On March 2nd I won’t be a Partner anymore! But I still don’t want you to follow me! One Exception: you like my contents. No follow4follow!
In the face of the upcoming implementation of the new Medium-Partner-Program policies there’s an uprising in people writing about how to reach 100 Followers. Many of them reach the point where “follow4follow” is mentioned, pointed out as the solution to circumvent the struggle to “get there” and I don’t even really judge it. It’s a viable solution. Still, as of yet, I didn’t get to read one that concludes in the following two scenarios:
- just put in the work (constant, regular uploads) or/and
- get better at what you are doing! (considering that this might be a reason)
So why not provide one myself!
I’m on Medium since 2020. Back in the day there were no requirements (Pepperridge farm remembers). You applied, you got granted partnership status. And I’ll admit: I was in it for the money!
Even though I was quite aware that I was an opinion-minority two years ago. Even though more on the left side of things, where most of my takes on political issues regarding mainly “The Woke” just wouldn’t fly on this platform, I still let myself believe that Medium could become a substantial (at least side-) hustle for me. And I went for it with absolute discipline…
No, I didn’t. I wrote a few pieces, followed up sporadically with a few more and I barely didn’t get any interactions. Up till January I had 15 Followers, my previous height was 17.
But then, something substantially changed. Due to obvious circumstances I was forced to be quarantined, 11 days in total. I started posting more content beginning January 9th, which significantly ramped up during me being isolated and even dramatically has broadened the results my articles achieved.
As of this moment I have published 20 out of 33 articles (including this one) since January 9th. That makes up almost two thirds of what I’ve published since 2020. But within the that time period my follower-count grew around 33% as well, from 15 to 20 followers.
One might say I have less growth according to much more published articles but I beg to disagree because I rather focus on the time-frame here. In two months I got 5 followers while it took me almost one and a half years to get up to 15. Just looking at this data I think the following conclusion is reasonable:
It should be possible to reach 100 naturally grown Followers until the end of 2022!
And even if I don’t, I’m willing to “take the risk” so to speak.
There’s two assumption I would infer.
- If I manage it to reach this goal AND constantly put out content until then it’s safe to assume that I will continue to do so.
- If I don’t I won’t loose out on anything significant except the amount of time I invest (of which I might in return benefit in a different way by gaining experience and improving my writing in the process)
Some more math — literally
Let’s dive in to an even more statistical approach.
As previously mentioned: I joined the partner program in 2020. Out of 32 (this time excluding the one you read right now) I’ve published 19 articles since January 9th, and I’ve accumulated $ 1.21 since then from approx. $ 2.32 I’ve made so far.
19 out of 32 stories = approx 60 % of my contents I’ve written this year.
$ 1.21 from $ 2.32= 52 % of my lifetime income stem from my current publishing streak since January 9th 2022 (current data as of the time I’m writing this)!
And I have to mention that so far February has reached $ 0.84 in income which isn’t just my highest achievement so far but also almost twice as much as my previous “record” of $ 0.43 (December 2021)
Views and reads
Since January I gathered 101 views solely on my since then published articles of which 48 qualified as reads. And all but 1 of my stories has gotten views!
Considering that I only have 20 Followers, of which 5 are basically caused by recent events I’m quite satisfied with the interactions on my pieces.
Natural Followers VS follow4follow
Here we come to the topic at hand, and why I don’t want to participate in the “follow4follow” culture.
If I look at the data I can see something is happening simply as I put out more content. I can’t verify that my content got qualitatively better, so I have to assume it’s the quantity that plays a major role in this developement. I write about the things I want to write about and it seems like there are a few people that like that. And the fact that I won’t profit off of it beginning March 2nd doesn’t change that.
When I publish I do it of course with the hope in mind, that there might be someone benefiting from it, hoping because of that they might follow me.
And this is my own, personal reasoning for why I rather stay unpartnered, never reaching the “magical 100” than to invite people into my Following that couldn’t care less about my articles.
To them I’m not more than a number, as they would be to me!
And that’s not what I’m writing for to be honest. Not for an audience of indifferent shadows that have no substance to me. I do it because I want to with the side effect that there might be people who like it as well.
This number should reflect people honestly interested in what I’m talking about, even if it is just a sub-section of the topics I provide. Nevertheless they are a real representation for me how many people I’ve reached.
As well as I want to point out: even if I consider that each 20 additional Follower would double my possible income on Medium I would “loose out” on only $ 64.00, This I deem to be the best case scenario, except one of my articles would suddenly go wildly viral.
This take also provides me with some kind of protection, as I’ll probably be able to handle my expectations more carefully, when severe miscalculation in my expectations could have detrimental effects on my motivation and discipline in the worst case even on my passion about the subject.
And there’s another point, where I admit that my motives aren’t completely altruistic. I assume that at any given point (wether with the policies or without them) having people interested in my content will affect their interactions with it.
I think 100 naturally grown Followers aren’t just more valuable for me in terms of potential income and a more realistic feedback about my writing, even compared to the interactions I assume to get with 500 Followers of which most won’t care about what I write.
As well as that I’d say that there also might be algorithmical repercussions as I can’t imagine the AI to ignore the circumstance, that articles written by people with said 500 followers get less or even almost no interactions than someone who has only 100 Followers.
I conclude: there’s a possibility that to me 100 naturally grown Followers could end up being literally more valuable than 500 people who don’t care about me.
My proposal to you — let me introduce myself
Of course I’d still like to gather followers as well, who doesn’t. But instead of promising you to follow you back if you do so I want to take the promised, different approach.
If you made it this far within this article I would ask you to check out my Medium-page and look at the articles I’ve published so far. Look at what articles I write about and if you find anything interesting at all in them. Wether you like my style, my insights and opinions, all of that, if you look at it and can honestly answer “Yes” to the question if you’d like to read more from me I would be honoured if you follow me for more articles and on the journey wherever my Medium-Experience might lead me as well.
Here are a few things you should know!
1. I’m not a native English speaker, and I assume my articles portray that. Even though my ability to understand English is close to native abilities, and so is my vocabulary, I really think that one of my goals this year should be to get my grammar in order (if you’d find obvious mistakes in here, I’d super appreciate if you share them with me), because this is the area I lack the most.
2. I have no niche. I write about politics (even though that’s something I want to write less about), philosophy, entertainment, self-improvement and basically everything I feel like writing about. As broad of a niche I have, I think it’s my own personal niche anyway, which leads to the next point.
3. Well, I love writing. I decided to try to write for the writing of it (and so far it works out magnificently). That’s also a reason why I stick to the broad amount of topics I write about. I don’t want to just write about politics, not just about series and movies I like, not just about anything at all. I want to write literally about everything I want to write about at any given moment and hope as a bonus a few readers can take something out of my articles which benefits them or encourages them to follow a perhaps interesting train of thought. And if you thought about my use of the word “writing” was a bit redundant you might be “write”.
With that, what I assume might be one of the worst puns in the history of writing, I’ll end it here. Thank you for reading my article this far and I hope I’ll see you again in the future. Until then…