Today, over on Twitter, @indiblogger asked us to share a link to our first ever post on our blogs. This was mine, from my parenting blog; the first-ever post I wrote, on August 21st, 2007.

It was as simple as that: Why I am writing this blog.

If you see that post, you’d be amused.

It’s 8 lines and 5 sentences long. It has no comments and no views. It, quite simply, is my first post on the blog. It doesn’t have SEO value, has no proclamations and it doesn’t satisfy anything more than a new mom and new blogger’s aspirations.

I first started writing this as a short note to share on Facebook and then decided to write a post about it on the blog, instead. Why?

To do a few things.

It’s liberating to write when you feel like it. I just wrote a post last night and given my current schedule, I usually don’t write more than a post a week. If I do write another post, I usually space it about 3 or 4 days after the previous one. This gives me time to collect my thoughts, reply to comments on the other blog and visit other bloggers.

Sometimes, though, you must break the rules. Write when you feel like it.

Another reason I wanted to blog is to perhaps encourage new bloggers and those who are just starting out. The numbers game can be extremely frustrating. It’s positively a punch in the gut when you see other bloggers who have page views in the 10,000s or followers in the 100,000s while you have to start from zero.

Shall I tell you something? Full disclosure.

I currently have 50 followers for my parenting blog. Yes, that’s right. On WordPress, I have 50 followers. But I cherish every one of those followers because that means 50 people choose to read me. Amid the noise and the busy-ness of their lives, they take time out to read my blog. Do you know how wonderful that feels?

Second confession: I don’t have sky-rocketing page views. Nope. I had one post that garnered 20,000 views in the beginning of 2015. That was my story on depression. But the fun thing? That was on Blogger. I lost all the page views and all stats when I moved to self-hosted WordPress last August. You heard me. I started from zero. Nine years after I began blogging, I started from zero.

I didn’t know how to migrate subscribers from Blogger. I wasn’t sure who had signed up via RSS feed or an e-mail subscription. Nothing. So whoever reads me now has been reading me in this space since August 2016. And a few loyal ones who came over when the blog moved, of course.

Third fact: The day after I moved the blog to self-hosted, the blog got accidentally deleted!

Terrible? Of course. Nobody wants their hard work going down the drain. But I will never forget what my husband said to me, ‘Your blog is gone. Not you. You’re still here. Start over. Your readers will come back.’

It’s a different thing that we managed to retrieve the blog, but that reassurance and that shift in perspective changed everything for me.

I know it seems like there are always people ahead of you in the game. I understand that it feels like you want to throw everything out the window and stop because things aren’t moving the way they should.

But, on the days you feel that way, pause.

Slow down and take a deep breath. Be it blogging or anything else, ask the crucial question: Why am I doing this thing?

The answer, if it comes from the depth of your heart, will be loud and clear.

Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

26 thoughts on “A nostalgic trip down blogger’s lane

  1. Shy, you are a true inspiration to all the women who choose to wear the sash of an independent & liberated personality, & yet are passionate about family and everything around it. I can not even comprehend how much grit you’ve had to get through the tough things.
    And I can only imagine that the subscriber migration must have been a catastrophic blow to all your years of heart & soul.

    All I have for you, Shailaja, is lots of respect, inspiration & admiration.

  2. So true, Vinitha. It’s a blog I started because I loved being a mom. And that hasn’t changed at all. So in that sense it’s the most rewarding part of being a blogger 🙂

  3. I loved reading your first post, Shailaja. It is humbling, isn’t it, that very first step we took with so much doubt and caution and with mixed emotions. In a way that post with no comments and likes is the strongest one of all. I don’t look at the stats either. I don’t even know a lot about Google analytics. I’m okay with it. I love these interactions which are made possible only because I decided to blog, no number can bring me this joy. 🙂

  4. I love the honesty and introspection in this post. You and I are on the same page as far as letting go of the other stuff that blogging carries with it. I think there was a time when I was delirious with doing more engagement, writing more, reading more, sharing more, looking at the stats more. But then, I don’t know, burnout set in or perhaps wisdom? Now, I seriously don’t bother about stats. I don’t even check if I got comments or not. I am happy that when I work, I switch off social media. So yes, it is always a good question to go back to — why do you blog? If it is recreational or for just the joy of it, why get entangled in all the rigmarole and make it stressful.

  5. gee… my first blog dates back to 2005. feel so old saying that. I even know where i was sitting when I started it. Life certainly has changed since then. And yes, there is a definitely change in the purpose of the blog for me as the years went by – from an online diary to something more to trying to provoke thought.

    Lets see what the future hold, eh?

  6. Four years ago, when I began to blog, I did not know head or tail about anything regarding blogging. My earlier posts too have hardly a comment, or two. It was only later that I began understanding what the ‘number game’ was all about. Still, I was not into it seriously. It’s only now, after starting fresh with Metanoia, that I feel like I want to do something just for myself. And, blogging, writing and art is what gives me utmost happiness. And, that’s why I blog. I feel so good. You know, Shy, for the past almost two decades, I was not even focusing on myself. It’s only now that I am able to and that’s why I blog. The numbers will increase in their own time. (Metanoia has 66 followers as of today). It feels good and that is what makes me want to work harder. The people who drop by to read my work can’t be leaving disheartened or disappointed, isn’t it? And, that’s why, I blog!
    Phew! Too long, no? I poured my heart out here, babe!

  7. Fully agree. It was nice to share that first post. On my blog, I think posts from the initial years have no comments at all. Who cared about stats? I still don’t allow it to stress me because then it will mar the enjoyment of what I do. Just yesterday I was telling a friend, focus on your “why”–then the tendency to compare and self-criticize minimizes.

    🙂 Always nice to go down memory lane. (heart and hug)

  8. Aww thanks, Shweta 🙂 I love to blog. I make time to blog even if I have so many other things on my plate, because it is my stress buster on one hand. On the other hand,it’s my diary to flip through months or years later and that’s very satisfying 🙂

  9. Thank you for sharing this with us. I also started my blog because I felt like sharing my creative works! The numbers might make us feel bad when we just are starting out, but the trick is to keep writing. No matter what. Well written. This is exactly what every new blogger should read. I love that you kept going, despite the many obstacles. 🙂

  10. The day my blog becomes a statistics page I would need to shut it down, because much like you I started writing because I wanted to and liked to. I might write for prompts or brands but I make sure I don’t forget to add my own posts in between them. Page views don’t matter as long as we are not only after them.

  11. I know one thing about myself that if I would have ever obsessed about stats figures, I would have shut my blog long back. 3 and a half years of dismal stats but still every Monday, I look forward to writing some new story from my life. Writing makes me happy. I look forward to reading comments from readers who are more of friends now. I believe, the engagement which happens every week on my Monday post is my blog’s success.

  12. I feel ya, Shy, I feel ya. Blog has disappeared multiple times. Wise man, that husband of yours. I wish someone had told me the same thing, I’d have refrained from venting my spleen.

  13. Sigh, I know. You’re one of the few who’s stayed sane in the mad rush of stats and numbers and ranking. I admire you for that. 🙂

  14. So much sense in your post. I don’t normally think about page views etc, but somedays I get caught up in the whole talk about SEO and rankings and that’s so exhausting that soon enough I get back to my happy state. That said, I don’t know what I’d do if I lost my blog. It’s so much a part of me.

  15. Very very well said! I don’t know why, but as new bloggers (and often old), we get obsessed by numbers! So vividly remember refreshing Google analytics everyday to see how my blog views have increased! LOL!!

  16. This is very motivating! I have been on such a see saw ride with blogging, taking long unintended breaks every now and then, that my readership has quite a dizzy graph 😉
    But pageviews/ ranking etc has never really mattered much. Each time I have felt lost in life, blogging has helped me get clarity. It was the very reason I had started blogging and why every time I come back to it.

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