Now that it’s 2021, I can now calculate the exact amount that I made on Medium in 2020. I’m going to calculate it to the last penny because, yes, it does matter — I didn’t make much at all.
As a full-time American college student, I maintain a couple of streams of income in order to pay for day-to-day purchases. Medium happens to be one of them. Yet, while Medium is a platform that I have been able to monetize on, I see it way more as a platform for me to express myself creatively and share my experiences. I got into writing on Medium because I’ve always enjoyed scrolling through the posts on this platform. After writing on my personal blog, Meraki Beans, for a while, I decided that I wanted to challenge myself and write even more whenever I had the chance. In order to maintain my blog schedule and to differentiate blogs on there and on here, I started my Medium account. In general, I love writing about lifestyle, personal finance, college, and more about the Generation Z experience.
Now, even though the money I make on Medium is by no means significant, it’s something that really does help to keep me going. As someone who was never very confident in her writing or her ability to make any money off of this hobby, these numbers, no matter how low, are still exciting to me. So, let’s jump into the numbers!
How Much Money I Made on Medium in 2020
My Medium Timeline
I started my Medium account in May 2020, a couple of months after I was sent home from college due to the pandemic and the entire world shut down. I loved writing in high school but never got to do it much. Writing and posting it on my blog and on Medium became the creative outlet I needed at the time. Since then, I have been writing fairly consistently, with a couple of posts each month for the rest of 2020.
Over the year, I’ve published 55 stories and have 6 still sitting in drafts. Out of all of the published stories, most are original but some are reposted from Meraki Beans. Many of them are published in publications but a lot of them are also just self-published. In drafts, some are waiting to be approved to publications and some just are not done.
My Top Performing Posts (By Views)
As of January 1, 2021, my top-performing post is titled “I Tried Chloe Ting Challenges So You Don’t Have To”. It has 1.8k views, 1.2k reads, and an average reading time of 2 minutes and 39 seconds. I published this article in a publication called Be Unique, a diverse publication that shares unique stories. When writing this post, I certainly did not expect 1.8 THOUSAND people to have clicked into it nor could I have expected 1.2 THOUSAND people to read it.
How much did Medium pay me for this post? $1.30
My second top-performing post by views in 2020 is one titled “How I Got My NASA Internship”. This one, as of January 1, 2021, has 503 views, 330 reads, and an average reading time of 2 minutes and 53 seconds. This article was posted in a huge publication called Illumination, a publication focused on helping people find their voice.
I’ve received amazing feedback and messages from people on LinkedIn who said that this post was helpful as students looking for internships and I’m super happy I decided to write this post because of that.
How much did Medium pay me for this post? $1.35
As of January 1, 2020, my newest NYE 2020 post titled “How my best 2020 investments made me happier and richer” is my third most viewed post at 166 views, 76 reads, and an average reading time of 1 minute and 17 seconds.
This post was one that I felt summarized my 2020 very well and one I had a lot of fun writing. Since I wanted to put it out before 2021, I just published it by myself without submitting to a publication. I instead posted about it on my LinkedIn because I wanted to share this post which I had so much fun writing. It didn’t make much so far and doesn’t have too many views but it’s only been a day and the readers are mostly my friends and family. That’s what I love about my mentality and writing on Medium though. I’m not doing this for the money or to become famous or anything like that. I’m doing it because I love it and because I want to.
How much did Medium pay me for this post? $0.01 (SO FAR !)
Finally…the part you’ve all been waiting for — How much did I make on Medium in 2020? Drumroll please…
Here’s a quick summary:
And all of that comes out to a grand total of… wait for it…. $5.76!!
So, how much money did I make on Medium in 2020? Basically not much at all. I could buy one singular drink of my favorite chai tea latte from Starbucks with how much money I made from Medium in 2020. And you bet I will!
I didn’t make much at all, but that’s completely OK. Medium is something I found in 2020 to help cope and to help provide an outlet. I’m proud of a lot of the content I wrote last year and I just see the extra 5 bucks as an extra 5 bucks I wouldn’t have made if I hadn’t written on Medium.
Writing on Medium has been a learning experience for the last year. I have learned a lot about writing on a platform like Medium and how to set myself up for better monetization. I’ve learned how to submit to publications, how to run my own publication (College Things), and how to find good content that’s eye-opening for personal reading.
At the end of the day, I’m not writing on Medium for monetary reasons (or else I would be broke!!). But I’ve learned some things here and there about monetizing on Medium. For example, you only make money when Medium members, people who pay money for memberships on Medium, read your posts. Also, the amount of time they spend reading seems to play a factor as well. My post with 1.8 views made 5 fewer cents than my post with 500 views. But, the post with 500 views had a longer average reading time. I’m sure there’s more to their algorithm, such as how many claps you get and more, but that’s something that I’ve noticed.
In terms of the popularity of my posts, other than self-promoting my posts, I’ve learned other methods to get my posts to be clicked on more often. I self-promoted my post on investing in 2020, but not so much my two top-performing posts. Instead, I believe that they are popular because they are things that intrigue Medium users and Googlers. When I was getting into working out, I read so many blog posts and watched so many videos on people reviewing Chloe Ting workouts. When I was interviewing at NASA, I read literally everyone’s blog post about interviewing at NASA and how they got their internships. What I’ve learned is that a lot of things that I write about are things that no one really cares about or things that no one will find organically. When I write about things like interning at NASA and a popular workout challenge, those are things people are seeking and are very curious about. Yet, I love writing about more philosophical things and about my life learnings and even though people don’t usually care about those things unless they’re written by someone famous, I want to continue to write them for myself — and that’s the beauty of Medium as a hobby. :)