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I Had Over 100 Followers on Medium Within 48 Hours of Signing Up

It wasn’t as glorious as you think

Photo by Ryoji Iwata on Unsplash

I’ve had a few accounts on Medium.

One them was during the period when they required you to have a minimum of 100 followers to be accepted into the Partner Program.

Because a lot of people join Medium for the prospect of making money with their writing—and people looking to make money online tend to be impatient—some “get 100 followers quick” schemes were hatched by people across the platform.

One of them was a follow-for-follow strategy, and the people who wrote about it were certain that you could make it happen before you went to sleep the next day.

I took the bait.

Like a brainless fish rushing to devour the worm dangled in front of it, I didn’t pause long enough to consider the long-term effects of my decision.

So what happened?

The Scheme Worked… Sort of

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The title for this article isn’t a lie. I actually did have more than 100 followers within 48 hours.

But I didn’t get the results on Medium that I was looking for.

Using the follow-for-follow strategy (if it even deserves to be called a strategy), placed me within a group of people that weren’t actually interested in anything I wrote.

I wasn’t interested in anything they wrote either.

The relationships I had with other people on the platform were purely transactional. I had fooled myself by means of shallow arguments that we were all helping each other move closer to our writing goals.

That’s not what was happening.

At the time of me writing this I have nine followers. I’m happier with them than I was with the triple digits I had on my old account. Further, the fact that I didn’t get them to follow me because of some trick we were all playing on each other makes me very satisfied.

The point: build an audience authentically, even if it takes a long time to do it. Whatever short-term success you’ll find with an alternative route won’t be worth it. The long-term strategy is more satisfying as a process and more rewarding in the end.

I Felt Like An Obnoxious Salesman

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I don’t know of many people who like salesmen. We think of them as pushy, loud, and maybe even deceitful.

I wasn’t being loud when I acquired all of those followers, but in a sense I was being pushy. I was being deceitful (or at least I felt like it), as I alluded to in the previous section.

There were signs. Little pings my conscience sent out trying to guide me back to the correct course, similar to how a radio tower may signal a plane to correct its flight before it causes a crash.

In short, when I had that account, I felt the need to assuage my conscience. That should have been enough to get me to quit.

Whenever you feel like something is out of place, you should stop and ask yourself why that is. There may be something you need to address before it becomes worse.

The point: when you’re a writer—actually, when you’re a human being—you should act and speak with integrity. Let your thoughts be many and diverse, but let your words be few, and only write those that provide insight and build up.

I Went Off the Rails of a Crazy Train

Photo by Kyle Broad on Unsplash

Yes, I did just use a reference to rock and roll lyrics, and I’m not completely sure why.

But there is an applicable lesson.

Don’t get so caught up in trends on Medium (or anywhere) else, that you get sucked into a whirlwind and allow things to obscure the view of what you’re actually trying to accomplish. In my case, building an income online in a way that was aligned with my values. I tried to take a shortcut and it didn’t work. Take note of that.

So I guess the crazy train in the subheading is a metaphor for all of the chaos that can ruin you on the internet. That sounds at least a little plausible. I think I’ll go with it.

Thank You for Reading

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

I appreciate you taking the time to read my recollection of the time I was an unlikable and unsuccessful person on Medium.

I hope this helped and, please, for the sake of people who care and the status of humanity as a rational creature, don’t get hit by a crazy train. Either a literal or figurative one.

I you liked this, please let me know your thoughts in the comments and give the story a clap!

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