Goodbye 2017 – Happy New Year

In Personal Stuff, Writing Updates by R. Brady FrostLeave a Comment

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As 2017 comes to an end...

This year has gone by so fast. You know, I said that about 2016, too. At the risk of getting a little deep, maybe it has something to do with getting older. Each year I look back at the things I hoped to accomplish, and while I have worked hard, spent time with my family, and pushed myself to achieve my dreams... there never seems to be quite enough time.

Still, 2017 was a productive year for me. I've spent more time writing this year than any other I can remember. And while I still don't have a finished novel under my belt, I have learned so much! I'm currently working through my final rewrites and polish for Final Hope. Then it's on to Distant Worlds and Vixen's Run.

If everything goes according to plan, 2018 will be the year that all three of these books see publication. It's going to be very exciting!

So much work yet to do...

Even as I look eagerly toward the future, I realize that I've still got my hands full. With a good portion of Distant Worlds drafted out, I need to rewrite several chapters and put together the rest of the novel. Then Vixen's Run will be a complete from-scratch project. I've learned a lot about process, though. So I will approach it a little differently than the others...

...with a good outline!

Another thing I'd like to see in 2018 is better traffic here on my site. But there-in lies a quandary. Call me crazy, but I think most increases will be linked with my publication cycle rather than the frequency of my blog posts. Here's why:

Rather than focusing on SEO or blog hopping, or any other such promotional tools, I'll be spending my time focusing on my fiction writing. I do plan on posting somewhat often, but I won't be playing toward search algorithms.

I mean, how to you write a chapter to rank for SEO? How do you attract new readers without falling down the rabbit hole? I'm sure it's somehow possible, but with a full time job, five kids, and a dream of becoming a recognized author, I have to prioritize!

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I included a screen-grab of my last seven days of web traffic for the site. It isn't impressive. In fact, I'm sure some of those hits are from automated web crawlers and some might have come from me as I've tested different elements on different devices.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, What is Platform, I'm not necessarily looking to attract other writers to this blog. I'm not offering writing advice. I'm just chronicling my journey and sharing my writing. As long as other writers are also readers, they'll probably enjoy the stuff I'm going to be posting about. In the past, other writers were my primary focus for networking.

It's a common mistake I think a lot of new writers make. And for good reason, honestly.

Attracting people to your blog or site, no matter what topic you're covering, is a complicated process of building connections and backlinks. Basically, getting people to link to your site or blog content in a way that tells search engines you've got some credibility. Common ways of doing this include writing guest posts or getting other bloggers to include your site in their list of favorite bloggers or resources.

Back in the day, this certainly came with a bit of quid-pro-quo, a little tit-for-tat, as it were. While I do have a couple archived guest posts to add to the site from its previous incarnation, hosting or writing guest posts isn't really on my radar right now. It's not that I'm suddenly opposed to it, I've just got my targets set on other things for the time being. I've also come to realize that any advice or insights I might have to give will be much better received once I've proven myself.

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As you can see from the screen-grab I posted above, my largest source of traffic to this site is from a template I published for other WGU students. Re-posting this was something I struggled with when I started my redesign. It isn't exactly the traffic I was hoping for, but this template has helped a lot of other students become graduates. It's something I'm proud of and an artifact of my journey toward completing my graduate degree, something I did back in 2013. It isn't for the traffic. It's to give back. From what I can tell, those visitors don't usually stick around much. So it doesn't translate into visibility for my writing, but that's okay.

All of this to say, the only way for me to build credibility moving forward with my current writing plan is to gain links and followers naturally. That's going to be a slow, painful process if I focus on it.

No. I think I'll stick to writing my stories for now. With the ever-changing landscape of social media and SEO ranking, it seems like a much better use of my time.

Bring on 2018!

My new year isn't filled with new resolutions. I've already got a plan, and I'm working toward it every day. Whether I'm writing, rewriting, editing, or just thinking about writing and planning new stories I'd like to write, every day is a step forward. The only reason I feel 2018 is going to be great is because of all the work that's lead up to it.

Leave a comment below and tell me about your plans in 2018 and what you'd like to see more of here on www.rbradyfrost.com!

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