Welcome Willy G! (and What the Hell Makes Vanity Metrics Feel So Damn Good?)

Willy G; you are my 900th Follower

Followers and views are vanity metrics because they don’t do much more than make us feel good. But feeling good is sometimes all we need, isn’t it? I’d never thought that I would get more than a few hundred followers, mostly because my niche is pretty obscure, but here I am, celebrating my 900th!

When I say obscure, I was pretty sure that adultery was more popular than people are letting on, but who wants to put their hand up and admit they’re interested in a little strange? What surprised me was that anyone would, so I’m grateful for those who do follow me.

So, when Mr. Willy G followed me, I thought I’d have to do something special for him, and this is it!

Follower counts are called vanity metrics because while they make you feel good, that feeling doesn’t translate into either reads or money. If you look at my top five articles, you’ll see that only one has over 900 reads. I’m sure some of those reads are my followers, but the majority came from the publication the story was published in, Sex and Satire.

My top five most read articles (Screen-cap: Author)

And that’s where the difference lies. While people follow me as a writer, they are far more likely to be interested in searching for topics they like than searching me out. As a writer, I may have appealed to Willy because I wrote something to his taste, and he thought I want more of that. So he hopped on the Teresa bus — joining so many who have ridden before!

What’s more likely, though, is that Willy likes certain topic areas, and as such, is more likely to read those than me. When you like a topic area and follow the associated publications, you will always get what you want. When you follow me, you may only sometimes get what you want.

My bottom five least-read articles prove my point. It is evident from the numbers that no one follows me for my writing advice. I imagine many of my 900 followers don’t realize I write about writing or have a publication dedicated to helping women who want to write. They also don’t know that I much prefer to write about the writing process than sex, and some of my least read articles were the ones I enjoyed writing the most.

That bottom story? I poured my soul into it and got rejected by The Writing Cooperative because I mentioned the M word (Meduim). Two lousy reads — shame on you!!! Or it’s boring — be your own judge. (Screen-cap: Author)

When I write for money, I write for the market and what I think my followers want, knowing that not all of them see or read all of my stuff. Of the people I follow, like Roz Warren, I make a point of going out of my way to find them and their work; otherwise, I might not see them at all. That’s the difference between fan loyalty and a simple followership metric. One hundred dedicated and loyal fans will do more than 900 followers when it comes to my bottom line.

But that doesn’t mean having 900 followers doesn’t put a smile on my face! For every one of them, like Willy, I know I have a chance to earn their special trust and loyalty.

So, Willy, and the other 899 of you, thank you so much for making this girl smile!

Check out my least read article here, you bunch of jerks 😢 (not you Willy, I know you won’t break my heart)—How Spirit Killing Bureaucratic Writing Made Me Successful
Templating the template to successmedium.com

And Willy, if you want to keep building our relationship, and I really hope you do, join my email list ☞ HERE ☜ and get a free pdf copy of my ebook How to Cheat: Field Notes from an Adulteress.

And don’t worry Willy, I haven’t started trying to sell anyone anything yet!

© Teresa J. Conway, 2021

By Teresa J Conway on .

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Exported from Medium on April 8, 2021.

Author of How to Cheat: Field Notes from an Adulteress, several short stories, I'm active on Medium @teresajconway where I sometimes share my blog posts.

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