While this blog is my place of freedom where I can write about whatever I want, for the most part the majority of the writing over the last few years has the objective of growing an audience with hopes to eventually monetize this site and The Breakdown. This would allow me to cut down on the amount of work that I need to do for clients, so I could focus on my projects on the site and podcast. But sometimes, I write something on here that is completely personal and "just for me" without any concern for growing my readership.
My "Nine Years" piece was one of those times where I just assumed I'd maybe attract an audience of some family and friends and wife, but not much more than that. I just wanted to write something nice about my nine years of marriage that my wife could read, but avoid doing the typical flowery fluff piece. I wanted something that could have value for someone that couldn't care less about how long that I had been married, but read the post anyway, because Twitter was down.
There must have been major issues in the Twitterverse, because in less than a day, that little "throwaway" piece of sap became my fifth highest read article ever on this site. While I am no Juggernaut on the Internet, I have some articles that have spread through the web and garnered a respectable audience. I was humbled and shocked that something as personal as my thoughts on my marriage garnered an audience that was maybe hundreds times larger than all the people that I know. So, somehow I struck something with complete strangers.
With it becoming the fifth highest read piece in less than 24 hours, it also becomes the second fastest growing pieces that I've ever written (with only my Macho Man tribute putting it to shame, which is several tens of thousands of views more than anything else on the site due to being linked and promoted on very major websites). I always assumed that it would be one of my major movie analysis pieces or some rant against Trump that would get that type of audience (yes, my lone Trump piece was also very well-read, but yet, I still don't really have the energy to talk about him more). I never thought my own life would mean anything to almost anyone.
It gives me a little warm fuzzy to be proven wrong. Gosh darn it, you guys must really like me.
If I had to guess, the reason it was so widely viewed was due to my opening line about how Emily almost never says "I love you." Controversy attracts attentions and opening an anniversary piece that is supposed to be sappy and gushy with a revelation that I don't often hear those three words is pretty scandalous. I am sure it was unexpected and people dug in to get some juicy gossip and to discover if I was moving out to train meerkats to be suit wearing waiters at fine French restaurants. Then they realized that I was not, but by that point, there were already so many paragraphs in that they decided to stick it out. Or maybe they didn't stick it out, but I still got those view stats pumped up (though the time spent stats points to the fact that the majority of the article was read by most).
I also like to think that maybe I somehow stumbled upon a piece that provided some meaning and value to people. Maybe my situation and thoughts resonated, or there are some other couples that can at least relate to our situation. Or people were just drawn to my honesty and decision to not go the generic "I love marriage" route.
Even without the stats, I did get several personal messages from people thanking me for the piece and thinking it was really well-written. Even though I've been doing this for several years now, those type of comments are still fuel for me. I really appreciate them, and I am still shocked that this article became so popular. Though to be honest, I am happiest that my wife loved it and that it made her day, because in the end, it was really for her.
In news that is related to my anniversary, I landed a pretty sweet joint anniversary and Father's Day gift in the form of a riding lawnmower. This means that it will no longer take five days to cut the grass of our property with my electric push mower, and I can actually have a nicely cut lawn in under two hours. I don't know what I will do with all this free time.
For those that care, it isn't a John Deere, because my wife, was well aware that I could care less about the name of my riding lawn mower. I care so little that I had to Google if I spelt that company's name right (I did). Though I think the name of my new toy is much cooler, Cub Cadet. I imagine that on its days off it trains a team of baby bears to solve crimes. Crime solving lawn care machines are the coolest.