Recently, the members of the Creator Coven expressed interest in learning about how to write for Medium. I thought this would be a great topic to blog about, and it’s definitely something we’ll be going in-depth on in the Creator Coven.
In some ways, Medium reminds me of the golden days of LiveJournal with some of the aggressive SEO nonsense of tech and business blogging just peppered in for flavor.
If you recall the golden age of blogging (no one really calls it that but me), it was a time when people were navel gazing and just sharing about their lives. No one really had a think piece. No one search engine optimized anything.
It was also a time when bloggers were fleecing their advertisers because advertisers didn’t understand page views, engagement, or like any online lingo.
Your girl longs to go back to those golden days.Your girl longs to go back to those golden days when bloggers were fleecing their advertisers because advertisers didn't understand page views or engagement. Click To Tweet
Before blogging became more of a marketing tactic than just a way to find connection online, people were storytellers. They shared things that mattered to them.
And you can still write that way on your blog. There are no official rules about it. (I mean, you should definitely tell stories and keep an editorial calendar.) It’s just that your writing probably won’t be found easily now.
Because the internet is a big scary place full of white noise, you have to search engine optimize your content to be found. And to do that, you have to write about specific stuff, stay consistent, and pick a niche so Google knows who you are.
That’s hard to do if you’re just using your blog as a journal.
But Medium is a good way around that.
Because it’s a platform designed for writers to share, Medium readers are more about looking for content than they are an answer to a question.
Sure, some elements of search engine optimization are still important. But overall, you can write whatever the hell you want.
I joined Medium for a couple of reasons. Mostly, I wanted to try it out. And I wanted to have a place to post some personal essay-style content. I don’t like to use this blog for that, at least, not anymore. (Some of you may remember the before time when I did share more personal stuff.z)
But Medium seemed like a great place to set a goal and dip my toes into the world of personal essays.
And with that, I thought it would be a good idea to share how to write for Medium — and get paid to do it.
How to Write for Medium
001: Sign up for the Medium Partner Program.
Anyone can write for Medium by creating a profile. But to earn money, you need to sign up for the Medium Partner Program.
This allows writers to earn money based on how much Medium readers engage with their content.
The Medium Partner Program is like a paywall. Anyone can read your content if you’re part of the Medium Partner Program, but if they aren’t paying Medium users, they will only be able to see a limited number of stories each month.
As a Medium writer, I’m also a paying Medium member. This means that I pay $50 a year to have unlimited access to all the content on Medium.
I don’t know if this makes me a better Medium writer, and it doesn’t directly increase your ability to earn money as a Medium writer. But it’s a great way to get access to all the content and to see what kinds of stories resonate with readers.
002: Share something that people have to read.
Speaking of stories that resonate with readers, you gotta share stuff that people can’t ignore.
I’m not saying you have to be super gross or personal, or share something you’ll regret because you’re airing a lot of dirty laundry. Instead, think of it as sharing something that really grabs someone’s attention.
I’ve read stories about all kinds of things. One woman shared how her nontraditional (but still very pretty) wedding dress went viral on a blog that shamed people’s wedding dresses. Another woman shared about her five income streams and how she makes them all work. I’ve read a bunch of posts about productivity routines, which will surprise no one who has seen this blog before.
Basically, I’m saying that you can write something for everyone out there. There is an audience for what you share.
The key is to present it in a way that people can’t say no.If you wanna make it as a writer online, you gotta share stuff that people can't ignore. Click To Tweet
003: Headline, headline, headline!
And one key way to keep people from saying no to your Medium articles is to have the sort of headline that really entices them.
I would say this is the most important part.
When someone opens Medium in a browser, their feed is a ton of headlines of content based on what they indicated they were interested in.
If you want someone to read your story, it has to stand out in that feed. And you get a photo, a headline, and a description to entice them.
Don’t pull your punches here. Don’t be coy. Let it rip, friendo.
Use your headline to draw their attention. Then, let the description really show what your piece is about.
That’s how you get people to read your story.
004: Medium’s publications and curation are where it’s at.
If you’re really interested in getting people to read your articles, then submitting to publications and getting curated is the key.
Within Medium, there are publications. Think of these like magazines. You can write an article, and then submit it the publication. If it’s accepted, this publication will push out this article to everyone who has subscribed to it.
That means more eyes on your piece, and more money in your pocket.
Curation works in a similar way, though you have no control over it.
Based on how you tag your piece, Medium may find it, and then add it to a topic. Then, everyone interested in that particular topic will have that post pushed out to them.
I’ve never submitted to a publication, but I have been curated once — oddly enough, on one of my first posts I wrote on Medium.
005: Stay the course.
This is absolutely not a get-rich-quick scheme. I wish it were.
But, when it comes to pay outs and what kind of engagement your posts need to get more pay, it’s not really clear. Like all online platforms, Medium isn’t very transparent with how their algorithm works.
So, if you write a few pieces and find that you aren’t exactly earning a ton of cash, that’s normal. Give yourself some time to learn the platform and see what is really popular each week.
I won’t tell you to chase trends or to write things you don’t care about. I will tell you to keep working on it.
And when it comes to money, I think it’s just a matter of time, honestly. Having more content on the platform definitely means you’ll earn more. And it’s a well-known fact that the people who publish multiple times per week make the most money.
006: You probably won’t be the person who earns $50k a year on Medium.
With all that said, the odds of Medium being your full-time job are slim.
Medium regularly shares statistics on how writers are doing on their platform, and each year, they share the highest earner on their platform. That person is making a full-time income.
That is the highest earner. And that is probably someone who has been on Medium since it launched a long time ago.
So, if you build your Medium profile and start posting consistently, but aren’t earning a ton of cash, don’t fret.
Most people aren’t.
I would look at Medium as one revenue stream, not a career. It’s a great way to build up a portfolio of your work. And it’s a good way to push yourself to publish more often.Have you tried publishing on Medium to earn $$$? Click To Tweet
Have you tried Medium?
What questions do you have about how to write for Medium? Have you tried Medium as a place to publish your writing? Do you regularly read content on Medium? When you go to Medium, what kind of content are you looking for?
And, as a general note: I’ll be sharing information about how to grow your platform and make money on Medium in the Creator Coven from here on out. It will be available to all members, no matter the pledge level.