Is It More Than A Numbers Game?


Part of being successful as a writer is having good numbers. A high number of book sales, fans, profits, Facebook likes, Twitter and blog followers, etc. That’s all well and good, but there’s one particular thing about this numbers game that bothers me:

I can’t stand when people say “‘Like’ me on Facebook and I’ll ‘Like’ you back!” That is absolutely ridiculous. Whenever I’m offered that I never go through with it. I want to earn my fans from my writing and professionalism, not because someone wants to swap with me to get a higher number. After all, will this person really check out my work? Buy my books? Interact on my page and/or blog? I highly doubt it. I’m sure it does work out in some cases, but I feel that many of the people who offer to follow back are just in it for themselves. They click “Like” or “Follow” and then are never seen again. They move on to their next victim only watching as their numbers climb. Does this really help them out as well? Sure, they have 14,000 Facebook fans, but how many of them are actual fans of his or her work?

I will not be that person. It has to be so much more than a numbers game. I want to move people with my words; to bring out people’s emotions and force them to be torn between characters. I want them to love me and my work for what it is, not just because I look popular because I have so many “Likes.” I want to earn it. Nothing of good quality comes for free. If we want to earn our fans, we need to work at it. We need to work at being better writers, better artists, and be professional so we appeal to the world and offer them something they absolutely will not be able to refuse.

Has any offered you a swap? What did you tell them? Do you swap with people?Ā 

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15 thoughts on “Is It More Than A Numbers Game?

  1. Love this post, Chris. I’ve been thinking the same, especially with things on twitter like #teamfollowback and that kind of nonsense. I wonder if they realize that a follow back isn’t a fan, or often even a sale. They aren’t interested in your work. If they’re not interested in your work, what’s the point? I adamantly refuse to participate in that stuff as well. If the numbers go up, I want it to be because they’re interested in my work or me as a person. šŸ™‚

  2. I would like to believe that the only swap I have ever offered is that of interview for interview, link promotion etc.. Never a ‘Like me and I’ll Like You Back’. It seems that would simply be a hollow victory, meaning very little. A solid foundation of fans/readers is going to be built on the amount of honest/earnest work you the writer does. That in the end, whether it is 5,000 followers or just 5, will be supremely more satisfying than 1,000,000 blank usernames, that you have never once connected with.

    • I absolutely agree. I’d much rather have people who interact with me, rather than a mass of faceless people who were just looking to only better themselves.

  3. I fell into that trap on twitter so now I have probably about a thousand people who I need to delete from my following list.

    • I wouldn’t say you need to delete them. I would just try to perhaps engage with them on a mass level and try to form some sort of general relationship. I’m not saying that all these people are bad; you just need to try and connect with them if you want to turn them into loyal followers.

  4. Soulless swaps are of no use to anyone.

    I may link to someone I’ve “met” on another site, but it’s up to them to keep my interest .. and vice versa.

    And, yes … I want real readers when I start selling my book. Not numbers.

  5. I learned this lesson recently myself, and I think it’s definitely more about number of actual fans vs. number of likes or something. For the longest time I’ve been chasing pure numbers, and I’m going to change up my outlook on things and see what happens. šŸ™‚

  6. I won’t lie, I’ve made a couple of really good friends via twitter/FB this way but overall I agree with you. I go crazy when writers do nothing but tweet about getting more likes on FB-they never tweet anything else! LOL.

    • Sometimes you can make some very good friends off of it. However, more often that not you only get people looking to make themselves more popular. But I’m glad some of it has worked out for you!

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