Today marks six months since this site went live and I formally joined the blogging community — and what a six months it has been! In that time, I’ve met some really interesting people, had some great discussions, and been fortunate enough to enjoy insights from people that I would never have met without the blog. It’s quite a thrill to get an email from a brand or a retailer and have them bounce ideas off you or share some of an insider’s perspective on the market. While I have a policy of maintaining the anonymity of contributors and won’t name them, I am truly grateful for everyone who has taken the time to email me and share their thoughts and ideas.
In the beginning, I wondered if there even was an audience for a blog focussed on two quite nerdy domains, and how I would be able to attract them. My worries were ill-founded; last month, the blog attracted more than 10,000 page views and I’m closing in on 500 RSS subscribers. I have no idea how these numbers compare with other sites but it’s clear that the demand for this kind of content is far greater than I imagined. Obviously, this would not have been possible without the support of other bloggers who have generously linked to me, and I’m immensely grateful to them for that.
Although there never seems to be enough time to get the posts perfect, I am proud of what I’ve put together on this site and am exceedingly glad that so many people have chosen to visit and read the blog posts so regularly. I’m also glad that the feedback has been so strongly positive; indeed, I can only recall two emails that have been even vaguely critical, one focussed on grammar (of all things) and the other from an ineptly-relaunched brand. Most feedback has been to say that people appreciate how different this blog is to the rest of the FP community, something that makes me feel quite proud.
My favourite post was the recent one on Fountain Pen Aesthetics. Despite its monster size, hundreds of people have read the post and a few sent exceedingly complimentary emails that have brought a smile to my face. Interestingly, the attrition rate — the number of website readers who dropped off between Part 1 and Part 5 — was far lower than I expected, with about half sticking with it. This suggests to me that there is an appetite out there for long-form posts on FPs, something reinforced by the increase in reader numbers when I shifted from shorter posts (500-1000 word) twice-weekly, to longer posts (1500-2000) once a week. We all have thoughts and ideas about FPs that can’t be expressed in a 100-200 word post, and I’d love for more bloggers to start exploring how they can communicate their thoughts in depth.
Finally, I’d like to thank two people in particular who have contributed enormously to this blog: Michael Rosen (/u/TheBrimic) and Brian Anderson (of Anderson Pens). Both have consistently offered plenty of feedback and support over the last six months and I’m incredibly grateful to both of them.
While it’s impossible to say what the future holds for me or the blog, I can say the last six months have been thrilling and hugely satisfying, and I’m excited to see what the next six months hold in store.