My first 60 cents earned with Medium: Why it’s as powerful as a 6-figure story

Emma L
4 min readApr 8, 2021


Yep, you heard it right. My first email from Medium landed in my inbox about paying my earnings.

Wait a minute….earnings? It’s got to be a mistake, right?

I have very few followers and very few stories, so that can’t be right.

Thinking it was some sort of automated message, I checked the link and saw that, sure enough, I have some earnings from my Medium account.

60 cents in total over the last two months.


I know you’re probably thinking that’s not a lot, and you’d be right. It’s not a lot at all. And when it’s split over two months, it’s even less!

But we’ve all gotta start somewhere.

Having any sort of earnings at all had some real meaning for me, and I’m going to tell you why.

Here’s exactly why seeing that money reach my bank account was so powerful.

It was more motivating than any 6-figure story

Getting my first job in a shop and earning that first week’s money, given to me in a little brown envelope with my name on it, felt amazing.

Earning that same amount of money repeatedly over many weeks was even more incredible because I saw what could come of it if I worked hard.

As a saver, I saw my money grow over time and, knowing that I could increase my earnings from working, made me want to do it more.

It was totally unexpected to get any earnings at all land in my account.

And doesn’t something feel so much better when it’s unexpected?

So, while it isn’t a lot of money I’ve earned from Medium, seeing that I could earn the tiniest amount from the few stories I have written is incredibly motivating. Not that writing is about making money, but it’s made me want to keep going to see what other results I can create.

It proved my doubts wrong

I’ve always believed that to make money you need hundreds of followers. Plenty of stories sharing secrets on how to do all sorts of different things. And or don’t forget claps and comments.

With social media platforms, you don’t start making money until you’ve gotten loads of followers and are seen as some sort of influencer.

Seeing that little old me could start earning has disproven any doubts I had over that. Yes, it’s not nearly enough to pay the bills, but it is a start.

Feeling Valued

As I said, the earnings I made aren’t much, but being able to earn as a newcomer to Medium has made me feel valued.

Writers don’t need to be earning 6 figures to feel accomplished.

There’s much more to it than that!

There are a number of successful freelancers and entrepreneurs right now sharing how they make 6-figure incomes which, after a while, make the rest of us feel like we’re somehow not yet successful or worth as much if we don’t.

There are plenty of 4 and 5-figure earning freelancers who are making it work incredibly and perhaps don’t get the recognition they deserve.

Then there are the writers just getting started, who only need to know how to get to that next step -to become a 3-figure writer!

They don’t need to reach 6-figures stage right away.

Feeling valued right at the bottom of the earnings ladder makes a massive difference to wanting to do more.

Potential for Growth

If I can earn 0.60 cents from the small number of articles I’ve written and few followers (I thank all 15 of you!), imagine how much I could earn once this number grows?

If you had to wait until you had hundreds of stories or followers before you started to earn any money from any type of writing, do you think you would still do it?

(My answer is yes because I love to write.)

But, for some, it could feel like pushing a bag of potatoes up a ski slope.

That’s why seeing growth, in baby steps — including financially - is very promising, too.

Oh, and you know what else?

A 6 -figure writer in the US is actually only a 5-figure writer in the UK, once you convert it from dollars to pounds.

It goes to show that earnings are possible, even with a small audience.

Start small and grow from there.

How much I’ll earn over the next year is going to be very interesting, indeed.

Are you a writer still in the low-income earnings threshold, like me?

I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments, below!



Emma L

Content writer and editor | Sustainability| Career & Workplace | Education | Career coach |