It has come to my understanding that the Medium paying members are divided between just-readers and writers-readers.
The latter engage with other writers' work because they understand the importance of being a part of a community. It's great, helpful, uplifting,
and all, but it doesn't make much money at the end of the day.
To make money from writing on Medium, one is supposed to tap into the pool of just-readers.
You'll have to look up for these readers and find non-invasive ways to show your work to them.
I know it's not much of clarification, but I hope it's at least a hint in the right direction...