Nathan Hancock’s blogging hobby took an unexpected turn on Nov. 20, 2013 when his post “25 things I’ll tell my wife” went viral and, in turn, introduced him to a life of “Internet fame.”
The post has been read by millions of readers in more than 100 countries.
The Georgia State senior has been blogging since he started his WordPress blog in a history class two years ago.
“The first post was life laws…principles to live by. I got a response by like four people. They said, ‘That’s awesome, thanks for sharing.’ And I thought, Oh, that’s cool.”
In the two years Hancock has had his blog, he has written posts about his own pet peeves, lessons in love, personal musings and general advice.
“It’s never really gotten traction, not that I expected it to,” he said.
Not until recently.
Hancock wrote a blog post a couple weeks ago titled, “25 things I’ll tell my son,” which was viewed by the same amount as most of his previous posts.
After debuting that first post in what he didn’t yet know would end up being a series of three, his friend with a child told him she’d be interested to read what he would to say to his daughter.
“It was hard, but I gave it a shot anyway. That was the one that got everybody saying, ‘Wow, this is awesome. Daughters everywhere need to hear this,’ or ‘I wish I would have heard this from my dad.’”
The post exceeded 20,000 views.
“It turned into a warning for her to avoid people like I used to be,” Hancock said.
Nobody asked him to write the third, final part of the series, “25 things I will tell my wife,” but he felt inspired to do it.
“That’s the one that really took off. Everybody was sharing it, tweeting it…and that’s all still going on,” Hancock said.
The post has over ten million views in more than 100 countries and Hancock has gained hundreds of followers across multiple social media platforms. Hancock said that some Georgia State students have stopped him to take a photo in the courtyard, saying, “Wait, you’re that guy who blogged about your future wife, right?”
The post starts off with him explaining that his parents divorced when he was just two years old, and that they’ve each been married three times. He said that this could be seen as unfortunate, but instead, he sees it as a blessing.
“I get to start blank and be my own author without precedent,” it reads.
The remainder of the post consists of 25 vows, promises, reminders and bits of advice, in numbered format. “I’ll date you forever”; “I’ll be amazed at the mother you become”; “Expect flowers”; and “Your value is not found in me” are some of the points he makes and expands upon.
Hancock has been recognized while eating in restaurants throughout Atlanta and has even had people write him personal thank you letters for what he has unknowingly changed in their lives.
“People have reached out to me saying ‘thanks for raising my standards,’ ‘thanks for making me break up with my boyfriend who was mistreating me,’ ‘thank you for giving hopeless romantics everywhere hope that there are people like you,’” he said.
Ryan Prisco, a junior at Georgia College in Milledgeville, saw the blog post via a friend sharing it on Facebook. After Prisco read it, he felt inclined to send it to his own girlfriend.
“When I read it, I thought that he did a great job putting into words exactly how I feel. I had to send it to [her] because I wanted her to see all the things I wanted to do for her.”
Hancock’s inspiration to write “25 things I’ll tell my wife” was found within all the girls he’s ever met, including best friends, acquaintances and past dates alike. He said he has listened to a lot of complaining and grieving over the years from his girl friends and was really able to benefit from it.
“I have to credit everyone else I know. I envisioned any number of people when I was writing…I don’t think any one person inspired me. I thought of every girl I know…that’s where I gleamed most of it off of.”
Hancock has enjoyed writing for as long as he can remember, but said he’s never had an outlet to do it besides class. His motivation for blogging is his need to write thoughts down.
“I wrote the kid and wife posts originally so that I could go back to them later when I have these people in my life. But now that it’s helped so many different people. It’s awesome, but at the same time, there’s a lot of pressure that goes with that, too. Any date that I go on from now until ever, somebody’s going to be like, ‘Oh, well that’s that guy, right? So this is how he treats you, right?’ They’re going to know all my secrets, all my go-to’s. And I mean that’s fine. Because it also holds me accountable.”
Hancock isn’t sure what his next move is, but he plans to continue posting on his blog. He has written a couple of posts following the one that went viral. They did not get near the attention that his previous post did.
While he wrote for himself at first, he now plans to find a balance between writing for himself and helping others via his blog.
“I’m worried about how I can sustain this. How I can parlay all this into something bigger that would be more long term?”
Hancock is a PR major and knows he wants a career in writing. He ultimately sees himself as a writer on a show like Jay Leno, Ellen DeGeneres or Conan O’Brien, but hasn’t decided whether he wants his writing to be “soft and strong, or fascinating and funny.”
As glad as he is to be an agent for change, he said he wishes he didn’t have to be. “I think it’s a damn shame that I’ve gone viral. I think it’s stupid. The fact that more people aren’t thinking like this…the fact that what I do and how I think and how I carry myself is not normal…that’s unsettling to me. My primary goal would be to curb that.”
Read his blog at: nathanpaulhancock.wordpress.com