This Metric Means More than Cash

Understanding your true value on Medium

Matthew Woodall
3 min readJan 19


Photo by Wan San Yip on Unsplash

I’m in a few Facebook groups where I share my work on a semi-regular basis — mostly to get it out to a wider group of people. I don’t engage in follow-for-follow and don’t demand engagement — mostly I just want to get my work out to a diverse group of people.

In many of these groups there is a lot of conversation about monetizing and becoming part of the MPP. I can understand the attraction of the MPP, and while I’ve never been able to make a living off of it, I’m usually able to buy a coffee most months (whether it’s a drip coffee or a fancy espresso drink depends on the month).

It’s worth mentioning that I think the concept of the MPP is deeply flawed because it doesn’t require you to be a paid member of Medium to participate. This means that you’re taking from a pot that you don’t contribute to…

But there’s a metric that is much more important than your MPP earnings. One that you should focus on instead of how much goes into your bank account at the end of the day because it has a much longer tail.

Your followers.

The real value of Medium isn’t that it can put money in your pocket every month, it is that it allows you to build your reputation and your profile. When someone searches for you or wants to find out more about who you are, what you think, and what you believe in, Medium will show them.

I’ve earned a little over $1,000 on Medium in my time here. Most of that came from a semi-viral story I wrote a few years ago and since then I’ve mostly seen a dollar or two from most of my stories.

Frankly, I don’t care much about the money — I have a full-time job and don’t have to rely on Medium so I’m lucky that way. Ultimately, I get paid by some algorithm that determines how much of the MPP pool I should get each month. I figure there’s no point in trying to figure out how that algorithm works, so I’ll just write.

Why do I value my followers so much more than the money?

Because none of them are algorithmic.