But I noticed that you highlighted this quote:

Terrible writing is terrible writing. End of story.

And I know, from reading your stories and in our exchange of messages that you also know what constitutes terrible writing.

For me, a story that trumpets “How I Gained 100,000 Followers” with the subhead “And the exact steps I took that you can copy and use yourself” is the worst kind of clickbait imaginable.

Especially when he admits he has no method in the first sentence with, “Honestly, it was an accident.”

Regardless of whether he tucked in some nice homilies about becoming a better human or making friends with other writers, the promise of the article is misleading and impossible to duplicate.

He says, “The way to reach 100,000 followers is to give up the follower game.” That’s a very watered-down version of the concept of “do or do not, there is no try,” but it is complete bullshit. As Yoda would tell you, followers, unlike lifting an X-Wing from a swamp in Dagoba, are choices made by other people, and are external results over which we have no control.

The bottom line is, there is no magic path to gain 100,000 followers, and the author admits as much. He throws in the bait and switch that “as long as you have one person reading then you’ve got a way to be helpful.”

If his intentions were so pure, why didn’t he choose a title like “How to be helpful as a writer,” or “As long as you have one reader you are a writer,” or “One thousand followers feels like 100,000 followers?”

The entire purpose of the article was to engage desperate writers hoping to make it in social media. If it was successful in attracting views and clicks does that make it good writing? Or is it just more filler designed to make some money and clog up the Medium feed so no one ever finds the real gems on this platform?

Written by

Ad agency creative director, writer & designer at https://guttmanshapiro.com. Former pro tennis player and peak performance coach for professional athletes.

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