I had a Medium account since early 2018, but I was never much of an active contributor here. All I did was publish a story or three each month, and that was it.
In May 2020, when the whole of the country was under the Covid19-induced lockdown, I wrote one article that went viral. I was so inspired by its success, that I started paying attention to the little details Medium formatting had and decided to write one article each day for the remainder of the month.
I loved the process so much, that it has been more than two months now, and I still write something almost daily on the platform. Here are 31 of the most interesting things I learned from my experience on Medium.
For a more candid version in video format, click here, or watch by clicking on the image below-
- Curation matters. A curated article is distributed to a wider audience and can have a long life. Some even continue making decent money months after they are published.
- Curation is not everything. I have a couple of articles that were not curated but went on to have 2,000+ views, making a little over $25 per piece.
- If you follow Medium’s curation guidelines, your articles have a greater chance of getting curated.
- Sometimes, even if you follow the curation guidelines to the dot, some articles will not get curated and you won’t be able to figure out why.
- Articles about Medium (like this one) don’t get curated, but they have the potential of attracting a lot of views.
- Writing in a niche topic helps attract the attention of curators. For example — I wrote enough articles about books to establish a certain level of credibility. These days, whenever I publish a new article tagged “Books”, it gets curated more often than not. However, no matter how much time and effort I spend in writing an article on self-improvement or productivity, it doesn’t get curated unless I publish in a partner publication.
- Some publications guarantee instant curation. Examples are Better Marketing, The Writing Cooperative, P.S. I Love You, The Ascent, etc.
- If you write frequently on one publication with the same tags, your chances of curation in those tags increase.
Readership and Followers
- If readers like a particular article, they come to your profile and read more of your work. Thus, one viral article can lead to a lot of your older articles getting more traction.
- Follower count does not matter much. I have 2,000+ followers, but only a few of my stories have 2,000+ views.
- Promoting your articles on social media have little or no effect on your earnings. Most of the readers who come from external sources are not paid members and have no contribution to your earnings from the Medium Partner Program.
Regarding the Medium Partner Program
- No matter how good your articles are, most of your stories will only make a few cents.
- The majority of your earnings will come from a few high-performing articles. The worst part? You have no way of predicting which article will go viral and start earning a lot.
- If you are from India (or any country where Stripe is not operational yet), there is a roundabout method to earn money from Medium. Yes, it’s perfectly safe and legal. I have been earning money through that for the past few months.
- The same number of member reading minutes in the later stages of an article can pay much more compared to the first few days after publishing the article.
5. Sometimes, Medium pays you for zero views too (screenshot attached).
6. I have a few articles that were curated in THREE topics but failed to make even $1.
7. Some articles will not make money initially, but the views will spike suddenly. These views are dependent on Medium’s algorithms and sadly, there is nothing you can do to boost them.
8. Writing more frequently means you have a huge arsenal of articles that will add to your income at the end of the month.
- All publications have different submission guidelines and different style guide of the kind of formatting they expect from an article. You can find most of everything you need to know from their homepage, by clicking the “Write for us” option.
- Some partner publications like Gen, Better Humans offer an upfront fee for publishing your article. (I have tried pitching to them, but never got a reply).
- The prospect of publishing in some major publications might sound tempting, but if they don’t reply after numerous attempts, it is best to stick to the ones that value you and your writing.
- The editors of some publications are amazing and super supportive. They have a genuine interest in helping improve your story and watching you grow. My favourite publications in this regard are Publishous, Invisible Illness, Indelible Ink, and The Brave Writer.
- Some publications (like The Ascent) take 20 or so days to accept (or even reject) an article.
- Others are super quick to respond (like P. S. I Love You and Invisible Illness).
- Starting a publication is the best way to come across amazing writers and build a community. I started Books are our Superpower because I could find no place on Medium to post my book-related stories. Within the first two months, we have an active community of 250+ followers and 30+ writers.
- If you keep writing daily, the quality of your writing will increase and you will become a better writer.
- Writing daily also helps include writing into your routine and you no longer have to find a way turn on the “creativity faucet”.
- I could analyse situations more easily and turn my life lessons into stories to be presented to my readers on Medium.
- Repurposing content does not work unless you significantly re-work the post and format your articles according to the Medium standards.
Suggested further reading:
How I Made $690 As A Newbie Writer In 45 Days
Lessons I learned from writing every day on Medium for one and a half months
Quora or Medium: Which Platform Is Best for Writers
The pros, the cons, and everything you need to know about the two blogging platforms