My Second Month Writing on Medium: Reflections and Lessons-Learned

Went from making $6.61 to $25.37 — it’s not a lot but it covers my subscription fees

Photo by Simon Migaj from Pexels

Although February is the shortest month of the year, I felt as if January flew by and February was at a stand-still. This could just be me though.

It’s been a hectic month and frankly, I am glad it is over, but I am also appreciative of it because I am so thankful to have two jobs that have resulted in so much personal and professional growth as well as volunteer projects that are slowly but surely coming to life.

I am starting to get the hang of writing on Medium, as I’m now familiar with the platform and reading articles has become part of my daily routine. There are still things I am still discovering about the platform, but it’s starting to gain a bit of traction which I am happy about.

My Stats

Articles Written and Published

This month I published 7 articles on a variety of topics such as Health and Fitness, Politics, Climate Change, and Relationships.

Here is a list of the articles I wrote:

  1. What Happened When I Stretched for 10–30 Minutes Everyday*
  2. Love is not Enough to Sustain a Relationship
  3. Microplastics in the Arctic Environment: A Global Plastic Problem
  4. Is Intuitive Eating Right for You? A Beginner’s Guide to Intuitive Eating
  5. Amsterdam’s Red Light District is Moving Out of the City — But at What Cost?
  6. The Interconnectedness Between Gender and Climate Change
  7. The Realities of Interracial Dating From a Southeast Asian Woman

*I technically published this in January, however, the majority of the earnings and views from this story are reflected in February because it was published on the 31st, therefore, I am counting it towards February!

I published in 4 publications:

  • Write Like a Girl
  • Climate Conscious
  • In Health and Fitness
  • Politically Speaking — New!

Views, Reads, and Fans

  • My views have increased from ~300 views to~1,000 per 30 days.
  • Readership has increased from ~140 readers to ~440 per 30 days.
  • My fans have increased from ~29 fans to ~101 per 30 days.
Screenshot by author. Dec 27 — January 27 stats.
Screenshot by author. January 28 — February 27 stats.

Curation

All 7 of my articles were “chosen for further distribution” which is Medium’s relatively new curation method. I have not been on Medium long enough to know if that is significant, but it is something to note.

Overall, my “chosen for further distribution” rate has been pretty good as 13/16 (81%) of my currently published stories have been curated.

How Much Did I Make?

In my last reflection post, I mentioned that I joked with my roommate that if I made enough money to cover my Medium subscription fee I would be happy. Well not only did I cover my Medium subscription fee, but I covered all of the rest — once the USD gets converted to CAD.

A Google sheets chart stating how much I made in USD and CAD
A Google sheets chart stating how much I made in USD and CAD
Screenshot by author. Table created in Google Sheets

I made $25.37 USD which is equal to $32.32 CAD. My current subscriptions are $27.96 CAD. So I made enough to cover my subscriptions for a month which is wild.

My top three articles that made the most money for me in February were as follows:

Screenshot by author. Table created in Google Sheets

However, it is interesting to note that 3 articles I wrote in January made more in February than they did in the month they were published. This leads me to believe that more people are seeing and reading my writing pieces.

By February 7th, I surpassed the income made from the entire month of January. It isn’t anything to write home about, and frankly, compared to how much others on this platform make, it is quite small. Nonetheless, I’m proud of the progress I’ve made in my writing and it’s sort-of-reflected in my Medium “income,” if we can even call it that.

Other Highlights

On February 6th, I received an email that I became a top writer in the Climate Change tag. This felt like an actual achievement because climate change and environmental topics are what I am really excited by, and will be pursuing in my future career, so it was such a great feeling to get the email notification.

Screenshot by author

Reflections

My Most “Successful” Article for February Was Technically Published in January

As mentioned before, the article that continues to make the most money for me is my stretching article which I submitted to a publication on January 31st expecting it to publish in February. It was published very fast.

Also interesting to note that there are 7 articles that I published in January that have continued to make me money. I guess this would technically be considered passive income for February? In total, those articles make up $5.16 USD or $6.58 CAD of my income in February.

Screenshot by author. Table created in Google Sheets. Highlighted articles are ones that were published in January, but making some money in February

My Favourite Articles Don’t Make The Most Money — And That’s Okay

Not to be mistaken, I have enjoyed writing every single article I have written. However, I will say that my favourite articles I wrote this month are not the ones that are making the most money. I’m starting to see a slight trend in what my small audience likes reading from me, however, this will not stop me from writing about other topics that I enjoy writing about such as climate change-related content.

My two favourite articles from this month:

As you can see both of these articles didn’t even make the top 3, but they encompass themes that I get excited about writing about. As exciting as it is to make some money off of the articles I write, I think it’s an important reminder that the reason why I write is not to make a profit but to write about stories and themes that I personally care about.

I Tend to do More Writing at the Beginning of the Month But Then Start to Plateau

This month, I’m finding that a lot of my writing was happening at the beginning of the month, but tends to stall during the middle of the month, and has become almost non-existent towards the end of February. I’m not exactly sure why that is. I have a crazy work schedule at the moment, so I’m mainly focused on my professional priorities as well as my volunteer activities. That is my best guess, but something to monitor as I would like to be writing more in general.

Lessons-Learned

Article Subtitles Need to be Edited in the Actual Article

Well into my second month, I thought that subtitles only needed to be added in the little box that pops up when you press “publish.” I only discovered that was not the case when an editor for a publication notified me that it needed to be done on the actual article as well. Rookie mistake.

If You Live Outside the US, Check to See if You Are Exempt From The Tax

I read Violet Daniel’s article on her first 6 months on Medium, which you should read, if you like knowing about Medium updates and opinions like I do — it’s a good one!

And that led me to read this article by Gillian Sisley, a Canadian-based writer, such as myself, who wrote about how non-US writers were being taxed 30% and how if there is a treaty agreement you can opt-out of the taxation.

I’m really glad that I read both these articles because I would have never known I needed to opt-out in order to not be taxed as I thought getting taxed was normal. I only lost $2 from this, thankfully, but it would be a good idea to check to make sure you are not being taxed unnecessarily!

Goals For Next Month

  • Create an index of articles: Saw a great article by Paul Ryburn explaining the advantages of creating an index.
  • Pitch more articles and stories to larger publications: So far I’ve been publishing in smaller to medium-size publications, but I think I want to try getting into bigger publications that I follow such as P.S. I Love You, Better Humans, and The Ascent, while still writing articles for the ones I am in at the moment.
  • Try to write for 3 different publications in March: I love the publications that I have written in/for, but I’d like to discover more in order to expand my writing.

After two months on Medium, I can clearly see why individuals enjoy writing for the platform. There is so much great content and amazing writers here, whom I’m learning so much from as I read about what excites them. It’s been a great month and I’m looking forward to seeing what March has to offer!

Intersectional environmentalist 🌱✊🏼. Research Assistant. (She/her). Writing about climate change, love, health & fitness, personal development, etc...

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