Medium is one of the most popular blogging platforms in the world. There are collections within Medium that make it easy for readers to find the content they are looking for.
Why Medium (for earning income)
Medium is great because it has a high domain authority.
What this means is that Google sees Medium as an authoritative website, and will rank articles in Medium above sites with less authority in Google search.
Over time, this means that some of your posts will get traffic directly from Google search–not just the traffic that is browsing on Medium’s own website.
This is especially true if what you’re writing about does not have a lot of competition.
For example, if you write an article about internet marketing for beginners–you’re not going to do well. It’s too broad and there’s a lot of competition.
If you write an article to sales professionals about how you closed 3 deals in a day using LinkedIn auto-responders–and then linked to the software you used with affiliate links–now you’re on to something.
Medium works well when your topic is specific enough to have a low amount of competition.
Speaking of topics–let’s dive in and address which areas you should focus on if you want to learn money in the shortest amount of time possible on Medium.
Picking your topic (Hint: It’s all about the keywords)
Ok, so this is the most important part.
The topic needs to be unique enough to stand out, but have enough appeal that it has a chance at ranking on Google Search.
To start with, the topic needs to be on a topic where you can link to software tools within the post.
This matters, because that’s going be how you monetize the content (more on this later).
Topics that lend themselves to software referrals are generally around the following themes:
- Starting an online store
- Starting a blog
- Social Media marketing
- Email marketing
These are the broad strokes, you’ll want to narrow it down further and do some keyword research to find a very specific topic that has a chance to rank on Google search.
Let me show you an example of what I would do.
Let’s take the topic of social media marketing. I actually think we can cross-pollinate a little bit here with multiple topics (which opens up our opportunity for more software tools to mention.
I know that Pinterest is a great way to drive traffic to a new blog–so I think we can hone in around the idea of driving traffic to a new blog using Pinterest.
Now, let’s take that rough idea and do some keyword research around it.
Go to www.moz.com and sign up for a free community account.
Then, go over to the Google Chrome store and download the free Mozbar. This will allow you to see the “domain authority” (DA) of an individual website on the Google search results page (the lower the DA, the easier it will for your Medium post to rank).
Now, let’s take our idea for a topic and enter it in over on the free keyword research tool Ubersuggest.
Anything you see highlighted in green indicates that the competition for this keyword is likely to be quite low.
Let’s take some of the terms we see here and go over to Google Chrome to use our handy Mozbar tool to check things out.
I notice that one of the results on the first page has a relatively low DA.
When you see DAs on the first page below 10–you’ll know you hit gold.
Keep researching until you’ve found a keyword that super easy and intersects with plenty of opportunities to link to software.
Those links will be how you will make money–because they will be affiliate links that pay you every time you refer a customer to their platform.
How Affiliates help you make money on Medium
While you must disclose any time that you use affiliate links on your content, it can be a killer way to earn money from the content that you post on Medium.
The best affiliate programs tend to come from the tech industry–and they tend to be subscriptions that people pay for every month. The best programs will share some of that monthly revenue with you–which can stack up the large amounts over time.
Super important: Write the article with the affiliate offers in mind from the start.
If you make the affiliate offers and after-thought–you’re probably never going to earn any money off of them.
You need to craft the article in such a way that the solution to the readers problem is the affiliate–and it needs to be a quality company and product that is actually worth buying.
Aside from the affiliate, you want to make sure that the post is written with SEO in mind.
Because of Medium’s authority in the eyes of Google–a post written around low competition keywords in Google has a solid chance of ranking highly in search.
This gives you a chance to get high intent traffic to the post every single month–which gives you more and more chances to get clicks on your affiliate links from a fresh new audience every month.
Although I think affiliate links are your best shot at making money on Medium–there are others ways you can get in on the action and turn your words into dollars.
A popular option is to join the Medium Partner Program.
Medium Partner Program
The Medium Partner program let’s writers earn a portion of Medium’s revenue when they create content that has high engagement with the readers that are members of Medium’s premium subscription.
When a premium member reads your content, you’re paid a portion of their $5 subscription fee based on how long they engaged with your content.
It’s an interesting monetization model and does have some benefits to writers.
This is another way to monetize the content you create on Medium without the need for affiliate offers.
Unlike the affiliate approach–the earnings on the Partner Program can tend to be on the low side based on my research.
I’m seeing folks celebrating $100 bucks here and there–which is great but not exactly going to pay the bills.
That being said, there are some writers that are making decent money on the platform–and it can be a good supplement to other blogging efforts (like reposting content from your blog onto Medium).
Getting Syndicated By Larger Publications
Publishing content into the ether on Medium probably won’t work to well.
If you want truly rapid growth in readership, you’ll need to find some publications that will agree to publish your post.
The nice thing about posting an article to a Medium Publication is that their isn’t likely to be a ton of editing if it’s accepted–so your CTAs and links will remain throughout the post and in the bio.
Each publication has it’s own submission process, so you’ll have to do some research to find which publications are likely to accept your post and the process for submission.
Drive Traffic to Your Own Blog from Medium
There’s no question that you stand to make a lot more money of you can drive traffic away from Medium and to your own website.
Building up your own site means you will have a real, sellable asset that you own. When you build up a profile on Medium, you’re essentially “renting” space on their site.
When that traffic comes to your site–you own that space and it becomes a lot more valuable.
So, no matter what method you choose to make money on Medium–always keep in mind that your best bet is always going to be driving back that traffic to your own blog.
Medium can be a great source of traffic to get things moving when you’ve just started your site.
You can even copy and paste one of your own blog posts into Medium after you’ve published on your own website to get more traffic.
Medium can be a great channel to make money as a new blogger.
Affiliate links within your medium posts that have a decent shot at ranking well in Google will give you the biggest ROI for your efforts on Medium.
There is some opportunity to earn income writing for the Partner program on Medium, but the upside is limited.
At the end of the day, Medium can be a great traffic source to drive traffic from during the early days of your blog when you’re first starting out.
Make sure to leverage Medium Publications anytime you post on Medium to get additional traffic to your post and make sure you write content that lends itself to promoting affiliate offers.
While Medium offers some decent avenues for earning money, the best channel will always be your own blog in the long run.
Always invest in your own blog first. In the long run, it will pay off.