This post contains Many Things.
It contains the reasons my website went from having zero to 10’000+ followers in the span of two years. It contains some of the key lessons that I have learned during the time I have been blogging. And it contains exciting news.
But, most of all…
This post is the biggest ‘Thankyou’ I could fashion and put out into the world.
This blog was born in the faraway distant days of March 2013.
When it started it had a follower count of 5. All of whom were people I knew. All of whom were based in the same country. One of which was my Mom (who still reads every post – Hey Ma!) This weekend jamesradcliffe.com welcomed it’s 10’000th follower to a community which now spans 170+ countries around the globe. So what changed in the interim? Or, said differently: How the fuck did that happen? ;-)
Good questions. Here are the three main reasons I believe this website has grown and spread to the degree it has.
#1 For me: writing articles about things I care about, sharing them, and engaging in dialogue with people that I connect with thru them, is an end in itself.
When I started the blog ostensibly it’s dual purpose was: to document the process of making my first record, and to find the people who connected with my music. It was, very definitely, a means to an end. But gradually, over time, the focus of the whole enterprise subtly shifted until: crafting articles about the things I care about, sharing them, and having the real connection and dialogue with a community became, not the means to something, but the end in itself.
Said differently: I do this for it’s own sake.
#2 I work very hard to make sure that every single thing I post: Adds Value, and is of the Highest Quality Possible.
In terms of writing this means that each post: says something worth saying, and says that Thing as well as I am able to. If something doesn’t fit both criteria then, altho I may still write it, I wont post it. I’d rather wait and be quiet until I have something of substance to say. This focus on quality extends thru to the site as a whole. I guard its integrity jealously. I have turned down many, many offers from people who wish to monetize it in some way (mostly advertising) and I pay money from my own pocket to keep it clean and ad-free.
#3 The third and final reason is: the form fits with my natural inclinations.
I love to write. I love to make Things. I love to share those things with people, like gifts. And I love to connect and exchange. I naturally spend a great deal of my time, energy and focus doing these things. Because of this, blogging is a medium which massively plays to my strengths. And be aware that, if these things aren’t your particular strengths, it’s no big deal. Simply ask yourself what it is that you naturally do, where you can add most value, then find the existing medium which already best fits your own unique expression and go there.
Because the truth of the matter is, with all due respect to the subject matter of this article, your follower count is never going to be anywhere near as important as the depth and the quality of connection that you share with each person as an individual.
Which brings me, finally, to the real crux of this article. Because if you are reading this post, if you have listened to or paid for my music, or if you are one of the people who have followed this blog over the last two years, then I want to say something to you, and you alone:
My name is James Radcliffe and I am a 100% audience supported independent artist. If you like what I do (and can afford it) then please consider buying some of my music. Each purchase really makes a big difference to me and 10% of every sale goes to a charity which: houses, feeds, clothes, and educates orphaned children in Nepal.
Also, every month I send out a newsletter packed with Interesting and Exclusive Things. If you sign up today you’ll also get 3 FREE tracks of my music as a welcome gift.
And lastly, if you’d like to find out what I’m up to on a more day-to-day basis then here is my brain on Twitter: