Secrets of Monetizing a Medium Blog
Medium is a subliminal marketing giant, as much as it is a place for wonderful stories.
Medium follows the true “inbound marketing” approach to the “t” which is what marketing should be. For those that do not know, “inbound marketing” is the practice of putting out information, valuable stories, and resources for people to benefit from. It’s building your brand and essentially coercing people to buy from you or pay you by means of “pull” instead of “push” marketing. Think organic listings in Google that align with what you searched for, rather than the ads that surround those results that are trying to sell you something.
Medium is subliminal marketing through inspirational discovery.
Telling stories, providing value and helping people — being discovered in the process — rather than pushing your content in people’s face and hoping they buy.
“You can’t monetize a Medium blog though!” — the understandably in-box thinking. But I raise the contrary, that I have gained more monetarily through writing on Medium by doing what I love than I would have through my own blog while doing what I hate. Let me make that more plain and elaborate a little. If I was writing on my blog I would have to do some annoying practices to monetize it. This might be selling ads, using adsense, promoting products for compensation or something of the like. I would be writing about my niche, not venturing far from the narrow-view of my vertical because I’m trying to build authority for that and establish a readership based off of the “value” I am giving them. It would get boring basically, to me at least.
On Medium I get to write about what I love, improving businesses, self improvement, copywriting, better consulting practices, freelancing, and each post has it’s own chance to shine. It’s also native to my target audience, so while I would be writing about SEO and content marketing on my blog to build authortiy behind those topics I would almost completely be building an audience of SEO’s.. which isn’t what makes me money. If I was selling an SaaS for SEO’s like Moz, or RavenTools etc. that would be fine, but I’m not. I’m a consultant, I make my money through businesses, through relationships, through helping people, people who discover me through my content. Medium is native to entrepreneurs, business people, my target market. It’s where they go to consume information, so naturally, my information based around what I do will have a fresh play to them — they may not be looking for information on SEO, but it’s very intriguing to them if it will help with their bottom-line, and if it’s well written, why not read?
Point being, I’ve made more money through acquiring customers organically through writing what I love to write on Medium than I would ever have on my own blog, that I still write on. My consulting customers make me far more money than I would ever make through adsense, that’s a given — and I’m doing what I love, which is consulting and helping businesses better themselves online. It’s very much a win-win. “Monetization” isn’t so black-and-white, it’s very gray, it can come in many different ways. Referrals are more important to me than pageviews in this sense, so I want to write incredible copy that is valuable to entrepreneurs and businesses because that’s the audience I’m targeting. Medium enjoys that and promotes that, because valuable stories are the basis of its brand.
The beauty of this is that Medium is a place for stories, and that’s what you can profit from. You don’t need to litter Medium with ads to make money, you can be discovered through Medium, tell your story, tell stories that help others, build your brand through building up others and giving people something worth reading.
As for Medium itself, it’s tough to tell how they will monetize Medium — but seeing as they built one of the most beautiful subliminal marketing platforms there is on the web, I’m sure they will come up with something creative. After aqcuiring 25 million in funding recently, I’m sure they have some tricks up their sleeves.
The point is, you don’t have to make money off of page views, make money off of impressions. Not impressions in the sense of Google Analytics, in the sense of how many people have seen your content — but in the impressions you’ve made in the people who read your content. The better the impact, the larger the resonance — the better chance you have of doing something great in the future.
“A good advertisement is one which sells the product without drawing attention to itself.” — David Ogilvy
I’m a content marketer and SEO consultant, having worked with brands like Best Western, Holiday Inn, MFG & Baker Hughes to boost revenue through clever content and organic search. I’m also a freelance consultant for hire.
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