You can earn up to $18 a month on Medium

Celine Lai
May 29 · 10 min read
Graphic produced by Celine Lai — “Everyone is a Winner!”

With a bit of nous (or understanding) and hard work, if you can call doing what you love to do (i.e. writing) hard work, you may be able to earn your $5 Medium membership payment each month, or more.

I am aware that not all Countries are set up to receive payments, and do hope that anyone reading this is able to enroll in the MPP (Medium Partner Program) if that is what you would like to do. Here are my experiences with Medium and its MPP. 💵 💵 💵

Lots of Followers may not translate to high earnings

Readers and writers on Medium will find your Stories the way you find theirs, via looking at who Claps or responds or highlights other Stories, and clicking the Follow button next to the profile information that they like; and / or via searching topics or tags in the Medium search field and coming across your Story / Profile, or finding you through a Medium Publication.

I have done an analysis to find less than 5 percent of my Followers, after 5 months on Medium, show they like at least one Story that I published during a week (by Clapping / highlighting / commenting ).

Of course, there may be exceptions to the low ratio, e.g. for “Top Writers” or popular writers with loyal “clappers’, but you may be surprised if you do your own analysis, to find that a high number of Followers doesn’t translate to a constant and decent number of claps of your Stories.

I recommend not to expend your energy on randomly 😊 following others, in the hope that they will follow you back and interact with your Stories.

I do not follow others, in the hopes that they follow me, and I believe that the time spent on clicking the Follow button of people whose Stories you have not even read can be spent more fruitfully; and why should those people who you follow, follow you back and read your Stories when you don’t read theirs??

Have a GOAL to consistently write and publish 3 to 5 good Stories every single week

I have a goal to “earn” $2 USD per week over a monthly MPP payment time frame, totaling $8.00 USD per monthly “pay”.

This will bring a smile to my face, as it will pay for my $5 USD membership fee per month, plus some. Because I live in Australia, I pay $7 AUD per month, due to the currency exchange . .😄

My payment summary to 25 April 2019 (I started with Medium on 9 Nov 2018)

If you aim “low” and realistic, anything above your $5 USD membership payment will be a bonus!

The idea is to write and publish at least one “major” Story a week, and to share it through social media and / or other means.

A “major” Story is a story or article of general or wide interest, that will appeal to or interest many readers, whether it be about your experiences on Medium or about a little known or discussed Topic, of which you hope up to 10 people (or more) will like and clap. 👏👏👏

I have found that my Stories in Publications on “Life Lessons”, and my articles about working with Medium fare the best. Don’t let anyone else put you off working out what topics or themes work well for you, in terms of interaction from readers.

You will need to try out various topics and Publications, and reflect or think about the style and the tone or timbre of content that Publications prefer to publish.

For example, PS I Love You seems to prefer contemporary views, not anything “old fashioned”, and the Ascent editors like up-beat personal Stories that appeal to all ages and genders, which have a lot of “substance” i.e. a lot of words or meaningful content.

Use the “Force” (or your intuition) to tune into what a Publication wants!

Overall, be organised

I have written before about my method for recording what I publish on Medium and about other ways I have worked with Medium.

Either using a straightforward linear list or a Table to record the Story titles that you have published in different Publications or on your own “timeline” / Profile page (which I call self-published) under Weeks which, if you are in the MPP, you also record under the Medium payment months, will be an important tool for you.

Screenshot of a Template for recording your Stories, color coded by Publication

I have put into Dropbox a template, titled “Record of Posts for Medium”which you are welcome to download / save to your computer, to use to record your Medium Stories that are “published.” 📚

The template is for APRIL 2019 but you can amend it for any month.

In the template, I include names of different Publications that I write for, in different colors, just as an example of color coding the Publications when you write for more than one.

It’s important to know that Medium payments are calculated based upon Claps for your locked Stories published between Monday and Sunday, which means from a Monday to Sunday inclusive.

Sometimes the way they put the date range on your Medium Partner Program page is confusing. April 2019 includes a “pay week” of 5 weeks, because it started with the week from 25 March.

Because the 52 weeks in a year aren’t distributed evenly between the 12 different months, the Medium “payment months” beginning in March, May, August and November 2019 will cover 5 weeks, not 4 weeks. 😃

I did an analysis of the payments I received from 25 March to 25 April, by copying all the content from my Medium Partner Program page for the 25 March to 29 April time-frame, and pasting it into a Word document.

I then created a new blank Table in Word and copied each line of 4 weekly payments in a row, for every Story, into one row of the Word table. 😅

Screenshot of my Medium partnership payments March 25 to April 25 (4 weeks of 5 week period)

If you do this, week by week, it is not so time consuming, and you can then add up the Totals for each week for all your Stories that earned money.

The point of the Table above is to see how publishing 4 Stories a week, at least, can give you around $3.00 USD per week! 😄

You can view my figures in the document titled “Medium weekly payments” in Dropbox, if you like. You can download / save the Word document ( .doc file), delete the content, and use the document as a template, to paste in your own data.

I didn’t include the Story titles because I just wanted a list of payments, and then wanted to paste this into Excel (or you could probably use Microsoft Word or a calculator) to add up the column totals.

But you can add a column to your Table, with the Story Title for each row (i.e. for each set of 4 weeks of payment details for each Story) or to type or write in a number corresponding to a number that you allocate yourself to each of your published Stories for the monthly pay-period.

Medium doesn’t make it easy to make sense of your data, for example each Fan means at least one Clap, but your weekly Stats that Medium emails you (if you have your Settings configured to receive weekly Stats) does not include the number of Claps for each story for a week. 😲

There’s no easy way to export or to transfer your payment data for a pay month, from Medium, into a nicely organised or presented word document or other file.

Medium will email you your monthly MPP payments (if you have enabled your Settings to do this) but they include payments for only some of your Stories which earned money!

I advise you to go to your Medium Partner Program page at the end of each 4 or 5 weekly pay period, if not at the end of each week of a “pay month”, and copy and paste the payment data for each week (Story Titles and Payments) into a word processed document.

For each week, in the Column title I also put in red, the number of Stories that I had published that week. From 25 March to 21 April (4 weeks) I had 19 Stories published and earned $18.00, woo hoo! 😍

The number of Stories per week published were: 5, 6, 4, and 4 for Weeks 1–4.

For 18 new Stories, between 25 March and 25 April, the date of writing this article, I received a payment.

The yellow highlight indicates a new story that week.

The green highlight indicates a story published before the week paid for. This shows that earlier Stories can still receive payment. 7 Stories published before 25 March were found and read, and clapped. 🌺

3 Stories were not in Publications, 1 each week. Two of these received claps / payment, and these 2 were both about working with Medium.

3 Stories received above $1.00 in one week, and of these, 2 were about my experience on Medium, and not in a Publication; and 1 was an unusual or “niche” Story — “Telepathy, Time travel and Energy.”

It looks like, to me, that Stories about Medium (whether in Publications or not) fare well; and other Stories that fare well are any at all which at least some eyes see, and like enough to clap. 😄

What I’m driving at here, is that write whatever you like and submit it to a Publication, and even if only 1 person reads your Story and claps for it, you should receive something.

Being someone who loves data, information and statistics, I thought I would focus just on the Stats shown in the Table above, in this article / analysis.

I have disregarded the number of Claps for each Story, when looking at how the dollars (MPP payments) accrue!!

You can record the number of Claps for each Story at the end of each week, if you like, by of course viewing the number of claps under each Story in your Medium “timeline” or Profile page, to that date.

Feel free to factor in, or add the total or accumulated number of Claps for each Story to your Table, or any other Stats. However, I tried working with number of Claps and Read to View ratios and number of Fans, to work out how the payments are calculated, but haven’t worked it out (to date).

It’s the little things that count, when it comes to making $5 USD or more per month on Medium!

With FANS come CLAPS, so aim to get yourself some Fans! Woo hoo, then have a little dance or sing a song of Joy. 💓 💜 😇

The Table above shows that with just 3 or 4 new published Stories in a week, which have Claps (Fans), together with previous Stories which have Claps (Fans), that you may earn $2 USD, even with the paid Stories each receiving payments under 1 dollar.

$2 a week times 4 weeks gives $8 USD. The bottom line that I aim for is to make $5 USD per month, which means just $1.25 per week! 😎

Don’t worry or fret or feel embarrassed about what you are submitting. Grit your teeth and press “Add to publication” then press “Submit” and be patient and wait. More times than not, your Stories will be accepted.

If you don’t mind using Facebook, you can share your Stories on focused Facebook Groups, like Medium Mastery, Grow your own Blog, and Bloggers & Medium Support. Click on a group name to go to that Group. 👈

If you live in the GMT-0 or a GMT + one to twelve Time Zone, you’re welcome to join my Facebook Group “Medium Writers of the Eastern Time Zones” (for those living in Australia, Europe, Asia, New Zealand & Oceania only)

Photo by Michael Longmire on Unsplash

All the part dollars add up! Post interesting Stories each week, and you may “clock up” $18 or more a month. 💜 💙 💚


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About the Author

Celine Lai was born in Malaya (not Malaysia) and is the oldest inter-country adopted person in Australia. She loves reading and writing, and runs WordPress blogs and writes technical documents. She blogs mainly on Fascinating Animals.

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The Startup

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Celine Lai

Written by

Oldest inter country adopted person in Australia, biologist & avid reader

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +536K people. Follow to join our community.

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