How I Earned $826 Out of A Single Article

5 Simple Strategies that helped me

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

I am excited to write this article on Medium.

If you are passionate about writing on Medium, you would have seen at least a dozen articles titled around ‘How I earned ‘X’ dollars.

I have read over a hundred myself. Okay, hundred is a bit on the higher side, but I have read quite a few and have tried to understand the essential tips, tricks and strategies.

They have helped me as a writer to improve my writing, blogging, editing skills, and this article is my way of helping the community and the newest writers on the Platform.

If you haven’t yet earned more than some Coffee money, have faith in the system, it works, and it’s incredibly satisfying when you see that money flowing into your bank account.

I am going to break down the top 5 strategies that helped me in finding success with this article.

Snapshot of the article ‘The 8–8–8 Rule’

But before I dwell into the strategy,

Let me tell you about my journey a little

I joined Medium in May 2019 as a subscriber.

I soon found out that I can write on Medium too and so I joined their Medium partnership program and started actively contributing only in August 2019.

I started my journey publishing one article in a week, and I was comfortable with that pace as I also have a full-time job that zaps most of my mind-space currently.

So by Dec 2019, I had written approximately twenty-eight articles earning me just enough for one coffee each week, i.e. roughly $15-$20 each month.

I had a few small wins in that period

But here are some of the small wins before publishing ‘The 8–8–8 Rule’ article.

1) I got curated thrice till then
2) I got approximately 2.5k views to all my stories so far (very abysmal for a new writer)
3) I was humbled to have 200 fans for all my stories.
4) I had close to 1k followers
5) Every time I send a draft to a publication they have accepted it.
6) I received some great comments from people who have reached out to tell me how they have appreciated my writing style and how the content has helped them

But nothing significant enough.

Then mid-Dec something changed.

I edited this article which was lying in my drafts since April 2019 and hit the publish button. It was self-published. I didn’t really expect much out of it as I thought it’s a pretty average article. But what seemed average to me wasn’t to my readers.

Here’s a timeline of what happened

It got curated in ‘Productivity a week later

It got me a reasonable $15–20$ each day after that. So what I was earning in a month, I started making in a day. I was excited

And then, just a week later, I was asked by one of the editors in ‘The Start-up’ if I would like to submit the article in their Publication.

I gladly accepted, and that spiralled my views, reads and fans.

You can see three peaks in January when I gathered 2k views in a single day. It was an exciting time.

I was keen on understanding what was it about the article that connected with my readers. I am going to unfold the top 3 things that I have learnt so far.

#1. Title and Sub-Title

This is what the reader sees on their social media feed first, so a title that grabs the attention of the reader quickly is something that they are more likely to click.

My title for this article was distinct yet straightforward.

The subtitle then tells you what each of those three 8’s stand for — Work, Leisure and Sleep.

Clear and concise wording.

The reader is clear the article is about Productivity and time utilisation. And it leaves them wanting to know more. Is there a secret productivity formula that the author wants to share?

In short, it’s intriguing enough for the reader to click.

#2. Self-publishing

I self-published this article.

It is comparatively a new learning and something that I have just recently discovered.

Contrary to the popular advice of publishing in a major publication, I chose to self-publish. I didn’t acknowledge the importance of self-publishing then, but I just didn’t wish to wait for the Publication to review and publish, I just hit ‘PUBLISH’.

Now, after having done some research, I have found out that a self-publishing article will find it’s way into a major publication if it’s terrific.

Write an excellent article and leave it to the Publications to find you. They do.

They crawl on Medium in search of some kick-ass articles, so if you have done your job, trust them to do theirs.

#3. A solution and A positive outlook

I started with a little background as to why it is essential to balance all three aspects of your daily life and then provided a few insights as to how we can strive to achieve that balance.

This ‘completeness’ per se helps the reader to find everything on that topic in one single article.

Readers want to know the solution.

They want to be hopeful.

So always give a positive spin to your story.

What did you learn, how you plan to implement it, what has helped you, and what secrets you can share with them?

#4. Simple writing style

If you read the article and god forbid you are an editor you would trash it purely based on the editorial standards.

But what sells on Medium is quite the opposite.

So it is okay to make a few grammatical mistakes or a few structural flaws.

As long as you have some unique takeaways for the reader and something that they can relate to would help in connecting with them

I have published quite a few articles post this one, and I find them much better in terms of their editorial standards but they haven’t seen similar success.

Readers love the rawness that Medium authors bring with them. If they want to read a nicely edited article, they would go to a Time Magzine or a Forbes and not subscribe to Medium.

#5. References

Quotes

I have quoted some famous personalities who have spoken on this topic previously.

This gives my article some authenticity.

It shows that the author has done their research on the topic. It also helps the reader to know that the author is genuinely passionate about it.

Brands

I have quoted quite a few brands — just what I have used, liked and thought it was worth sharing it with others.

And a lot of people have commented on how they didn’t know about it, and they want to try it now.

I can relate to this as a reader. If I learn something new, I take a note of it and comment if it has helped me.

So definitely refer brands that you use or believe, not as a marketing ploy though.

Linkedin

I referred to how the concept of 4 days work-week has become one of the Top 20 trends for 2020. That also piqued the interest of my readers.

I started with a story and left them with a thought which isn’t my personal view but a global trend happening right now. So they feel they are reading something that’s part of a much bigger trend.

As I spelt out my small wins before this little success I found on Medium, let me quote my few small wins now two months after this article got viral

  1. I got curated four times so far out of 17 stories that I have published
  2. I have approximately 38k views for all my stories so far
  3. I have close to 1k fans so far
  4. I have ~1.2k followers (Not much changed here)
  5. I have earned $1000 so far

It isn’t much in comparison to what other established writers have achieved with over 50k followers and earning a full-time salary out of Medium. But I have made a start, and that reinstates the trust in the system.

This article intends to explain how a single article can dramatically change the stats for you on Medium and put a new writer in that top 8% earning more than a $100 monthly.

Sucess is a journey.

And it doesn’t stop at creating one successful article.

It is achieving this success consistently with every article that is published.

Thinker, self-experimenter, and a newbie writer. I write about personal growth, socio-political issues, and career advice.