Case Study: What Does It Take to Make $100 a Week On Medium? | Update #2

So how did I do my second week into my case study to make $500 in a single month?

T.S. Johnson
Oct 20 · 7 min read

It’s that time again.

Another week down in my quest to make $500 in my second full month on Medium or at least double my income from last month (220 to 440) by the end of this month.

If you missed the first update, you can check it out here:

So how did I do?

Well, like last week, I won’t bury the lede.

After another week on Medium I’ve made-drum roll please:

$96.69

Just shy of my goal of $100

$3.31 shy to be exact.

At this point, I think Medium is fucking with me.

Seriously, I can’t complain too much. In my second full month, I’m just shy of $100 for the week. We know that most people don’t make that in a month.

With that said these are my stats for the last 30 days:

From everything I’ve read, anyone with stats like that (poets aside) is making $1000 a month or damn near.

I’m not even sure I’m going to break $500.

This is why I think it’s so important for Medium writers to talk about money.

In some ways, Medium is selling a dream; that you can write about whatever you want and make money — good money is a dream. It’s the writer’s pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

While we know all of what Medium promises isn’t true:

It would help to see what other writers are making and how they are making (number of fans, articles written) to see what’s normal around here.

I know Americans consider it gauche to talk about money, I just see it as part of the process of giving back to new writers so they can have a bit of a roadmap as they attempt to achieve their goals.

At the end of the day you have to carve out your own path, everyone’s experiences, writing abilities and goals won’t be the same, but for instance if I knew there were a bunch of other writers who were hitting 2000 to 3000 fans a month and not clearing $500 I wouldn’t feel like a mini-failure.

Well, I don’t feel like a failure per se, but do feel a little like I’m missing something to have so many fans and so little money. But once again, I may be premature in these feelings as I don’t know what the rest of the month is going to look like.

Slight Change in Strategy

I’m not going to rehash my concerns about Medium Facebook groups here. You can read about it in detail in last week’s update article.

I will say, however, that, even with the diminished revenue because of all the engagement; they still play a big role in getting articles that otherwise would be dead in the water earning you money, even decent money.

For example, this article wasn’t getting any traction, but because of Facebook groups, it had 52 fans (and growing) and has made $11 thus far:

This is my most popular article:

It was consistently getting traffic and fans since I first published it my first or second week on Medium. It had started to wane in popularity and wasn’t getting much traffic or any fans.

I started to promote it in various Facebook groups, and it went from 56 fans to 103 and has been bringing in $7 a week up from nothing just a couple of weeks ago.

This article also gained traction due to promotion in FB groups.

It has been bringing in a steady $4 to $5 a week. Not a lot of money but it definitely adds up over time.

So as much as one may complain about the worth of some of the fans when you get enough of them + some internal Medium traffic, you can get decent results on articles that would have otherwise languished in obscurity.

With that said, I’ve decided not to use FB groups right off the bat with my new post. I allow posts a three to seven day grace period to see how they do internally with Medium’s traffic and then those that need an extra push I promote with the FB groups.

If a post is doing well, I will use the FB groups to get it to cross a milestone. So if it is at 65 fans, I’ll use an FB group or two to get it to 70.

What this new strategy allows me to do is better gauge how well an article is doing when not promoted solely to other writers, and it gives me a better handle on how much the article will make as well as how well I’m growing on the platform.

I will say — and I’ve mentioned this before — that I think articles aren’t being pushed to followers at the same levels they used to.

I’d gotten to a point where I could get to 50 views and ten fans minimum with Medium traffic alone. That abruptly changed a few weeks ago and hasn’t reverted back.

The algorithm that determines what you see based on what you’ve read seems to take predominance over everything. So yeah, your articles may be shown to your “network,” but what they see and when seems very much in the air.

It’s why these outside promotions, even with their diminishing returns, are so important. You can’t make money off of what people don’t see, and 50 cents is better than no cents.

So What’s Next?

My approach has always been about volume. I published 17 articles this past week. I plan to keep a 3 to 5 article a day schedule because building up my back catalog is going to be hugely important if I want to make $1000 a month or better sooner rather than later.

In the blogging world, Hubspot found that it took publishing 400 blogs to achieve exponential growth. Most people don’t make it to 50 blogs before they stop blogging.

My guess is Medium’s ecosystem isn’t too different than the wider blogging landscape. I’m betting that at 400 articles in it would be hard not to make at least $1000 dollars consistently.

I’m trying to hit that number as quickly as possible, and then maybe I can scale back my publishing to one or two articles a day.

We’ll see.

I’m over 100 right now, so I still have a ways to go.

Also, I’ve started a new publication to house all of my content about writing, productivity, and marketing.

All of my Medium content will remain on Med Daily; however, if you’ve made it this far, go ahead and follow both publications.

We’re (I’m) doing big things ‘round these parts.

Come join the fun.

‘Till next time.


MPP writers coming together to share their knowledge, struggles and insights.

T.S. Johnson

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Med Daily

Med Daily

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