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 Real 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 3 years now and consistently have made between $1,000 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
- Fill out your complete profile and bio
- Study the guidelines thoroughly
- Get 100 followers
- Join a few Medium Facebook Groups
- Structure your articles the way popular writers do
- Write 5-7 minute articles on many different topics
- Include relevant royalty-free images for each article
- Publish articles on your own profile and through Medium publications
- Study your analytics
Here is a breakdown on each of these tips for making money on Medium.
1. Sign Up for a Medium Membership
Medium offers a membership plan at $5 per month.
While this may seem like an upfront cost, the benefits you stand to gain outweigh the initial investment.
By becoming a member, you can access premium content from a diverse range of writers, which can help improve your writing and expose you to different perspectives.
Plus, the membership is a requisite for joining the Partner Program, which allows you to monetize your articles.
With consistency, dedication, and strategy, you can earn back your membership fee many times over.
2. Fill Out Your Profile and Bio Completely
First impressions matter, and your profile picture and bio are often the first things readers notice on Medium.
Using a genuine headshot adds authenticity and builds trust with your readers.
Crafting a professional and engaging bio can captivate potential followers, giving them an insight into your background, interests, and writing style.
Your bio is an opportunity to showcase your uniqueness and build a personal brand.
3. Study the Guidelines Thoroughly
Compliance with Medium’s guidelines is pivotal.
These rules ensure that the platform maintains high-quality content and a conducive environment for both writers and readers.
Familiarizing yourself with these guidelines is essential to avoid getting penalized or having your content removed.
Repeatedly reviewing the guidelines ingrains them in your memory, helping you seamlessly integrate these standards into your writing.
4. Get 100 Followers
Reaching 100 followers is a significant milestone on Medium as it’s a prerequisite for monetizing your articles.
Engaging genuinely with other writers—by reading, commenting on, and sharing their work—can help you naturally gain followers.
Follow writers whose content resonates with you, and avoid spammy tactics like begging for followers or engaging in follow-for-follow schemes.
Authentic engagement fosters genuine relationships, which can enhance your Medium experience.
5. Join a Few Medium Facebook Groups
Medium-centric Facebook Groups are treasure troves of knowledge, collaboration, and mutual support.
These groups can introduce you to fellow writers, share tips and tricks, and provide feedback on your articles.
By actively engaging with group members and sharing your stories, you not only gain exposure but also establish valuable connections in the Medium community.
6. Structure Your Articles the Way Popular Writers Do
Studying successful writers on Medium can offer invaluable insights into what structures and styles resonate most with readers.
By analyzing their articles, you can discern patterns, techniques, and strategies that you can emulate in your own writing.
While it’s beneficial to take inspiration, it’s equally crucial to retain your unique voice and perspective.
7. Write 5-7 Minute Articles on Many Different Topics
Diversity in content is essential when starting out on Medium.
Writing articles that span various topics and lengths allows you to “test the waters” to see which subjects garner the most attention and engagement.
This experimentation phase is a learning curve.
During this time, you’ll begin to understand your audience’s preferences and refine your content strategy.
8. Include Relevant Royalty-Free Images for Each Article
Visual appeal can significantly enhance your articles. Including relevant, high-quality images can break the monotony of text and illustrate your points vividly.
Platforms like Canva offer easy-to-use tools to design custom images tailored to your content.
I also like Jasper Art, Midjourney, and DALL-E for creating unique images.
Whether using stock images or creating your own, always remember to credit the source or artist.
9. Publish Articles on Your Own Profile and Through Medium Publications
Diversifying where you publish can expand your reach on Medium.
While publishing on your profile offers autonomy, contributing to Medium publications can expose your work to a broader audience.
Aim to write for a mix of small, medium, and large publications, focusing on popular niches that align with your expertise and interests.
10. Study Your Analytics
Understanding and analyzing your performance data is paramount to success on Medium.
Medium’s analytics provides insights into which articles are performing well, which topics resonate most with your audience, and which tags and publications yield the best results.
By consistently studying and acting on this data, you can tailor your content strategy.
You can also optimize your articles for better reach and maximize your earnings.
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.
Making Money With Medium Boosts
Medium Boosts is an initiative that Medium introduced to complement its traditional earning structure.
Instead of solely relying on member engagement, Medium Boosts allow writers to earn money based on the external traffic they drive to their stories.
This encourages writers to promote their content outside of Medium.
You can promote your content through social media, email marketing, or other promotional strategies.
The more external readership you garner, the higher your chances of increasing your revenue.
This external traffic initiative showcases the platform’s dedication to diversifying income streams for its creators and rewarding proactive content promotion.
How Much Does Medium Pay Per 1,000 views?
Medium doesn’t pay writers based on views or claps.
Instead, they employ a more complex system rooted in reader engagement. Payments are primarily derived from how many Medium members read and engage with your content.
The metric of significance here is the “read ratio,” which indicates how much of your article members actually read.
If a Medium member spends more time reading your article than others, a portion of their $5/month membership fee goes to you.
Because of this unique payment model, it’s challenging to pinpoint a specific dollar amount per 1,000 views.
Earnings can vary widely based on the quality of engagement your content receives.
However, with 1,000 views, I typically make between $10-$100.
Can You Make a Living from Medium?
Yes, some writers have managed to make a substantial income on Medium, even equating to a full-time living.
However, this level of success typically requires a combination of consistent high-quality content, strategic promotion, and an understanding of what resonates with the Medium audience.
Building a dedicated following and leveraging Medium’s Partner Program and publications can significantly increase your earnings.
Nevertheless, while it’s possible, it’s essential to note that not everyone will achieve this level of financial success.
Many writers supplement their Medium earnings with other income streams, such as freelance writing, coaching, or other online ventures.
Can You Make a Passive Income on Medium?
Medium has the potential to generate passive income.
Primarily because once an article is published, it can continue to earn money indefinitely as long as it attracts readers.
Some articles, especially evergreen content that remains relevant over time, can continue to attract readers and generate income months or even years after publication.
However, consistently publishing new content and updating older posts to keep them fresh can boost the chances of maintaining a steady passive income stream.
While it’s feasible to earn passive income on Medium, it’s beneficial to remain active on the platform, engage with other writers and readers, and periodically assess the performance of your articles to optimize earnings.
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).
He 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