Continuing on a recent theme of looking at Medium through an economic lens, what types of high quality writing does Medium’s payment system support?

Well, there’s been a bit of a backlash by journalists who were occasionally being paid $1 per word or more and think of that rate as a respectable rate for professional writers. Backlash is maybe too strong, let’s just say disappointment that Medium’s economics do not currently support this rate. Eyeballing my own work, I think well-crafted pieces that are chosen for distribution across Medium can expect around $0.10 per word. …

More on the advice I’ve been giving Medium authors.

Write with a book in mind” and “Write articles that are subscription worthy.”

I don’t mean write the book on Medium. I mean write with an eye toward a book. That means test out ideas, share stories, research. But when you write here it still has to work as an article.

Here are some examples from my own writing.

As an author, I’m best known for this iPhone article with 2M views. It’s nearly as long as a book and triggered an editor from a major publishing house to reach out to me about turning it into a book.


That’s basically the best sound bite that I gave when Sinem Günel interviewed me about how writers can succeed here on the platform. She runs a fantastic coaching group for Medium writers and I’m a big fan.

Here’s a longer version of my quote:

There’s this completely bogus media narrative that Medium pivots. And I feel like I’m the only person on the planet that thinks that Medium is completely and utterly predictable.

They made one pivot, three years ago, towards a subscription business. Literally everything they’ve done since then has been predictable.

Now that they have a subscription business…

Musing about a place where I struggle.

Paraphrased from Crossing the Chasm (one of the all time great marketing books):

A market is a group of people who both:[A] have similar needs.
[B] talk to each other.

Most people forget [B]. I don’t forget it, I just can’t stand to commit to it.

Among the products that I’m involved in, a positioning that works is the services we offer to coaches. “We help coaches build their coaching business.”

It’s a clear goal and it targets a group of people who do talk to each other, coaches.

Similarly, nailing the “talk to each other” part, our…

An aside from this MTG profile in Politico struck me as an important pattern.

“I can speak from personal experience,” said Chambers, the grandson of a billionaire, “that this sort…

When I’m feeling restless late at night, I turn to simple projects. Normally that ends up not being work because if I had something simple to do there I would have already done it.

And so, one recent evening, I browsed through my unused domain names and made the connection that many of them would make entertaining Medium publications. And, being late at night, the critical thinking skills that would normally protect my wallet were depleted.

That’s how I ended up on Upwork, hiring freelancers to staff the following publications.

and (🤔🤔🤔 A much…

Sometimes tag lines are easy. For example, one reason I really like our Moneyball project is because the tagline was easy to come up with and helped guide the product design: “Make more money on Medium.” Easy and clear.

Right now on Better Humans we say something about trustworthy self improvement. First, if you have to say trusthworthy, then maybe that’s a problem.

But it’s also the classic trap of leading with your features rather than your value. The trap is to tell people what you do rather than who you do it for and why it would matter to…

This is a nascent thought that Terrie put in my head. It’s a scale that was proposed in permaculture and then adapted for Early Retirement Extreme (ERE).

The levels attempt to capture that in a deep field, “people would have varying levels of understanding according to their level of mastery. While people at adjacent levels are able to judge relative competence, there is also a fog of comprehension effect where people separated by multiple levels have difficulty relating to each other.”

I don’t understand either of those communities well enough to describe their scales for you. So I’ll just drop…

The Coach Life

Lessons & observations from a coach.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store