Writing Routine I Used To Reach 5K Followers in 60 Days

Want to know how a non-native speaker and photographer commit to publishing at least once a week and reach the 5K follower milestone in 60 days? This is the story for you.

Keith Chen

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Selfie of author. Shot in Tokyo.

I am not a writer by trait or by training and English is not my native tongue. I still remember back in college I had to struggle a lot to come up with just a one-page essay. So how did a non-native speaker become a ‘top writer’ in four categories, reach the 5,000 follower milestone, and earn his first $100+ check from Medium, all within less than 60 days? I attribute that to the writing routine I use. The routine may not result in beautifully written articles (after all, I am not a good writer), but it did consistently help me come up with stories that others find relevant and interesting. In this story, I would like to share with you the routine I come up with to help me write consistently on Meidum.com

Let’s start with a little bit of my background —

Photo by author. Shot in Ciudad Juárez.

I am a non-native speaker who immigrated to the U.S. when I was 17. In terms of learning and using English, writing has been one of my biggest struggles. I am a typical STEM guy who doesn’t like to write, not even in my own native language. However, I am a thinker and I like to ponder on a lot of questions in different domain areas, and often I have a lot of opinions on the topics that I am passionate about, like photography. Because I like to think and express my opinions, I think the logical thing to do is probably write them down and hopefully share them with those who may find them useful.

Medium actually wasn’t the first place I tried. I first started on Instagram. I had pretty good growth in terms of followers (got to ~12k at the end of the first year), but I found it difficult to connect with that audience because they rarely took the time to read what I wrote. When searching for an alternative, Medium.com caught my eyes primarily because its audience is more sophisticated and cares more about knowledge and opinions (right, I am talking about you…

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Keith Chen

Photographer, Product Manager @ Google, Professor, Runner, Hiker, and World Traveler. Took photos from 50+ cities (and counting). Language : 中文 / EN