It’s one thing to talk about doing something. Quite another to be doing it.

In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, I share my motivation behind adding a revenue stream to my business and how it’s been panning out so far.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:14 – Adding a revenue stream
  • 00:47 – Why Medium?
  • 01:14 – Leveraging content I had already created
  • 01:38 – Writing on topics other than music
  • 02:05 – Repurposing the articles I’m writing
  • 02:23 – Building a following on Medium
  • 03:03 – The results so far
  • 03:04 – Sharing my ideas on Medium
  • 03:18 – Being known by a difference audience
  • 03:34 – Getting views on Medium articles daily
  • 03:58 – Early traction
  • 04:11 – Using the stats as a feedback mechanism
  • 04:35 – Getting away from perfectionism
  • 04:48 – What is the payoff?
  • 05:43 – Conclusion

Transcription:

In episode 100, I shared about the upsides and downsides of adding a revenue stream to your music career or business.

In that episode, I shared that I was planning to take advantage of Medium’s partner program. So, I thought it might be fun to share with you how that’s been going so far and continue to update you on my progress as it develops.

I’ll be sharing about the “how” another time, because so far, my success has been limited. I’ll be more than happy to share about my process once I begin to see some tangible results.

This episode will focus on the “why” and the “what”.

Why Medium?

There are many ways to generate income online.

I could just as easily put my time into writing another book or creating another course instead of leveraging another platform.

So, you might be wondering why I decided to take advantage of the Medium Partner Program, especially since I don’t own Medium and I’m essentially building on rented land. You might recall what I shared about the two dangerous mistakes us musicians and music entrepreneurs make in our marketing in episode 88 of the podcast.

For one, I had a couple of posts sitting on my hard drive waiting to be published. They had very little or nothing to do with the music industry, so I was already planning to publish them elsewhere, such as on my personal blog.

But for some reason, I had the inkling to publish them on Medium. And, when I went to check out Medium that day, I discovered they had launched their Partner Program. So, in a way, the stars kind of aligned.

Second, I’ve often had the desire to write on topics other than music. I felt Medium could work as an outlet for my musings on business, personal development and spirituality. I already knew this type of content was pervasive on Medium, so it felt like the right platform for it as well.

Incidentally, just today I came across Larry Kim’s Medium post on 5 Smart Reasons to Create Content Outside Your Niche. Reading that piece affirmed the direction I was taking.

Third, I was present to the fact that I could take all the content I was publishing on Medium, package it up, and later sell it as a book. So, in a way, it’s streamlining the book writing process. And, that way, I get to capitalize on the content twice! And, I have other ideas for repurposing the content too.

Fourth, I also knew that publishing regularly would allow me to build a following on Medium. This wasn’t my primary motivation for getting started, but if I do manage to build a following that’s interested in my work, I could turn them into paying customers down the line. That following could boost my income on Medium as well.

To earn on a story in Medium, you need to turn it into a locked story. And, there are certain guidelines you need to follow if you want to earn money from your stories. That may sound constricting. But I recognized it would be possible to make the occasional self-promotional post, by not making it a locked story. So, I can promote my books and products on Medium too.

The Results so Far

First, it’s worth noting that I’ve had a lot of fun sharing my ideas on Medium. That in itself is a victory of sorts. I like writing about entrepreneurship, self-help and beliefs, so it serves as a great outlet for that type of content.

Second, it gives me an opportunity to be known by another audience. I understand that there may not be a lot of musicians on Medium. But there are a lot of marketers, entrepreneurs, investors and so on. So, being known in that circle could create new opportunities for me. But right now that’s strictly hypothetical.

Third, I now get some views on my Medium articles every single day. Prior to beginning this project, I already had several articles on Medium, but I was not getting many views. Since starting this project in late June, I’ve been able to boost my stats.

A couple of articles in particular have gotten over 100 views. They are:

  1. The Beliefs That Hold You back
  2. Why I’ll take self-employment over employment any day

When you’re engaging in a project of this nature, it’s always nice to see a bit of early traction. That gives you the motivation you need to keep going. And, as I often say, the only way to create momentum with a project is to apply yourself to the work consistently.

I also use the stats as a feedback mechanism. What are people reading? What are they not reading? What are they interested in? What are they not interested in?

Looking at the homepage of Medium gives me good ideas too.

As I publish more articles, I get to continually experiment, iterate, and come up with more ideas I think people will resonate with. That can also help with the product side of things, when I turn these posts into books.

Publishing in this way helps me get away from perfectionism as well. I might have the tendency to think everything I write is great. But clearly there are some topics people aren’t interested in reading about or have already been covered to death.

Now, you might be wondering what the payoff is.

So far, I haven’t earned much from my efforts and that’s hardly surprising. In many ways, I’m just getting started.

I’m not sure exactly how Medium calculates the money they owe you, but I’m guessing it has to do with how many views and reads your articles get, how many fans and comments you generate, as well as how many people you successfully turn into paid subscribers.

To this point, I’ve earned the handsome sum of $2.38 on Medium.

I’m guessing there will be a bit of a long-tail effect with the articles in the archives. People who like one of my articles may be inclined to see what else I have. But that will only build over time as I continue to publish. I’ll keep sharing all these articles through social media too.

$2.38 certainly isn’t much, but when I consider how long it took for me to earn my first $2.38 as an advertiser or affiliate marketer, I recognize that this could turn into a viable opportunity relatively quickly.

Conclusion

Not everything you try will necessarily pan out. But there’s always something to be learned from the experience of creating something.

Not everything you try will necessarily pan out. But there’s always something to be learned from the experience of creating something. Click To Tweet

So far, I’ve enjoyed writing articles for Medium and I don’t think it takes away from the other work I’m doing. It’s not uncommon for me to be writing several posts per week for clients anyway. The difference is I’m now directing more energy towards publishing something I can call my own.

Did you find this helpful? What are you working on right now? Are you adding a revenue stream to your career or business?

I invite you to share your experiences in the show notes.

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David Andrew Wiebe

David Andrew Wiebe

Founder & CEO at The Music Entrepreneur HQ
David Andrew Wiebe has built an extensive career in songwriting, live performance, recording, session playing, production work, investing, and music instruction. In addition to helping musicians unlock their full potential, he also continues to maintain a performance schedule with Long Jon Lev and Adrenalize. If you'd like to be notified whenever the blog is updated, click here to subscribe.
David Andrew Wiebe
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