40% of Writers Have Left Medium Recently

Fewer writers mean less competition

Photo by Jan Tinneberg on Unsplash

I started my publication, Build Your Wealth, back in January. When new writers join, they usually write a few articles, and then their submissions tail off. There’s nothing too unusual about that, but it got me wondering what happened to them.

I decided to check each writer individually to see when they last wrote an article. Some were likely writing for other publications instead, so I wasn’t didn’t know if all that had left my publication had also left Medium.

What I found out is that 40% of them seem to have disappeared from Medium.

They haven’t written any articles and I haven’t seen any comments from them.

Bear in mind that it’s summer, so many could have just taken a break. None of them mentioned that though, so I’m inclined to believe that most have left for good. I assume a few will come back but that most won’t.

Those that have left haven’t published articles since at least June.

40% is a lot of writers to leave within the last 6 months.

I also checked through the writers that I follow. There are too many to do a thorough check, so I checked through them at random. I also found that around 40% of them had left.

Finally, I checked through the profiles of people that follow me. Many of those appear to be inactive, but it’s difficult to tell. Quite a few are readers not writers, so I don’t know if those are still around.

I have around 4,200 followers at the moment. If I assume that 40% have left Medium, my number of followers that are still here are around 2,500. And I bet a large proportion of those aren’t “real” followers.

I have always thought the follower count was little more than a vanity number for most writers. It is probably only when you have tens of thousands of followers that they make a difference.

How much do follower numbers affect earnings?

If you’ve managed to get around 1,000 followers in your first two months here, it’s probably equivalent to someone that’s been here for a year having 4,000 followers.

These are just very rough, speculative guesses, so don’t assume they’re anything else.

Followers will leave the platform over time, so it’s entirely possible that your real follower number is stagnant. You may get 400 new followers in a month, but 400 of your older followers may leave. So while the numbers look like they’re growing, they’re probably not growing like you think they are.

The follower counts the number of people that clicked to follow you. It doesn’t mean that they’re actively following you. Many people follow thousands of writers. They can only regularly read articles by a few of them.