I can’t help but think stats mean very little here. I have barely 100 followers, yet I’ve been on the editors page twice. I don’t think any of my pieces has ever had 50 hearts. It seems totally arbitrary.
(Granted, I’m not prolific at all.) I think getting followed and recommended is contingent on being visible. Like I believe you said recently: read and write, ad nauseum. People say they write for themselves, then why is medium full of articles that perseverate on the stats issue? (Maybe this is just what populates my feed based on who I follow.)