There’s a well-known post from Kevin Kelly about how every creative needs 1000 true fans I think it’s required reading for any creative person.
The quick and dirty explanation is that a “true fan” will purchase anything you produce.
In My Gardening World
When I total the members of the Premium website and ebook sales, I’m able to roughly calculate how many “true fans” I have after 30 years as a full-time garden writer.
And that number my friends is not 1000. (As an aside, this isn’t a call for support, after all, I do have supporters. Instead, this is a simple recognition of the existing facts.)
“1,000 true fans is an alternative path to success other than stardom. Instead of trying to reach the narrow and unlikely peaks of platinum bestseller hits, blockbusters, and celebrity status, you can aim for direct connection with a thousand true fans. On your way, no matter how many fans you actually gain, you’ll be surrounded not by faddish infatuation, but by genuine and true appreciation. It’s a much saner destiny to hope for. And you are much more likely to actually arrive there.”
That’s been an interesting pill to swallow but if you doubt why I’ve moved away from the gardening world to other writing worlds, the reasons should be clear after you read Kelly’s seminal article in the link above.
For the record, I’m not depressed by this analysis. Rather, I’m disappointed with myself that I’m not able to produce material that is good enough that more readers want to fully support the work I do. But…
But I also understand – more than you might think from this note – how most people see online gardening.
Most see no reason to pay for anything garden-related they find online. If I had a buck for every reader who told me they never buy gardening books or anything else because if it’s online, it should be free, I’d be able to retire tomorrow.
It’s why 1000’s of people will download a free ebook last weekend but only a handful will spend $2.99 – less than a cup of coffee – on an ebook.
I Won’t Likely Get Them
Kelly’s concept is just a measurement albeit a useful one. And (quite frankly) understanding if I don’t have those 1000 true fans by now, after almost 30 years of garden writing, I won’t likely have them.
But The Good News Is…
Understanding the real number of true fans frees up my creative spirit to explore other horizons without guilt.
What a blessing that is!
My Last Thought (For Now)
I will continue to do my best to help those who do trust me for good gardening information because I enjoy doing this. But those other horizons beckon stronger now.
I’d be really interested in your thoughts about this. Tell me in the comments section below.