I followed people for 3 hours straight

Sierra Ayonnie
Jan 19 · 4 min read

here’s what I learned

Photo by Duy Pham on Unsplash

While we may think that our content matters, it’s even more important to have amazing readers in our corners as writers in order to be the best at what we do. Through our readers we are able to gain more insight on areas of improvement, listen to what they want, and become a better writer. I promised myself that by the end of the week I will have 10,000 brand new followers across all of my social platforms. So, yesterday I spent 3 hours dedicated to finding my unique audience. Here are the five things that I learned.

You are not alone

Lately, I’ve been struggling with the nerves of being a full-time writer. There has been a mixture of feelings that ranges from being extremely excited to confused. But, the key here is to keep at it no matter what. I’ve found writers, artists, and other creatives across Medium’s platform that feel the same way. It has been comforting. I no longer feel as if I’m dealing with the weight of this on my own. These artists have either published articles about the struggles of freelancing, given an idea, or even commented to tell their own personal journey underneath some of my articles. It’s truly a blessing.

There are some amazing writers in this world

“While your work may be good, it’s not as good as it can be.” At least, that’s the voice of the editor in my head as I’m reading thousands of articles from people who are knee deep in the sea of writing. I once read an article that became a poem in the middle of elaboration. I didn’t see it coming at all, but it made me want to keep tabs on the work of this particular writer.

There are so many creatives who spend a million hours at a time everyday to provide their income. It’s daunting when I think about it. The amount of work that they are creating is something that can’t be matched. But, more than the work the raw talent is nothing except to drool over. I’m so grateful for the community feel that Medium has created with all of its creatives.

Being a first follower is…. scary

I keep coming back to this article because there are so many amazing tips that I’ve used in my own career as a full time career. The results are tremendous but the key thing that stood out to me was the point that talked about following new writers on Medium who have less than 1,000 followers. I hadn’t thought much about this principle, but this brand new trick has introduced me to writers on Medium who won’t have any followers.

Now, tapping “follow” on a brand new profile that doesn’t have anyone is kind of nerve wrecking. Being somebody’s first follower makes you feel as though you have the pressure to keep tabs on their work. In all honesty, I suck at keeping tabs on people! But, I can promise that for all of the writers, since I found you through tags, I will keep track of your work if you tag #writing, #art, #culture, #psychology. It’s easier that way since I’ll always be trolling the tags.

More than that, a new follower is still someone that cares no matter what. I can’t wait to see the many articles that all of the new writers in my network comes up with and hopefully, I make them want to stay at Medium.

People only care as much as you do

This follows up my point about keeping tabs on people, at times, it can feel like nobody loves your work. But, let’s be honest, if you don’t love the work of others, then why are you in the industry? Now, let’s think back to elementary school when you were just a little writer at a desk given a novel to read. You had no clue that tomorrow you would start writing a book.

But, you knew that you wanted to write something. That something is what brought you to Medium, over time. So, if you care about writing then read the work of others, you would be surprised at what kind of content you’ll stumble across. And, people will begin to care about your work more as you build the audience who want to give back to you.

Don’t be your own best kept secret

I was watching a YouTube video about the importance of being an entrepreneur in the times that we live in. One of the things that the business man said to me, that stood out the most, was to not be your own best kept secret. Just how loving the work of others can do you a large favor, please, realize that you can’t keep your work a secret either. If you’re good at what you do then don’t try to hide it in a closet. You want to always be up front about everything, including your talent. If you’re great at creating then spread the word about your art in a community near you. You’ll thank yourself for it later.


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Sierra Ayonnie

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I’m just writing for the culture. To learn more visit essayswsa.com