2018 is going to be a big year for Write with Phil, so I wanted to share some of my plans with you all. It’s fair to say that 2017 was very much an experimental year for the blog and now that everything is up and running (and, if feedback from readers is to be believed, looking good) I’m going to concentrate on a few targets for the new year.
This is a bit of a self-indulgent post, but as I mentioned in my resolution setting post, it’s important to share these insights and review the year.
2017 in review
Before I do that, though, I want to look back over the successes of 2017. Although I’ve had a blog of some form for a few years, last year was the first one where I managed to keep to a posting calendar and really focus the blog down. I was also able to push forward with some aspects of my writing, but not all of them. So, I think it’s a great idea to separate the two of them out.
2017: Write with Phil
My top three posts this year were:
- Why you need a writing routine: and how to create one: This one was helped by a flurry of StumbleUpon likes. In hindsight, it came a little too soon for me to capitalise on the increase traffic – I didn’t have a marketing list at the time and my sign up options were hidden around the site. I’m going to look at the title to that post, and see what I can learn for the new year.
- Should I buy Scrivener? A Scrivener review: perhaps driven by some more social media posts, this one is also the most reached through organic searches as well. This has got to be due to the popularity of the writing software.
- Writing advice: what’s the best you’ve ever heard? Helped again by using another blog’s facebook page to ask the question that became the title of the post, this was the first post that pushed my readership into triple figures. However, very few readers have returned (unless I post again in the group). Somehow I need to create something that’s going to keep people coming back.
So what do the posts above tell me? Firstly, that I am still dependent on social media referrals, and haven’t built up a following for the blog itself at the moment. I’ve been using some of the tips on SPI to optimise my site to build followers and my marketing list. The more people I can reach, the more I can help. Secondly, that I’m not a ‘one trick pony’ with one post or type of post that does much better than others. That’s really good, as it reinforces the variety of posts that I’ve been trying to have on the site. It shows, at this early stage, that readers wants lots of different things from the site.
I’m starting to see my organic search engine traffic increase as well. It might not be huge numbers at the moment, but I’m seeing some rewards from using Yoast to help boost my SEO.
Looking back at my posting schedule, I’ve been hitting the posting schedule every week, and this is something that I want to continue with.and will be using some of my own productivity tips to keep a good balance. As you would hope, I was able to schedule my time so that I could hit NanoWriMo targets despite the posting schedule.
2017: My writing
I’ve not completed a whole lot this year (I’m definitely guilty of looking at new projects before finishing existing ones). What I did do, though, was create a couple of really high quality pieces.
The Unjudged (Battle for Cromer): My first novel is short, but action packed. I started it during NanoWriMo 2016, and finished the edits in August. It’s been with an editor since October, and I’m hoping to get it online in the new year.
Sleeping Beauty: This was a power write! I had 6 weeks to put together a script for my local theatre group before rehearsals started at the end of September. The show will be presented at the end of January and once it has been presented I’m going to tidy up the script and get a sample online, on my plays page.
The Head of the Beast: My NanoWriMo 2017 winner reached the 50,000 words and then rather ground to a halt after November ended. I have used the time to really think about the story and how I want to tell it. It might mean starting over, but I love the underlying story, and will get this finished in the new year.
Looking forward to 2018
2018: Write with Phil
The plan for WWP has three main arms:
- More great content.
- More guest authors
- Increase readership.
I’m a believer that you can only have one priority in each part of your life. Therefore I’ve made the blog my 2018 priority. The first is easier to do than the later. I have content planned for most of January, including another author interview and some really cool ideas around planning and realising those plans that I’m eager to share with people. I’m definitely going to get some more author interviews on the site, so if you write your own books, do get in touch with me here.
TARGET: Continue posting schedule, at least once a week.
Guest authors will hopefully start appearing on the blog over the next few months. There’s a couple of reasons I want to get guests involved. Firstly, and I’m being really honest here, it’s less work for me! Secondly, by getting some other voices on the blog I hope that I’ll be able to widen the sources available to the reader, which in turn will widen the appeal of the blog (see below).
TARGET: 10 guest posts on Write with Phil in 2018.
The third plan, increasing readership, is going to more difficult. I’m not sure that ‘write great content and they will come’ is working that well. So I’m going to look for opportunities to increase the exposure of Write with Phil by writing guest posts on other blogs now and then, which will hopefully drive a little traffic. If you have a blog that you would like me to write a post for, get in touch here.
TARGET: Write 10 guest posts for other blogs.
2018: My writing
Like loads of writers, I’ve got a lot of scripts and stories sitting on a computer mostly finished. They are all in need of polishing though. So, I have started getting them finished and polished and online (increasing my ‘about Phil’ section. Once I have a strong keeping an eye out for competitions and, where relevent, getting them entered in competitions and submitted to agents. I’ll be writing a post about that in the new year, so keep an eye out.
The head of the beast
I need to get this story finished early this year. I love the story, and the plans I have for the characters. So it’s on my to make it happen!
This, as warned at the beginning was a bit of a self-obsessed post. But this is the kind of stock take I do at the end of a year. I’m going to keep you updated (not too often) on how things are going on the above. But don’t worry, 2018 will see loads of more create advice and content on Write with Phil!