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.