In life, everything is open to interpretation, numbers and stats are no different, though people are less inclined to believe they are malleable. The very same statistic can be manipulated, simplified or codified to support opposite views.
That said, encouraging others to pursue their goals with concrete guidance and material advice is admirable; however, obfuscation of reality while doing it is quite another thing. In your article, I find you actually do both of these things and quite possibly, without intending to.
I’d challenge you to review your stories after this boon of “readers” you have garnered and check to see how many of these profiles are actually reading your stories after following you. No doubt, there may be a few, but all those followers have not been converted to readers as your title and story suggests.
Some folks are in fact, here on Medium to rack up numbers for whatever reason, _____________ (fill in the blank for yourself) and for some this may work fine. However, some members are indeed, interested in the relationship between the writer and the reader which means attracting followers who are actually convert to readers.
Having thousands of “followers” appear beneath one’s profile may give the impression of popularity or credibility, but I think calling a “follower” a “reader” is a stretch and this number does not represent engagement with the stories we write.
One important tenet of writing on a platform like Medium is coming to terms with our motivations, or why we are doing it. Approval is a heady drug and it’s easy for most of us to fall under its spell; however, if you have a deep desire to write and write well, ignore the numbers and engage with writers you admire and who will be honest with you.
This is a strategy you can actually sink your teeth into and it will make you a better writer along with some of the things you have already suggested. I can tell you this because I’ve had to come full circle in this way myself after almost one year of writing on Medium.
When it comes to following and followers on any social media platform I recommend being judicious and principled because in the end we are building our own smaller network which will dictate the experience we’ll have. Speaking for myself, I’d like to have something as close to authentic as possible in this venue.
I follow writers I truly admire and read (or intend to read) regularly. I won’t follow or “like” a post in order to gain favor or a return statistic. I think maintaining a certain amount of personal integrity in your reading, comments and following choices, as well as, an even higher level in your own writing is an important quality to have on a social media site such as Medium where there’s a premium value placed upon the art of writing.
Again, I agree with many of the bits of advice you shared, I just don’t happen to agree with all of it. Such is life. Kind regards, S Lynn