Thank you for saying this!
I don’t know if it’s just me, but I’m constantly being fed articles by Medium “experts” telling me to do things that I don’t mean so I can be popular on Medium. I see articles by one fellow who seems very popular, indeed, but who writes almost exclusively about how to be popular. On Medium.
Maybe I’m just old fashioned, Mark Starlin, but I think that providing consistently high-quality, meaningful content is the only way to build meaningful readership.
Clickbait story titles, mass following, insincere commenting, and the like will surely work in the short term to draw attention.
My own experience tells me, though, that readers who come back for more are readers drawn to my content because they care about it. It takes longer to develop that kind of audience, to be sure, but I’d rather be known for having something to say than for being a popular personality.