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The Most Important Things My First Subscriber Taught Me

Lessons that could help you skyrocket your writing journey

By Deni SahayaPublished 3 months ago Updated 3 months ago 3 min read
Top Story - November 2023
The Most Important Things My First Subscriber Taught Me
Photo by Kourosh Qaffari on Unsplash

I’ve always been an introvert. If you meet me at a social gathering, I’m the girl who quietly observes the crowd, occupying the room’s silent corners, and tries to avoid eye contact at all costs.

Small talks have never been my forte. I don’t drink or smoke, and drugs are not my thing either. I guess you could say, there isn’t much going for me really.

However, you encounter me one-on-one, and you’ll see a completely different side to me. Here, I’ll shower you with all my undivided attention. Tell you how well you’re doing, applaud your resilience, and encourage you to keep going.

And sometimes this encouragement from complete strangers has the potential to transform one’s life.

I was almost a year into blogging before I reached ten subscribers.

My first blog, ‘The Abundant Heart’, I dedicated to spiritual content. I wrote about yoga, meditation, manifestation — you name it.

One day, I received a private email. A young lady showed her admiration for my blog’s design. To my surprise, all she wanted to know was how I set up my website and made it look so pretty.

At first, I was disheartened. Why do I even bother? But then, I thought to myself, I mustn’t be so rude, and at least I should acknowledge her kindness.

Long story short, we exchanged a couple of emails. After helping the enthusiastic young lady set up her first website, she told me I should share this sort of content.

At first, I was reluctant to give up on my calling of ‘making the world a better place’. But then a thought hit me. What’s the point of churning out all this content that no one is reading?

Upon reflection, I discovered I had great fun helping the young girl with all the nerdy stuff — setting up a blog, connecting this and that, giving her design tips, and all that good stuff.

One day, not long before I said my final goodbye to the ‘Abundant Heart’, I published my first ‘how to’ tutorial on my spiritual website. Within 24 hours my page exceeded 5,000 views and my blog post was flooded with comments.

This was a very special moment. No one has ever commented on my articles before. My page views were around a couple of thousand a month. Nowhere near the 5000, it received in less than 24 hours.

The most important lesson my first subscriber taught me?

You might have heard the saying, “Build it and they will come”. I’m not too sure that’s always the way forward.

I believe in a slightly different approach nowadays.

“Ask them what they want. Build it. Watch them come.”

Some might disagree, but research is at the heart of every good content.

My three hundred spiritual posts didn’t do well on my website, but after doing some research, I found them a new home and now they are receiving the views they deserve.

I used to think that I had to be an expert before I could show someone how to do something. It’s a big fat lie.

If I had to sum up the two biggest lessons this one subscriber taught me, it would be these:

  • Every platform is different. Content that does really well on one platform, might never get any traction on another. There is a place and time for everything.
  • Ask your followers what they want. Experiment with content and explore different avenues for your blogs. Don’t let one platform determine your success.
  • What are your thoughts? Have your subscribers taught you any lessons?

    Thank you for reading.

    If you found this post interesting, please consider leaving a ❤️, or signing up to my newsletter here. I share actionable tips on how to turn your passion for writing into a profitable income stream.


    About the Creator

    Deni Sahaya


    Nice to have you here. I'm Deni. I'm a blogger and coach.

    Find out more about me on .

    Reader insights


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      Niche topic & fresh perspectives

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    Comments (14)

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    • Raihana H.3 months ago

      "I used to think that I had to be an expert before I could show someone how to do something. It’s a big fat lie." So true. Only recently I started noticing it in real life. Thank you for sharing this. I learned quite a few things! :)

    • Natasha Collazo3 months ago

      And sometimes this encouragement from complete strangers has the potential to transform one’s life. Powerful statement

    • Natasha Collazo3 months ago

      Well done!

    • The Dani Writer3 months ago

      I wanted to make sure I had time with zero distractions before I read this and I'm glad that I did. You made EVERY line count! What a nourishing read with a myriad of applications. Especially liked your quote, "Ask them what they want. Build it. Watch them come." A well-deserved top story!

    • Andrea Corwin 3 months ago

      Thanks for sharing this! I like your update to the saying "build it."

    • Tressa Rose3 months ago

      Thank you for this. I'm looking to make writing my main source of income, and so I'm always looking for ways to improve or different routes to take. If you know any other good places to start making my writing known please let me know! And great job!

    • Dana Crandell3 months ago

      First of all, congratulations on a well-deserved Top Story. Second, thanks for brining this important lesson to light! While I've yet to create and maintain a personal blog, I've wasted too many years in writing for the benefit of others, in areas where I don't claim expertise, but have a substantial amount of knowledge. It's worked very well - for them. Writing on this platform has opened my eyes to several possibilities and boosted my confidence enough to explore some of them. We'll see what the future holds...

    • Mackenzie Davis3 months ago

      Ooh! I’m deeply interested in this exact topic. Fantastic post all around! You got a new subscriber. :)

    • Rene Peters3 months ago

      This is very relevant! I haven't learned a whole lot of anything so this was very insightful. Thank you. Congrats on top story, very well deserved!

    • This has a lot of relevant points to many of us and you have got some comments from very important Vocal members and me. Onwards and upwards

    • Judey Kalchik 3 months ago

      This is a powerful lesson, and your writing skills shine through from start to finish. Thank you for sharing your successes and lessons! You have a new subscriber on Vocal in me!

    • There’s a lot of factors that go into what performs well when it comes to online writing. To your point, platform can make a big difference. Vocal’s front page is curated. Someone makes those choices, and we all see the same list. Meanwhile, Medium’s front page is auto curated based on what you’ve engaged with previously. So my front page would look very different from yours. That’s part of why (I assume, anyway) I continue to get new followers every so often despite not having posted anything on Medium in years. I doubt I’d see the same on Vocal if I stopped posting. There’s a thousand more factors to discuss, but I’m restraining myself from writing my own post as a comment, lol

    • Alexander McEvoy3 months ago

      My subscribers taught me that what I do is enjoyed by more than just my family. They gave me the heart to keep going because I knew at least a couple people wanted to read what in put out into the world without it being something of a family obligation. So that was really valuable to me

    • Naveed 3 months ago

      This story is inspiring! I'm glad Deni succeeded with her blog.

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