I asked a question to the Facebook Group Medium partner Program Friends: How can I get more followers? The question prompted a huge response and some great conversation. The advice offered there was invaluable, prompting this post to share some of this discussion with you — in the hope that it would benefit your experience on medium.
It seems others have this same question and people are trying multiple strategies to procure not just a large following, but dedicated followers who appreciate their work and engage with it.
After all, engagement is key to your success here on Medium.
Here are several tactics to implement and try out for yourself:
The Mass-Follow Strategy
This method of gaining followers is simple. Follow everyone. Mass following gets your face out there and brings you to the attention of many other Medium writers. The hope is that they will, in turn follow you back.
Patience is a key element of success.
— Bill Gates
This plan does offer a quick and easy way to increase followership — however, I have found it difficult to gain loyal followers this way. You have not built rapport with them. They have no reason to follow you back unless they make the effort to view your profile and decide to follow.
This puts the burden of effort on the other person; a person who does not “owe” you a follow.
Vanessa Torre said it best: Do not do this. You will end up with a) your feed full of people you don’t really have an interest in reading which leads to b) decreased engagement with quality people because you can’t find them and lastly c) an inflated number of followers that aren’t really engaged. My best suggestion in getting followers: patience and don’t sweat it. I have been on Medium for 9 months and have 2,650 followers. But they are good, strong, loyal folks. Quality over quantity…
Daphelba DeBeauvoir had some interesting perspective as well: If you are following way more people than are following, maybe cull your list. On Twitter, most people won’t follow those who are way unbalanced like that..because it looks like those people are merely following masses to accumulate follow-backs.
The Engagement Strategy
I would say this is my second favorite strategy to gain new followership, and there are a few ways to go about doing this. The bottom line is to engage with others so that they see you, build rapport with them, and they will want to follow you.
One benefit to this is that you will find more loyal readership than with the previous method.
One way I’ve used is to see who claps for stories that are like mine — there are about 10 writers whose work I think would appeal to the same readers — look at the clappers’ stories, read one that looks interesting, leave a comment, highlight and clap. On the days I do this I see double-digit followers. I started posting regularly in March and am at 927 followers now. About 700 of those are new in the last 2 months. — Donna Barker
1. Look at profiles of people who clap for your stories. Follow them if you think you’d genuinely be interested in reading their work.
2. Do the same with those who comment on your work.
3. Read a lot and comment and clap anytime anything resonates with you
4. Post on social media and ask for your subscribers to do the same if you have a mailing list
I’ve increased from 0 to 150 followers in the 2.5 weeks I’ve been writing for medium and seen a definite correlation between my engagement and my follower count. — Nikki Kay
Jun Wu partakes in the engagement strategy enthusiastically. She had this to say: Read read read and comment comment comment on as many posts as humanly possible. I did that for first 2 months… then I wrote in 10 tags killer posts, curated too and finally my followers boosted. There’s no easy trick. Good content, be everywhere!
The “If you write it; they will come” Strategy
This strategy is content-focused and will require the most patience on your part, but is the most effective manner to acquire loyal followership to your Medium stories.
Write excellent, engaging content and the readers will find you.
Michael K. Spencer is a fan of this strategy and had these questions to provoke a consistent state of self-analysis: Do you write in topics that have high traffic? Does your content stand out? It boils down to those two questions.
Shannon Ashley also added: I have 12.2K followers in just over a year, yet only a fraction of those people even see my work. I don’t think there are any quick tips for this beyond consistent quality writing. Let the right readers find you 💕
Jyssica Schwartz also remarked that consistency and patience were key: For me, it was about consistency. Writing regularly, giving valuable and useful information. Providing links to resources or citing sources as needed, and always, always tag the stories with 5 appropriate tags. I have about 3500 followers, but it took time to get there.
If you have patience and write good content; the readers will come.
Other opinions were given as well that bear mentioning. One of these is a method I wholeheartedly recommend and that is to utilize publications: frequently and as many as you can. This opens you up to a variety of new potential followers that may see, like, and decide to follow your work.
Daphelba DeBeauvoir believes that “followers are less important than readers” and asked in return “Do you have faithful readers? If so, make sure you’re trying to occasionally read and keep up with their stuff. Diversify your publication participation. You’ll gather more followers by claiming the readers of those different publications,” and I think this to be a great piece of advice.
Gillian May also believes it is more about loyal readers than the number of followers, and that merely trying to increase follower count is insincere and unproductive. Her thoughts: if followers matter, it’s usually loyal and engaged ones that matter. I find that only happens through reading work and following, engaging through comments, etc. But not because you want to gain followers, rather you read and comment because you care about the work. It’s super slow going but it’s really worth it.
Bhargav Bachina isn’t sweating this at all. ….I got 7 stories curated and 5 of them went viral more than 4k views…..still I am at 226😄 — Great job Bhargav!
Whichever of these or combinations of these methods you choose to use, it seems the best strategy is this: Write excellent content. Engage with others. Be patient.
Best of luck to you as you seek to grow your Medium presence — we are all in this together! If you receive support; give support. Heck, give support anyway! It will pay off. (For me — stiiiillll waiting patiently!)