With some Thoughts on Growth in General.
There is a few basic methods to growing your follower count rather than just praying to the site’s algorithms for exposure.
#1. Do what you do well. Seems pretty obvious, but if you want a real following of people who actually like and engage with your content you need to be authentic. You can’t try to copy other people, or worse just rehash top articles. You need to write about what’s important to you.
#2. Comment on other people’s work. This has brought in a lot of views for me, and some relationships with other writers. It’s good for building a network of people similar to you. The annoying part about this, and why I haven’t been using it lately, is it inflates your views on the stats page. I was going to say that I wasn’t going to use this for that reason…but then I realized how ridiculous that was. “I’m not going to use this proven method to build a community because it annoys me looking at the views that I shouldn’t actually care much about.” Totally makes sense.
#3. Follow other people. This is one that feels super fake and artificial to me. I’ve been following around 80 different people a day for a few days now because the logic behind it makes sense for growing your follower count. I’m just not sure if it’s a method that builds solid connections and community. If you’re here because I randomly followed you, please let me know. There is some degree of control to this, I try to only follow people with an actual profile set up not just some faceless person. I follow people who have clapped for articles that are similar to my work so there’s a better chance they’ll enjoy my stuff and not think of it as spam.
#4. Publish things through Publications. Huge thank you to The Startup and The Ascent for allowing me to write on their pages. It’s made a huge difference in the reach my articles have. An all time high of 15–20 views easily turns into 150–250 views through publications. This one felt like cheating to me at first honestly. I knew those views weren’t there for my name, they were there for the publication. But really that’s silly. If someone enjoys what I write about then they enjoy what I write about, how they come across it doesn’t matter. So the more people that can potentially see it the better.
#5. So far these have all been things inside Medium. This one has more to do with really pushing myself to gain more traction. I’ve decided to spend the entire month of February very steadily working on my Medium writing. Why? Hard to say right now. It’s important to me that I build a solid platform for the future. Why? I’m not sure yet either. I just know that this is a good first step for me.
Why is it important to you? That’s up to you, but if you want to grow something you need to commit to nurturing it.
Having said that, this applies to nearly everything in life. If you want to grow a business, you need to put serious time and effort in your business. Grow muscles — Time & effort in the gym. Grow a relationship — Time & effort learning about each other and yourselves. Develop skills — Time & effort hitting the books and practicing the skill.
There’s no shortcuts in long term success. There’s methods that are proven to be more efficient, like I’ve talked about above, but there is no short cuts. They just don’t exist.