1 Gained 13,000 Medium Followers This Year — Here’s How

A year ago today, I really fell in love with Medium.

I wanted a place to write every day, not just once per week, so I started writing 300-word nugget posts daily as a little side project.

I didn’t know what to expect. I just thought Medium was beautiful and I wanted to be a part of it. Little did I know what was about to happen…

November — 2016 | 0 Publication Followers

Published my first Medium post:

I had all of 43 followers when I first started out. The above story got 17 “recommends,” which translates to “fans” in today’s Medium vocabulary.

I also started the Post-Grad Survival Guide, a spinoff idea from a series on my blog. I thought it would be a nice place to share wisdom/insights from a recent college graduate such as myself.

After two weeks of running my publication, I started seeing a major jump in my follower count EVERY DAY.

Instead of getting 1–2 followers per day, I was now getting 12–15. Intrigued by this strange occurance, I doubled my efforts on Medium.

My first semi-viral article was also published in November:

December — 2016 | 300 Publication Followers

In December I sent my first ever newsletter with the Post-Grad Survival Guide to 300 people:

I said the PGSG’s follower count doubled that first week, which means it went from 150 to 300. INSANE!

In the essence of time, I’ll skip over how I did that — but if you want to find out more about gaining followers on auto-pilot, join me for my webinar next Tuesday. It’s called “How To Make An Extra $500 Per Month On Medium.”

Sign up for it via that link (above).

We also featured our very first guest post from jonny illuminati:

That was such a cool moment. To have someone WANT to contribute to my publication? I just thought it was unreal.

I got my first 50+ fan article near the end of December, too:

January — 2017 | 1,000 Publication Followers

A couple weeks after the new year, I published an article that would go on to be hand-picked by the good Editors at Medium to be featured on the homepage:

It received 1,400 views. It felt amazing to write.

We also did pass 1,000 followers, I wrote about it here:

Back then I was posting dank memes to the Post-Grad Survival Guide Twitter page. Should I revive that practice?

February — 2017 | My First Affiliate Sale

To clarify something for ya’ll, I LOVE writing on Medium, but I’ve always been equally as fascinated with monetizing my writing.

For the longest time, I saw affiliate marketing/selling ad space as that gateway to monetization, which made February of this year particularly amazing to me.

This month, I got my very first affiliate sale. I sold a copy of Do Cool Sh*t to someone from my audience which was purchased on Amazon.

I did it via a newsletter I sent out to my 1,000+ subscribers.

I was over the moon. I only made about $2.30, but it was my first real experience making money online as a writer, which was a major landmark in my Medium journey.

Notable guest post:

Basma KhalafUncomfortable In Your Comfort Zone

March — 2017 | Post-Grad Job Board?

For a while there guys, I REALLY considered creating a job board. Exhibit A:

Let’s just say it wasn’t the greatest idea.

To be honest I had tons of ideas about where I wanted to take the Guide (including a podcast), but I was so busy freelancing/preparing for my trip overseas that I couldn’t quite work on all of them.

Oh yeah, this month I got my first 100 email subscribers thanks to a free ebook I created about finding freelance work: “You Work Where?

That was a big moment.

Email marketing as a blogger is EVERYTHING.

April — 2017 | Contributing At The Mission

At this point I really started picking up steam on Medium.

I had about 4,000 personal followers, an ebook + landing page capturing email subscribers, and my articles were regularly getting anywhere from 100–400 views.

But remember, I was ONLY posting on my publication.

That changed this April — 6 months after I started on Medium.

After bugging Chad Grills on Twitter to give me feedback on an article, he finally budged and made me a writer at The Mission.

I posted this article on The Mission a couple days later, and basically did backflips the entire day:

I had something even bigger up my sleeve, though..

May — 2017 | Creating A Magazine With Zero Experience

Guys, for some crazy reason I wanted to CREATE A DAMN MAGAZINE six months ago. I think I wanted to see if I could make money selling it for $3 or something, but I ended up giving it away for free in the end (because I love you guys).

Oh, it was also around this time that I went all-in with the publication. I left my shitty blog in the dust (Findingtom.com) and began funneling all my effort into Medium.

It was a good choice.

Quick word of advice: It’s okay to quit something if there’s a better alternative somewhere else.

I interviewed some pretty amazing people and put together a 26-page magazine (all while publishing every day on Medium) which I thought was AMAZING back then.

It was, but it was also way too short. I needed something bigger.

June — 2017 | 165 New Email Subscribers

Because I spent 80+ hours creating a monstrous digital resource, I figured I’d republish a lot of the content found inside on The Post-Grad Survival Guide itself.

Then I’d say something like “Read the rest of this article inside our FREE Post-Grad Survival Guide Magazine” at the end of the article and provide a link.

I was encouraged by the results, but not satisfied.

We attracted 165 new email subscribers, but I thought there would be way more. You know where I went wrong?

Nobody wanted a damn magazine, that’s what.

It’s hard to read and consume an entire digital magazine, besides, people are busy. Most of all, people are on their phones! It had amazing, top-of-the-line content, but it just wasn’t the right medium (no pun intended).

Nevertheless, we did add 165 new subscribers, which was about 5–6 new people per day. It wasn’t bad, but I was expecting more.

July — 2017 | 7,000 Medium Followers

By July of this year, I had 7,000 Medium followers. This was a ridiculous number. My articles started averaging 500–600 views each, and my platform continued to get bigger and bigger as new subscribers trickled in from any one of my previous 300 blog posts.

That’s the great thing about publishing SO MUCH on Medium — there so many places for people to find you after a while.

All-in-all, I also had about 400 email subscribers and 3,500 PGSG followers.

My “tribe” had grown to 10,000 strong. Unreal.

But there was something missing. After a year of publishing online I still hadn’t found that silver bullet for blogging monetization.

I wanted to make money so I could write more! I grew tired of it, and wrote this post here:

August 2017 | 52 New Stories

In the month of August the Post-Grad Survival Guide posted 52 new stories. People like Nicole Cooper, Lori Bumgarner, Scott Asai, Basma Khalaf, and Lauren van Arendonk all contributed pieces, helping bolster this publication’s reach across Medium.

It was unreal. I needed it, too, because I was working on my second Post-Grad Survival Guide Magazine.

This was was going to be 60+ pages, feature interviews with badasses (like a member of the Forbes 30-under-30), and generally be a much more consumable resource.

September — 2017 | 400 New Email Subscribers

It was a cold, rainy day when I released the second Post-Grad Survival Guide Magazine. We got 50 email subscribers in the first day, and I tried to bolster that momentum by writing 10+ posts for the Mission revolving around the contents in the magazine.

It was a large endeavour. I tried to feature influencers from across the web in hopes that they would help me promote it. Some did, some didn’t.

I even ran a book giveaway rewarding those who shared. We ended up getting something like 20,000 total impressions across every social media platform — which wasn’t bad.

We drove about 400 new email subscribers with this magazine, which was good, but still not the number I wanted.

After this month I realized the importance of the medium itself when marketing something.

A magazine just wasn’t practical. This was a hard month because I was dissapointed.

Oddly enough, it was also my most successful month yet.

October — 2017 | The Podcast | 12,000 Followers

In an effort to continue interviewing badasses and cut my work down significantly to get that information to YOU, I created a podcast.

To me it solved a ton of problems.

  1. No more transcribing.
  2. No more writing.
  3. No more designing magazines.

For my first few episodes, I interviewed Tiffany Sun, David Kadavy, and Thomas Despin.

I’ll be honest here: something about podcasting made a fuck ton of sense right off the bat.

When I “launched” the show I had friends emailing and texting me saying they loved it! I couldn’t believe it. I NEVER got this kind of a response from my magazine.

I realized people listen to podcasts on their way to work, while they cook, or even while they’re getting ready in the morning. You can consume it passively while you’re doing something else, unlike my magazine!

So far I’ve gotten 700+ downloads of my podcast, which is pretty damn good considering I released it just three weeks ago.

It’s already gotten more engagement than both of my magazines COMBINED.

It was around this time, too, that I passed 12,000 Medium followers, which was such an amazing feeling.

November — 2017 | $531 Earned With The Partner Program | Webinar

Because of Medium’s new Partner Program, I was notified on the 1st of this month that I made $531 from publishing locked content here. UN. REAL.

My questions about monetization were finally answered, and I made more last month from blogging than I had in the last year combined.

To celebrate this feat, and to show you all how to do it, I decided to host a LIVE webinar next Tuesday (November 14th) to go over how you can make an extra $500 per month blogging on Medium.

You can sign up for it here!

Lessons Learned The Past Year

I learned a lot of things on Medium the past year. I learned that the “medium” means just as much as the content. I learned you need to reach out to more badass bloggers every day. I learned that you really can’t do this all alone.

I learned that the only way to grow sometimes is to fail BIG TIME (my magazines), and that if you put in enough work, eventually you’ll become an expert at whatever you do.

I’ve put in so much work on Medium and have stuck with my core values of posting 4-5 times per week, EVERY WEEK.

I’ve only fallen in love with this platform MORE. I’ve only fallen in love with writing more.

And I couldn’t ask for anything other than that.

Happy 1-Year Medium!

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Tom Kuegler

Tom Kuegler

57K Followers

Travel blogger. 29 years old. Currently in Mexico. Get my free 5-day Medium course via email → https://bit.ly/35yyIIu