30 Lessons From Reaching 30,000 Followers on Medium

Behind the scenes of a journey of 20 months that led me here.

30 Lessons From Reaching 30,000 Followers on Medium
Image from author’s Instagram.

Behind the scenes of a journey of 20 months that led me here.

I started writing actively on Medium in May 2020. In December 2021, I crossed 30,000 followers.

The past 20 months have been a roller coaster ride. I got my first freelance client here, bagged some kickass brand collaborations, and got enough confidence to quit my job to pursue my passion of being a full-time writer.

In this post, I’ve listed the 30 most important lessons that I learned on my journey until now. If you consider Medium as a platform to build your portfolio as a writer and earn some money, read on for some valuable insights. Don’t forget to let me know your thoughts in the comments.

  1. It takes you way longer to reach the level of success you envisioned than what you assume.
  2. Consistency beats talent any day.
  3. Reading (and learning from) the work of top writers goes a long way in making you a better writer.
  4. Publishing in publications matters more than you think.
  5. Some stories are meant to be self-published. You’ll learn which ones work better in publications as you keep publishing and analyzing your stats.
  6. Leveraging external views is hard, but once you learn the tricks, it all becomes a game of patience.
  7. Building a community can be your underrated superpower.
  8. The best-written posts often won’t go viral.
  9. Something random you wrote in 30 minutes might get 30k+ views and make you more money than you ever imagined. The only issue is you won’t know which story will work, so you’ve got to keep publishing.
  10. Getting curated is an assurance of quality, but it doesn’t guarantee views.
  11. Building relationships with publication owners can lead to long-term benefits that extend beyond the platform.
  12. Your *real* earnings won’t come from the Medium Partner Program. They will come from the personal brand you build and how you leverage that.
  13. Choosing unique feature images that the readers haven’t seen 50 times already equates to going the extra mile to make your article stand out. Bonus points if you create your own images.
  14. Develop a unique writing style so readers can recognize it’s you even if they don’t see the name of the writer.
  15. Be an active part of as many writer communities as you can. The more you give, the more you’ll receive.
  16. Don’t chase virality. Instead, chase consistency and the discipline of writing every day.
  17. Don’t worry about finding your niche until you’ve written your first 100 articles. More about finding your niche here.
  18. A powerful story matters much more than perfect grammar or an extensive vocabulary.
  19. If you’ve written a kickass title, 50% of the battle is won.
  20. Don’t compete with other writers. Either learn from them or find a way to forge collaborations.
  21. 3-minute reads have as much earning potential as 10-minute reads. The key is in providing value, not filling your article with meaningless fluff.
  22. Writing about the topics you truly enjoy matters more than writing in “trending” topics. If you’re not passionate about what you write, the readers will call your bluff.
  23. Don’t blindly copy popular writers. What worked for them might not work for you.
  24. Not all stories succeed. But if you keep writing, the good ones eventually will. As I mentioned before, a huge part of the game is a game of patience.
  25. Promoting your stories on social media is a little-used hack. If you do it the right way, your article can end up with loads of unexpected views.
  26. If you’re a Medium writer, you *have* to build a presence on Twitter. That’s where the whole writer community lives.
  27. Hitting publish is the hardest, most important step.
  28. The best stories come from a well-lived life. Don’t hesitate to draw inspiration from events that happened to you.
  29. Being a Top Writer is more than just a vanity metric. It’s proof that your writing managed to strike a chord.
  30. There are 500,000+ writers on Medium. You can stand out if you follow a solid strategy.

PS: I am relaunching Project Medium — my flagship course that helped 20+ writers earn $100+ on Medium. If you’re excited to be a part of the community, gain exclusive early access here.