It’s a tough question, Darcy Reeder. Oh, I don’t mean how many you CAN follow. That’s the easy part. But how many should you follow? I follow a lot of people because I used to follow back anyone who followed me. Just seemed like a nice, thoughtful, neighborly thing to do.
Then it started getting out of hand. Now, when people follow me, I try to at least click on their profile first and see if they regularly publish stories. If so? Tada! Follow.
Why not? I don’t see a downside.
I devote two hours a day to JUST reading Medium. I head over to the Network section and click on the “people” option. Then I scroll down down and start loading up stories that either 1.) look interesting, or 2.) are by people I know always write cool articles. (like you)
If I can clap and highlight and applaud, I do. Because encouraging other writers is fun, uplifting, and inspirational. And I learn so much!
Here’s some Medium philosophy, though. I don’t read, clap, or otherwise engage with any kind of eye toward “success” on Medium. I don’t write looking for success on Medium either.
I read and write because I want to! Because I want to hear what people have to say, and because I have things to say that I care deeply about.
I figure that whatever success I’ve achieved on Medium has been a byproduct of those deeper, underlying motivations. I also can observe that when I start focusing on Medium “success” I start to flounder.
Of course not everyone is the same (by any means), but that’s what works for me, and that’s why I follow so many people. :-)