Countdown To 100 Followers

24 hours to 30 days (or more) of anticipation

Photo by Kevin Ku on Unsplash

Update: Now that I’ve got over 100 followers, I have changed my strategy for follower growth. Read to the end for the “after 100 method.”

Second update: I have created a list of “100 followers” stories that I’ve been to. May they serve you as well- read to the end for the list!

Getting that first follow was like crack. Or heroin. I don’t know, because I’ve never done either, but I imagine the feelings are similar. It was indescribable, and I loved it.

I wanted more.

And then, of course, I found out I needed more. After the first 15 followers or so (give or take five), I started anticipating the moment I’d reach the 100 mark.

If that first follow was heroin, the anticipation high was flirting with fentanyl.

Watching the climb up- 23, 28, 36, 41, 47… and then a week had passed around the time I hit 50. Oh, I thought, I’ll make 100 in another week, then, right?

Nope.

Currently I’m at 68, and tomorrow will be my 2 week-iversary. Less than half the follows I got the first week around.

Hmm… that’s… frustrating. To say the least.

They say that success is non-linear. It doesn’t follow a predictable trajectory, it’s not a straight line to the top, etc. etc. I’d be willing to bet that’s because there’s a random chaotic element in nature we all have to contend with in any endeavor. Followers, subs, customers, whatever- all play by the same rules set down by the RNG Gods.

January is admittedly slow in pretty much ever sector, so it’s possible I just picked the worst month to start. Also, with the pandemic there’s an increased risk of illness preoccupying readers. And there’s some strategies I haven’t followed through as enthusiastically as I could…

Like how I don’t do follow for follow.

Not directly, anyway. I like to scan the peeps in my followers list for various qualifiers:

  • Are they still writing and posting (in the last month)?
  • Do they have a ridiculously high follow count already?
  • If yes, can I learn from them?
  • If no, are they in my genres?
  • If not in my genres, do they have fewer than 100 followers?

I know, it’s not as neat or pretty as follow-for-follow, but I have standards and I think you should too. I’m not following that lady that posted once four months ago and hasn’t been back since. And I’m not bothering with the guy that’s got 1k followers in photography. That’s not where I can help or be helped, so the follow is meaningless in those situations.

That being said, I do try to go through my followers to give back under these circumstances. So I do follow people that follow me, I just have some guidelines about it.

Or how I don’t follow 100 people daily.

Honestly, I tried this one. I just can’t seem to find 100 quality people and write, and do the things I need to do in a day.

I’m trying this thing now where I scout the “100 Follower” stories for commenters that posted still looking for their 100. The older, the better, because if they’re still writing after 2 months of not reaching 100 I’m putting my eggs in that basket easily.

I don’t discriminate against younger accounts, I just haven’t found as many of those yet. Doing this takes so much time and effort, as I like to clap and comment on one of their stories to be encouraging.

And there’s the fact I don’t comment nearly enough.

Commenting is one of those magical things we don’t think about often enough. I know how excited I get when someone comments on my stories. It’s like another hit of that sweet, sweet drug of Medium engagement we all love so much. That’s something I’d like to give back more often.

So there’s room for improvement, but I don’t think it would be as impactful as I would like on this waiting game.

So now, I wait. I work on my commenting skills, and keep doing what I’ve been doing to get that slow trickle of followers to finally reach that magical number.

Ha. You don’t know me very well, do you?

Pfft. Wait? That’s just silly talk.

While I could use this time to work on Patreon exclusive content, or a book to publish on Amazon, I’ve decided I’d rather throw myself into the fray and see what happens.

I’ve gone on several “100 followers” stories and sifted through the comments for people that still haven’t reached 100. And using my above formula, I’ve started following people at random.

Because to battle the RNG, sometimes you have to become the RNG!

For a lot of them, I’m also leaving a comment and an appropriate number of claps on whatever article(s) I found interesting or whatever. It takes 10 minutes to read and comment, but I know how one comment can perk up my whole day.

And while I do have things to do for my own endeavors, I think maybe spending a few hours once a week on scouting out people still floundering out there is a worthwhile activity.

I wrote this article because I have seen a lot of people have similar gripes- and even more that haven’t posted since before 2021 that never got there.

It’s maddening, the anticipation.

It’s hard to work through, considering the fast pace of the world today.

People want everything to be quick, and in a lot of ways that’s perfectly reasonable. I want my posts to go up for public consumption as soon as I say to publish. Medium keeps up with that, no problems.

Ask Medium to shunt 100 interested people your way in a week? That’s… less reasonable.

Doesn’t stop us expecting it, though, does it?

Because it happens sometimes. We don’t know why, or what the equation is to implement to make it happen on purpose (without a hefty advertising budget anyway), but it happens.

And we all want it to happen to us.

I know I do.

That’s never been my luck in life, so there’s no reason why I want it, hope for it, or expect it to even be possible. And yet I find myself in that same camp of those people that felt disappointed by the arduous climb to 100 followers.

Truth be told, there were times I’ve given up, too. So I get it.

It’s sad to see abandoned publications and accounts, with interesting articles yet to be polished through time and experience. They were still starting out, and didn’t get enough feedback from the Medium community to keep trudging through.

So if you’ve made it all the way to this point in the article, I just want to ask that you keep this in mind when going further.

Don’t follow me unless you’re interested in what I have to say. I’ve found a supportive community, and I’ve had my share of disappointments to weather another couple of weeks of delayed gratification.

And I know how to celebrate my incremental successes as they come. So following me isn’t the point I’m trying to make here.

The point is: please look out for those under 100’s. They’re like sprouting seeds trying to grow in this environment:

  • They need the sunlight of attention on their work, constructive suggestions and (mostly) praise or encouragement.
  • They need the soil of a community they can identify with- more than a publication, but a group off Medium that allows and encourages discussion and cooperation about writing on Medium (meta, I know).
  • And they need the water of the shared emotional struggles like this quest for the first 100 followers. Or the pain of being shoved into a corner of the internet for erotica writers. Or the strain of simply showing up to write, without any ideas to write about.

Let’s start sharing that. Because the best part about Medium is that unlike the rest of the internet, it’s not everyone for themselves here. This community is amazing, but there’s some holes people fall through from time to time.

The 100 followers struggle is one of those holes that we can all help a little with. Just think about it, that’s all I ask.

Thanks for reading.

Update: After 100 Method

Now that I’ve got over 100 followers, my focus is twofold: maintaining and growing:

First and foremost, I want to maintain a supportive connection with those I’ve already followed. I take the time to check through my follower’s new posts- Medium puts that convenient little bubble at the top of my feed with a number of how many posts I’ve missed since visiting them. Convenient!

But just reading isn’t enough. Clapping and commenting go a long way to lift a writer’s spirits- and for those that are struggling, I make sure to put in this extra effort whenever possible.

If they’re not struggling- and that means they’re getting plenty of engagement (claps and comments) on the articles I’m checking out- then I may choose to skip them. Because hey, we only have 24 hours in a day, right?

But I still want to grow my followers! So I commit to checking one 100 followers story per week to help out the little guy, and regularly search for new erotica publications and authors to follow (that’s my genre).

I mostly want to fill my “followed” stories with erotica, because that’s what I write. It’s most likely I’ll get actual readers when I’m engaging on erotica stories- because I could get seen by people reading their content looking for new erotica to read.

But use your genre to do the same. It’ll have a similar effect. Anyone that comments on articles from someone else will see your comments, too. And they might want to know more and check out your page. Organic follows, woot!

That’s my new strategy. As I grow and change, I’ll update this story to reflect the habits that help me (and warn about the ones that don’t). As an awesome Canadian show used to say:

Remember, I’m pulling for you. We’re all in this together. (Keep your stick on the ice!)

This article is dedicated to those that gave up, the ones that fell through the cracks unseen. I hope it didn’t scar them so much they gave up on themselves or their dreams, but I know in my heart some of them probably did.

So this one goes out to them. The <100 Follower Zombie Accounts roaming Medium with no brains behind the wheel anymore. May you rest in peace.

Looking for “100 followers” articles? Check these out (more added regularly):

100 Followers Stories

28 stories

If you’re looking for more Kiki Lu content, you’ve got options:

Or all of the above! ;) 💕

Not a Medium Member yet? Click here to get started! I’ll even help you learn the ropes if you’re considering being a writer too!

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Mother, erotica writer, and gamer. Loves philosophy, psychology, comedy, and of course- sex!

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Kiki Lu Johnson

Kiki Lu Johnson

Mother, erotica writer, and gamer. Loves philosophy, psychology, comedy, and of course- sex!

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