I finally reached $100/month after implementing these
I have been writing regularly on Medium since March 2020. One of the reasons I do it is because I want to make money. I know you have heard this story before, it is probably the same as yours, right?
Like 93% of Medium writers, I wasn’t seeing much success coming out of the many hours I was investing on the platform. The first goal I wanted to meet, but kept escaping me, was to reach $100 per month. It finally happened in October, when one of my articles outperformed all the others I had written.
It might have been luck, but probably not. In the weeks before writing that one, I implemented a few tactics in my writing. Then, I had my first month breaking the $100 barrier, and even doubling it.
These are the changes I implemented.
1. Ask For Feedback From Others
A second pair of eyes is priceless. When you finish your draft, send it over to someone for a review. Your words are clear to you, but they might not be so evident to others. Having that second opinion helps to bring all the flaws to light.
This exercise will help the specific article someone reviews for you, but also the next ones. It will train you to think with other people’s minds and the next time you commit the same mistakes, you will remember them and do better.
Finding someone to help you with this is easy. There are thousands of writers on Medium who can help each other. Find someone whose work you admire and reach out. That’s what I did, expecting nothing in return. But, to my surprise, everyone I reached out to responded and was willing to review the stories I sent them. Thank you, guys! Try it, you have nothing to lose.
2. Edit the Next Day
I am very impatient. So you can imagine that the first thing I would do every time I finished an article was submitting it to a publication. Over time, I started training myself to not do that. I would wait for the next day, and then submit it — without editing again! It was pretty much the same as before.
But now I follow a process praised by countless successful Medium writers: write one day, edit on another. I do the first edit the day I write, but I always do a second one the next day.
It helps you create some distance from your first draft, and cut more ruthlessly. Also, sometimes, as you go on about your day, ideas pop into your head about that story. If you haven’t published it yet, you can still add them.
3. Write About Topics People Are Interested In
I love to write about travel, but Medium’s audience is not very interested in it. I was putting in dozens of hours carving out articles about my travel experiences and practical tips while seeing very little return. If your goal is to write for the sake of it, that is okay. But if you want to make some money out of Medium, you should approach it like a business. In the real world, if people want cakes, you are not going to sell broccoli and expect them to buy it, right?
People on Medium love to read about technology, business, money, health, and fitness. So it is no surprise that my article faring well was about intermittent fasting. Dozens of people commented either sharing their own experiences or even pointing out things I was doing wrong. People are passionate about food and lifestyle. You need to feed them what they crave.
4. Use The Free Tools at Your Disposal
I thought I knew how to write. We all think that, right? But we can all improve, always.
I started making use of some tools available online for free, to analyze my writing and improve it without much effort. Now, I never publish a story without running it through these three tools first:
- Headline Analyzer: you must have seen this advice over and over on Medium, “learn to write good headlines”. This tool helps you with that, by giving a rating to your headlines. Play around with different ones, and always aim for, at least, a score of 70.
- Grammarly: especially for non-native English speakers, this app helps your writing stand out. Download the Chrome extension and see the improvement suggestions as you write on your Medium editor.
- Hemingway App: it corrects grammar and identifies lengthy, complex sentences in your text. I always aim at zero “very hard to read” sentences and staying within the limits in all the other parameters.
There is one clear downside of implementing these tactics: my average time of finishing an article went from 2h to 3.5 hours. I am producing less content, but I believe the quality is better. The money results have certainly improved. It is a choice you need to make based on your goals and intentions about being on this platform.
As Sinem Günel constantly points out, don’t waste time trying to figure out on your own what works on Medium. There are many people who carved the way before you, learn from them. I was too reluctant for too long to adopt these suggestions I saw over and over. I should have started sooner. You should probably start soon too.