Hello Again! Steemitizens...
That's how I normally open all my posts.
But this one is different.
This post is dedicated to a person who commented on one my earlier posts today and struck a chord with me. This post is a personalized reply to him, and I am just inviting you all to listen in with us here because there might just be a tiny nugget of truth in here for all of us.
Hello Again, @AgSupun!
Here is the reply I promised you. I hope you don't mind, but I think some of my other followers need to "overhear" this conversation as well, and perhaps join us in discussing it in the comments after the post.
59 minutes ago, I promised I was out to eat when I saw your comment and that I'd be back in an hour and here I am.
For the benefit of our eavesdropping audience here, I am going to quote your comment now, and since it was posted publically on one of my posts, I am going to take a leap here that you wont mind me referencing it in front of the same people again here for convenience.
The subject of obsessive compulsive resteemers who add no value and produce no content was being talked about there by many of us and then...
You said to me:
"Agreed. I've been here for 10 days. I resteemed only a single post. I create my own posts spending time and putting effort. But the sad thing is getting views is so hard. When no one reads what you post you feel sad right. I don't want upvotes at least some comments and views for the post is great motivation to continue." - @aguspun
@aguspun - don't be discouraged. I went to your blog and read several of your posts while I was out eating cheap Chinese buffet for supper by myself. I had an early chance to eat and a restaurant to myself at the late afternoon hour that it was here, so I settled in with a plate and your comment, and your blog and I read it all and I thought about it. Then I let you know I was out to eat but that I had something to tell you and I'd be here with some advice I'd like to suggest for your consideration.
I promised you advice made just for you, so here it is.
I am no expert but I have been online since 300 baud modems and bulletin board systems were a thing WAY before the public, consumer, commercial internet was even dreamed of yet.
I have read millions of stranger's words online over 30+ years. On BBS's, AOL, Compuserve, The Well, early times Internet and modern Internet. I have written millions of my own posts and comments and observations and technical reports and manuals and books and magazines and every kind of writing you can imagine in my career.
And then your comment hit me in the midst of the angsty post rant I put up here for you to comment on. And it moved me. And it reminded me of my own beginning but not the one here 15 days ago. The ones I experienced before at different times in my life in various metaphors. New relationships. New Jobs, New places. New things. You get the idea.
So I read your stuff.
Man, your stuff is GOOD. You write very well and you write on solid topics, both personal and general.
So what's my advice?
Well, in some ways, it's as simple as "hang in there, you've only been here 10 days" but that's a cop out and a cheap shot. Too easy. Not good enough, and not entirely accurate or complete.
Besides, I've only been here 15 days.
Just 5 days longer than you, but my stats are much higher. Why? I think I know and that's what I want to try and share with you here.
Frankly, I don't think I write that much better than you do in your posts, at all. Granted, casual American English is my native tongue and I do not believe I could ever write a blog in another language. So in that regard YOU write better than ME, because I can only do it in one dimension and you can do it in at least two and do it well.
Yes, you do it quite well. It's not the quality of your posts holding you back and I think you already know that. I could hear it in your comment.
You know you do good work, so maintain that confidence, first and foremost. Because that's one piece of the puzzle. Confidence is not just a show of bravado, but like integrity, which is what you have when no one is looking, so is confidence something you carry inside and have... even when no one is reading or responding... yet.
I think you are just having a moment of doubt. Your work sings of self-confidence and knowledge and wisdom. Your first post mistake and the message in it's place now sing of your personal integrity and self-worth and values.
But here's the thing.
There is something different about our approaches, and this may be why there is a difference in our responses from the public.
I noticed you only follow 22 people and I follow over 600. Now as you saw this title is about removing those follows I set up early on that make no sense to me now as I learn about steemit. So it won't be long till my number is well below 600 and i work on that a couple hours a day each day to eliminate useless people I used to follow before I realized they were not adding value to me, the site, the community or themselves here. Goners, all from my list anyway.
But my list will never be just 22 people follow either. There are far more than just 22 interesting people I could consider people i would like and friend up with in "real life" and I want to see and know them here, in this community.
Also, I have around 500 people following me in just 15 days, you have about 110.
I am not pointing these numbers out to brag. They are not particularly even noteworthy by steemit standards.
But I am pointing out that we have used our 10 and 15 days quite differently. And its showing in our results for our time on our wallet, follower and reputation stats.
So what did I do so much differently?
I worked hard at making new friends. Practically speaking I spent several hours at a time on the "new" page selecting the "introduceyourself" tag and reading every single post there written in English that I could read, that wasn't an obvious waste of time from the title ("Hi Steemet! Follow me and donate to my btc wallet!) was a post I skipped. But not the ones that led me to have the 500 people following me you see now.
And i know it was the effort to go introduce myself BACK to the newest of the new, the 3 minute old starry eyed newcomer intro posts that did it for me and many others before me who are climbing the various metrics ladders on the steemit block chain quickly and more quickly than their peers that arrived at the same time.
We did it by being nice. By introducing ourselves in thoughtful comments MUCH like the one I am responding to from you right now. This is actually proof. You didn't come in and whine or beg. You came in on topic and with a point of your own, and it made me want to talk to you, to follow you and to check out your blog.
DO more of that!
But don't just do it accidentally like this. Make it a part of your steemit routine to go meet 10 or so new people a session when you come here. The more the merrier, 10 just seems like a reasonable example.
I would sometimes end up with 20 and 30 new followers every few hours this way! And I hit 200 in 46 hours after my first login. I had 300 by the end of week three and i hit 500 today.
I don't have to go to the newbie pond as much to fish anymore. They came, they followed, and the participated in my posts. More than one has opened a comment with "you were the first person I met here ever, @SirCork and you made me feel welcome!"
Some of them resteem and impress others with YOUR work. Some do better work than YOU and carry you with them. Never be jealous of either ability.
One guy I know started i think the same day as me or within one day of me and has passed me up by a mile in every way. That is @adil and by now, you've probably started seeing him become known around here for his steemit user guide posts. These are the crowd to emulate, and join and "run with".
I built an INCREDIBLY diverse following with this method of just being nice and welcoming new people on the new/introduceyourself page and thread.
These people are moving up now, like a class graduating together each year. And as they go, some wear out and aren't able to hang or produce or care enough, and for each of those someone else turns out to be a STELLAR blogger on rocketship to whalespace.
These are your people. You need to go find your tribe here man. Your community inside the community and build with them together, your own whale tank! Like an Amish barn raising for your steemit stats.
We hear here and I often quote it: TeemWork Makes The SteemDreem work! And it's true. At all levels. For small groups, for small subcommunities inside the meta steemit community and for the entirety of all steemdom. We must work to build, protect and beautify this community together.
Then there is you. Or me. The individual in the middle of this vast, spiraling infinitely deep structure here.
It has it's own group dymanics. Ettiquettes, Rules, Guidelines, Politics. Some tangible, some documented, some neither and difficult to ascertain or get a handle on at first. This is true of ANY new environment full of humans. And that will never change.
So you have to manage you in the middle of this crowd and that leaves me with my second major point and last suggestion.
Find your voice.
Then make your voice heard.
You speak on some deep topics on your blog. But you also bounce around a bit. So do I. Trust me this last bit of advice is my own personal daily struggle and most other people's here as well.
Find your voice.
What does that even mean? Well, it means find your passion, your niche, your specialist topic and then make that voice heard, using your internal confidence and the external network you've been working so hard to build over in the introduceyourself section greeting new minnows and making them feel at home.
ATTENTION FOLLOWERS - THIS IS THE AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION MOMENT NOW. COMMENT IF IT WAS ME, @SIRCORK, THAT WAS YOUR FIRST "CONTACT" WITH ANY USER ON STEEMIT ON YOUR FIRST POST. PLEASE!
You see -the success here doesn't come from writing "reel gud" or knowing fat whales alone. Although those golden hammer votes never hurt lol. For sure!
Success here... comes from building relationships. Making friends. Being real and honest and high integrity and likeable and kind and sometimes generous with time or advice or a moment to cheer someone up or make them laugh.
Those people matter and they will return the encouragement you need to keep going. And then you will look up one day and be at 400 followers. And make a post. And look up again and be at 435. And again and a day later and its hitting 500...
I am the proof it works. @Adil is the proof it works. Many other examples come to mind and are also being created even as we speak.
We haven't been here much longer than you. But we made friends, and focused on that. Here, in the steemit.chat site and on discord. We joined #MinnowSupport and P.AL.
We talked to people. And we read their blogs too and talked to them. And that interested them in reading OURS.
But we never begged (ive not seen you beg either!) and we never played useless Follow for Follow time wasting useless exercises.
We looked for genuine people, we could actually enjoy reading and talking to and the ones that liked us back become our tribes. Our families. Our followers. Our support. And we help each other grow, overtly and also less obviously in some ways too.
A famous book for online marketers is called 1000 Raving Fans. The concept is to find 1000 people that adore your product, rave about it and love talking about it. You will never need to spend another marketing dollar, more or less after that.
Here, it only takes that first hundred or two to achieve motion. But to accelerate and gain momentum, take more than just a spark and some gas. You have to mash your foot on the pedal, and keep posting, even when you are on an empty highway alone and havent seen a car come by you for awhile. Just keep driving and you'll find yourself back in a city full of life in no time. This means keep posting when no one is looking and introducing yourself to and greeting the newest, weakest minnows to just be born here and commenting BUT only when you have something on topic to say of course.
And things will just... happen. And you will look back at this moment and remember it, a year or more from now, even as you are teaching the secrets of your growth and success here to some minnow, who just showed up ten days ago and now finds himself a little overwhelmed and discouraged.
And I just hope you remember me when you get there!
Sorry to put this in public, but I knew I was about to do a high dive into my heart for you and i wanted to make sure the quiet ones, the desperate ones who stop by who DO NOT have the confidence you showed in voicing your sadness to me, which took so much strength to reveal as a man to another strange man in a foreign country... also hear this message.
The way to success on steemit.
Love your work and do it well, with love. Whether its writing or curating or just reading. Love what you do. Don't force it. Don't fake it and don't do it "for the money" - because those will all kill your soul.
Be loving and kind always. But don't be walked on (by rude people or spammers or idiots) so also be strong. Because strength of values and morals and integrity are also love.
You want to be an big old whale. @agsupun ?
Then go love the little new minnows first.
I promise you, it will all fall right into place from there.
With all my sincerity, and with all that, this post is over.
Full Steem Ahead, Steemitizens
(and @agsupun, my newest friend!)