Entrepreneur: Sinem Günel

Tilt: Grow an audience and income writing online

Scene: Medium, YouTube (5K), Instagram (5.1K), Medium Writing Academy, Medium Writing private Facebook group (12.9K) 

Snack Bites: 

  • Sinem Günel started on Medium with her personal growth workshop content, earning an average of $6 per article until she committed to writing what the platform audiences wanted.
  • Within two years, she earned more than $11K a month on the platform.
  • She pivoted her content tilt from personal growth to writing online as a business.
  • Though Medium remains her primary revenue stream, she says she really uses it as a lead generator for her Medium Writing Academy and other revenue streams.

Why We Stan: Sinem learned early that delivering what audiences want – not just what you want to write about – is the key to successful content businesses. 

The Story of Sinem Günel

Almost two years into her journey as a writer on Medium, the online publishing platform, Sinem Günel had written 172 articles and earned an average of $6 per post.

She tells Business Insider that her best-performing article attracted 55K views and earned $223.89. Medium subscribers pay $5 a month to access the private content, and the writers whose content they read earn a portion of that fee.

But Sinem got into writing on Medium to publish the content from a personal growth workshop for students that she was teaching. It included listicles and how-to articles related to productivity and communication.

But after graduating in 2019, the Vienna, Austria resident went “all in” on Medium, as she told BI. In August 2020, she earned more than $11K for the month. Sinem shares how four of her better-performing articles worked out:

  • 8 Lessons Most People Learn Too Late in Life attracted 71K views for an average of 3 minutes and 44 seconds, earning almost $1.8K.
  • 7 Daily Habits That Harm Your Brain attracted 271K views for an average of 3 minutes, 1 second, to bring in over $5.2K.
  • How To Sleep Well and Wake Up Full of Energy saw 135K views, an average of 4 minutes and 18 seconds, and almost $5.9K in revenue.
  • 6 Ways To Change Your Life in 6 Months (or Less) earned about $1K for 42K views for an average of 3 minutes, 59 seconds.

You can see how total views weren’t the only factor in Medium’s revenue share. Her article on how to sleep attracted half the views (135K) of the brain-harming habits piece(271K) but earned more money. Viewers stayed longer on that sleep article—4 minutes and 18 seconds—than they did on the brain-harming habits piece (3 minutes and 1 second).

By April 2024, Sinem had 79K followers on Medium and pivoted her content tilt from personal growth to helping others write online and build an audience (i.e., become content entrepreneurs).

“When I decided to pursue Medium full time, I let go of the personal stories that I wanted to write and focused on what was proven to work through trial and error,” she tells BI, noting most creators on Medium don’t find creative writing a profitable avenue.

Medium also works as more than a writing revenue stream. Sinem says she treats it as a lead generator, adding calls to action at the end of every article to attract readers to her email lists.

Sinem operates the Medium Writing Academy, which she hosts on the Teachable platform. Students pay $697 for the course or $197 in four payments.

Want inspiration and helpful advice to grow your content business? Subscribe to The Tilt newsletter. It’s free!

About the author

Ann regularly combines words and strategy for B2B, B2C, and nonprofits, continuing to live up to her high school nickname, Editor Ann. An IABC Communicator of the Year and founder of G Force Communication, Ann coaches and trains professionals in all things content. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.