Undiscovered Update: How are we doing?

It’s now been nearly 3 months, about 13 weeks, since I started the blog here, and I thought I’d share an update of where we’ve been so far.

When the blog began, I had just started the rewrite process on this short story that had been languishing on my harddrive for some two years.  Yesterday I blogged about some of the feedback I’ve gotten.  I could still use a little more, but that was a huge step in the right direction for me. 

Along the way, I’ve put up 80 posts, and I’ve written about my writing process, the industry, my classes, and even my job and my family.  Most of those posts are over 250 words, which is well over the 250-words-per-week minimum that I promised myself I would do.  Enough so that I feel comfortable expanding my promised weekly target, just a little to 750 words per week, minimum.  I’ve still written in excess of that pretty much every week, but I want to save myself a little potential anxiety once projects start coming due and finals are on the horizon.  (Until I’m out of Grad School, time is never a certain factor.)

Traffic on the blog has been a sort of rollercoaster.  It began off very low and slow, with 3 hits on my first full week, going to 19 on the second and dropping to 5 on the third.  It was back up to 21 on the fourth week, but then something crazy happened: on the fifth week, I shot to 111 hits.  Looking back, that was the week I first announced my blog on my Facebook, so I got a number of hits from Facebook friends who were curious.  The sixth week I dropped to 70 hits, and it’s stayed around that level ever since: 60, 77, 69, 57, 73, and 75.  As I write, this week is on track to wrack up a similar number of hits. 

So, there’s been a small amount of growth since my first few weeks, but not much since then.  I’ve had a few hits here and there from other curious folks who followed me back from comments I left on other blogs, but there’s not really enough going on here to hold anyone’s interest in the long term, yet.  If I’m going to be successful in this endeavour, however, I’m going to have to change that. 

At this point, I’m uncertain how I’ll accomplish that.  Frankly, I’m not well-versed in the ways of Search Engine Optimization, or other techniques to drive traffic to your blog.  And I don’t want meaningless, one-time accidental traffic, anyway.  (A fair number of the hits I get, oddly, are to my post on that night we came home to a strange smell in our house, and later discovered a leak in our pipes.  You’d be surprised how often people google with questions about “gas leaks” or “septic leaks”, but WordPress’s stats tell me those are some of the top search terms for finding my blog.)  I remain hopeful that I’ll slowly build a pretty decent core of readers that come back here week after week because they like my writing.

Related to that, though, is the fact that so far the only example of my writing here is the blog itself (and one little Haiku I wrote for my wife on Valentine’s Day).  I consider msyelf a fantasy (and to a lesser degree, science fiction) writer, yet I have virtually no examples of my fantasy or science fiction writing here on this site.  Granted, that’s party because I’ve used all my available writing time to try to write this short story that I’m hoping to get professionally published.  I haven’t had time to put up any free or short bits here on this site.  In time, I hope to change that, but please bear with me.  Mission one is to improve my writing to such a degree that it’s actually worth reading, and is enjoyable.

Anyway, that’s where we stand, here at the Undiscovered Author.  From time to time I’ll share similar updates with how things have progressed, behind-the-scenes-like, here.

Thanks for reading, and happy writing.