What Does It Take to Make $100 a Week On Medium?

I’m looking to double my September income. Here’s how I plan on doing it.

T.S. Johnson
Oct 6 · 6 min read

I never made it a formal case study, but I mentioned in one of my earlier posts that my goal was to make $1000 in 90 days.

I amended my goals a bit to $500 in 90 days, as that seemed more manageable from where I was sitting at the time.

Well, since I made $220 my first full month on Medium, making $1000 in one month by month three seems possible again.

The first step, however, is to slightly more than double my income from last month and make $500 for October

Here’s how I plan on doing it.

A Quick September Recap

As mentioned, I made $220 off of 47 articles, 12 of which were poems. I separate out the poems because I quickly learned that poems do not pay as much for the same engagement as regular articles.

There are some reasons why I think this is the case, but I’ll save those insights for another article.

With that said, I ended the month with 830 fans. So based on those numbers, each fan was worth slightly more than 26 cents.

Now, if you’re thinking, “Hey, that’s way less than the 50 cents a fan you said in that one article.”

You are correct.

But remember those 12 poems I mentioned earlier?

Those suckers will drag your per fan rate all the way down. Out of all 12 poems, only one made $1, and with a few exceptions, they all had at least ten fans.

Just to give you an example of the difference in pay, all of my other articles that have ten fans made between $1 to $7 dollars.

The difference is staggering.

I completely understand why poets have a harder time clearing the $100 mark on Medium, much love to the ones who keep posting even while making pennies for their efforts.

October Goals

So the goal for October is to make $500 for the month.

If I were to use my per fan rate from last month, that means I’d need to have 1950 fans to make $500 a month.

However, I know that my per fan rate would be higher if I substracted my poems from the total and recalculated things.

I’m lazy, however, and don’t want to do that, so I’m going to give myself a boost of 4 cents because I like nice round numbers.

So instead of using 26 cents as my per fan rate, I’m going to use 30 cents. At 30 cents, I would need to have about 1700 fans to meet my $500 goal for the month.

The break down of the monthly, weekly and daily fans I need to hit looks like this:

  • 1700 fans for the month
  • 425 fans for the week
  • 60 fans for the day

It is actually 57 fans a day to make 1700 fans for the month, but I like nice round numbers, so I bumped it up to 60.

The Plan

Well, the first part of the plan is to post more often.

I only published 47 articles last month, so that number needs to be at least 60 for this month, with the ultimate goals being between 90 and 150.

If those numbers seem eye-popping to you, they shouldn’t. I write full time, so any given day, I’m writing between 5 and 10 articles.

I wrote an article on how I use the Pomodoro Technique to write 5000 words a day, so those article goals are right in line with what I produce on a regular basis, so they aren’t out of reach at all.

Part of making money on Medium has a large enough back catalog to bring in money each week along with the recent articles you’ve published.

Shannon Ashley once wrote that her income for the month was made up of 474 articles. Brian Rowe regularly talks about the $2 and $3 articles that help make up his $1000 a month income.

If you want to make $100 a week you need some combination of the following each week:

  • 10 posts that make $10
  • 20 posts that make $5
  • 50 posts that make $2
  • 100 posts that make $1

Now I haven’t published 100 articles on Medium yet (this article makes 82) but 20 posts that make $5 or even (but less likely) 50 posts that make $2 in a week is doable.

It’s part of the reason I’m willing to write so much early on in the process. The quicker I can build a back catalog of articles, the quicker I can hit my monetary goals.

What to Write About?

Now that I know what my goals are and my content plan, the last question that needs answering is: What am I going to write about?

Well, looking at my stats, I have a pretty clear answer to that question. The topics I should cover, simply based on the numbers are as follows:

  • Writing
  • Medium
  • Sex & Relationships

While I love writing about politics, pop culture, and writing poetry, those topics aren’t bringing in the money.

And it’s not even close.

However, I’m not going to abandon these topics altogether; where’s the fun in that?

I will dedicate a few days a week to write one article outside of my Big Three categories. So a schedule might look something like this:

  • Monday: a poem
  • Wednesday: a political post
  • Friday: a pop culture post

Or something along those lines. I just want to give myself the space to write about all the things I love without compromising my ability to meet my goals for the month.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it.

My October goals laid out in detail.

I don’t know if it will be enough to help me make my goal of $500, but one of the keys to success on Medium is to control the things you can control and let the rest go.

I’ve created a well-thought-out, well-reasoned plan and as long I hold up my end of the bargain and execute the plan I like my chances of success.


Med Daily

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

T.S. Johnson

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Writer. Editor. Professional Smartass.

Med Daily

Med Daily

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