One Thousand True Fans

The blogs I follow are an eclectic lot. Most of them are writers and all of them are on a Journey with a capital ‘J’, because we are, all of us wayfarers of one sort or another.

I have a file in my ‘Writing’ folder called ‘Tools’ and when I come across something that might be of use on my Journey to becoming published and rich and famous (maybe not the famous – OK, rich and famous too) I plunk it in my ‘tool-box’ for future reference.

One of which is the ‘1000 True Fans’ concept. Which states (to paraphrase) that if an artist can gather and hold 1,000 people who will buy $100 worth of the artists work per year, then that creates a livable income.

Cool huh?

Not having heard of this before I thought it was a rather wonderful and simple concept. That all we need out of all the people who might buy our art, in whatever shape we create it, is 1000 of ‘em to stick around. How hard can it be I asked myself as I made note of it in my tool-box.


“You should keep on painting no matter how difficult it is, because this is all part of experience, and the more experience you have, the better it is.. unless it kills you, and then you know you have gone too far”Alice Neel

8 comments on “One Thousand True Fans

  1. jannatwrites says:

    Hmmm….that is an idea that I’d never heard of either. To me, 1,000 people seems like a lot, so I’d have to break that down into smaller chunks so as not to be overwhelming. Certainly something to think about. Maybe I need to get a ‘toolbox’ (I like that name for your future file.)


    • Widdershins says:

      The toolbox exists, and has for as long as I’ve been writing. I keep putting new things in there for future reference.

      And yep, I can highly recommend having one…

      … what occurred to me about this 1,000 fans concept was that I needed to have a PRODUCT first and foremost, and that is/are my words. This blog is a start, commenting on other blogs and forums is a start. Having a ‘story ideas’ file is a start. Paying attention to my surroundings, and keeping a notebook handy at all times is a start. Writing something every day, even if I end up deleting it, is a start. And opening that ‘toolbox’ file regularly to review/use the tools themselves is a very good start 🙂 … I probably do that about once every few months, just to keep myself on track … and to chuck out anything that is no longer useful… I don’t throw it away completely, I’m too much of a just-in-case kinda person for that, but it goes into the ‘just-in-case’ file, and not opened in living memory!


  2. So far I haven’t been good at looking at the stuff I stick in folders and files to come back. The last few times were all about finally dumping story ideas, drafts, and notes. Some, I am glad now never did get published. Cringe. Whatever was I thinking.


    • Widdershins says:

      Ooooh … the cringe file … hands up anyone who doesn’t have one of those…. Mine’s called “Terrible execution but possibly a good idea’, subtitled ‘Then again, maybe not, but I just cant bring myself to hit the delete forever button’ file.


  3. If you’ve read Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘The Tipping Point’ you will know that those 1,000 people are not all equal. There are some people within that 1,000 that will have a disproportionate effect: people who are Connectors and Salesmen and Mavens who will spread the word more widely, and more quickly, than you can on your own. Their influence can help you to reach 1,000.

    So, to make your ‘long tail’ more effective, look for those individuals who have more influence, and get them to talk about your stuff to other people. They are often considered experts in their field, or well liked/popular with a particular crowd, or ‘trend setters’ that others emulate.

    It’s not the numbers that have the impact: it’s the percentages. 80/20 is the usual yardstick.


    • Widdershins says:

      Hi there, and thanks for dropping by… Us pesky humans are never ‘one size fits all’ so I definitely agree with your comment. I haven’t read that book, but it is now on my request list at my local library. It could be a while though, I’m 19th in the queue. *sigh*


  4. oooo … you put me on your “like this blog list.” How nice!


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