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How I Went From Zero to This Stat Line In a Year

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I’ve been writing on Medium for a little over a year now. However rocky the start may have been, the results after 12 months were truly fantastic. These are my current audience stats, the category of stats that matters a lot to me.

Views and reads are one thing — and within my first year I’ve seen many ups and downs in these two metrics — but the audience stats have been growing steadily over the past 12 months.

What surprises me the most is the rate of referral growth.

How did I get there

What did I do in my first year that drove this growth? I narrowed it down to a few key factors, some of which are old news to you, others may help you reach the next level of success.

  1. I always mention this one first because it’s the main factor for my growth. Consistency. Had I not written consistently for at least 8 of the past 12 months, I wouldn’t be where I am now. Consistency, in my case, means 5–7 stories per week. Every week, every month. With one exception: I took a two-week break over Christmas 2021.
  2. Trending topics. Medium, like most social platforms, is driven by trends. Some topics are hot this month, others are on the rise the next. The key to growing your views and audience quickly is to embrace trendy topics. As much as many people don’t want to hear that, you can’t just write what you want (if you plan on earning money with it, that is). Hopping on trends helps. Of course, that’s not all you should do. Write about what you want, just remember that trends do play a huge role on this platform.
  3. Shortform. Another major factor for me has been shortform content, i.e., stories at or below 150 words. This content format has so many upsides (and a few downsides too), the main ones for me being a) they take less time to write, b) they help with writing consistently (it’s easier to write 150 words every day than 1500 words every other) and c) I often start with a shortform post in mind and end up with a lot more. I may have never started, hadn’t I tried to write a shortform post first.
  4. Engagement. The next key factor is social activity. Medium is a social platform. It lives off engagement. Medium’s algorithm favors engagement. Claps, comments, responses to comments, these all have an impact. I’ve grown a lot because I have been engaging with readers and writers from day one. That takes times, don’t underestimate that! Nowadays, I can’t keep up with all the comments and questions I get on a daily basis. But it’s important to devote time to that. I’ve met wonderful people through Medium.
  5. Niches. Since I started niching down my content to a few topics I care about the most, my subscriber pool has grown a lot quicker. People expect certain topics from me. Even if you think you don’t have a niche, your readers might disagree. You don’t have to niche down, but it may help.
  6. Improving my CTA. A good call-to-action is crucial for referrals. Since I updated my CTA, my referral numbers have skyrocketed. It’s the little details that make the difference. Referrals are recurring passive income, the best source of income you can get online.

What’s next

I can’t wait for year 2 on this platform. 2022 started with a bang. I will go full-time content creator very soon, and I’m extremely excited about the coming months.

Some writers are leaving Medium due to changes in the algorithm and other factors. I can understand that.

There are writers who were used to earning 4 or even 5 figures a month on this platform. Many of which are struggling to get to $1000 now. For others, $1000 per month sounds like heaven.

Then, there are upcoming writers who prove that it’s still possible to become successful on Medium in 2022, that it’s worth a try.

The bottom line

I love to look back at the beginnings. The stories I started with, the first lines I wrote, the couple of bucks I made in my first months. Wonderful memories.

Screenshot of my first month on Medium

I started writing on Medium because I was sick of having a WordPress blog with little views and all the maintenance and costs that come with it. I didn’t imagine Medium becoming a lucrative side-hustle for me, I was just eager to try it.

12 months later, I’m on the verge of starting my entrepreneurial journey with Medium as my main income source.

It never hurts to try!

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