On 1 February 2014, I published my first ever post.

It all started with the intent to find an interest that didn’t involve exercise, after all there is only so many hours in a day your body can endure a workout before it gives in.

Years ago I was into creative writing, but over time it became less of a priority and I stopped, so it seemed a sensible fit my new interest should be an old interest, done in a new way.

I never knew where this journey would take me. Maybe I would become a published author? Or perhaps my blog would become a nice side hustle?

Who knew? But I faced the new task like all the challenges I’ve faced in my life – consistent action done one day at a time.

Those dreams were not quite the reality of what blogging is, but starting was the decision that would change my life forever.

WordPress seems to have omitted from it’s annual tradition of reminding me that it’s my blog annivesary, but lucky I don’t forget, as I remember I’ve been doing this for nine years.

In what has become a tradition, I present to you a part self-reflection, part congratulatory post, looking at how far I’ve come.

Some stats you may or may not find interesting.

After nine years I have gathered 1,432 WordPress followers.

Approximately twelve of those are what you might call a regular reader – based on the criteria of:

  1. Who frequently comments.
  2. Average reads new posts get on first week of publication.
  3. A finger in the air estimate.
Busting this old image out to get the nostalgia of achieving the WordPress 100 post milestone badge received many years ago.

I have 483 published posts (including this one) – this could be more but I purged out the REALLY bad and embarrassing ones years ago.

And as I finalise the publication of this self-congratulatory post, I have to find somewhere to shoehorn this notification I got from WordPress:

Image: Congratulations! Your site, Perfect Manifesto, passed 100,00 all time views.

Wow, what can I say? I love you all.

Thank you for getting me to 100,000 views.

And how many trolls?

During my nine years I’ve endured one troll.

Troll is a subjective term – some bloggers seem to band this term against anyone who ever dares to make a negative comment against their work.

But I find those comments forgettable – I read those comments, shake my head and move on.

No – a real trolling is when you get the same person, who takes a personal vendetta in your presence and goes out of their way to harass and stalk your online experience.

I try not to judge these types, I don’t know what they’ve been through, or whose hurt them to behave like this.

My strategy is simple – shut off and ignore them.

You see, a troll thrives off validation, pay them attention and you give them the oxygen to keep going.

Starve them of attention, don’t even give them the satisfaction of a block, and they soon choke and disappear.

Image: Troll getting kicked away
“…a troll thrives off validation, pay them attention and you give them the oxygen to keep going”

What do I write about?

Over the years I’ve talked about fitness, nutrition, careers, relationships, confidence, parenting, project management, mindset, personal finance, travel, history, wellbeing and the broad catch all category of “self-improvement”

This is proof that I’m the counterexample of the advice “pick a niche and stick to it.”

I’m someone who gets bored quick, I need variety.

So I’ve changed what my site is about often, and write about what interests me – I recommend you do the same.

Out of all those topics History is my absolute favourite category. I’ve enjoyed writing posts with historical examples giving a self-improvement twist, but these posts are also the hardest because it takes the most reading, and research to link together to my ideas.

Some stats connecting to my personal life

The relationship I’ve had with this blog, is longer than the relationship with my wife, pre-dating when we first started going out by five months.

My wife (then my co-habiting partner) only found out about my blog when we first moved in together – she was the first person in the real world to know I do this.

I’ve only ever told four more people about my blog.

Perfect Manifesto is older in age than my two daughters years combined.

I’ve mentioned this for the last three years, boring long term readers that I keep mentioning this – the good news is that 2023 is my last opportunity to mention this, as by the time I reach year ten, my daughters will be 6 and 4.

Also, I’ve held eight jobs during this time – perhaps this proves the point I get bored quick.

My favourite post

Your personal favourite post isn’t always your readers favourite post, and it certainly has no chance of gaining traction through a Google search.

It can be frustrating your favourite post doesn’t always get the attention and adulation you’d like, but like a band that has a personal-meaningful song that the record label insist goes on the B-side you have to respect it’s your hidden little gem, in the hope that one day it’s true brightness will be appreciated.

So I’ll use this as an opportunity to reshare this post I love so much:

How The Wright Brothers Found Success Against All Odds

Closing musings

This year I turn forty.

Everything I wanted when I was 18, I’ve now achieved.

Most of that was done in the nine years I’ve been writing this blog, and – yes I don’t think it’s a coincidence.

The bulk of my interesting stories from my life that I want to tell, I’ve already written, and some days this makes me wonder how much more I have left to give.

But other times, I feel I’ve been doing this so long, it’s just a natural habit, like getting out of bed in the morning, and the only way I’ll stop is when I meet my certain fate.

Where was I going with this?

I never intended to close this post on such a downer – I always like to have all my posts offer a glimmer of hope, and why I sign off “Wishing you the best in your success”

But who knows what the future of my blogging venture will hold, but what I do know is how I’ll continue to face all challenges in my life – consistent action done one day at a time.

Wishing you the best in your success,

James @Perfect Manifesto

Copyright © 2023 James M.Lane perfectmanifesto.com


11 thoughts on “Nine Years Ago Today, My Life Changed Forever…

  1. Congratulations on the upcoming milestone, James. I’m just 12 days behind you. I had no idea we started blogging in the same month in the same year.

    The most important thing about blogging is continuing to enjoy it. I’ve witnessed too many bloggers come and go when they don’t get the results they want.

    I’m not sure why WordPress stopped sending the milestone notifications. I’ve rarely had any from them, but maybe I’m not looking in the right place.

    As for the trolls, I totally agree with you on how to get rid of them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Hugh – yes it’s funny these coincidences happen, we must have both been inspired that new year to start blogging 🙂

      Enjoyment is key – I’ve read a few bloggers who don’t sound like they enjoy it, though they tend not to be blogging at the end of the first year.

      I received my milestone notification, but it came late in the day after the post was already scheduled (though I was certain the milestone tied to the date you registered the blog rather than the first post)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations on your milestone! Bravo! I’ve been very fortunate not to have attracted trolls, (knock on wood!) Keep going!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Tamara – yeah I get the occassional stupid comment, but I don’t ignore these. The one who takes issue with something you say and won’t let up are the worrying ones, as you think if they’re willing to stalk you across social media, what else will they do to find more information about your life.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree, those types are the scary ones. I’ve had some trolls say stupid or unkind things to me on social media, and I just send laughing emojis and write “LOL!” for they don’t enjoy or stick around to deliver more of their vitriol when we don’t engage with them.

        I’m not sure if they do that because I’m a woman, and “not worthy” of them pursuing to try to “win”, and if it isn’t some kind of extremely toxic macho thing they do with you, since as a male you challenge them to fight the “rutting male elk antler fight” with them.


    1. Thank you – no worries, I have a few useful posts:

      Advice on starting a blog:

      How to write a 1000 word post with a simple framework:

      Why you should write an About me page, and how to write a good one:

      Overcoming writers block:

      Best wishes,


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