Just like you, I was desperate to get 100 followers and start earning money on Medium.
I followed, I clapped, I even tested out buying followers and it took me about a week to reach 100 followers.
But here’s the thing. It didn’t matter.
I get it, you’re excited to join the partner program, but you’re setting yourself up for failure. I rushed my way to joining the Medium Partner Program and here’s what happened: I made a whopping $0.01 on my first day.
A depressing amount you say? Tell me about it.
I’ve since come up with a better solution.
The short version is that slow and steady wins the race. It will happen soon enough if you engage with the platform. You don’t need to rush, in fact, rushing almost ruined Medium for me.
For the long version read on. I’m going to share the 4 strategies so you gain followers AND make money on Medium.
First things first…
Do You Need to Be a Paid Medium User to Get to 100 Followers?
You can get your first 100 followers and then become a paid member and apply for the Partner Program if you’re eligible (I talk about eligibility further down). If you’re strapped for cash then you should definitely wait and save the $5.
But I became a member as soon as I committed to writing on Medium and it made the whole process easier for 3 reasons.
- Committing money commits you to writing on Medium. Believe in yourself and commit $5 to it
- People were more likely to follow me after seeing I was a paid member and serious about staying on the platform.
- Full access to Medium allowed me to have an endless supply of inspiring content to readand interact with.
You can join medium through my link if you want to use it.
1. Buying Medium Followers – I Tried It, It’s Not Worth It
Yup, I got greedy, I got impatient, and wondered if I could just buy followers. After some googling turns out you can buy 100 followers for 6 bucks! My eyes lit up. I pressed buy now.
Almost instantly my follower count started to rise like the tide. They were accounts with no posts and no followers but what did I care? I was on my way to victory and those sweet cash dollars. I thought I’d be joining the Partner Program in no time.
That was until I checked back 48 hours later and every single account had been removed. I was back where I started…
These accounts were fake. Even if they hadn’t all been removed these followers would have been useless. Fake accounts aren’t going to read my articles. Sure having a high follower count may be good for the ego but having a big ego won’t make you any money.
Verdict – Save yourself $6. Don’t bother.
2. Follow-for-Follow on Medium – My Arch Nemesis
Oh follow-for-follow, you infuriating beast.
Now this tactic works. You follow people who are looking for followers, everyone follows everyone else and you make your way up to 100 in no time. I’ve seen people who got 100 followers in as little as 24 hours.
But it sucks ass as far as building a real audience or having a good time goes.
Your home feed turns into nothing but follow-for-follow posts, which become very repetitive once you’re over the 100 followers hump. (If that happens to you here’s how to fix it.)
I suggest an alternative strategy.
Don’t blindly follow every person asking for followers. Instead, only follow the people asking for followers whose articles or bio intrigues you, and avoid those accounts solely looking for followers.
For instance, loads of the follow-for-follow accounts I see have only written 1 post and it’s a post asking for followers. Or it’s a straight-up empty account with a vague bio about “writing online”… Who wants that person in their home feed?
Instead, you will come across accounts that intrigue you, I followed one person who was a former Big Brother contestant, unusual right?
By following people who intrigue you, you will get to 100 followers AND you’ll have a lot of interesting people you’re following who you can read and admire.
You can read and engage with their work, they might reciprocate (no pressure if they don’t) and you’ll end up with a community of readers supporting each other. By supporting each other and engaging with one another’s work you’ll even start to earn real money!
Verdict: Follow-for-follow works. But a better strategy is to selectively follow people whose work interests you.
3. Mass Commenting & Clapping to Get Medium Followers
Again, in terms of purely increasing your follower count, this works. Mass commenting works even better if you comment on follow-for-follow posts.
But it’s shallow. It will boost the vanity metric that is your public follower count but the followers you gain aren’t going to be reading your writing.
The worst case of chronic clapping I’ve seen is one woman who’s putting in 8 hours a day clapping every article she comes across, sometimes clapping 1000+ articles in a day.
The proof is in the pudding, she has over 2k followers but revealed her stats and hardly anyone reads her articles. She doesn’t get it. She can’t be reading the articles she’s clapping, she doesn’t care about the people’s articles she claps, it’s a purely selfish endeavour.
It’s not about “eyes on the prize and tricking people into your profile”, this is not what Medium is for. Medium is a place to connect with others, read unique perspectives and find writers whose work you can admire. It’s a place full of other people with hopes and dreams, other humans you can connect with.
Read articles, and if you enjoy them, clap them. If you read an article and have something to add then leave a comment. Participate as a user of the platform, not as a robot determined to have a big number of followers beside their name.
You can’t force people to care about what you have to say, but you can start by caring about what other people are saying.
Verdict: Don’t go mass commenting, be selective and comment where you care.
4. Slow and Steady Wins the Race – Organically Grow Your Audience
I understand wanting to get to 100 followers as fast as possible, I do. But my advice is to go for a slow and steady approach. Build up 100 followers of people who are going to read your writing and care about what you have to say. Stay in this for the long game, don’t rush to 100 followers, get disheartened, and quit. Instead, do these 3 things:
- Clap articles you enjoy.
- Leave comments telling people you liked their article or adding to the conversation.
- Follow people who interest you
Those 3 pillars won’t just get you to 100 followers, they’ll set you up for long-term success on Medium allowing you to carry on growing your audience way beyond your first 100 followers.
And it goes without saying you should be putting as much if not more time into what you’re writing. Writing great articles is the best way to succeed and it should be the number 1 priority when you’re growing your following.
Verdict: The best way to build a real following on Medium.
Check Your Eligibility Before You Race to Join the Medium Partner Program
Unfortunately, not every country is eligible to join the MPP, an unfair decision that I hope Medium are going to rectify.
There is more info here but the list of eligible countries is as follows:
Currently, enrollment in the Partner Program is only available in the following countries:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States
You can rush to that 100 followers mark, but to start making money from your writing you’ll need a different approach.
Focus on connecting with people, and focus on your writing. You are a 1 in 7 billion human being, no one else can write from your perspective, we need to hear what you have to say.