How To Fail To Make Money On Medium

My Medium Life in the Post-Clap Era

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Photo by Mia Anderson on Unsplash

I used to make money writing on Medium.

I joined the platform last February. Within a few months, by basically living on this platform, I was able to make it into the 7% of writers who earn $100 a month here.

By September, I’d met my personal goal — I was bringing in $100/week.

Then Ev Williams pulled the rug out from under me. It was announced that payment would now depend on how long it takes to read a piece rather than how much the reader likes it.

I write short humor, brief personal essays and snarky Haiku. Most of my work takes under 3 minutes to read.

Was I apprehensive about this change? You bet.

I coped with my fears and anxieties the way I usually do. I joked about them.

And yet? I hoped that things wouldn’t turn out to be as awful as I thought.

But? It was exactly as awful as I thought

If anything, it’s worse.

I now make a fifth of what I used to make, for the same amount of effort.

What can I do about this? Not a thing.

Well, I can continue to joke about it.

So should I abandon Medium, or stick around in the hopes that this situation will be fixed?

I suspect that there’s nothing to “fix.” I believe that this change was made on purpose, to drive the cartoonists, poets and humorists off this platform.

Why? Our Medium Overlords want this to become a platform that only publishes serious, long-form work.

Kind of like the New Yorker, but without the cartoons, humor, poems, brief reviews and other short pieces that make it fun and readable.

Why on earth would they want this?

I absolutely have no idea.

Only the Algorithm Knows. And the Algorithm isn’t saying.

If I stay on the platform, it will take a long long time for me to start bringing in as much a week as I did in the Halcyon Days of the Clap Era.

After which? Medium could move the goalposts again.

Or? Ev Williams could tire of us and pull the plug on the entire thing.

The only thing I know for sure about writing on Medium?

I’d better not quit my day job.

(If you enjoyed this post by Roz Warren, you might enjoy this one too.)

Written by

Writing Coach/Medium Sherpa Roz Warren( ( writes for everyone from the New York Times to the Funny Times.

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