One of the most frequent questions asked in our Fall Community Survey was, “how do I get my first 100 followers?” The number is significant because that is now the threshold to join Medium’s Partner Program. However, instead of looking at your first 100 followers as a means to an end, it’s essential to treat your initial audience as your early adopters — in other words, they’re your most valuable followers!
I joined Medium in 2014. At the time, it took four months to grow my audience into double-digits, and I didn’t cross the 100-person threshold until May 2015. One year to build up 100 followers. That initial year of writing on the platform helped me find a voice and, more importantly, people interested in my writing.
Those early followers were willing to invest their time into reading what I produced. Sure, my writing back then wasn’t great, but each new person that jumped on my team month after month said they wanted more. These weren’t people who participated in any follow-for-follow scheme or (god-forbid) were paid for. Instead, they read and commented and hit the heart button (before the clap) for what I created.
Our initial followers are the people who help us keep going. They provide essential encouragement when it’s often hard to come by. Sometimes our initial followers are our only viewers. You know what, that’s ok! As our voice and our quality grow, so does our audience.
So, how do you get your first 100 followers? You put in the work. You write, you engage, and you create content that people are interested in reading. It’s not hard, but it does take time.