Medium made it possible: I got paid for writing

My first month: my earnings and my experience

Ignacio Zambello
Jun 4, 2019 · 5 min read
Image by Sharon McCutcheon, Unsplash.

One of the biggest goals in my life (if not the biggest) is to reach a state in which I am my own boss, in which I work from home or from any part of the world and at any time I want. If that includes doing what I love, then much better. Writing is one of the things I enjoy the most, and getting paid for doing so was something I believed to be impossible. Until I met Medium.

I finished university a couple of months ago, I moved to another country and I got a full-time job. Like every single adolescent, thoughts about my future started to bomb my mind. “Will you have this job for ever?”, “will you be able to do what you like?”, “are you going to have some freedom in some moment of your life?”. I was really worried, so I had to do something about it.

Internet is the most powerful tool in this planet, so I decided I wanted to use it. After some research, I found a lot of alternatives. Translations, YouTube channels, affiliate programs, blogging, freelancing, etc. All of them seemed quite good and possible, but I needed to narrow my field. I am a journalist, so articles and videos were the things I chose.

I started with my own YouTube channel. Making videos was one of the things I wanted the most, given the fact that being my own boss and having the freedom to chose the content of my videos was just amazing. And what about writing? This was a little bit more complicated.

“Hello, Medium, nice to meet you”

Image by Kaitlyn Baker, Unsplash.

“Being paid for writing”. Just read that again: being paid for writing. That sounds awesome, doesn’t it? I write since I’m a child and having the opportunity of making an income out of that was something that, until now, could only take place in my dreams.

All the options were good, but not good enough. Blogging was one of them, but I had not followers, so no one was going to visit my website. What about publishing for magazines or other websites? Impossible, I had no portfolio nor career, no one would want me to write for them. And then Medium appeared.

I did know Medium before, but I only used the platform as a reader. Honestly, I have no idea how I found the Partner Program. Suddenly, I started to read a lot of articles by people who have indeed earned money on Medium. If they did, why not me?

At the very beginning I had no idea what to write about, neither knew I how the algorithm worked. Was it better to write about what I liked or to start with the most read topics to get people to know me? Anyway, I started to write a couple of articles. Hope was null, until it became true.

Here’s the evidence

I must be sincere: I thought I wasn’t going to see even a single dollar. After failing over and over again trying to earn some money for writing, nothing seemed to tell me that this time things were going to be different.

I published my first story on May 12. Less than a month later, I saw the results.

My first month on Medium.

“What? Only $13.52?”. Yes, only $13.52, and that does mean a lot to me. A lot.

Never before would I have thought about actually earning money for writing online. NEVER. And now it was true, it was there, I could see it in my bank account.

It is actually possible, and all thanks to Medium. What am I trying to say with all this? I’m trying to encourage you, to make you know it can happen. Of course $13 are not going to change my life, but it’s the beginning of something that, perhaps, can be bigger.

Before I started, I read a lot of articles in which people showed their incomes on Medium. That helped me a lot, because I was witnessing it, there was no way to deny it. Because that gave me the final push to start, now I want to give all of you the same help I received by showing what I’ve earned.

I couldn’t wait until my first Wednesday, the day in which Medium tells you your weekly earnings. I think the first week I made $2, or something like that. I was extremely happy! So I kept on writing. I wrote stories about personal experiences and articles about things that had helped me with my everyday life. Some of them were even published on famous publications or recommended by curators!

Thing started to get better. Now I try to write at least twice a week. There’s still a lot to learn, of course. But here I am, playing the game. And I love it.

It’s been only a month, but here’s what I’ve learned

  • Medium is great. Anyone can write and earn money, what can be wrong with that? It doesn’t matter whether you have never written something in your life or if you want to import your whole blog.
  • The best part of it is that the quality of the content is what counts. One single article can give you loads of claps, while thousands of miserable pieces of writing can lead you nowhere, and that’s what happened to me at the beginning.
  • Publications are not unattainable. Within my first month, I got published in some of the biggest publications in Medium. That’s a huge incentive. Even if you’re unlucky with that, curators are there to help you and your stories.
  • Medium is a big open book. You can write, but also dive into amazing articles and be part of an outstanding literature society.

I could write books about the advantages of Medium. Thanks to it I fulfilled one of my biggest dreams. Now it’s my turn to transform that single seed into a much bigger tree. I earned $13 for a few claps, can you imagine what would happen if I start to make better stories and reach more readers?

It is real. It is possible. Give it a go. If I could, why not you?

Originally published at on June 4, 2019.

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Ignacio Zambello

Written by

Call me Nacho. Argentinian in London. I love sports, lifestyle, music, writing. I try to mix them all in texts. English and Spanish. Visit me

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +792K followers.

Ignacio Zambello

Written by

Call me Nacho. Argentinian in London. I love sports, lifestyle, music, writing. I try to mix them all in texts. English and Spanish. Visit me

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +792K followers.

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