It’s All ‘Bout The Money — Except It Isn’t

Albert Denmark
6 min readFeb 9, 2023

I promised myself, I will never write a story about writing on Medium. At least not about how to get more attention. I still would like to keep my promise to myself. However, I simply need to share how stupid I’ve been. I can’t imagine, there’s someone in the whole wide world making the same stupid mistake, but hopefully for myself, I am not the only one. So here it goes.

Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash

I just changed all my articles. Since I became a member of the Medium Member Program, I thought: cool, now I can make money on my articles. Naive as I was, I thought the money I was making was growing each time someone clicked on one of my articles. I quickly learned that was not the case. A couple of months ago, I fell over a post, about Medium decides how much you can get for a story. It’s not that simple. It has something to do with the length of your article, the popularity, but also with the status of the reader. I didn’t read it very thoroughly, but simply concluded, that only people who are member (like me) can make the earned amount to grow.


How little did I know. Until today, I’ve been publishing 38 articles. And the day I was accepted in the Medium Partner Program, I marked the box “Meter this story” upon publishing. My older stories were still “unmetered”, since I did not know it was possible to edit “metering” later on. And then I got lazy. Or a lot of other things to do, up to you to decide. No matter what you think: I didn’t write as much as I used to do.

Picture by me — you are welcome to use it as you want

And as expected, the number of readers fell. I am neither on Facebook, Twitter nor other social media, so I am not promoting my articles anywhere else. I have to get my audience from being discovered here on Medium: people that stumble upon my articles or comments I write. And since my activity on Medium had dropped significantly, I reckoned my earnings were just a logical consequence of my actions. In the start, I earned about $10,00 but it fell and fell, until I got the astonishing monthly payment of $0,02 — in December 2022. I didn’t think about it very much. Somehow, I convinced myself that many people may have quitted their subscription, due to a global recession, or perhaps I wasn’t that active anymore. Nonetheless, some day I would do something to it.

Members Only

At this very moment, I am laying in my bed, sick-ish. Not in the mood to do anything else, having an annoying headache, and a stomach that does not know if it wants food or wants to avoid food. So I took my computer, and looked on Medium. And then I saw it: Members Only.

All my f****** articles were set to Members Only! People who do not have a subscription to Medium are unable to read my articles! None of them! That means: nobody gets something to read of what I am writing. Not that I imagine myself, I am such a good writer — but how in the whole wide world would anyone see what I am writing, while the vast majority of readers at Medium are socalled free users?

I am having 291 followers at the moment. And most of them, I expect, are free users. If my hypothesis as expressed above is correct. So, most of those 291 do not know what I am writing! I guess they learned my name (and the fact I am having an account on Medium) because of my comments, which are freely accessible.

I have asked myself the question why people are following me. I’ve been writing some comments on programming and hacking articles (since that is my profession), but I haven’t been writing about that. However, a fair deal of my followers are programmers and ethical hackers, so why would they be interested in what I am writing? I didn’t care, I simply started following back.

I disabled metering

So, as per today, I disabled “metering” on all my stories. I know, that withdraws my ability to make money on my stories. But well, those $0,02, I can dispense with. Actually, I managed to make $1,00 again in January 2023, but still, Medium is not my way of living. If it can give me a little income, it would be nice.

But 38 articles and 291 followers? And followers that just clicked on my name because they found a comment they liked? Or perhaps people who just follow other people hoping they are being following back (yes, I’ve done that, too, one year and a half ago, to reach the magical 100 followers to be able to entering the Medium Partner Program). The fact is: almost nobody, except some paying readers, are following me because my articles. And that because I was focused on making money.

I have been an entrepeneur almost all my adult life. I might not be the most successful entrepeneur. I am not Bill Gates (unfortunately) or Elon Musk (thank goodness, no), but I have managed to pay my own salary in more than 25 years now. So, I might be a bit successful at least.

The money paradox

One of the things I learned in my carreer is: do not focus on the money. If you do, you will lose money. Focus on your service. Give away as much as you want. Don’t expect something in return. Do you work, and do it good. Then you will make money.

I know, it sounds very paradoxically, but it is the truth: focusing on money will not work. Despite my believe in the law of attracting, I am convinced I did not buy a house by focusing on the money. Of course, ignoring your bank account isn’t good, either. But money is an asset, not a purpose. Easy for me to say, you think? No, it is not. I am not stinking wealthy. Except when I come home from running and see my two daughter sprinting toward me: “Daddy! You’re home!” — then I feel wealthy and stinking! But I mean, I am not filthy rich. I do not live in a a Money Bin like Uncle Scrooge. I do not have a mansion with three pools and a golf yard. But I can pay my bills. That’s what it’s all about.

And somehow, I focused on making money on Medium. And what did I earn? Not more than the price of one pizza in six months! Hooray! I’m the king of the world. Not.

So, now I remain to see, if my audience is growing more organically. I mean: if the people that see my profile are those who fit in the audience I’d like to see. No no, those who do not are still welcome here — please don’t go … Or actually … go, if you’d like to do that.

Perhaps, I have some more time to write in the near future. At least I am more motivated, since I now can see if my stats go up. My earnings won’t, but that isn’t important. Writing is.

Thank you for reading

Oh … I will never say “no” to a tip. Underneath this article, you can a link to a service where you can tip me. Just that you know it. In case … you know …



Albert Denmark

Father, husband, Computer Geek and author. Living in Denmark, born in Holland. Mail: