How to Start with a Bang; Zero to Nine Hundred Followers in a Month on Medium

September 23, 2022

My secrets on how I started

Photo by saeed karimi on Unsplash

On August 17th, 2022, I sat on my couch with my coffee as usual.

I was submitting job applications for additional remote work when it dawned on me.

I did not need another nine to five; I simply needed to move my ass to share more of what I do to inspire others.

Someone once told me that if you want to establish yourself with authority on a subject, write about it.

And I remembered that Medium was where one of my friends got a career started years ago.

I thought, what do I have to lose?

Reach for the sky and set your goals high

Photo by Jeremy Perkins on Unsplash

On my first day, I looked at my follower count and stats. Both were new and shiny, full of possibilities.

While I am not new at writing, I am new to Medium. And I am also no stranger to how social networking and web traffic work. Before the pandemic, I deleted over 187k followers on my Instagram.

Sometimes it takes a pandemic to get you to sit still long enough to learn and figure out what you want to do.

For me, that is teaching and giving the gift of photography.

I decided to start completely fresh, one follower at a time.

During this time, many reached out to me after I published my first takes on my time here at Medium.

On September 12th, I published “Observations From One Amazing Month On Medium.” At this time, I was at 328 followers, over 14k views, and 4,218 reads.

A mere nine days later, I am at 900 followers, 46,593 views, and 13,945 reads. I also am a top writer in the categories of photography and inspiration. And I started my first publication to invite others, “Share a Picture.”
9–21–22 Charlie Naebeck
9–21–22 Charlie Naebeck

I am still getting the hang of a lot of things on Medium like playing with formatting and finding publications. But I am getting there.

A recipe for success

Photo by Ian Stauffer on Unsplash

Here is another recipe that I would like to share. I like to cook, and finding success needs a recipe, also.

The Newbie’s Guide to Starting on Medium

Ingredient list:

  • Lots of great content
  • Patience
  • Passion
  • Promotion
  • Stick with what you know
  • More promotion
  • Submit to publications both on and off Medium
  • Write every day
  • Don’t get lost in the numbers
  • Help others and be genuine
  • Engage (don’t post and run away)
  • And did I mention promotion?

Start writing about what you know and love from the bottom of your heart. Be patient and let it come to a simmer.

Edit, edit, and edit until it comes to a rolling boil.

When you re-read it to yourself and are passionate about it, others will be too.

After you post, promote your Medium account or post in other places outside Medium. Do not post in only one spot. Create on all social media, guest blog for others, use syndication, and find your RSS feed to share with many places for starters.

The RSS feed will produce a delicious result in your promotion, much more effortless. Example (

It may be tempting to chase ‘popular’ topics for follows and claps but don’t. If you engage a relevant subject from this moment, relate it to what YOU do. Stick with what you know.

Promote again. Spend at least fifteen minutes daily to share your posts on your channels. This will draw eyes to what you are doing.

Look for other publications to share your work with. This can be here on Medium, or it can be off of Medium.

For Medium publications, search a term of something that you like, and then hit enter. This will bring up a list of your results and a publications tab.

Take time to find the ones you feel are right for you and reach out to them. Most people here on Medium are friendly and happy to welcome you aboard as a writer.

For publications off of Medium, use Google to find other blogs, companies, and places to submit your work. As an example, I write about photography as one of my topics. I Google photography blogs and reach out to them to see if they are interested in writers.

Write every day for at least one hour if possible. This will keep your chops sharp and promote discipline and success.

Don’t get lost in the number of followers and stats.

It is nice to see results of hard work, but it happens because YOU produce good content that people find helpful.

This leads me to mix helping other people with this recipe. If you genuinely help someone, it will go a long way. If you post self-loathing dribble, that is for you; sadly, not many will read it. Be helpful.

Mix in genuine engagement with your followers and commenters. It can be grueling sometimes to see negative comments, but it comes with the territory. Take everything with a grain of salt, and remain positive. Reply as kindly as you can to all who take the time to comment and clap.

And did I mention promotion? Add promotion to your mix until you see your articles cook well. You can take a mediocre piece and make it shine with the right eyes. Sometimes the rise is the secret.

When you finish your posts, consume them with a grain of salt, and always prepare ideas for your next posts. It is helpful to keep a small notebook and pen in your pocket or start drafts in the Medium app to support ideas. This way, you will always have something to write about.

Bonus tips and tricks

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Always check your writing by reading and re-reading it several times. Great writers always edit and re-edit until their work is polished.

Use a page like Grammarly or Hemingway to correct errors.

This will help strengthen your writing and communicate better.

Ask for a coach or creative mentor to take a look at your writing before publishing. There are those of us that are happy to help others get started in their path as well.

And last but not least, have fun! What is the point of doing it if you are not having fun doing it?

As for me, I want to say a giant THANK YOU to everyone so kind and supportive here on Medium. I look forward to the adventure with you all.

Hi, I am Charlie Naebeck
I am a husband, professional photographer, teacher, life coach, ex-pat, and digital nomad.
Voted in the top 10 photography teachers in NYC. Top photography writer on Medium. I also have written for The Phoblographer, Adorama, Dpture, and more.
I travel the world with my family and camera giving others the gift of photography. I also consult with businesses to help develop content creation strategies for business engagement.
I can help you:  
-Improve your photography and content creation skills remotely or in person
-Create better content for your blog, social media, or business
-Learn how to make passive income while you create what you love
-Develop an engagement strategy for your media
-Coach you on how to set up your goals for success
Contact me here to book a session.Download my digital classes and Ebooks here where I provide many valuable insights and tips. My students and clients find it helpful to keep my advice digital in their pockets.
If you like what you read, please consider giving me a follow on Medium.
Thank you!
P.S. If you are interested in how I got to this point in my life, read my story here.

How to Start with a Bang; Zero to Nine Hundred Followers in a Month on Medium was originally published in ILLUMINATION on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.