You’re a writer. You love to write. You love to share all your glorious pieces of word art with the world. You want an audience. A big audience. Amirite? Last year I discovered one of the best writing websites that, in my opinion, is overlooked and probably not even heard of by most.
Truth be told, I actually found this site a few years back. One of my friends was a writer there so I signed up and followed him. Every now and then I would get a notification of a new story. I never really gave it much thought. I even went so far as to unsubscribe to further notifications.
And then in March of 2018 I went back to have another peek. Cautiously, but with an open mind. Squinting lightly, I whispered to myself “what is this place?”
Welcome to Medium-Where writer’s dreams come true
Now before you even think about clicking away from this blog and think this isn’t for you, pay attention. If you’re a blogger, THIS IS FOR YOU! It really doesn’t matter what you blog about, be it health, finances, your kids, cooking or whatever, there’s a place for you here. I promise. Sit tight and read on.
I mean, when I first had a look at Pinterest, I was convinced it wasn’t for me either. But now after working Pinterest for a little over a year I sit with almost 13K followers and my website traffic is through the roof.
When you work something, it works for you.
Anyway, let’s move on…
How To Use Medium With Your Blog And Make Money
When I first stumbled upon Medium I didn’t think it was for me either. All I saw were tech stories, finance blogs and all other kinds of geeky and professional articles. I was certain this wasn’t my cup of tea. There’s no place for me here.
Boy was I wrong!!
You know, as a writer, it can be challenging trying to find places to share our work where people actually want to read it, engage with it and share it. Not only that, making a wee bit of money at the same time would be nice, no? Our good looks and charm won’t pay the bills.
So, anyway, after sniffing around Medium a wee bit more I took the leap and created a profile, added a pic and away I went. I started in March at 0 and now have a little over 1200 followers. Not bad considering all I’m doing is reading and writing, two things I love to do anyway.
As you can see, my bio in the profile is short and sweet and has a link in it. Check out other profiles to see what they look like to get a feel before you draft up your bio (because I already know after reading this, you’re gonna be doing just that!).
You can follow Iva here!
So let’s talk a bit more about Medium.
There are real people here who truly want to read your things. I promise! They clap, engage, share, highlight and the best part of it all, you get paid! Yay money! It’s not just a news and information website. It’s so much more. There’s life here. A pulse if you will. And it’s beautiful.
I look at Medium as a great place to connect, read, entertain and be entertained, get inspired and form bonds with other writers and readers. It’s interactive, it’s stimulating, it’s addictive (you’ve been warned) and it’s free. Sort of.
So how does Medium work?
Let’s get to why you’re here reading this in the first place.
Medium is free to join but for a measly $5 a month you get full access as a paid member. Now as a writer on Medium and a paying member as well, you get paid for your stories based on engagement and interaction with the readers. Yippee!
If you choose not to pay, you can only read 3 stories a month. You can also engage with these stories but the writer does not get compensated for your claps or engagement.
As a writer, and let’s say you are a paid member ( I strongly recommend you become a paid member) you can either lock stories which means only paid members can read or keep them unlocked. I left most of my stories unlocked in the beginning to try to grow my readership. I now lock all of them.
Unlocked stories can include a CTA-email sign ups, products you have on offer, or any type of CTA(Call To Action) like that. Locked stories, nope, you can’t do that. You can add a link to your site but little else. Keeping your stories unlocked is a great way to grow your blog, your brand and collect subscribers if you’re not really interested in the money part (but honestly, how could you not be?)
So this is where it gets good.
When I first started on Medium I obviously didn’t have any stories, so I took blogs from my site, copy and pasted them into a ‘new story’ in Medium, edited them, gave them a new title and voila! A new story. Yup, that easy!!
I was surprised by my earnings for my first month. I seriously couldn’t complain considering all I did was repurpose blogs from my site. I made my $5 back and then some! And now, 10 months later, I’m in triple digit earnings a month. Someone say Boom!! I know one girl who has made this her full time job and earns mid 4 figures a month for doing what she loves to do, write stories.
It’s easy peasy to publish stories
You have two options: write a new story or import one from your existing blog as I mentioned above. I do both. I publish on Medium daily and I don’t always have time for a fresh story so I’ll grab an oldie from my site.
You have the option of importing stories from your site but I only recommend doing this if your story is less than two days old or it’s not dated. Otherwise, Medium will push it down because of the old date.
If you just published a new post on your blog you can simply hit ‘Import Story’ in your Medium profile and there it is! Add an epic image and you can even tweak the title a bit to make it more engaging. I’ve discovered headlines are what kills it on Medium. Bold and punchy work best. Play with your words a wee bit.
You can also add links within your story that direct the reader back to your blog and of course, you can add images or gifs! I also make sure to make a Pin image for it (not in Medium) and then Pin It! You can use your Medium URL for your Pin and pin away!
More eyes on your Medium profile, more followers, more engagement and more money! Yay!
The secret to success on Medium is…
It’s so important to engage with other writers and of course, the readers! Medium works on a clapping/engaging/sharing system which is kind of like a Facebook post. On Facebook, you click the Like button. On Medium, you clap the little hands.
The big difference here is you can only “Like” a post on Facebook once. On Medium you can clap up to 50 times for one story (we writers really like 50 claps by the way!). As a writer, you get paid for engagement and claps.
Leaving well written comments on other writer’s articles helps get you noticed by other readers. More readers, more engagement, more fans, and, you guessed it, more money!
Try to find writers in your niche, follow them and engage with them and their stories. Tweet their stories out. Share them. Remember, even though Medium is an awesome writing platform, success will only come through collaboration and engagement. Oh and like anything else, consistency is key.
After almost a year on Medium, I’ve not only made money (and my earnings increase every month) I’ve also really honed my writing craft and made some awesome friends. I truly love this place.
Remember why you started blogging in the first place. We all started to not only help and educate people but we also want to make a little bit of passive income and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
I’m sure many of you are already seeing some rewards from all your blogging efforts but why stick solely to your site when you can reach an even larger audience and still make money? I think Medium is completely overlooked because so many people just don’t understand it.
Learning about and diving into it was one of the best things I’ve ever done!! I not only have a relatively successful profile, I am now the proud owner of a popular publication “Hopes and Dreams For Our Future”.
Broadening your horizons and exploring foreign territories is an amazing way to grow. There is a whole world of opportunities for writers. Embrace them.
Here’s to your success.
By the way, don’t forget to hit that share button and tell all your other peeps about this too!
About the author:
Iva is a retired hairstylist turned freelancer from Northern Ontario Canada living a life of freedom, peace and joy in sunny Guatemala. Her two main goals in life are to inspire people around the world with her blogs and to feed hungry little bellies in the poor town she now calls home. Follow her here on Pinterest or head on over to her website Amazing Me Movement and sign up for weekly in your face inspiration!
I’m really grateful for this post, because I desperately need a source of income. I haven’t been able to land a job since coming to the States so I’ve been working full-time on my blog. Being a newbie, I don’t know if my blog would ever make any money, but I’ll keep blogging either way. Hopefully medium would help me out in the meantime. Thank you so much for sharing.
As long as you don’t give up, and keep tweaking your content to respond to your audience, you will find success. Good luck!
Thank you! I will! I’m beginning to love medium! It’s so straightforward and full of cool content. And I love that I can show constructive appreciation by clapping(I’m subscribed). 🙂
Thank you so much for this. I have been so confused by Medium and have in fact written their help desk asking for clarification. You were more helpful. I just followed you!
Ok, Elena, now I am addicted to Medium! Much more thought-provoking than Facebook, for sure. After reading some really high quality stuff, I am itching to write for them! One thing I found confusing–when clicked on a “write for us” button, it was actually for some other site, Publicious. And then it happened again. How do all those relate?
Hi Ellen. Allow me to clarify that for you. Those are publications. You have to apply or ask to be a contributor to those. They generally already have big followings in place. Your articles will get seen by a wider audience when you can get into a pub. It’s really not that hard to get approved as a writer in a pub either. Hope that clarifies it for you a bit 🙂
So then are the publications part of Medium, or are they separate? Do things from Medium get picked up by a publication, or vice versa? Or do you go to get approval from each separately?
Iva says: “Publications are part of Medium but they are started by writers (like an individual one) and run by the owner. You have to find a publication that’s right for your writing and apply to get added to the list of writers for that pub.”
Definitely worth your time to check into Sam! 🙂
Thanks for the reminder, Elena. I’ve been on Medium for a few years…something to revisit for sure!
I’ll follow you!
Medium is amazing Terri!! The community there is the reason I love it so much.
In looking at information about Medium it seems like it has a very young demographic. Do you recommend avoiding any age related topics or do you see this site’s demographic changing as more ‘mature’ writers participate?
I have lots of older folks following me and really haven’t noticed the younger crowd. If you write age related topics, I’m sure the right audience will find you.
Hi Molly. I am a 50 something woman and I have readers of all ages. I find Medium covers everyone from 18-98 🙂 . Using tags for your stories will make sure it reaches the right target audience. Hope this helps.
Thanks a ton, Elena! I’ve been hovering around Medium since a colleague at my local writers’ meet up raved about it, but I wasn’t sure how to start. Look for you on Medium as soon as I set up my account!
Let me know too when you set up Cat!! 🙂
This is so useful! I have heard so much about it and avoided it for quite a while – I’ll take a look at it!
I avoided it too but it’s absolutely amazing and honestly quite addictive 😉