Normally when words happen on this site, they come from the editorial ‘we’. For those of you not familiar, the editorial ‘we’ is a trick us writists use to make our words have a bit more clout. It makes us sound a bit bigger than we are. That’s why, for this post, we… sorry, I, am going to drop it.
So why am I dropping the ‘we’ for this post? Well, mainly because it’s going to be a gushing torrent of words in which I thank you lot. And why am I thanking you lot? Because I won an award, that’s why. And it was a pretty big award. Yep, what you’re reading here is officially the best automotive blog in the UK. As for voted for initially by you lot, and then by the panel of judges behind the UK Blog Awards. It is, if I may say so, a pretty big deal. At least it is to me.
I set this site up nearly ten years ago on Blogger. The reason for doing so was simple – I wanted to save my love for writing. At the time I was Features Editor on Retro Ford magazine and at the time, I was sick of it. I know, nice problem to have and all that. But I was. There are only so many ways you can glue some words together in a bid to tell a story about someone called Gary with a Mk1 Escort. Don’t get me wrong, some of the cars were thrilling to write about. Some, not so much. GAZ Golds, Minitlites, roll cage, a load of Burton Power bits and a crossflow or Pinto on 45s. Yawn.
So there I was, losing the will to write. I needed to do something where I could write for the sake of writing. To write what I enjoy and from a content point of view, what I could control. I did ponder becoming a supercar vlogger, but then I realised I was an adult, not a twat. So I started furiously bashing words out about cheap cars. But not any old cheap car. I wanted to explore what a meagre budget could get you if you really pushed it, and if you were willing to take a gamble. Not £2 Grand was born. And wouldn’t you know it, people liked it.
Since then, this site has always been there. Sometimes it went largely neglected, other times there would be a flurry of activity. But it didn’t matter, as it was only really there to kick my writer’s block the heave ho.
But then it got to be more than that. It grew a following. I’d meet people at car shows and the like and they would speak to me about this site before they would my actual job as a motoring writer. Even as my work changed and I did more exciting things, people still wanted to know about and read the site. It was somewhat overwhelming.
Then it all went a bit wrong. Mental health got in the way, and let me tell you, that’s something of an nondiscriminatory bastard. It took me out. Very nearly permanently. It did put me in a hospital with locked windows for a month, but it didn’t win. It also, while in said hospital, gave me time to think. I’d lost my job, so I was coming out to nothing. As such, I decided once again that this little site would be my salvation, and it was.
I got out of hospital and with the right motivation and medication, I had it on me to tackle it. I optimised every post for SEO, I added content on a daily basis, I made it better. Then my partner in crime, Mike Mason (to whom I am grateful on a daily basis), did his techy stuff and made the site look wonderful. Honestly, without him, this site would be akin to that one Homer made with the dancing Jesuses and flying toasters. Techy I am not.
And then, a couple of weeks ago in London, I found myself with my arms in the air, walking down a red carpet in front of hundreds of people at the UK Blog Awards, to collect my award for being the best individual (ie not a business) blog in the UK. Incredible scenes. Look…
It still hasn’t really sunk in. It my silly little site. But now it’s my award-winning silly little site. But it’s not me who has done that, it’s you. Your constant support, your enthusiasm for all that I’m trying do, you’ve all been there every step of the way, and that’s really very humbling indeed. I entered an award ceremony, and I won it. I decided I wanted to make a car show based around the site concept, I put it out on Kickstarter, and you made it a reality. It’s all you. So yeah, thank you.
This site is more than a blog, it’s more than a silly little thing. Our, sorry, my, traffic is growing daily, there’s talk of some decent level sponsorship, we’re making a bloody big thing. Who knows where it will go? Whatever happens though, I’m honoured. Actually, no, dumbfounded, actually. But in the best possible way.
So yeah, I didn’t win an award, you did. You made that happen, you encouraged me and pushed me and gave me something truly special. So yeah, thanks. You’re all awesome.