Ultimate Guide: Make Money on Medium 2022
A thorough guide to Medium success
Can you make money from Medium.com?
100% yes you can. It’s a great platform that pays you for the amount of reading time your articles are getting. The best thing is it’s free to sign up and join the partner program, and then you can already earn money after your first month.
The only thing is that you need 100 followers before you can apply for the partner program, but don’t worry – I have a bulletproof strategy for you. I’ll take your hand and guide you from nothing to your first $100 paycheck.
Why should you listen to me?
I’m the owner of The Wealth Blog and Simple Research on Medium. I grew The Wealth Blog to 2,500 followers, +50 referrals, +100,000 views, and above $1,800 in less than 3 months.
I also grew the Simple Research to +900 followers, +12 referrals, +30,000 views +$400 in less than 1.5 months.
Only 6.7% manage to ever earn above $100 a month, but I make on average +$1,000 on my main profile each month and I think I’ll soon reach $600 on my second profile. My best month was July when I earned +$1,600 from my main profile.
Currently, I don’t see any signs of this slowing down anytime soon. So if you are ready, I would recommend you grab a bowl of snacks and a can of soda, because I’ll now reveal how you can achieve similar results.
1# Pick your niche
Before you start writing your first article you must pick a niche to write within.
“Why can’t I just write about everything?”
Great question. And the answer to that is: for multiple reasons.
First, your audience will not keep following you if you one day write about fitness, and the next day you writhe about the history of Venezuela. You’ll never be able to find 5k followers who are interested in everything.
Secondly, I did an experiment, and the results speak for themselves. I have two profiles on Medium. On my main profile “The Wealth Blog”, I write within the niche wealth/money/income, and it has been a huge success.
On my second profile, I wrote about everything; science, self-improvement, wealth, history, Medium-tips, etc., and it just seemed like it wouldn’t take off. But when I focused on a specific niche things started to change.
Thus, picking a niche is important, and if you haven’t figured out yet what niche audience you would like to write to, then here are some topics on Medium to consider:
Proper niche picking
Picking a niche is not just picking one of the above, and then starting. No, use a day or more to research the niches you like. What I like to do is to pick 5 niches I really want to write about.
Although some niches might be more lucrative than others, I will never pick a niche if I wasn’t interested in the topic. For instance, I would never pick arts since I don’t care about arts. So, find 5 you like and research those topics.
By researching, I mean finding out how many writers and articles there exist on that topic on Medium. If there’s close to none, there would be low competition in that space. On the other hand, low competition also indicates a limited audience, which means you’ll never be able to grow into the sky.
If there are a lot of writers and articles you can be sure it’s going to be hard for you to fight the competition. But again, now you are in a niche with huge potential if you manage to differentiate and make unique content.
As a beginner, I would pick something in between, but it must be of interest to you. If the only thing that interests you, is a topic like business (high competition), then go for it. Alpha-omega is that it must interest you.
2# The 100 followers
All beginning is hard, and this journey will be hard as well. But if you like me can promise yourself to work extremely hard and consistently for just three months, then I can almost guarantee it will change your life.
I cannot guarantee the same results, but I can guarantee that your life will change.
So, with that out of the way let’s dive into it.
The strategy to obtain 100 followers
I’ll first present the strategy in bullet points, and then I’ll explain why it works. Do not skip the why section since it’s important too.
- Follow other writers (Guess it isn’t the first time you heard that)
- Clap, Comment, Read and Subscribe to other writers.
- Write an “I will help you achieve 100 followers” article but make it unique. Offer something extra that others don’t. If you need inspiration, you can find one I made here.
- Post 2 to 3 articles a day. They don’t have to be long, but they must be valuable to their readers
Why does this work?
When you can see the logic behind your actions, it will be much easier to continue.
Follow other writers
Following other writers is great for two reasons. First, many will obviously follow you back, which will increase your follower count. Secondly, a bigger follower count gives the impression that your content can be trusted, and that you deliver value.
You’ll hear many say “stop using the follow-for-follow strategy”, and their argument for this is that the followers you’ll get are not interested in your content, thus they won’t read your articles (and reads are what you need to earn money). While that’s 100% true, those “unreal followers” will help you get real engaged followers faster. Why? Due to the reason above – they make your profile look more trustworthy.
Clap, comment, read, and subscribe
Engaging with other writers’ content will increase engagement in your articles as well. First, the writer who receives the clap or the comments might reciprocate the favor.
Secondly, people will notice you in the comment section, and although they don’t know you, the more your name gets seen on Medium, the more people tend to trust that writer. Thus, more will eventually read your content.
Finally, the medium algorithm also favors writers who use the platform. The way the algorithm determines if you use it is if you post, but also when you clap and comment on other articles. Therefore, it will also help your own articles to have a better reach.
Write an “I will help you achieve 100 followers” article
People like help especially when it demands next to zero effort. I’ve seen a lot of these articles, and I’ve even made some myself. Such an article will much likely increase your follower count as well.
Post 2 to 3 articles a day
Finally, it’s important to remember that getting followers isn’t enough, you must also retain your current followers. And nobody wants to follow a profile that doesn’t post consistently. For a start I would recommend posting every single day, and if you could push out 2 to 3 articles that would be even better.
It’s vital to post that much in the beginning, because you want to get noticed, but you also want your profile to be filled with articles. I usually don’t like to follow someone who’ve only posted two articles, unless it’s some really good content. So post every day – at least at the beginning of this journey.
Currently trending: 11 strange side hustles
3# How to write your articles
The most important will always be your articles, and that is why you must know how to write them. Here are 3 writing tips many don’t think about.
a) What’s in it for me
I put this first since it’s the most important in my opinion. I’ve noticed there are 6 categories under which your article can fit within:
- Bad content + misleading headline
- Bad content + legit headline
- Good content + misleading headline
- Good content + legit headline
- Valuable content + misleading headline
- Valuable content + legit headline
I’ve also noticed that if you have a clickbait headline, but your content is valuable, people are more likely to overlook the clickbait headline and stay positive in the comment section. Thus we always want to end up with a valuable article.
I want to provide some typical headline examples of what bad, good, and valuable content are.
- Bad Content: What I told my mom when she told me to clean my room
- Good Content: How to understand the competitive forces
- Valuable content: 5 tips to get better at socializing
What’s the difference between good and valuable content?
So it’s not like good content can’t be valuable, but often it’s not, and here’s why: good content teaches us something that’s great, but not something we can use to improve our life straight away.
Of course, there will always be some people who would rather read the good content rather than the valuable content, but the majority would choose the valuable content.
What I mean is if people were to pay for reading one of the articles above, and they could only choose one, this is how I think it would turn out:
85% would pay for the 5 tips, and 15% would pay to understand the competitive forces.
We tend to forget this
We tend to forget that readers often are paying members, and if you constantly post bad and useless content with a clickbait headline it’s almost like stealing people’s money.
Always think “if I was the reader, what’s in it for me when reading this article”. If you cannot answer how the reader would benefit from your article, then wait to publish it until you can.
b) Use bold sentences
I don’t want to emphasize how important it is to use subheadings throughout your text to structure it better, but here’s another valuable tip.
Inside your text, remember to make some sentences or words bold.
Because our articles sometimes can seem like text after text after text. However, if you make some sentences bold it will send a signal saying “hey you, yes you, in two sentences you’ll receive a point, so just keep reading”.
I’ve no evidence of this, but I read more of an article that makes some sentences bold or in italics from the start to the end. The reading experience just becomes better.
c) Build your snowball fast
Youtube videos with a lot of views get more views, books with many reviews tend to get bought more, and articles with a lot of claps tend to get more reads.
It’s an unfair game, I know. It’s like the rich people always getting richer, but you can do something about it.
If you have a moral compass, and you know your content is valuable, I don’t find it harmful to find two or three people who would like to clap your articles within the first hour of publishing.
This might increase the chances of getting seen by more people.
Today I don’t use this tip anymore, but when I just started out I found someone to help me. I wouldn’t consider it cheating, but as increasing readers’ chances of receiving valuable content. (please don’t use this technique if your content will not benefit the readers).
Let the snowball building begin!
Instead of me going into detail I would rather share the best article on the subject by Casey Botticello. He is also the owner of BloggingGuide, which is a blog that helps you with everything from A to Z when it comes to writing, newsletters, Canva design, etc. I used it a lot, and you’ll definitely also find it helpful too.
5# Get Referrals
Ah, referrals. The component that can secure some stable and passive income, also in periods where we are stressed and not posting that much on Medium.
But how do we achieve a great number of referrals? And how many would we want to be satisfied?
Before we can answer that question, you must know how much you’ll earn from a referred member.
Look at this:
- If you refer a monthly paying subscriber through your link, you’ll receive $2.27 each month.
- If you refer an annually paying subscriber, you’ll get $2.01 each month.
Based on my experience most of the referred members are paying a monthly subscription meaning you and I mainly will receive $2.27/month for such a subscriber.
So, would you like 10 referred members? 50? or 300? This equals $22.7, $113.5, and $681 respectively in pure passive income each month. Of course, the more referrals the better, but personally I would be happy with 100 to 150.
So back to the main question, how do we get those?
When I started in May, and I heard you could get passive income from referred members I thought; “I have an idea how to get them”.
This is my stats from July
$117.19 is coming into my bank account passively from referred members every month.
All this was done in under 2.5 months.
I’m not telling you this to brag, but because I want you to trust that I know how to get the referrals everybody is talking about. I have my own special recipe, that I’ll share with you.
It’s quite simple. When everybody is doing one thing, I do the opposite, and it seems to work for me.
You see, on Medium everybody yells “focus on getting internal views, because they’ll make you money”. While that’s 100% true, they totally forget that the chances of getting referred members way are way bigger when getting external views.
The reason for this is external views, are often people who haven’t heard about Medium, thus they aren’t signed up to the platform yet – That’s an opportunity for me, and you.
How do I get my get external views?
It all comes down to keywords and great headlines. You must know how to rank on Google.
I already made an article on this, and it has gotten almost no attention, which is a shame. This article is my secret sauce:
I chose to give you a link instead since it will be too much information in one chapter. And don’t worry the link is my “friend link”, which makes the article free for you to read.
One “trick” that nobody talks about
This is one of the secret tips I don’t share for free, but something I’ll share with you. It’s about your featured image.
An algorithm like to put things in boxes, it’s simply just how it works. And you can help the algorithm with your featured image by doing one simple thing:
Make the file name of your image the same as the headline of your article. For instance, when I first started out, I downloaded my thumbnails from Canva or I took a screenshot of them, and then I implemented them into my article (DON’T DO THAT).
Instead, download it and change the file name to match your headline. By doing that the algorithm will find it a lot easier to show your article both on Medium, and also on Google to the right people.
Another thing you must do is to create the thumbnails yourself. I know algorithms like originality, and you will be rewarded by making your own. Remember to include text on your thumbnails as well, but it should not be the same as your headline.
Your featured image creates some extra space for some extra powerful text – take advantage of it.
Call to action buttons
This one is essential and too few people are doing this. You must make a button people can click on, something that pops into their eyes. Like this:
A quick bonus tip is also to make the background color of your profile picture a catchy color like yellow.
The way you make this CTA (call-to-action) button is by first finding your referral link. You can your link like this:
Settings > Audience development > Promote memberships > copy link
When you have copied the link put it at the bottom of your article and make sure the cursor is next to the link like this:
Then hit “enter”, wait three seconds, and now you have created a button like the one above.
Remember to write some text above your button. Here is what I usually write before it:
“Would you like to support me? To get access to unlimited stories, you can also consider signing up to become a Medium member for just $5. If you sign up using my link, I’ll receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you).”
This text works because:
- The text shows what the reader what he/she will get access to
- The text tells the reader at what price
- It doesn’t hide the fact that you’ll earn a commission
- It explains that the commission will not influence the cost
Customize the landing page
If you click your own referral link, you’ll see this page. And you can edit the message if you’d like to make it more personal.
I haven’t touched mine and for good reason. Many people tend to edit it to a more “I appreciate you yada yada yada for using my link” message, but people want to know what’s in it for them not how much you appreciate them – thus I kept the standard message since it does exactly that.
But play with it if you want, but keep in mind it must show the reader what benefit he/she will receive from signing up.
Some niches get more referrals than others
Okay, I’ve no evidence of this claim, however, I’ve used two different profiles on the platform to see what works, and what doesn’t, and my results speak for themselves.
On my main profile, I’ve referred 55 members already writing about wealth, writing on Medium, passive income, and side hustles. And those topics work because the reader can benefit from them, thus they are more likely to sign up with my link.
For instance, if your niche is the history of Athena, it wouldn’t benefit the reader to sign up, except for reading some interesting history. However, my topics ensure the reader gets some return on their investment since I enlighten them on topics on how to make money themselves.
I can also back it up with my other profile, where I write about everything I like, but since I started posting wealth-related articles my referrals on this account increased from 0 to 8 in seven days. Therefore, your niche is important when it comes to referrals.
That’s it. If you combine all these methods I guarantee that you’ll become a part of the 6.7% of highest earners on Medium in less than 2 months.
I hope you enjoyed this piece. Thanks for reading.
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