Writing More Really Does Boost Your Medium Earnings
Read any post about making more money on Medium and I guarantee the most frequent advice you will receive is to write more. As a firm believer in the scientific method, I thought I’d give this a shot.
I’ll break down my stats and earnings from before and after I started writing more frequently and dive into the reasons why this simple piece of advice works.
Spoiler alert: writing more definitely works.
Stats BEFORE I Started Writing More Frequently
I started writing on Medium back in December 2016. I was fairly sporadic with my writing, some months writing a lot, others not writing at all. I did quite well with a few posts that were earning me regular pocket money but the rest didn't really do much at all.
I’d been writing like this since December 2016 up to July 2020, where I’d post on average about once a month (in reality it was more like 3 times one month then nothing for 3 months).
In the first half of 2020, I was receiving around 5–6k views and earning about $50 per month.
Above is my stats for April 2020 (one of my lowest earning months this year) and below are my earnings for each month in 2020 up to July, as I said, around $50 per month.
This isn’t bad by any means and my sporadic writing was clearly keeping a steady stream of people viewing my posts. However, I was seeing a lot of posts by authors making a heck of a lot more than $50 dollars and I wanted in.
The only piece of advice that was consistent across all the articles giving advice about earning more, was to write more.
If you write more, you will earn more, it’s as simple as that.
From August 2020 I started writing more frequently, every weekday where possible, to see if this advice had any merit. Let’s take a look at what happened.
Stats AFTER I Started Writing More Frequently
In August I published 6 articles. That was more than I had posted in the previous 7 months combined, surely that had to increase my views and earnings right?
As you can see from the screenshot of my stats above, it didn't really do anything to my view count compared to April. It did increase my earnings slightly, I made $60 in August which was the first time I’d hit that figure this year.
This was a little discouraging at first but I persevered. I wrote another 7 posts in September and a further 9 in October and this is when things started improving.
September saw more views and more fans and I could see the momentum of consistent posting slowly building up.
In September I earned a little more raising my $60 from August to $66 in September. This is where I started to believe. Consistency was starting to pay off, I just had to keep building on that momentum.
October goes BOOM! I had two posts chosen for further distribution and I also started sharing more on social media and Reddit. This helped boost views and shares and my views doubled. Granted some of these views were external views, so not counted towards my Medium revenue, but they certainly seemed to help.
My earnings for October grew to $96. I’d almost doubled my monthly earnings, simply from writing more.
The fun doesn't stop there. November has been my biggest earning month ever after publishing a further 6 posts. In November one of my posts was chosen for further distribution and people seemed to like it. It has so far amassed 7K views by itself.
This pushed my views up to nearly 14K for the month with the number of fans growing to 172. What did this mean for my earnings? Well, it (more than) doubled them again. This month I’m currently sat at $230!
Turns out this advice is perfectly sound advice, if you write more you really will earn more. Here are some reasons why I think this works.
Why Does Writing More Earn You More?
You may think the answer to this is obvious. Every post earns money so the more you write the more posts you have that earn you money and therefore you will earn more.
This is correct but its not the real reason you go from $50 to $100 as lots of posts barely make $0.50. Out of all the posts I wrote in November here’s what each of them earned:
If I wrote lots of posts like the first 5 I’d have earned an extra $5 and most of these posts earn money for the first week or two before they dwindle out and never earn you another cent!
So the volume itself isn’t what earns you more, in fact, anecdotally I know that most of my earnings come from a small number of posts and I’ve seen this mentioned on Medium by a number of other writers too.
What actually happens is that by writing more, you have more chance of a post being distributed or blowing up that will pull in the big earnings (like the post that earned me $168 in November).
The reason your chances go up, I think, is for two reasons. Firstly it is a game of luck. Getting the content, title, image etc all just right and having the right person see your post and find it worthy of distribution is often down to luck (although proofreading and a catchy title will help). The more you put your name into the hat, the more chance you have of being picked.
The second is that by publishing more you have more data at your disposal to understand what people want to read and which posts and subjects get you distributed more. You can use your stats to see what is working and what isn’t, which subjects, tags and publications fetch you more views and therefore where you should focus your attention.
Finally, by writing more you build up momentum. The posts that don’t do so well are still important for the growth of your blog. Not only do they remind your followers that you still exist. They are also a gateway into your more popular posts to keep people reading your stories.
So there it is. Writing more certainly does mean you’ll earn more but not every post will be a winner. By writing more you’re improving your craft and developing your niche which will ultimately lead you to greater earnings.
I would bet that most writers on Medium get most of their earnings from a small number of posts. Don’t be disheartened by the posts that don’t make it, keep writing and your killer post might just be your next one.