My online writing journey and how you can replicate the same.
“How can I make money quickly from writing?”
“Please suggest some ways I can monetize my hobby of writing today.”
“How can I find a high-paying writing client immediately?”
These are some questions that frequently appear in my DMs and in the comments of my Medium articles. If you’ve noticed a pattern among these questions, you’re right — they all exude a sense of urgency.
People who watch my videos or read my content often believe that my journey to becoming a full-time writer was a walk in the park. It wasn’t. Just like any job, writing requires effort, time, and skill-building.
Consider this: when you start a new job, you wouldn’t expect to earn a manager’s salary on your first day, would you? In the same way, expecting thousands of dollars for your initial articles might be a tad unrealistic.
I’m the highest followed Indian writer on Medium, with more than 170,000 followers and 800 articles. In this post, I want to share with you the exact process I used to move from 0 to earning more than $1,000 every month through the Medium Partner Program.
Before we start, some proof of earning for the skeptics:
If you’d like to watch a more candid version of this article in video format, follow this link.
Now, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of how you can start this journey of making $1000+ per month by writing on Medium.
1. Work towards being the best writer you can
A person I met at a recent networking event asked, “I heard Gary Vee talk about quantity over quality, but it doesn’t make sense to me. Can you explain?”
I told him that when you write more, your articles don’t magically become of a better quality. Rather, here’s what happens when you publish a lot:
- Your writing speed increases, and so does your productivity.
- You get better at identifying articles you best like writing.
- You get better at identifying what content has more chances of going viral.
- Your errors decrease, your flow and style gets better, and you learn to use hooks to leverage on the audience’s attention.
I saw the person’s face lighten as this connection between quality and quantity clicked. I hope you’re able to see it from a fresh perspective as well, and can appreciate why publishing frequently is a crucial step on this journey.
The next natural question is, “How frequently?”
The answer depends on your niche of choice and target audience. When I started my Medium journey, I published 30 articles a month for three months straight. Even now, after 3 years on the platform, I publish 12–15 articles each month.
For a beginner, I’d say stick to 2 articles a week, and you should do good.
2. Let your stats do the talking
After publishing roughly 100 articles, take a look at your statistics. Identify what’s common among your most popular articles. These articles will provide insights into:
- What your audience prefers
- The topics you’ve portrayed yourself as an expert in.
Every article is a data point. Use it cleverly, and you’ll figure out how to appease the audience.
You can start by analysing your first 50, or even 20 articles. But bigger the sample size, the better you’ll understand what works for you.
3. Hone your craft every chance you get
If you haven’t figured it out yet, here’s The Shocking Truth No Medium Writer Wants You to Know (and no, it doesn’t mean using clickbait, pun intended).
It’s this: Patience is the key.
However cliched it might sound, it’s also true. You won’t get from 0 to $1000 in a month, maybe not even a year. But if you keep putting your work out there and keep improving with each article you publish, you’ll get there one day.
As with any skill, writing improves with practice. As you publish, gather feedback from your readers — whether through comments or private notes — and implement this feedback. This iterative process will hone your craft and help you build a dedicated audience.
4. Leverage the power of Medium’s publications
Many new writers find themselves wondering if publishing on a publication means you no longer have rights to the story. That’s not true. Here’s how a Medium publication works:
- It’s free to apply to all Medium publications.
- A story published on any publication also appears on your profile. You own every right to republish it elsewhere, modify, or delete it.
- You can’t publish the same story on two publications.
- If you have X followers and the publication has Y followers, the story you publish in the publication has the potential to reach (X+Y) followers, performing better than it would had you self-published it.
Medium is home to numerous publications, each catering to a specific niche. If your story aligns with a publication’s niche, apply to become a writer for that publication, then submit your story.
For those unfamiliar with this process, I’ve previously covered this topic in a video which I recommend you check out.
5. Let your name resonate with quality
As a writer, you can’t rely on the algorithm to always work in your favor and bring you readers.
But when it does, keep feeding it content in the same niche. You’ll slowly convince the algorithm (and in turn, the readers) that you’re a subject matter expert in the niche of your choice.
My highest-paid months as a writer haven’t come from the Partner Program earnings of viral Medium articles. They’ve come from sponsorships and branding opportunities I got because of viral Medium articles.
Writing across multiple niches might get you a wide readership, but establishing yourself in a specific niche has its benefits. Not only will you gain a dedicated audience, but you’ll also attract sponsors and freelance writing opportunities within that niche, diversifying your income streams.
6. Keep the momentum going
Gaining traction isn’t the hardest part of this journey. Maintaining traction is.
When you get your first taste of success, you’ll be addicted to it. The platform will favor you like no one else, and you’ll see win after big win coming your way.
But after the first wave dies down (as it does for most writers), don’t get discouraged. Don’t be so attached to success that a couple articles with fewer views can bring your spirit down.
Keep publishing even through the lean phases to see the light at the end of this tunnel.
Online fame is a fickle thing. It comes and goes in waves.
Even now, with a sizable following, I publish 12 to 15 stories every month on Medium. It’s essential to maintain consistency. Only a few articles perform exceptionally well, but each article is an opportunity.
Think of publishing articles like buying lottery tickets — the more tickets you purchase, the better your odds.
From 0 to $1000+ per month on Medium: Final words
The journey to successful months on the Medium Partner Program isn’t about producing one viral article. Virality, after all, is never in your control. Success comes from consistent effort, learning, and adaptation.