Written gratitude | Thoughts on four years of blogging

Gratitude is hard to express through words. Sure, I could say thank you 100 times and throw in the odd exclamation mark here and there, but this wouldn’t show just how much having a blog and a strong readership has meant to me over the past four years since I set up The Life of a Thinker on the 12th August 2012.

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Nevertheless, thank you. My fourth year of blogging has brought about an identity change. I look back at my first post and cringe at a lot of things: the naive idea that I would be the next big thing, the god-awful photos and the notion that people would find a post about funny pub signs in Cornwall interesting – don’t ask.

Only until recently did I realise that this just wasn’t right. I created this blog to help me improve my journalism and open up opportunities for work experience in the industry. Potential employers – and my readers too, for that matter – did not want to see posts about blog awards or NaNoWriMo. These were just rushed posts at a time when I didn’t bother to proofread, and didn’t think about content which people actually wanted to read.

Now, before anyone says that I should write for myself (which is, by the way, true), journalism is all about creating the content which is easy to share, readable and prompts interaction. It’s why I replaced my self-centred Friday Articles with opinion pieces and no longer accept guest posts – as mentioned in this post.

In Wavelengths and Automation, I talked about how The Life of a Thinker has shifted towards a more journalistic style, which has led to my blogging personality being restrained in some sense. However, I’ve come to realise that this style – almost treating my blog as a business – is the perfect way to demonstrate my writing to others. But, at the same time, I did worry that my readership would be affected. Did people come to my blog for my personality?

Even if I did, my new content attracted a fresh readership. I was having fellow bloggers tweeting me saying they found my posts interesting, and they began to share my posts. In the past, I never had this level of engagement. Now, I’ve had up and coming bands ask me to feature their music, brands have asked for sponsored posts and I have regular readers. Thank you all.

In 2012, I called this blog The Life of a Thinker as a pretentious way of saying my views mattered. Since then, I’ve constantly joked about how self-centred I was back then, and I’ve called this blog name into question. I wasn’t really talking about my life that often, and my posts didn’t really tie into the connotations of The Life of a Thinker. A blogging identity crisis ensued, but now I finally know what it all means.

The Life of a Thinker is a blog where I share my thoughts through reviews and opinion pieces in an attempt to practise my journalism and get other people thinking.

Thank you all so much for your support over the four years, and I hope you continue enjoying my posts in the future.

What have been your favourite posts on The Life of a Thinker? How long have you been reading my blog? What do you want to see on this site in the future? Comment below!

Liam

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