Writing on Medium.com sounds too good to be true. You sign up for free, post an article, and wait for the money to roll in.
Is it really that easy? Can you make money on Medium?
Yes, you can make money on Medium. Many authors make between $100 to $1000 + per month on Medium. Some make a full-time living. A few make six figures (or more). You simply sign up for a free Medium account, get 100 followers, write articles, submit to publications, and get paid.
In this article, you’re going to learn everything you need to know about making money on Medium (just like I do).
10 Ways To Make Money on Medium
Can you really make money on Medium?
Yes, it’s very possible. I’ve been writing on Medium for close to 2 years now and make between $2,000 to $3,000 every month. Check out my profile if you’re interested.
Here’s how to make money on Medium:
- Sign up for a Medium membership—This will cost you $5 per month. Don’t worry, you’ll get that back in spades.
- Fill out your complete profile and bio—Use a real picture of you (a headshot), and create a professional Medium bio.
- Study the guidelines thoroughly—I was obsessed with the guidelines at first. Read them all at least 10 times so that you follow them.
- Get 100 followers—You can’t monetize your posts until you get 100 followers. Genuinely read other people’s stories and comment. Follow people you like and you will naturally gain followers. Don’t beg for followers or do follow-for-follow campaigns.
- Join a few Medium Facebook Groups—You’ll meet a lot of other cool writers on Medium. Engage with their content and post your stories for engagement. You’ll gain friends and some followers this way.
- Structure your articles the way popular writers do—That’s the easiest way to learn what structure works. Read a few popular stories by big writers on the platform and you’ll quickly notice a pattern in the article structure. Follow that structure.
- Write 5-7 minute articles on many different topics—This is to experiment with topics and feed Medium content so that you can later study analytics to see what works and what doesn’t work.
- Include relevant royalty-free images for each article—I prefer to use Canva for all of my Medium article images. I typically use 800X400 as the image size. Make sure to give credit in the caption for each image (even if you create it yourself).
- Publish articles on your own profile and through Medium publications—Appy to write for small, medium, and large publications in popular niches like writing, marketing, relationships, and self-improvement.
- Study your analytics—As soon as you start getting analytics, dive into the date. Look for what topics, tags, and publications make you the most money. Then write more of those kinds of articles with those tags in those publications. That’s what blew up my growth on Medium in 30 days.
As soon as you get monetized, sign up with the Stripe payment system. Then add a link at the bottom of each article for readers to sign up for your Medium email list.
That way, they get an email every time you publish a story.
This is how you find that email link:
- Click on your Medium profile image
- Go to Settings
- Go to Audience Development
- Go to Email Subscriptions
- Click on Promote Subscriptions
- Copy your Subscription link
While you’re in your Settings, turn on automatic tipping.
Go back to the Audience Development page and click through Manage Tipping to turn on tips. You’ll need to sign up for a Patreon, Paypal, or Ko-fi account if you don’t already have one.
I went with a free Ko-fi account and it only took me a few minutes to set up.
Case Study: How To Make Money on Medium
Tim Denning is one of the most popular bloggers on Medium.com.
He gets hundreds of thousands of views, even hundreds of millions of views on Medium, which translates into lots and lots of cash for him.
So today I want to talk about why Tim Denning is a genius on Medium, how he dominates the platform, and how you can do it too.
He also wrote an eBook called How to Earn 6-Figures on Medium.com.
That got my attention, so I purchased a copy.
After reading his book and studying his articles on Medium, I broke his method down into 7 strategies.
Here’s a good video I made about his methods:
Choosing a Medium Mentor
His first strategy is choosing an awesome mentor.
I can’t leave out the fact that Tim says one of his biggest inspirations is none other than the incredible Tony Robbins.
Tony isn’t a traditional mentor on Medium. But Tony gets Tim motivated to keep grinding away at quality content, year after year.
Find yourself a Tony (a mentor).
His Publishes Content Twice a Day
Let’s dig into why Tim Denning is so successful on Medium. If you scroll down his profile page on Medium and you can see his most-viewed story this week.
As of the writing of this article, his most viewed story of the week is Surviving a Recession is the Real Financial Superpower. And then we see his all-time most-viewed stories.
And these are interesting to study because you can look at the titles and see patterns. And then when you dig into each one of these articles, you can see that he does certain things that other bloggers on Medium just don’t do.
And that is probably part of the secret to his success.
Even just looking at his profile page you can see that Denning publishes a lot of content. If you look into his list, you can see that he has published two articles every day for years.
He creates a lot of very, very good, helpful, readable content that his target audience loves.
If you want to match and mirror and copy Tim Denning’s secrets, then you need to put out lots of content as much as possible.
If you have a full-time job and a family, you might be able to get out just a few articles a week, but the more often you put out content, the better it’s going to be for you long-term with your audience.
The more money you can make on Medium.
But putting out any kind of content isn’t going to be enough.
He Writes Super Clickable Titles
You’ll see that each title he creates includes what I call a curiosity gap.
That is, it gets you to wonder, what is this article about? What is this article going to say?
One of his titles, You will Destroy Yourself Financially if You Save, is surprising because most people think you’re supposed to save to be financially fit, healthy, and independent.
There’s a curiosity that this title creates.
Like, what’s so bad about saving? How could that possibly be accurate?
What about the next article title: Warren Buffett’s Recent Explanation of How Money Now Works is the Most Important in History.
Now I’m asking myself, why is it so important? What’s the explanation? It creates a curiosity gap.
If you create titles for your Medium articles that create curiosity and get readers wondering, you’ll make more money on Medium.
He Submits Articles To Publications
Let’s dig into one of these articles to see exactly what else he does.
One of the things I want to point out is that many of his articles are published in what’s called “publications” on Medium, which are like magazines.
They go to a big audience.
If you want to get more views and more claps and make more money on Medium, then publish in publications. The process couldn’t be more straightforward: You write your articles, follow each publication’s guidelines, and then submit the publications.
And when they pick you up, you can get bank.
It is important to note that each one of these most viewed articles is published in publications. And the cool thing about publications is that you don’t have to be an established article writer on Medium.
You can submit your articles to publications even as a completely new blogger on Medium.
He Writes 4-6 Minute Articles
The other thing to notice is that the article in the above screenshot is a six-minute read.
If you scroll through the articles that he’s written, you’ll notice that most of his articles are between four and six minutes long to read. Some of them are nine minutes, 10 minutes, or longer.
Some of them may even be shorter, but most of them are in that four to six-minute time period.
And that’s his sweet spot.
If you want to replicate his success, create articles that are around that same length of reading time.
How many words are 4-6 minutes of reading time?
Approximately 750-900 words.
He Formats His Articles To Make Them Scannable
Just scrolling down through Tim Denning’s article, you’ll notice his short sentences and short paragraphs.
There’s lots of white space that makes the articles much more readable.
He uses the Medium spacers between sections. He’s got subheaders. He uses quotes to break up big chunks of text.
You can see it’s a very, very easy-to-read way of writing.
And that’s another secret to his success: make the article as easy as possible for the reader to read.
What Tim Denning Does Better Than Almost Any Other Medium Writer
Now I want to talk about another strategy that he uses in his introductions and all the way through his articles.
If you read enough of his work, you’ll notice this is another secret to his success.
Not only does he use curiosity gap titles, not only does he use shorter, simple sentences and paragraphs, but he also does an emotional gut punch right at the beginning.
Take a look at how he started one of his most viewed Medium articles of all time, 13 Ways I Completely Changed My Life In a Year And How You Can Too:
My life fell into a million tiny pieces. There were cries for help that nobody answered. It was a dark time.
I had left a business behind that I loved like a child. My family relationships were a mess. My financial situation was a disaster. I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror I was so ashamed.13 Ways I Completely Changed My Life in a Year and So Can You, by Tim Denning on Medium.com
This is a very, very guttural type of introduction.
It gets right to the raw emotions behind the writing. That’s what so many writers and bloggers on Medium (and other platforms) miss: this level of raw, authentic emotion.
Medium, as a website, loves articles that dig deep into authentic emotion. And Tim Denning is a master at this.
It’s one of the reasons Medium is so popular.
Look how he continues. “I left a business behind that I loved like a child.”
Notice the word choice. Look at how the emotion just flows.
He is making sure that everybody that reads this article can relate to some part of this article.
He does this over and over again in his articles. And so can you.
When you write your articles on Medium, think about the emotions that you want your reader to feel and how you can inject as much raw, guttural, authentic emotion into your articles as possible.
Final Thoughts: Can You Make Money on Medium? (Case Study Strategies)
One of the best ways to learn how you can make money on Medium is to study Tim Denning’s articles and his content writing process.
You will not only notice the pattern, but you’ll learn his techniques.
Can you make money on Medium?
Yes, if you:
- Choose an awesome mentor (like Tony Robbins)
- Publish lots of good content
- Craft titles that make readers curious
- Publish in Medium publications
- Write articles that are between 4 to 7-minute reads
- Format your articles for easy reading
- Start with an emotional gut-punch