Chapter 1: Introduction
“Medium feels like a place where you are truly welcome to come in, have a seat, and speak your mind. Or listen. Or both.”
- Mia, via Medium’s mailroom
The following is a free excerpt from Chapter 1 of “The Ultimate Guide To Medium.” You get a special discount. Order the book now to get 33% off.
Let Me Tell You A Story
Friday, December 5th
I’m awakened by a text message from a strange number at 1:05 AM. Half asleep, I pick up my phone and read the following:
“Your friend Kevin has signed up to drive with Uber. What happens now? Once they complete the required number of trips, you’ll earn a referral reward!”
“Cool!” I think to myself. “This must be from that story on Medium I just published. Maybe I’ll get a few bucks for referring someone. Time to go back to sleep.”
During the summer of 2014, I was driving for Uber and Lyft as a means to supplement my income while I was in the bootstrapped stage of my nascent startup, Fatberry. Since I was a driver for both companies, and there was such a feud between the two, I thought I could share an interesting perspective. Given all of Uber’s negative press during the time, I figured it may resonate particularly well. I wrote a story and published it on Medium.
At the bottom of the story, I thought it would be valuable to include a link where those who were interested could easily sign up to drive for Uber. Since it was a special referral link that was tied to me and me only, I would get paid a cash bonus for those who used it to become an active driver.
A nearly identical message appeared the next afternoon. Anastasia was the driver-to-be this time. “Hmm, another one. This is awesome!” I said to my nearby wife, as she looked perplexingly back at me.
Two more days went by and few more of these strange but nonetheless well received messages came in. Then, on the evening of December 6th, it happened. At 8:48 PM, the first of what we would be a tidal wave of text messages came in that wouldn’t relent for well over a week.
First it was Jameel. Then, Simon and Sandra. The texts were pouring in consistently. Francisco and Kalam. Chris and Omar. Timothy and Alberto. Often, a few would pop up in just a matter of minutes. Sixty six days later, I had received no less than 141 of these welcomed notifications.
At a maximum of $300 per driver, I was looking at $42,300 in potential cash earnings. Granted, not all of these would ultimately convert, and some bonuses were as low as $50, depending on the city. Even so, a quite impressive sum indeed.
In addition to the uber amounts of Uber referrals, a handful of people signed up to drive for Lyft with another unique referral URL I had also provided at the bottom. With comparable payouts to Uber, my few dozen Lyft sign-ups could net another few thousand dollars.
So where did all these referrals come from? Medium! My story became very popular on the platform, and 29,000 readers viewed it in a span of just a few days. My story had also made its way to the popular tech publication Pando, where it currently stands as the first search result on Google for the term “Uber vs. Lyft.”
After the dust had settled, it hit me that I had I just used Medium to earn thousands of dollars — and it was kind of an accident. From that moment, I felt compelled to to show others how powerful this platform is.
Who This Book Is For
Medium is an extremely powerful mechanism for anyone from any walk of life to share their voice. Time and time again, those with no significant digital presence create something that goes viral because of the sincerity and uniqueness of their story. If you want to tell a tale, you need to be on Medium.