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Photo by Ethan Robertson on Unsplash

I Know What You Earned On Medium Last Summer

We didn’t ask, but you told us anyway

I can’t be the only person wondering where this month disappeared too. But as November comes to a close, Christmas isn’t the only thing that draws nearer.

Soon, we will find ourselves subjected to yet another round of vanity articles in which writers broadcast their monthly earnings to the world. You know the sort of articles I’m talking about:

  • I Made $100 on Medium Last Month, You Can Too.
  • How I Became One of Medium’s Top Earners.
  • 5 Steps to Monetizing Medium

I’m not the only one who’s getting fed up with this sort of content. Other writers are putting their own satirical spin on the topic; I highly recommend this hilarious piece by Gwen Irwin.

But aren’t these articles written to help? Won’t they give me the secret to earning mega-bucks on Medium? What’s the problem?

They’re written for the writer, not the reader

The majority of these articles are written to serve as an ego boost for the writer, rather than to provide readers with value. They’re usually rammed with screenshots of the writer’s earnings or the Stats page, with little in terms of advice that a reader could apply to their own writing.

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not sure the value of a five-minute piece where I subtly brag about my follower count and the number of monthly reads, only for the grand takeaway to be, “You need to be as good a writer as I am.”

Forget about a wolf in sheep’s clothing, beware vanity articles disguised as helpful content.

They’re all identical

There isn’t a topic on Earth that hasn’t been written about already. One trait of a great writer is the ability to take a familiar topic and put their own spin on it. Sadly, most writers who publish a ‘monthly earnings’ piece fail to do so.

In fact, I’m going to save you from ever having to subject yourself from reading one of these articles again, by summing them up in nine words. Are you ready?

To make $100 per month on Medium, you have to:

  • Improve your writing
  • Write more often
  • Rinse and repeat
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Photo by Jamie Haughton on Unsplash

Shocking, isn’t it?

I’ve yet to read a piece on monthly earnings that didn’t follow this basic premise. But if the secret formula to increasing your earnings was truly that simple, wouldn’t we see a higher percentage of writers hitting the $100 per month mark?

A Final Thought

Wanting to make money on Medium isn’t a crime. There is nothing wrong with being proud of your accomplishments or wanting to help others achieve the same feat.

But there is a very fine distinction between writing something that provides actionable takeaways to the reader and something that makes you come across as a bragging douchebag. Most writers end up on the wrong side of this line.

It is possible to give helpful advice without revealing how much money you earned. Try to completely avoid any mention of earnings unless it’s absolutely necessary to make your point. You might find that your readers are thankful for it.

Jon Peters is a 29-year-old writer who lives in Cornwall, UK with his wife and two children. If you enjoyed this piece, you might enjoy some of my other work too, which you can find here. Thanks for reading.

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Trying to make the world a better place, one word at a time.

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