me she just published a few articles and would like me to read them. She sent me the links and they were good. I’ve always liked sharing knowledge, so she figured I would enjoy writing and suggested I look into writing as well.
In the next few days, I researched the process a bit and found it to be easy and straightforward, however, I didn’t write any article right away. My intention wasn’t to make money, but rather sharing my knowledge with whoever could benefit from it. Two weeks later, I couldn’t sleep much, so I decided to write my first article and published it that very same night.
The next morning, a publication reached out to me and wanted to publish my article. I was so excited that I didn’t even think twice and said yes. I wrote three more articles that same week. A week later, I received a notification of my first-week earnings — $3.07. It wasn’t much monetary wise, but it was huge for me in terms of people reading my articles.
I wrote two more articles the following week and received another notification with the earnings for that week — $11.43. So I wrote six articles and earned a total of $14.50 in my first two weeks. It’s important to emphasize that I’m not a blogger, nor someone who markets their stuff on social media. So I decided to write consistently since most nights I have trouble sleeping anyway.
I read a lot of articles about how much money people were making writing. Some of these writers claim to have earned thousands of dollars. Some of these articles were click-baits and others were legit. Some writers were very vague about their process and others were detailed. I realized most of the people who manage to earn lots of money writing are doing this fulltime. They have lots of other things going on like mailing lists, websites with subscription-based users and even offer classes to help other writers accomplish the same. I wanted to know if non-professionals can do as well (e.g., myself). I figured out what my niche was and decided to experiment a little.
In November, I wrote thirty-one more articles. Most of them got curated and picked up by publications like “The Startup”, “Better Programming”, “The Ascent” and “An Injustice!”. They all together got 34K views with a 48% reads ratio. At the end of the month, I checked my earnings and to my surprise, the figure had changed dramatically — $541.11. I was over the moon, not for money, it was more because of the sense of validation I got from all those reads and claps.
Some of you might be asking, besides writing all these articles, what else did I do to get these views or increased my earnings? Well, nothing different from the previous month. No marketing whatsoever, I simply wrote quality articles about topics I know about. After writing these articles, my writing improved and bit and I was ready to go even harder the next month.
Between Christmas shopping, having family most weekends, working my full-time job, I was only able to write eleven articles. I made sure writing didn’t interfere with my fulltime job one bit, because after all, I wasn’t doing this for the money. But it was exciting to see what all the buzz was all about. Even though I only wrote a third of the number of articles in December as I did in November, the previous ones in addition to the new ones earned more money. The amount was $721.83. Again, not much, but I’m sure I could’ve made a lot more if I had the time and committed to writing more that month.
Here’s the screenshot of the earnings for all my articles thus far.
I’ve learned a few things that I think are worth mentioning.
- Writing takes time and commitment. It can be another source of income, but not a passive one. You have to keep writing for your earnings to grow.
- Stories get the most views upon publishing. Unless you market your stories constantly, the most views you’ll get will be when you publish them. I’ve read a few articles that state if a story gets curated and gets 200+ fans in no time, then there’s a good chance it gets featured on medium’s home page. I haven’t been that fortunate yet to have a story earn that number of fans in a few days.
- Write about topics you know. I’ve tried writing stories that aren’t related to my field (software engineering) and they didn’t do so good. The ones related to my field gets the most views and fans.
The point of this article wasn’t to boast, but rather to inform people who enjoy writing and wouldn’t mind getting paid a few dollars here and there for quality articles that this could be a good start. You have to be realistic. You get what you put in. I’m curious about the results of other first-time writers like me.