During the next academic year. I’m getting old. If you do not mind me asking — how old are you Maarten van Doorn? I was reading your work and thinking to myself how bright of a future you have on here and off. My dad always told me to think like a philosopher but speak and write like a truck driver and you have that down pat already. Unfortunately I can write like a truck driver, but missing the whole think like a philosopher thing;).
Consistency is huge. Some people go for daily, but I think your deep dives are what makes you special on here and if you can continue 4 to 5 a month (hell even 2 or 3) in another year I would be willing to bet 5K looks tiny as you are that good and different. To be perfectly honest what you are doing at this moment on Medium is damn impressive as the exposure is getting harder. There are some people on here with big followings who simply benefitted from being an early adopter and it is getting harder to break through the noise — but you are doing that.
I got my followers primarily because I am 40 and have fucked up a bunch and lived across three continents as a small business owner (I kind of took advantage of travel/entreprenuer topics/life and career advice). I started writing about 18 months ago for fun so some of the opportunities that have come from it have been mind blowing — literally changed my career and life. However, I see your work as more evergreen with a higher upside as you get older and continue doing what you are doing (One year represents 2% of your career and the investment you have made in the last 6 months will benefit you for life).
To keep things fun I post alot outside of Medium when I think something is good — Fast Company, Crunchbase etc (then republish here) to test my writing and once a week for the last 6 months or so instead of writing one day a week I speak to someone on here who I admire — which is the smartest thing I have done on here as the relationships I have build from here have been invaluable. Also I have been getting into Linkedin with a few of my buddies on here Tom Kuegler, Christopher Connors, Niklas Goeke (who I could see you really connecting with) etc to support each others writing — which in a short time has opened a few previously closed doors.
Sorry for the length, I am walking my newborn and unlike you I write before I think;).
Keep at it though man. You are about as good as they come and can’t wait to see what you accomplish on here.