I Made $25.00 On Medium This Month And It Was Anything But Passive.

Janice Tovey
3 min readJan 29, 2022

The dangerous and seductive illusion of “passive ‘income.”

Photo by Barefoot Communications on Unsplash

I am probably not going to be very popular after this post but that is OK. Truth is underrated and popularity is overrated in my mind.

And I am sorry if I burst your bubble or rub you the wrong way but really, what is this elusive and dangerous “thing” we refer to these days as “passive income.”

No offence, but, because you work like a dog all day writing and the pennies trickle in while you are sleeping (and not writing) this is called passive income.

If you worked in a restaurant cooking all day, and got paid every night while you were sleeping, would this be passive income? Or if patrons came back to the restaurant because you are an amazing chef, is this passive income? The taste of your secret spices lingering on your tongue. I realize you wouldn’t get paid proportionately because of enticing repeat customers, but who knows, maybe you would if your cooking was that great.

Don’t get be wrong. I understand the charm of this residual effect thing. You slug away all day at your lap top hoping to get that story to generate some amazing money that just keeps coming and coming and coming while you are not slugging away at your laptop.

I am not writing this to be a “downer.” I am writing this to help us all become a little more realistic. Do you keep track of the hours you put in a day writing? Do you ever look at that monthly? Do you consider what you could have made at a job say paying even minimum wage and compare it to your monthly Medium income.

Say you write for 4 hours a day. I know it is lovely being a writer and writing from home. I love to say I am a writer. But 4 hours a day times $15.00 is $60.00 dollars a day. And $60.00 time 5 days a week in $300.00. And $300.00 times 4 weeks is $1200.00 a month. Are you making close to that on Medium? Maybe remove a few decimals.

Why are we so ecstatic when we earn 0.04 cents of a story? Think about it. Is it an ego thing? Somebody likes us? Really think about it.

I am sure the top writers here are able to make that kind of income because of us. Our membership fees and our slugging away for 4 hours a day…



Janice Tovey

My passion is writing. I also love reading, teaching, animals, nature, music, and humor. I am curious about everything and enjoy writing about all things.