Theo Sheppard
Writing on Medium for a Month Theo Sheppard

I wrote on Medium for a month. Here’s what I learnt (and what I earned).

Photo by Kaitlyn Baker on Unsplash

About 30 days ago, I chose to publish some articles I had written over the summer months (July/August in the UK) on Medium. When I wrote them, I had no intention of ever publishing them. I saw these ‘articles’ (although I didn’t even see them as articles at all at the time) purely as a means by which to collate my findings on topics I found interesting.

I decided to publish a couple of these ‘stories’ (as they are typically referred to on Medium) after exploring the wide range of ideas discussed on the platform. While I never expected more than a few people to read what I published, I was attracted to Medium’s focus on quality, readable material over catchy titles and vain, fruitless content. I knew, and still do know, that my stories are far below the standard of those released by many in the Medium community. Nevertheless, I saw little to lose from giving Medium a go — if nothing else, Medium’s writing platform was enticingly accessible.

I released my first story less than a month ago. At first, it gained little traction — maybe a few reads a day. But I didn’t mind that very few people were reading it. Publishing these stories doesn’t cost me anything and I am happy to know that there are at least several people out there that find my stories interesting enough to spare a couple of minutes of their lives reading them.

I hadn’t signed up to the Medium Partner Program at this point, I’m not sure I even knew that it existed at the time and, when I found out that it did, I saw little potential for, nor did I particularly care about, making money from the < 30 views a day I was receiving.

About 5 days in and my stories (all of which I had written over a month ago) started to gain a little bit of traction. It wasn’t much, and it still isn’t (this isn’t some sort of wild Medium success story), but by about a week in I was surprised to see that my stories were receiving over 130 reads each day.

I was very surprised. I had found the topics I discussed interesting (after all, this was the reason why I wrote these ‘stories’ in the first place) but I hadn’t expected so many others to see the same value in them — they’re not exactly literary masterpieces.

Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

About a fortnight into publishing on Medium I decided to join the ‘Medium Partner Program’. Most of my readers (my statistics, and ‘claps’, suggested) were already members of the platform, and so I wasn’t concerned that fewer people might see my stories. Either way, Medium gives writers a link for each of their stories that they can share with anyone, giving them free access to these stories, regardless of whether or not they pay £5 a month in membership fees. Knowing this, I decided it would be interesting to see how much my writing could earn and so I took the plunge and signed up for the Partner Program.

It has now been almost 30 days since my first story was published and I have since earned about $12 (~£9). Evidently this isn’t all that much. However, it is definitely more than I expected to make from just a handful of articles — and infinitely more than I expected to make when I first wrote them. It still surprises me that these brief articles, which I wrote with no intention of ever sharing, could be worth anything to anyone else.

Nevertheless, I appreciate anyone who has taken the time to read what I have written, and especially those who have responded to my stories and shared their ideas and their knowledge with me. It’s these interactions, not the few pounds I make each week (although this is, admittedly, a welcome bonus), that makes publishing on Medium satisfying to me.

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