Where has the year gone? This week marks Badge415’s first anniversary.
It was August 8, 2014 when I published “The Badge” as the first blog post. Since then there have been 105 other blog posts. It’s hard to believe there have been that many.
I can’t claim credit for the blog and Facebook page though. That credit goes to an old high school friend (@sheanaochoa on Twitter and Sheana Ochoa on Facebook). A little over a year ago, I asked her for advice about getting a book published. It was a phone call that changed everything.
The first question she asked was, “What is your writer’s platform?”
I had no idea what she was talking about. It was like she was speaking a different language to me.
“You need a blog,” she said.
Sheana told me to start writing a blog and people would follow me. I couldn’t imagine writing a blog. That was something other people did. Who want would read my stuff?
That phone call left me with more questions than answers. Part of me didn’t want to write a blog. I couldn’t imagine putting myself out there for all to see. That was as crazy as trying to teach a high school French class. Since I don’t speak French, that would be pretty crazy.
For the next two weeks, I did a ton of research and learned a lot about blogs and writer’s platforms. It was amazing how much information was out there.
Two weeks later, the day came when it was time to launch the blog and the Facebook page. There was a lot of apprehension on my part. The biggest worry was, “What are my friends going to think?”
When it was time, I hit the “publish” button and there was no turning back. The first blog post was out there for all to see, to criticize and to talk about. I wondered if anyone was going to read it. I wondered if anyone was going to care. And finally, I wondered if it was worth it.
A funny thing happened. People started following the blog. Within the second week there were over 500 Facebook likes thanks to the FB page 911- Injured in the line of duty . It was amazing and shocking at the same time.
Since then, I’ve received a lot of positive feedback about the blog. Some of the best feedback has come from fellow officers and non-sworn employees at work.
The subject of the blog comes up all the time on calls. People sometimes ask if the particular call we’re on will make the blog. Others say they’re waiting for the next blog post to come out. Sometimes cops will say they have a blog story for me from something that happened to them. That type of feedback tells me I’m doing something right and I appreciate it.
One of the best comments I got was in the locker room at the end of shift about a month ago. One of the officers said, “My mom loves reading your blog.” That made my day.
Since that first post, the Facebook page has grown to over 1,300 likes and the new Twitter page, @Badge415 has almost 800 followers. The website Behind the Badge OC has also featured some of my blog stories.
Badge415 also won “Best Lifestyle Blog” by the Orange County Press Club for 2014.
And finally, one of the best compliments was from my kids, who like reading the blog also. What else can you ask for?
Thanks again to everyone who has followed the blog. Your support is appreciated.
Stay safe out there.