2020 was a prolific year of writing and a dismal year of results.
For all of 2020, I wouldn’t see much results when writing on Medium. I would put in 20 hour weeks of writing and earn $10–$20 a month. You read that right.
My daily earnings were something between $.50 — $2.00 a day. The daily views were nothing to write home about. I thought all of this was normal and decided to keep going despite it because I enjoyed writing and the community here.
This was the time when top writers were regularly writing that they were having months where they earned $10,000 or more. I too felt that I was putting in the time and effort but my results were drastically different.
As I continued to contemplate and wonder what the secret to success was, an article I wrote on the platform in March 2021 began to pick up some momentum. This was exciting I thought to myself in early April.
The excitement increased all month as that one article got over 20,000 views, increased my 30 days views to over 50,000 views, and resulted in a couple of hundred new followers.
As the month came to an end, I realized that I had earned my first four-figure month on Medium.
My April 2021 Medium earnings were twice as much as I earned for all of 2020.
You may be wondering what the secret to my breakout month was and how you can have can have one yourself.
Would you believe it if I told you I did nothing different?
I just did what I have been doing since March 2020 when the pandemic started and I decided to go all-in with my writing.
Here’s what I have been doing on this platform that you might consider too:
1. Writing 15 articles a month.
I tried to crank out as many articles as I could per month. I know that consistency of publishing matters on Medium and helps the algorithm.
If you’re absent too long or don’t publish enough, Medium gets hungry and bored. It moves on to promote someone else.
The key is to write a lot of articles and not to give yourself too much space in between each article. Medium, in my opinion, likes consistent publishing of content.
15 is about the right number that I’ve found for me because of the time I have to dedicate to Medium. I wouldn’t recommend less than 10 articles per month and long breaks between articles.
2. Having a community.
I didn’t go out looking for community. I simply kept up with the writers who engaged with me.
I also looked out for other regular writers on the platform who engaged with other writers and engaged with them. I read their posts, commented on their posts, and shared their posts on social media.
I know that I have a tribe of regular readers these days that read every one of my posts. If you want to know how else you can build a community and start your own tribe, read this post.
3. Experimenting with genres and topics.
I received the top writing badge for a few topics including culture, humor, relationships, and even writing. I wrote personal essays on personal development, spirituality, relationships, and career.
I wrote multiple articles in different styles to figure out what was working for me. I was ready to fail and fall on my face by getting 0 views for the sake of determining if something was working or not.
If something worked, I wrote more of it and kept going. I think I’ve found niches that work for me now and I’m going to keep writing in those areas.
4. Studying the analytics
I keep up with my analytics to see what’s working. Interestingly, relationships are my strongest topics. I had no idea this could be the case but it’s what the stats show.
My top article on Medium is one that I’m not earning any money on but is my most read article. This relationship-related article has 375,000 views. I’m not monetizing it because I want people to read this post without the article being locked to non-members.
My viral article this month about relationships has close to 20,000 views and earned nearly $1000.
After I publish something, I check the stats for the reads, the claps, the comments, and the earnings. I used these insights to develop new content because I get little insights into what my audience wants.
5. Keep going without stopping
What they say about success in most things is true.
Even when the path is dark and uncertain, you have to keep going.
Even when you get negative and contradictory advice, you have to keep going.
Even when things don’t look like they are working out, you have to keep going.
There are many people who started writing when I did last year. A majority of them stopped. I just kept going and here we are.
My message to you:
There’s not a whole lot that I did differently than I did last year that I’m doing this year.
Last year, I was breaking three figures during some months. This year, I just broke the four-figure month. A handful of writers I know that started at the same time have had similar results.
The only thing that I’ve noticed that is different is that I get more posts with hundreds of views now. I can only assume that I’ve gotten better at writing or the algorithms now are working in my favor?
I can’t tell for sure but I know after having written a couple of hundred articles, my writing must have gotten better. I’m hopefully writing better content with more enticing headlines.
Writing is like everything else. The more of you it you do, the better you get at it.
My simple message to you is to keep going, keep writing and never stop. Oh, and keep going even when you don’t see immediate results.
The only thing different that I’m doing is that I kept going while many others stopped along the way.
Want to make your writing dreams come true? Join my tribe of writers here where I share what’s working for me and encourage you to write more.