Something to Someone: The Road to 5000 Followers

I’ve been rehearsing this blog post in my head for the last month, but now that I have to write it, I don’t know what to say. I still don’t know what to title it, so hopefully that reveals itself to me before the final period is typed.

I started this blog for selfish purposes. I wanted to write about sports, so I had writing samples to send to potential employers. That’s all. I had no aspirations to make friends. I had no desire to explore different topics. I didn’t want to leave my niche – bloggers need a niche.

Good things happen when you least expect it.

Little did I know, bloggers don’t need a niche. Nor do we need to stay in a bubble. Once I figured that out, this blog was no longer just about me. It was about the people who took the time to read it.

A few days ago, The Captain’s Speech reached 5000 followers.

I don’t know what that number means, really. But I do know what I think about when I see it.

I think about all the friendships that have been made.

I think about the people who told me my words had an impact on their life.

I think about the person who told me they enjoy my humour and to never stop giving my unique view of things because they read my blog as a way to forget – for a little while – about the rough situation in their life.

There’s more to that than I’ll share, but I tear up every time I think about it.

And who am I?

I’m just a person putting one word in front of the next. I don’t know what I’m doing in life. I mention pizza a lot. I start too many sentences with “And”. And I have no idea how to write a concise blog post, as evidenced by my 1466 word per post average in 2018 – find yours on the insights tab of a stats page near you.

I am truly grateful for all the nice things you have said to me over the years. The blogging community is incredible and I couldn’t have imagined such a welcoming group of people on the internet.

When I first came into this, I was just coming out of university and about to face the reality that friendships from school slowly fade away over time. I didn’t know that strangers on the internet would be there to catch me when I needed support.

Five years later, I talk to more bloggers on a regular basis than people I know in real life.

A couple of years ago, a group chat was made. It consists of Meghan, Jess, Chris, and myself. I had been blog friends with Meghan and Jess for about a year, while Chris and I have known each other for about sixteen.

That group chat quickly became, and still is, one of my favourite things.

Explaining the dynamic between the four of us is impossible. It’s like we’re roommates, but we’re not, yet we still scream through the wall knowing someone will respond.

In life, I think we all just want to find a place where we fit in. And that includes finding people we like to be around.

That’s why on the first day of every school year, we’d look through the class list, or around the room, trying to find the people with whom we fit. If there’s a group project, who are my people?

Because no one wants to be completely alone. I’m certain we’ve all felt that at least once in our lives.

We all need someone else, and in the blogging world, our words are the great unifier.

When I was in university, I had a few different friend groups as a result of living in residence each year. I don’t like separate groups, so I introduced each group to each other and made it one big happy family.

In a way, I think I’ve tried to do that with this blog.

When I go looking for new blogs to follow, I often find ones that don’t have many followers but are putting out content I really enjoy. I’ll always have a soft spot for bloggers like that. Not because I feel sorry for them or want to give them a charity follow, but because I’ve been in their shoes.

I know how tough it is to be writing for 8 people, 4 seemingly fake accounts, and 2 other skeptical ones.

You feel like you’re not being heard. You tell yourself you’re writing for yourself, but you still wish someone else read your work. As much as we can find ourselves through our writing, we hope it finds someone else, too.

When you see me nominating a bunch of bloggers in these blog award posts, I hope you’re clicking the links because that’s my small way of trying to bring everyone together.

I don’t want bloggers to give up because they don’t have hundreds or thousands of followers. I want to support them.

The most important post I’ve ever written was when I had 22 followers. The size of your audience doesn’t make your words mean less.

And I know it’s probably easy for you to think, “Oh, he’s just preaching from the hilltop known as The 5000 Club.” You’re missing the point if you think that. There is no hilltop. There never has been. We’re all on the same playing field.

If you’re looking for tips on how to get 5000 followers, I don’t have any. I only have truths. And the truth is, words bring people together. They always will.

Well, that’s it. I’m sure you’ll all get tired of me and my jokes eventually though, right?

If so, just give me two weeks notice so I can host an Unfollowing Party. It’ll be like an episode of Oprah, except everyone in the audience returns their free car.

I’m going to go now. Thanks again for all the support!

Keep writing your words because, I can assure you, they mean something to someone.

– Paul, The Captain’s Speech

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About Paul

I think of my blog as an all-you-can-read buffet. There's something for everyone and complimentary mints at the door as you leave.
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88 Responses to Something to Someone: The Road to 5000 Followers

  1. Jess says:

    *tear* We seriously should have all lived together in a big house and a dog. We could have named the dog Paul so maybe it would balance as a “truce” between you and said dog.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Hira says:

    I will never be tired of your jokes ☺ Congratulations and let’s have party 🍷🎇

    Liked by 2 people

  3. heymeghan91 says:

    I’m not crying you’re crying ❤️❤️

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Aw. What a lovely post. 5000 followers! Well deserved, indeed.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. markbialczak says:

    Your words are a bright stop on my blogger’s road, Paul. Congratulations on staying true to you.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Awww this is so great, Paul! Congratulations on gaining 5000 followers. You’re a great blogger and I really enjoy reading what you post! Keep it up! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  7. cd says:

    Amazing post, Congrats Paul!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Congrats!! Some great advice here, the blogging world is really wonderful 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Giulia says:

    Congrats! It’s always entertaining reading your posts. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  10. rebbit7 says:

    Congratulations, Paul! Been following you since my own college years, and your blog is one I continue to consistently read. Very proud of you, and it’s true that, at a certain point, the Follow count really doesn’t matter, as long as you put out content you enjoy writing. Keep on going!

    Liked by 4 people

  11. loving this! congratulations on all the followers, man!

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Pingback: Words are What Matters. Nothing Else. - Love, Laney

  13. micqu says:

    You are a gem. I am not sure if you followed me first or if I did – and it really doesn’t matter, I am just glad that I found your words in this huge ocean of blogs. For me, you are outstanding.
    Also… It’s been a while since we practiced some Luxembourgish.

    Dat ass tiptop wats du do mess. Maach weider sou; méi Frënd. 🙂
    Cathy

    Liked by 4 people

  14. Becky Turner says:

    Congrats my friend! I always look forward to reading your posts, and thanks for putting up with my yelling about sports. (And for the wellness checks on my fantasy roster.) You have a gift for writing, and it should continue to be shared with the world.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Paul says:

      Thanks Becky! I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of your baseball rants, they make me happy lol. I think I need to make a wellness check in a few minutes, be on the lookout.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Angela says:

    You are awesome Paul, you’re 5000 followers prove that!!! 😊

    Liked by 3 people

  16. peckapalooza says:

    O Captain! My Captain! –shouted from atop my desk

    As always, well said.

    Liked by 4 people

  17. Laura says:

    I loved this one! And (see? I did it, too) you are SO SO right — I’m writing for me, I can’t imagine *not* writing — but why do only 18 people like my post? Of course, I also remember when only FOUR people liked my post, so progress…
    I ramble.
    What I mean to say is congratulations, and I’m really looking forward to a time when I can write about getting my 5000th follower. Keep on rocking the blogging world, Paul!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Paul says:

      Thanks Laura! You’re one of the most consistent bloggers I know and I have no clue how you do it, but it’s pretty remarkable.
      As for the number of likes, don’t worry about it. I’m at 5000 followers and my posts top out at 60 likes, so the math doesn’t always make sense. That being said, I have no doubt you’ll get to 5000 some day and I can’t wait to congratulate you when you do!

      Like

  18. Lee Dunn says:

    Congratulations, Paul, and the very best to you!

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Sarah Warsi says:

    Congratulations Paul! What a great milestone. Keep up the awesome work! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Catherine says:

    Congrats Paul. I love your posts, no matter how long they are, and I am glad you are part of the blogging community. I too have forged friendships with the community that I never thought I’d have.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Ariel Lynn says:

    Congratulations on your latest milestone! What you’ve said is really inspiring. Sometimes, I find myself questioning what I want to post because I worry about putting in so much work for a limited – albeit amazing – audience I have on my blog. It helps give me a push to post more & to still dedicate the amount of work & time I would if my audience were 5,000 people strong. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      Thanks, Ariel! I appreciate all your comments over the last few years. I would definitely encourage you to write more. A small audience is just as important as a large one. I think we get lost in numbers sometimes and forget that 5 people is as important as 500.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ariel Lynn says:

        Aww. You’ve already encouraged me to write more. Still, it’s sweet to hear you say directly!!

        You’re right – a small audience is just as important, if not more important, than a large audience. We get to know them more deeply & they buoy us up in the rough spots. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  22. Forever, Sierra Kay says:

    Congrats on the follower count, your words of wisdom from experience are truly inspiring! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Squid says:

    I just read Donne’s “No Man Is An Island” poem and it seems perfectly appropriate for this topic. Congrats on 5000, but thanks for not giving us any less honest and human content than when you were in the few hundreds. (I can’t quite remember where you were when I jumped onboard, but it was after your first feature on Freshly Pressed… Hundreds seemed right in my head, haha.) Your posts and comments on my posts and comments always make me happy. Don’t stop being awesome. 😁
    Squid

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      Thank you! It’s still makes me laugh to think that you and your sister talk about my blog posts. Never would’ve imagined something like that. Woah have you been here since my 2013 Freshly Pressed post about school, or the 2015 one about Millennials? Either way, I appreciate your thoughts and insight via your comments!

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Squid says:

    2013 about school, I believe, because I remember when you got featured again and not being surprised at all! (and feeling like a true fan as opposed to all the people who found you through the 2015 one, hahaha because it was so much different 😁.)
    Yup, my family can probably tell you at least 7 differnet stories about “Paul, the blogger from Canada, remember, the funny one I told you about last week? Yes, the guy who likes pizza.” The connections we can make these days is incredible… Tech is such a cool tool!
    Haha awww shucks. I try my best 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      Hahaha 7 different stories! Oh man. I’m honoured. You are a true fan! I had about 20 followers when that got featured and then I shot up to about 130 and was overwhelmed, oh how the times have changed.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. cactushoney says:

    Thanks again Paul for nominating me for Mystery Blogger! And this is probably one of my favorite posts I’ve read by you! So sentimental and honest!
    https://cactushoney.wordpress.com/2018/04/24/mystery-blogger-award/

    Liked by 2 people

  26. hemetshe says:

    This post makes me so happy! The way you described the blogging community is exactly why I started blogging. The se se of community and fellowship is so fulfilling. Rewarding, even. You make such an excellent point that it does start selfish. There is something vulnerable about sharing your writing with others, surprisingly that’s a common way of thinking. How wonderful there is a community of people who acknowledge that this is where many people are sharing their words publically for the first time. The positive response is astounding.

    Congrats on the 5000, that’s a big deal!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      Thank you! I came into this blog thinking that people on the internet were mean and I’d have to pick and choose every word carefully to avoid offending anyone, but that hasn’t been the case at all. This truly is the nice part of the internet and everyone just wants to supports each other. It’s really great.

      Like

      • hemetshe says:

        Absolutely. It is nothing like the casual forms of social media like, Facebook. Politics about the platform aside, it is impossible to interact, say, on a news article and get constructive feedback and have meaningful dialogue. By and large people want you to come down hard in one side of the aisle or the other and immediately chastise you for your opinions. It is toxic. This is such a suiting platform as well as the community that follows.

        Liked by 1 person

  27. Really cool and really encouraging. You’re so right that blogging becomes more about relationships made, things learned, people inspired – not just sharing our thoughts in hopes someone hears!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      Thanks! Right on. And I like how supportive bloggers are, just makes sharing our thoughts so much easier.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 100% agreed. When we first started, we were a little daunted. We felt like we’d have to compete with blogs that have been established for years with thousands of followers. But everyone is entirely cooperative, and sharing followers never seems to threaten anyone. It’s free to follow someone, honestly – and so everyone is like, “Well, if you like my blog – go check out what this blog is doing!” So cool that bloggers will feature each other, will do guest authors, will give awards to each other and never feel threatened that someone else is encroaching – it’s all like, “The more the merrier!”

        Liked by 1 person

  28. Kaitlin Chase says:

    How did you get up to this point? Any advice?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      A lot of my followers came from pure luck. WordPress has featured 5 of my blog posts and each time they did, a few hundred new followers came in.

      Besides that, it’s really all about going out and finding blogs/bloggers you like, and then following, liking, and commenting on their posts and growing a relationship from there. I like to dig through the comments section on blogs to find new people because then I get a glimpse of who they are.

      Beyond that, writing a lot and tagging your posts appropriately really helps. It’s the whole idea that people can’t read your blog unless you give them something to read, right?

      So yeah, a lot of luck and a lot of active engagement with others!

      Liked by 2 people

  29. Jared says:

    “Keep writing your words because, I can assure you, they mean something to someone.” Amen, brother! In all honesty, you never know what words you say that will change someone’s life. Sometimes they won’t even mean a whole lot to you personally, but they will speak right into the situation someone is dealing with. Sometimes people will tell me thanks for something I said years ago, and I’m like… “You sure that was me? That sounds a whole lot smarter than me, with better vocabulary…” But it is so true that our experiences when shared in words and writing can really mean the difference for others.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Paul says:

      Completely agree! There was one time a few years ago when I was on someone’s blog and their twitter feed was on the right hand side and I noticed they quoted something I said in a blog post. Couldn’t believe it. Sometimes I’ll go back and read my old posts and I don’t remember saying half the stuff I did – it all sounds smarter than I thought it did haha, so I’m glad it’s meaningful to someone.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jared says:

        Just had that happen to me this week haha. I was like, “I should really write a post on generous financial giving and how it can be to any good cause, it doesn’t have to be to your church or anything.” I started making notes and then I searched our blog to see if we had anything related already… and I wrote an article a year ago that was better worded than anything I could write today! Haha!

        Liked by 1 person

  30. Chichi says:

    Paul! You have done it again!
    This touched me!

    I’m always trying to convince myself that, “Nah, man… I’m doing this for myself so I don’t need people to follow me and stuff” but… It hurts.
    As usual, you are preaching the gospel, Paul!

    Thank you! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      Thanks for another compliment! I think I’m going to have too many eventually but I appreciate it. Btw I need to write about wrestling again but don’t know where to start…or end. Could write for days.

      Like

  31. Myka says:

    Ahh. What an honor to know you. Your words bring us together time & time again. It’s amazing to me how parallel some of our ways of thinking actually are – and how the differences don’t piss me off, but instead inspire a new way of thinking for me. You’re incredibly talented, and although I enjoy sports, I’m glad your blog expanded beyond that topic.
    I really liked this: I’m just a person putting one word in front of the next.
    And this: yet we still scream through the wall knowing someone will respond.
    And congratulations on 5,000 peeps!
    .xo.

    Liked by 3 people

  32. Ely says:

    Every single time
    I think “man. This guy is just as genuine as the come” I surprise myself because it just get better and better. We have been through these kind of sappy comments before and I’m ok with that- each time we make these emotional comments they go straight to the foundation of our bloglationship to continue to reinforce it and help it grow…. so with that said I leave you these words: you’re an inspiration. You know why? Because you are the most humble person I think I’ve ever known. You are ripped-open kind of raw and man, that is so hard to find these days you know? What’s more- is that you are so simple and clean and eloquent and there’s this earthy kind of blowing-in-the-wing nature to you that calms me. I’m a more aggressive loud creature and your posts always level me out and help me BREATHE and really motivate me to write from my soul. No mater how dark and twisted my soul may be… lol it inspires me to post more positive rants whatever that even means. You inspire the good in me Paul. So thank you. You deserve every follower and friend you have here. I don’t think I would’ve kept writing had you not followed me and made my DAYS with every meaningful comment you have ever left me. I was stunned almost like STARSTRUCK that you followed me when I first started writing again. And your comments SERIOUSLY kept
    Me going and posting. I don’t think I could ever really express what it did for me…. and I’ve been that writer I mean I still AM that writer looking for friends and growth and support and it’s so heartbreaking when we first start out. The numbers mean more than they should right! We are DESPERATE for a like to validate our words.
    We are YEARNING for a supportive comment to keep us ALIVE almost. It’s insane. YOU did that for me and for that we are TEAMGENIUS like
    Forever!!!!
    Sappy comment done. You da bomb!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      Oh, my heart. I still remember when I found your blog last summer and I looked around and each post was getting like 5 likes and no comments and I thought, “This ain’t right!” I instantly recognized you as a great writer who was hilarious, yet had their own story to tell which was inspiring in itself. All I wanted was for more people to read your blog and now I look at it and you’re making so many people laugh and I’m just so proud of you! YOU deserve all the credit, but if I helped you along the way then I’ll take some credit too I guess haha. I’m proud to call you a friend and can’t wait to share more laughs with you on both our blogs for years to come!
      Sappy comment over.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Ely says:

        Omg thank you so much! Also I was driving when I commented- it was blowing with the WIND kind of nature not Wing lol I’m sure you totally understand me. I use my phone for mostly everything on here so it gets complicated! Again- thank you. I look forward to a future of more things you’ve never eaten and not understanding why and to just “understanding” each other. Sappiness officially done with! Let’s get tough again lol 😂 xo!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        Yeah! Let’s pump some iron and make healthy drinks in a blender. URGHHH (that’s more of a grunting noise) TOUGHNESS! Hahah we’re so lame but we’re also genius. Bam.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ely says:

        BOOM!!! 👊🏼👊🏼👊🏼👊🏼🤷🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️

        Liked by 1 person

  33. Such a great post. I think everyone needs someone because it’s not easy going it alone—even in a blog. We do like writing for ourselves, but like you said, we still hope our writing finds someone else. I think we all hope that what we’re writing might somehow touch, amuse, tickle, or even inform another person—at the very least be read by someone else. I love that you make the time to bring attention to another person’s blog—because they are out there to be discovered. Paul, congratulations on 5000 followers!

    Liked by 2 people

  34. Oh my. I am not in the group chat 🙊 Well this has turned super awkward! Will just duck out now brother 😬 Congrats on 5,000 followers!!! 🙂 And yum pizza 🍕Here I go thinking about food now!

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Juliajewell says:

    Congrats! You’ve had your blog for five years then?

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Absolutely incredible. Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

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