Struggling to Gain that First 100 Followers? Try This.

Here are a few old-school tips from someone with 3.8K followers

Holly Jahangiri
6 min readFeb 24, 2022

Photo by Melanie Deziel on Unsplash

I realize that 3.8K followers isn’t as impressive as 400K. But for those still fighting tooth and nail to attract even the 100 followers needed to stay in Medium’s Partner Program and earn a few pennies from their blogging efforts each month, I have a few practical tips to share.

First, let me thank two friends for the idea:

Mitchell Allen, who rarely writes here but is a generous and supportive reader with a sharp wit — his posts, when he shares one, are a treat. Mitchell deserves some of the encouragement he gives to others. He needs 23 more followers, if you’re feeling inclined.

And Zubair Khan Keywords, who has at least reached out for help after I told him his reply (dropping links to his stories as “replies” to comments on others’ stories) looked like spam:

Thanks for the response, please guide me for the way! — Zubair Khan Keywords — Medium

A Little History

Some of you are scrabbling way too hard. I had 750 followers before I started writing on Medium, and my comment wasn’t a whole lot pithier than Zubair’s. I’ve since deleted it, because Medium used to lump comments in with stories, and it looked stupid — something like “Oh, this is how you go viral, you Upworthy person, you!” because the post was good and had been picked up by Upworthy. For some reason I may never understand, 750 people chose to follow me from that one comment. I didn’t even come back to Medium as a reader for about two years.

But that one comment worked because it was a compliment — it wasn’t all “Lookit me! Lookit me! Follow me!” and it wasn’t self-deprecating, begging, nonchalant — do comments like, “Please follow me!” or “You can follow me here if you want to” actually work for anyone, ever? “Feel free to follow me…” Oh, come on. We all know by now that everyone is “free to” do whatever they want to do on the Internet, but most especially following, reading, visiting, reading the content we create for their enjoyment. My 750 first followers certainly knew that!

How to Gain Followers on Medium — and Everywhere Else

Holly Jahangiri

Writer and Kid-at-Heart, often found at Subscribe to my (free!) Newsletter: