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This Is The Only Way To Make Money On Medium This October

  • 4 min read

…and forever

Oh boy…

There’s one buzzword booming here: manufactured engagement.

It’s nothing new.

It’s simple.

People try to game the system. They see writing online as a game and want to growth-hack their success.

Let me repeat it… that’s nothing new!

This happens on any platform.

And it happened before on Medium.

Back in the day when claps were the key metric here people met on Facebook, shared their Medium stories, and mutually clapped for each other without even reading the content.

Medium was aware of this BEFORE they changed the earnings calculation. Now they EXPERIENCED it… with this reaction:

photo credit: Screenshot comment Tony Stubblebine to the future of AI on Medium

The answer is: rate limiting.

The higher the volume (of engagement), the less authentic the behavior.

Did you know there’s a “Medium comment police”?

Most engaged writers don’t know that there used to be a limit of 100 responses in 24 hours. I guess now the limit is even lower than before.

(**However, I totally understand it when new writers read and engage A LOT simply because it’s fun and you want to leave a digital footprint (so that others see your work too)**)

What’s the way to earn money on Medium in October?

So I know some of you already see a sudden and massive drop (for instance only 1/5 of their earnings) in their earnings.

So what’s the way to keep earning money on Medium?

I’d say the new buzzword should be: true fans!

You need true, raving fans!

True fans are people who really like and trust you. Who would even buy something from you.

You might have heard of “1,000 true fans” where the author Kevin Kelly explains that as a content creator, you only need these 1,000 fans to earn $100,000 per year.


Quick math:

When every true fan supports you with $100 per year, you can make $100,000 per year! Yeah! That’s also the business model of platforms such as Substack (where you can find me, too). You love one specific author, pay an amount of money per month/year and support him/her directly.

Amazing idea, isn’t it?

Even if you have a small pool of readers, you can earn. Followers are often a vanity metric. I know some senior writers here who earn less than me with 25K+ followers. The size doesn’t matter.

Writers who simply exchange engagement with each other won’t work anymore!

You need super fans/true readers who are loyal to you and your writing!

Keep in mind: Medium is a content mill.

Hundreds of thousands of writers are here offering their content for pennies.

Online platforms known as “content mills” produce or market large volumes of content.

These businesses rely on volume.

They pay their writers relatively little so they can set low prices or produce a lot of content and turn a huge profit.

That’s the business model behind platforms such as Medium.

Characteristics of Medium as a content mill

When you’re writing on Medium you’re part of the internet publishing industry.

Here are the characteristics of Medium as a content mill:

  • publishes a ton of content by multiple writers — 75M stories to date
  • in general, writers create cheap content
  • publish a lot of content for little money — only 6% earn $100 per month
  • often writers are not experts in their fields

But don’t feel trapped

Writing on Medium is worthwhile beyond the financial rewards!

You can test the waters, build a writing habit, connect with people around the world, sell products and services, inspire others, CHANGE the way others think about the world…

Of course, you want to get paid for your writing. I’m a fan of giving a lot for free BUT if you want to build a writing business, a writing empire, or whatever, you need to really CARE about your audience.

Help them.

Inspire them.

Entertain them.

Cheer them up.

Contribute something new to a conversation.

Most writing here is a rehashing of something that’s already been said.

Start with…

“What new ideas, insights, and concepts are you contributing?”

Your audience will love you for this and you’ll become a part of the pool of writers they are looking for here.

Since so many great writers left the platform, it’s your chance to become a person of value and gain TRUE FANS.

Just my two cents. What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!

This Writer Got Arrested by The “Medium Comment Police”

P.S. Written from my smartphone while nursing my baby… sorry for typos etc.

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