The first blog of every year is where I go over a few important points of my blog from the previous year. As usual, there have been a few ups and downs this past year, and despite starting off slowly, traffic to my site finished strong, for which I am pleased. In the first bit I go over some stats from my site in a general way: please stick with me!
I did a fair amount of blogging last year. I failed to blog every single week, but still managed to post to my blog in 47of 52 weeks last year, for a total of 48 posts. My highest traffic month was October: my lowest was November. My most visited post was “End of an Era” http://billbodden.com/2018/10/01/end-of-an-era/ in October, wherein I wrote about retiring from working retail at Pegasus Games after many years. That post also inspired a fair amount of commentary, both here and on my Facebook page. Second most visited was a post from spring of 2017, “What the Hell is Wrong With Gamers”, http://billbodden.com/2017/04/10/what-the-hell-is-wrong-with-gamers/ which people are still finding via Instagram and other external links.
I had over 3,800 hits to various posts of my blog last year. A bunch of those are the curious, who hit my home page, glance around, and leave. Without paying for the privilege, there isn’t really a way for me to view more detailed metrics on visits to my site. Nearly twice as many visitors come to my blog from Facebook as from all other venues combined, which doesn’t make me happy, though I’m still glad for the traffic. I plan to phase out my personal Facebook page later this year, probably replacing it with an author page. Second best at funneling traffic to this site was an assortment of various search engines, of which Google Search brought in 97% of that traffic.
My paying creative output for the year was a bit less successful. Only a single book that I worked on was published last year — Pan’s Guide for New Pioneers, for the Pugmire tabletop role-playing game — though the good news is that I already have several books in the hopper for 2019. I’ve even been paid already for one of them! I’ve found Community Content books — ebooks posted for sale that “play” in the sandbox of a given set of Intellectual Property — to be rewarding and fun. My first, Madison by Night https://www.storytellersvault.com/product/218710/Madison-by-Night?src=hottest_filtered&filters=0_45624_0_0_0_0&affiliate_id=234579 (for Vampire: the Masquerade) was fairly successful, so I’ll be doing a few more this year, for other games and settings. I’ll make an announcement as soon as they go live.
A first in my writing career was being a guest of honor at two different conventions this past year. The first, Meeplestock http://meeplestock.com/, a small but robust (and growing!) convention in Steven’s Point, Wisconsin, was held in June. The second was Great Falls Gaming Rendezvous http://gfgr.org/ in Montana in early October. I had a lot of fun at both events, and met many wonderful people: I hope to return to both events, but time and resources will determine how likely that will be. I am always open to appearing as a guest at conventions: I attend a few on my own already, but will be happy to consider others as my schedule allows.
I have many hopes for the coming year. First, that I’ll be able to gradually transition away from dependence on Facebook to bring people to my blog. To that end, I’d like to remind readers to please sign up to receive email notifications whenever a new post goes live – that’s usually only once a week. Signing up takes about a minute, and there’s usually a box to click on any given page of my blog to make things easy. Second, I hope to have more writing work out there next year, especially fiction. Since the development stage of fiction is much longer than for gaming, that’s unlikely to happen in 2019, but I hope to have more good news in that area sooner rather than later.
Happy New Year!