4 months on Medium, 140 stories, $1273.

Keeping it real and breaking down the details

Mary DeVries
6 min readMar 2, 2021


Photo by Andre Mouton on Unsplash

Seasoned writers love to make fun of this genre of Medium story. Here is exactly how much money I made and how. But I love them and click almost every time.

Why? Because I am always trying to answer the following questions for myself:

  • Am I wasting my time writing here?
  • Is success possible for ordinary people?
  • What do I consider success anyway?
  • What is a realistic amount to plug into my daydreams of raking in the bucks?
  • How can I make myself feel good about making more money faster than someone else?
  • How can I make myself feel lousy about making less money than someone who started later than me?

Note that I didn’t say I thought these questions were all helpful.

I’m throwing my hat in the ring to analyze my earnings on Medium after 4 months and ten days. My theory is that if I would want to read this kind of story it is worth writing because one of the important things my four-plus months here have taught me is I am not the typical Medium reader but neither is anyone else.

There is a huge pool of readers here and while my reading and writing preferences may not fit into what is most common, I am not alone.

My advantages and disadvantages going in

On the negative side, I did not bring any followers from social media, a personal blog, or even family and friends. I had decent writing skills from a lifetime of writing various things personally, for work and a long-ago English major but no real experience writing for an online audience.

On the positive side, I have flexibility. I quit my job to move overseas with my spouse. I do not need to pull in an income to keep a roof over my head or food on my table. I have responsibilities outside of writing but I also have a good amount of time to devote to cracking this Medium code. This is a huge level of privilege and you should read everything I say with this in the back of your mind.

Seriously, if you are writing here while working a day job and/or raising small…



Mary DeVries

The older I get, the less I know. That won’t stop me from writing about everything and anything under the sun. Join me in delighting and despairing about life.