Thank you for the mentions, Jane!
I think “the rules” depend on how you define success on Medium. For me, it is having an audience that reads my stories and enjoys them. And being able to interact with that audience. In that I am successful.
If money is how you define success, they you need to get curated. Which means writing essays in the topics listed at the top of the Medium homepage. Which is what Medium prefers and features. I consider the money I earn on Medium a bonus, not my motivation. So I write what I enjoy writing and don’t worry about curation.