Hardman’s Thoughts is four years old (technically it was on Monday, but I missed that!). Four isn’t seen as a significant birthday and won’t warrant mention on most sites, however, it feels like a major thing for me.
Four years ago I was lost at Uni, unsure what I was doing there and seeing my life fade into obscurity in front of my eyes. I knew I liked watching sport, I knew I had an insane amount of knowledge on sporting events and I had a feeling I’d be pretty good at writing about it.
Back then, Hardman’s Thoughts started as a side project for me – with most of my attention focussed on We Only Sing When We’re Winning. That blog meant a lot to me. It gave me experience at writing, showed me I shouldn’t be nervous about putting my opinions on the internet and led me down a path I’m only just beginning to explore.
WOSWWW got thousands of views because of an article Josh wrote, and through that we created a podcast. That podcast wouldn’t set the world alight, but it was fun to record and always something to look forward to on otherwise dreary Sunday nights.
When the whole blog started fading, others were created – but none have been as successful as Hardman’s Thoughts. HT is a drop in the ocean compared to what WOSWWW did with Josh’s article, but with very little publicity and even less know-how on WordPress or Social Media, I feel I’ve done fairly well.
In these four years, I’ve had 3,527 views, with 1,461 coming in the last year alone. I’m proud of that. It shows that my writing is interesting enough for people to click on, and even sometimes controversial enough to debate.
I was going to highlight my favourite articles, but since I’ve started this I’ve realised I actually can’t think of my favourite! I’m proud of a lot of them, but most lose relevance over time.
Furthermore, it’s insane to think that in those four years I’ve completed my masters. Firstly, that’s not something I would have considered when I set this up and secondly, definitely not one in Sports Journalism. It feels appropriate that ten days following the fourth birthday of my blog, I graduate.
So Happy Birthday Hardman’s Thoughts, and a massive thank you to everyone who has ever viewed, read or commented on this site. It stopped the boredom of a Physics degree, and then gave me confidence that I was as good as other people on my Sports Journalism course.
This is not the end. I see this as merely the beginning. I have huge plans for this space, not just carrying on what I do – but explore other journalistic areas and expand my influence.
So, here’s the crux of this post.
I’m going to set up a spot (once a month to start with) for guest blogs. Ideally, I’m looking for a 300-word article on something relatively controversial, preferably to do with sport. If that sounds like something you are interested in, please drop me a message on facebook or twitter. I’m dead excited to explore thoughts and opinions which are not just my own, but friends and family too. Who knows? Maybe we’ll even get a debate going!