After compiling all my 1099’s and other tax forms a week ago, that’s the number that came up.
I made $125,000 in 2020.
It made the hair on my neck raise up.
*How is that even possible? I’m just a kid.* There’s loads of better writers out there. This isn’t new for me, either. I’ve made $250,000 online since 2017.
What could I possibly have to offer that’s worth a quarter of a million dollars?
Well, I’m going to break it all down for you right now. Here’s how I’ve made $250,000 writing online in the last three years.
Online Courses — $190,000
My Medium course was one of the first on the market — if not THE first — and after gaining a couple thousand followers on LinkedIn in 2018 I decided to teach people how to grow there, too.
☝️ That’s what the backend of my Teachable page looks like. It’s missing $4,000 because I put on a virtual event called the “Grow Your Blog Summit” in 2018 outside of Teachable.
In total, I’ve made over $190,000 with online courses and virtual events which is pretty mind-boggling for me.
Luckily selling online courses and writing online go hand-in-hand. In fact, without my prolificacy for blogging, I’d have made $0 with online courses.
Blogging has been my best (and only) “top of the funnel” action, and I think if you’re a blogger you can do the same exact thing.
How To Make Money With Courses
If you want to make money with courses, I’ll give you a cliff’s notes strategy here..
First, build an audience online. Second, create an email list that people can sign up for. This helps you maintain contact with your most avid readers and send information about your courses directly to them.
Third, ask your audience what kind of a product they’d like to receive from you. Use a simple Google Form to collect answers and give away a few Amazon Gift Cards for encouragement.
Fourth, draft up a course outline inspired by the answers that they gave you. Fifth, PRE-SELL the course with a live webinar. Do not create the course yet. Pre-sell it with a webinar.
You can create a landing page with Teachable that people can pay you on and just let them know during the webinar that this is a pre-sale and you’ll make the course in the weeks after.
Then you go ahead and create that bad boy. That’s the step-by-step process and there’s a ton of details in there that could be courses all on their own, but for now, that’s all you need to know.
Medium — $40,000
I’ve made about $40,000 with the Medium Partner Program since 2018. It may not look like much compared to the other Medium titans, but it’s enough to buy a Mustang or something, which is cool.
I don’t really write on Medium for the Partner Program earnings anyway.
I write on Medium to fill my funnel for my online courses.
Online courses, as you can tell, are my cash cows. Everything else comes secondary, and while I really love writing on Medium, the money I make on this platform is largely just a bonus for me.
How To Make Money On Medium
There’s billions of articles out there that’ll teach you how to make money on Medium. To be honest, if you do these three things you’ll be 75% of the way there..
- Get into big Medium publications (20,000+ Followers)
- Write about topics that tend to do well on Medium (personal development, relationships, politics).
- Publish more than twice per week.
If you do all those three things above, you’ll find success on Medium eventually.
To figure out how to write a post that’ll get you into a big publication, read that publication voraciously. Read 50 of their latest posts, and you should have a pretty good idea of what they typically publish.
Good, now write a post that they typically publish and send it in.
Sponsorships and Freelancing— $20,000
The final pillar to how I’ve made money online is via freelancing and sponsorships. I’ve been lucky enough to have companies come to me so I can write content for them.
It’s pretty rad.
In the past year I actually got hired to create an online course for Oberlo called “How To Create Your Dream Life In 12 Months.”
It took me four months to script, film, edit, and polish. These are the kinds of opportunities that fall into your lap when you write articles online for a living.
I wish I could give you a tangible takeaway here, but in terms of attracting freelance clients and sponsorships, you sort of just need to be prolific.
Overdelivering for your clients, though, is something you should always do and can lead to more and more work down the line.
I don’t have a real “secret” there either. Just be SUPER responsive, try your best, and put in extra hours.
How I’ll Make My Next $250,000 Online
One thing’s for sure*: I won’t rely on Medium so much in the future.*
My courses basically revolve around Medium and 80% of my money is directly driven from this platform.
I’m going to build my blogs outside of Medium at FindingTom (right here).
*Those will be the traffic generators, and if all goes to plan most of the traffic will come from Google.* I’m also going to make other online courses focusing on something other than Medium. That’ll be fun to create, for sure.
It’s more of the same.
*More courses, more traffic, and more growth.* Let’s see how it goes.