The past 12 months rank among the most unusual I’ve experienced during the eight years my site, BobMcCarty.com, has been online.
This January 2014 photo shows Butters, my office assistant, looking into his porcelain bowl in an effort to predict how the year might turn out. He would have used a crystal ball, but he didn’t own one when this photo was taken and he doesn’t own one now.
The year began innocently enough with yours truly, accompanied by my wife and our two youngest sons, jetting across “the pond” for the wedding of my oldest son to a beautiful young lady from England whom he met at college in South Carolina and would later whisk to the other side of the world for their first post-nuptials jobs.
Because of the wedding commitment, I was unable to travel to Orlando to accept the 2013 Professor James L. Chapman Award for Excellence in person from the National Association of Computer Voice Stress Analysts, so I sent this video acceptance speech in my place.
A serious personnel issue surfaced soon after my return from England. Butters, my four-legged office assistant, threatened me with “clawsuits” if I didn’t improve his working conditions. He seemed to calm down after I installed a new “cubicle” for him and after I agreed to replace it with newer mail-order models several times during the remainder of the year. And I did.
After satisfying the cat, I received good news about a dog — more accurately, an underdog. I learned the first of three arrests had been made in connection with the 2006 murder of 18-year-old Jarret Clark of Broken Arrow, Okla. The news was satisfying, because it appears it will bring closure to those close to the case about which I had kept details (i.e., guest writer Carrie Fatigante’s six-part series about his murder, Whatever Happened to Jarret Clark?) posted online for more than four years.
During the next several months, strange things — think Sony and North Korea — began happening at BobMcCarty.com. As a result, I lost the vast majority of my site’s content — more than 5,000 posts written and published during almost eight years online. As a result, I found myself facing the prospect of starting over from scratch. For now, I thank that I’m using a reliable and fast web host now, but I’ll still never get those old posts back.
Without getting into the oh-so-painful details which I’m not willing to share, I posted this message:
As I approach the eighth anniversary of my online presence, I’ve decided to change directions in a substantial way — that is, I’m moving away from writing on a daily basis on these pages. It is never too late to start working on your online presense, especially if it can be as simple as checking out something like im Social Media Market Shop for some assistance. No one said growing your online following will be easy, but with potential solutions like this, it may not be as tough as you initially thought.
In addition to losing content, my site — which once ranked #82 on the list of top conservative websites and generated more than 55,000 visits per month by more than 31,000 unique visitors per month — tumbled into relative obscurity in terms of site traffic as measured by Alexa. FYI: On this playing field, much like in golf, a lower score is a better.
Among the small handful of people with whom I shared specifics about the site’s mad-made issues, some suggested I call out those many suspected were responsible. Though I was tempted to point the blame at Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr., the nation’s top intelligence official whose face and name appear on the cover of my second nonfiction book, The Clapper Memo (May 2013), I had two reasons to opt otherwise: first, I could not pinpoint him with certainty; and, second, I lacked a forum for doing it effectively. Therefore, I abandoned the approach described in the blue-highlighted paragraph above and focused on returning the site to its former glory. The fact that the site had suffered no serious issues after moving to the new hosting company gave me reason for hope.
To reach my former-glory objective while also finishing work on my third book and first crime-fiction novel, The National Bet (November 2014), I divided my time between writing books and writing posts, with much more time going to the former than the latter. As a result, I tried to be more selective in choosing non-book subjects about which to write, and I tried to provide unique and exclusive stories, including several related to the Oklahoma City Bombing Trial still going on in Salt Lake City.
Writing novels is a huge past-time of mine, but getting published is not always easy and so I am always intrigued to hear from other writers about how they got their start. Do you have a passion for writing? Perhaps you have already written a novel that you believe deserves a wide audience? Check out this Massive guide on getting published. No matter what position you are in as a writer, there are always going to be steps you can take to improve your chances of getting published.
In many of my posts, I tried to “kill two birds with one stone” by connecting the dots between current news and the subject matter of my first two nonfiction novels, Three Days In August (October 2011) and The Clapper Memo (May 2013). Hopefully, the stories didn’t come across as sales pitches. Occasionally, I shared excerpts from my books.
Apart from writing, I made a handful of talking-head appearances, appearing on several popular radio and television broadcasts, including: Coast to Coast AM with George Noory in March; The Scott Horton Show in July; NewsmaxTV‘s America’s Forum in August; Freedom 560 with Ken Clark in September; The Andrea Shea-King Show in November; and The Scott Horton Show again earlier this month.
By the time this year ends, I will have whittled away at my former-glory objective while also selling a few — but not nearly enough — books.
If you’re wondering what 2015 holds in store for me, I can give you a few hints.
Next month, I travel to Orlando for three days to speak before a gathering of investigative professionals from across the country, most of whom work in law enforcement. Upon my return, I’ll host a Los Angeles-based film crew that’s coming to the St. Louis area to interview me about my second book, The Clapper Memo, for a documentary. Though I’m not at liberty to reveal the name of the outlet involved, my three sons agree that my “cool factor” will skyrocket after the documentary is made public — sometime in February.
Beyond writing, speaking and interviews, I expect to finish writing at least one new book — and possibly two — this year. Hope you’ll buy ’em when they hit the market!
FYI: For those of you who wonder about such things, my site’s traffic has climbed considerably during the past 12 months, but still has a long way to go. As a result, I depend heavily upon word of mouth as well as Facebook, Twitter and other social media to help me get the word out about this site and about my books so that I can pay the bills. Thanks in advance for buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same! To learn how to order signed copies, click here.
Click on image above to order Bob’s books.