Starting out on a blog is a bit like putting a message in a bottle, casting it out into the ocean, and hoping someone finds it, then replies.
In fact, given the untold millions of blogs on the Internet, you may well have more chance with that bottle.
So I didn’t expect much from my first tentative blog post, in the summer of 2012. I told my friends and family about it of course. I even sent some of them links by text message. But seriously, who was going to read my nervous waffling? I wouldn’t have blamed anyone if they had never bothered.
The first ‘likes’ and comments were from those same friends and family. They used an email address, or set up a WP account just to encourage me, but they did that willingly. I still remember the first time I got 10 views in one day. I was ecstatic. It all seemed worthwhile. When I hit 30 views, I was sure that blogging was going to be ‘my thing’.
Then I got a comment and a follow from someone I didn’t actually know. That was worth its weight in gold, and encouraged me to expand my content, and try new categories. I started to write about my time as an EMT in London, tried my hand at film reviews, and published some very long posts about my childhood memories as a boy in London.
Then one day, I could hardly believe my eyes when I logged on. I had 30 followers, and had hit the magic number of 100 views. Even now, I can remember how good that felt.
As the saying goes, there has been a lot of water under the bridge since then.
I discovered how to add photos, video clips, and images, all to make some posts more relevant, and interesting. I tried my hand at writing fiction too. Short stories at first, then multi-part serials later. I continued to feature my dog Ollie, and stuck to a formula that seemed to be popular with the community of followers and readers that was steadily growing.
As of today, I have a listed 5,470 followers on WordPress. Add to that 41 who follow by email, and 336 followers on social media sites like Twitter, and that totals 5,847. On a good day, I get around 600 views of the site, and think I must be doing something wrong when it drops below 300 on any given day.
But I never forget that 18 of those original 30 followers are still following this blog. And they still comment too.
Sometimes, 2012 doesn’t seem that long ago after all.