The day I wrote the rough draft of this article marks my seventh month of publishing every day on Medium. Every. Day. At least. You recently read the article on my 300th article. I know you did the math. It’s closer to one and a half per day, but that average will slowly drop. Once a day is enough. Some of you will think it’s still too much. But for me, it’s just right. It fits my sustainable rhythm.
Anyone who does anything every day for seven months is bound to learn something. Except maybe politicians, but I’m not going there. I’ve been practicing the guitar every day for four months. I know I have learned something there. Most days.
But, I can tell you I have learned a lot in my seven months here. I learned a lot in the first week. And every week since. You should also have, there’s plenty of information out there. Everyone is writing this same article. How to make money on Medium. How to get curated. How to get in the big publications. How to get fans, followers, claps, highlights, views, reads, and those elusive gold stars.
What? You don’t have any gold stars? That’s okay. I’m lying about the gold stars.
But this isn’t that. I learned all that. I wanted to, and so I did. I was getting curated more often than not, once I got that particular ball rolling. I got published in Better Marketing, The Startup, The Ascent, and Publishous. Some of those actually sought me out and asked if they could publish me. Well…… okay.
My stats are apparently pretty impressive. I got into the 6% who make over $100 in my third full month. My best month currently stands at over $1,400. In my best week, I had almost 14,000 views. So, I guess I learned all that stuff.
But a couple of months ago, I started learning something new. No, that’s not quite right. I learned something again. Something I once knew but forgot. Spoiler alert: It wasn’t how to get claps or make money. Don’t get me wrong. I like claps, and I like money even more. As a matter of fact, if you ever see me on the street juggling or playing the guitar, don’t clap. Throw money.
But the fact is, I’ve been making money since I first cut our grass when I was ten. I don’t think I’ve ever not made money. Making money anywhere is the same as making money on Medium. You just have to work. Hard. Every day.
But that’s not what writing has been about for me. I have written thousands of articles and short stories. And today, when I write that last sentence to complete this article, I will get that same sense of satisfaction that I did when I wrote the last sentence of my first article fifteen years ago. If you are interested, I published it here.
And that’s not about making money. That article fifteen years ago and this one are things I wanted to say. So I said them. I’m glad you are reading them, but I would have written them anyway. And before Medium came along, few people did. I had to publish stuff like this on a private blog and hope people stumbled across it.
So, back to what I learned. I learned I could write for money, or I can write for the love of writing. I can’t intentionally do both at the same time. Intentionally is the key word. Many articles I have written purely for the joy of writing them are some of my best sellers. Maybe that joy comes through. Maybe thoughts that resonate with me pull others in as well. But I didn’t write them to make money. I wrote them because I had to.
And there are articles I wrote to make money. Pieces that I knew would fit in this publication or that, which should get me reads, which should earn me money. And it wasn’t horrible, but there was no joy. There was no sense of satisfaction other than the small one when it was accepted. But here is something you need to know. And you need to know it well. I didn’t even get it at first, and I’m the one who lived it.
None of my most popular articles, the ones that have earned me the most money, fall into that second group. The one that made me the most money was this one. It’s had 23,000 views. I wrote it because I thought it needed saying. Again. I have said it for years. There is absolutely nothing profound or earth-shattering in that piece. In my mind, it was just another article of the random thoughts I pump out every day. And, although it is in a publication, it’s not one of the big ones. It’s one I enjoy writing for.
I’m not telling you this so you can write an article on the same subject, or get curated in the same topic or pitch to the same publication. I’m telling you this so you will know that sometimes if you build it, they will come. But you need to be okay if they don’t. You have to do it because you love doing it. You do it because you can’t not do it.
I’ve been writing for a long time, but very little of that writing rises to the level of what I have put out in the last seven months. Because, as far as I know, there has never been an outlet for my writing quite like Medium. It’s like this big private club whose only requirement for membership is a desire to write. Or read. Preferably both.
So, if you go back and look at those 300 articles over the last seven months (and why wouldn’t you?), you might notice a shift in the last few weeks. Not as many in the larger publications. Not quite as many curated. But each one meant something to me. I wrote it because I wanted to write it. And a surprising, gratifying number of them got curated anyway, even though I broke some curation rules. And most of the ones that are published are because that publication came to me.
And there is something else you should know. Something you can’t check out, you’ll just have to take my word for it. This month will be my highest earning month since that $1,400 one back in June.
It seems to me, I have finally struck a balance. The best of both worlds as they say. I don’t know why they say that. I don’t know anyone who has ever been to two worlds.
But I digress.
Thank you, as always, for being a loyal reader, and I hope this helps you find your path here at Medium.