I Was an Overnight Medium Success Story

Katlyn Roberts
5 min readAug 9, 2022

Please allow me to update you on "My Incredible Success"

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I made $613.11 in my first consistent month as a paid contributor due to two popular articles -one about how the Statues in Egypt Used to Have Eyeballs, and another which was a satirical article called, If You’re Not A Freelance Writer Now… subtitle: You Will Be By The Time You’re Done Reading This.

In it, I reformatted several of my biggest insecurities into an obnoxious, overconfident, clickbaity how-to listicle with advice like, “Spend twenty minutes writing the perfect tweet, then delete it” and “Write a bunch of fanfiction no one will ever see”. It was cathartic. It felt honest in a roundabout way and people responded. I felt like things could only go up from there.

…So I did what I’d seen all the other writers do — I wrote another obnoxious, overconfident, clickbaity how-to listicle about my success, stating my earnings transparently, along with advice that was intended to be motivational but, looking back on it now, didn't have a lot of substance. Granted, I didn’t have the confidence to take this one too seriously either. It was titled, The Secret to My Incredible Success as a Writer subtitle: Hello, Yes, Thank You. I Am an Authority.

But I want to set the record straight now.

That month was a total fluke. Unmatched ever since. No matter how much better I personally think my writing’s gotten over the years.

I didn’t know anything back then about what the average earnings were because I was inundated with so many articles by top earners about how much they were making. Compared to their $12000/month, my $613.11 seemed like chump change. So not only was I underestimating what a big deal my $613.11 was, I was assuming it was only a promising start. Wrong on both counts.

The day after I posted The Secret to My Incredible Success, I stumbled on an article by someone about how sick he was of seeing brand new writers getting lucky, shouting out their earnings, and misleading even more newcomers into thinking they could make a living on Medium while writers like him toiled away, earning scraps for their hard work. He never said my name, but he did say my number — $613.11.

Katlyn Roberts

Katlyn writes about history, travel, and culture… with some snark. www.KatlynRoberts.com.