Is a Writing Career on Medium Worth Pursuing?


A recap of my time on Medium as an unpaid writer and the things I did (you are encouraged to disagree with).

This past year has been a rollercoaster ride, learning about the ins and outs of Medium. As an aspiring writer on Medium, I, like many others, have navigated Medium space, trying to make sense of it all. After all, we all want to find the strategies to gain followers, increase the number of claps or get curated and published in one of the leading publications.

Photo by Piotr Łaskawski on Unsplash

I think it is safe to say that although my chances for earning big on Medium are incredibly slim (at some point, only 7.4% of writers make more than $100 in a single month), I gave it a good shot. Admittedly and while knowing better, this eternal optimist will always be in the honeymoon phase. I enjoy the content that is available and dream about publishing stories that rake in mountains of cash (I now know I probably shouldn’t). The various (Medium) writer communities I have discovered and joined promise their unwavering support, clap-love and advice. The community certainly has not diminished my desire towards my (unattainable) dream or goal. In fact, all positive interactions have motivated me to continue on my journey.
Photo by Daniel Jensen on Unsplash

But is it for you?

Without further ado, please find below the humble advice and information I have on offer.

  • Become a member for a year. If you are a member of the Medium Partner Programme (often referred to as MPP), I recommend becoming a paying member. Please note that I have not been told to give you this advice. Rest assured that I will not benefit if you were to act on my words (well, not directly anyway). A one-year membership is not that expensive and will give you the opportunity to engage with content and its creators.
  • Interact with the community. There are several good Facebook groups (if you stomach having a FB account). You can ask questions and post links to your stories there (do adhere to the rules, though!). Sharing your work can lead to useful feedback from your peers, love (claps) and even follows. I have found these groups very helpful as they are universally positive, offer support and motivation. These are all critical factors that allow me to keep going. I have listed some of my favourite groups here (In no particular order):
  • Medium Mastery
  • Medium Partner Program Friends
  • Medium Magic
  • Medium New Writers
  • Medium Writers and Bloggers

Photo by Fab Lentz on Unsplash

I have also found groups outside of FB (Reddit, Twitter etc.) but not engaged much with them as of yet.

  • Network. There are a variety of strategies that can help you build your network. I would suggest that reading many articles in areas you like (and like to write about) is essential. Reading informs you about the content that does well (and possibly why) and allows you to connect with fellow writers. A paid subscription with unlimited access to articles (see “paid membership”) will let you do so. Linking to fellow writers in communities (see “connect in communities”) will immediately build that network and set productive relationships in motion.
  • Polish and Publish. I have heard a lot about curation and publishing in publications. There are several stories that present strategies towards either goal. One useful article I have seen on this topic describes the processes and means by which you can apply and publish in larger publications. Publications expose your work to large audiences and thereby help you get many love-claps. As of now, I have not tried to get my work published in any of the publications, but you can bet that I will try as my work starts to gain more traction.
  • Get a coach or enter a coaching programme. Writing can be hard. I understand that when your first monthly earning reports come in, you may very well be disappointed, disillusioned or worse, terminally frustrated. Luckily with the advent of the internet and online tools, there are numerous coaching options. I use app (Develop a writing habit). I now am on a nine-day writing streak which this app has helped me achieve. Without the streak, I would not be publishing my 3rd story already.

Photo by CJ Dayrit on Unsplash

I hope that this little guide is of any help. Remember, this is not the gospel. It is my humble perspective only.

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