The first goal I committed to this year really set all the others in motion. I said I was going to write something every day, especially in this space.

At the beginning of March, I finally sat down and hammered out the rest of my 2012 goals. I’d been meaning to do it for months, but I am a world-class procrastinator. I had ideas banging around in my head, but I needed to get them on paper. And when I finally did do it, I came up with a pretty good list.

One goal was to increase my daily pageviews for this site to at least 100. I’ve broken that goal a couple of times already this week, but it’s not consistent. As I mentioned earlier today, it’s time to up that goal. I want to hit at least 500 per day by the end of this year. If I hit that mark with time left on the clock, I may even up it to 1,000. Let’s see how ambitious I’m feeling.

Another goal was to double my Twitter followers. For me, that meant hitting 500. I was at 250 at the beginning of the month. I had been at between 230 and 250 for as long as I could remember. A year? Maybe two?

Today, I crossed the 300 follower marker. In the last two days alone, I’ve added 35 followers – 25 of them just today – who have a total combined audience of almost 1,000,000 people (962,652, to be exact.) This was unexpected. I’ve been following some new strategies for engagement, building good content, and moving away from my former approach, which was very niche. Suddenly, the followers were coming in almost as fast as I could approve them. This is a small success, but it is one worth celebrating. It’s proof of concept, and that makes it something to build on.

Curious, I searched around for some metrics I could use to get an idea of what had happened and when. That’s when I found Twitter Counter. Here’s a snapshot of my followers over the last 3 months:

It appears that they’re using some sort of average to smooth the curve, because I didn’t jump up by one follower per day since January 24th. But it does show a trend line.

I decided to also take a look at my tweet activity. Not surprisingly, there’s a correlation:

X Axis = Followers/Tweet Count; Y Axis = Time

So there’s a pretty obvious force in play here: do the work, make it interesting, and people will follow. It isn’t rocket science, but it’s nice to see it happen. Because prior to January 21st, I had a big, fat, flatline. Not that I wasn’t doing any tweeting, but it just wasn’t working. And that’s because I was half-assing it. Once I made an effort, I started to pick up an average of 1.24 followers a day. At that rate, I need 161 days to hit 500 followers, give or take. That gives me a target of August 28, 2012, to hit my target of 500 followers.

Of course, all the new followers I’m picking up have larger audiences. Some have over 100,000, or over 200,000. Many have over 10,000. If I can write just one outstanding piece of content, and a handful of those power players retweet it, I could easily have another day like today, or better, where I pick up dozens of followers.

This is all grassroots, build it from the ground up stuff. I’m not on TV. I’m not on the radio. I haven’t had anything published in a real periodical in over a year. This is one guy, a blog, a Facebook account, and a Twitter feed. 500 people may not sound like a lot in the Twitterverse, but if you’re just starting out in social media, wouldn’t you love to have 500 customers you could reach out to with the press of a button? And if you add my Facebook friends, that’s another 400. That’s 900 people I can reach, just like that.

If I can do it, you can too. And 500 isn’t the limit. It’s just the beginning.

Right now, I’d like to take the time to thank all of the people who have followed me in the last two days. I would have gone back further, but it’s hard to keep up:

@pushingsocial, @aheartforgood, @KStarry, @mclayson, @sandrikrakowski, @NewandFriendly, @SJ_Pretorius, @MariSmith, @JonMorrow, @itsGadgetGuru, @randyeagar, @Hypnotweet, @albis_g, @RobertRadosevic, @ValerieDeveza, @EvanPabon, @DioFavatas, @knoxcounty, @echang19, @RobertRadosevic, @Ariellederrico, @GWPStudio, @writingcopy, @kennethdavid, @benrobbins, @JeremiahBilas, @albis_g, @stevebanfield, @RickM, @Aye_CecilyGhera, @sambrilhart, @socialbizdc, @DBMEi, @VueTOOVisualEOC, @BrandingDC, @gr8SocialMedia, @Home_Recipes, @AlliedMtgDirect, @pascalclaeys, @messierjf, @KingWorldwideIR

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