It is dishonest and gets you nowhere.
Why do you follow people on Medium? Is it so they follow you back? Is it because you like their work? Is it because they are your friend.
On all social media, I follow for three main reasons.
- I like the writer’s voice. I enjoy their work and gain insight from reading their views.
- They have reached out to me and I value them as a friend. Not all, have I met in person, but still, I value their involvement in my life.
- I’m looking to build a community and interact with like-minded people. This works on other social media. I don’t use it on Medium.
I never follow, unfollow.
To me, it seems dishonest. Many writers, more successful than me suggest it as a strategy, I don’t.
The suggestion is you follow some people, hoping a proportion of people will follow you back. Once they follow you back, you can unfollow them again. I have too many other things to be doing than to play this game.
What it is good for
is filling your timelines, feeds with irrelevant posts you are never going to read.
You also attract a brilliant number of followers, who have never read your work and have no intention too.
You are sitting there thinking we are writer’s we would never do that.
Wrong, over the last couple of months I have tried follow loops on both Twitter and Instagram. These were posts, specifically for writers. If you don’t know what they are you add your name to a list and everyone follows everyone on the list. A staggering, 40% of writers unfollowed within a week of initial engagement.
When to Follow People
This is the strategy I use and you are free to use it.
If a writer interacts with my posts, I have a look at their profile. I pick a couple of articles, I like the look of and bookmark them. When I have time I give the articles a read if I like what I have read I follow them. If I don’t I try another article, if I still don’t like their style I don’t follow.
During the week I also look for articles from writers I haven’t read before. I find them through Facebook groups, again if I like what I read I follow.
Simple, easy and honest.
Sam H Arnold is a writer and mother. Using her 25 years experience in teaching she offers coaching programs for writers. Stay in touch by joining her newsletter.