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Archive for the ‘monetizing’ Category

Back in September I changed my host/server arrangement and moved the blog from Word Press hosting to self-hosting on the Rim Worlds website. I did so for a couple of reasons – first, because I was being hosted as a guest and couldn’t get a real good look at my stats and secondly because I wanted greater control over what I could do.

I then started experimenting with affiliate advertising – Adsense, Amazon and Ebay to be specific.

I’ve earned a bit of money with Google, but sadly I’m unable to retrieve those earnings because Google seems to think that it must be illegal to receive mail at a PO Box. I’ve gone round and round and round with them – they’re difficult to talk to, they put as many roadblocks in your way as possible and they seem to (deliberately) misunderstand the nature of your questions or statements.

I’ve given up on them and as far as I’m concerned they can keep the money I earned (something I think was planned on their part anyway).

Ebay hasn’t generated any revenue at all. I’m not sure exactly why – perhaps the fleeting nature of the auctions, perhaps my utilization scheme was flawed, but I’m dropping that as well.

Amazone – same deal as Ebay – but I’m working on a bunch of listmainia lists that might give that effort a boost.

And here’s why. I finally got around to looking at my website’s traffic analysis and stats and I was a bit surprised to say the least. I’m see somewhere between 600 and 800 unique visitors a day, that number is increasing by between 14 and 20 percent per month and my ‘page views’ are up to over 120,000 in just four months.

Now I know that this level of traffic doesn’t hold a candle to portal sites – but I don’t think its all that bad for a site devoted to a very narrow niche – classic science fiction.

So I’ve decided to go back to my original plan of directly soliciting ads from specific companies – companies that sell and or market product that might be of interest to something like 20,000 old and graying science fiction fans.

I’m also flirting with the idea of a tip jar (5 bucks a month from 1% of those visitors would be a nice boost) and/or checking out Project Wonderful, which is an affiliate system, but they seem to have a bit more on the ball than Google does.

In the meantime I’m conducting another experiment; I’ve place an advertisement for two friends who operate small presses on my front page – and I’ve asked them to try and keep an eye on things and see if they get any bumps from my site. I’m asking anyone who does click on those ads to let the publishers know that they are visiting from my site. In a month or so I expect we’ll all have some small idea of how effective an ad on my front page might be.

The two featured companies are Old Earth Books, Mike Walsh Propieter and Creative Guy Publishing, Pete S Allen, Editor. I’ve chosen to feature two offerings from each; all four books have been critically acclaimed and well received and, while they’re probably available elsewhere (like Amazon), I’m sure that everyone would appreciate it if you order them directly from the source.

In the meantime, if you think that it might be worth checking out my site for the placement of some targeted advertising, check out the page for my criteria, requirements and rates and/or get in touch.

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I recently signed up for the new beta of 42blips, a technorati-like ‘vote for your faves’ type community specifically for SF related blogs.

So go on over there and vote for me.

I’m now in the process of “claiming my blog” by pasting some invisible code into this post, per their instructions. 

If you can see the invisible code, then it’s not working.

This is all in support of the quest for more traffic and attracting advertisers.  Unlike my past successful efforts in this regard (a web site that sold ads directly to customers), I’m trying to learn all about the Google Adsense, Ebay & Amazon affiliate and other related programs.

I’m operating under a ‘specific niche’ model in that regard and trying to follow all of the rules and suggestions from people who claim success with that kind of thing.  Time will tell. 

I have earned some money already from Google – not enough to crow about, but it does indicate that at least a few people came to my site, read some content, clicked on an ad and actually purchased something. 

As I’ve pointed out to others when it comes to internet advertising, most of the metrics used for evaluation are pretty meaningless.  Number of impressions? Could be billions and matters not if no one buys.  Click thrus? Matters not unless someone buys.  Conversions? They only matter if the revenue compensates for all the previous expenses.  ROI is the only number that really counts.

Here’s what I mean.  You have two sites, each advertising for the same client.  One site has massive amounts of click thrus, and lots of purchases for low-cost, low margin items.  (The ad is attractive, the product not so much.)  The other site has far fewer click thrus and only a single purchase – for say, $100,000 worth of product. 

If you owned a car dealership, which salesperson are you going to keep?  The one who sold two thousand pine scented air fresheners last month, or the one who sold, for cash, two Hummers?  The first sales person could justifiably point to ‘thousands of sales’, could make a good case for future business, could point to steady sales and could easily denigrate the other’s ‘low sales volume’.  The second sales person could point to profit, total dollars and the lack of ‘stickiness’ on the part of the other’s customers.

If all you’re doing is looking at traffic and sales totals, you may be missing out on that opportunity to get that 100,000 sale.

SF Content of this post?  Ummm – 42Blips, duh.

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I’ve been working on my pulp magazine collection pages recently as an outgrowth of the updates to the Classic Science Fiction Channel’s shop pages (more on that in a moment).

One of my sources for pulp information has been Phil Stephensen-Payne’s excellent index.

Very quiety, Phil has been updating his image files and now has even more tasty pulp pics to offer. His pages are among the best visual indexes out there; the publication data can’t be beat either. If you haven’t visited yet, take a look and if it has been a while since your last visit, you owe yourself an update.

If you want to take a look at my compilation of the Vol 1, Num 1 issues of those pulps, visit my checklist page.  Be warned though.  There are some 340 magazine cover graphics (out of 376 total) on that page and it takes a bit to load.  That page is also graphically linked to individual image pics (in a larger format) and to what I term ‘title groups’.  For example – did you know that Air Wonder Stories got it on with Science Wonder Stories and begat Wonder Stories?  Which begat Thrilling Wonder? And that somewhere along the way a tomcat snuck into the mix, resulting in Startling Stories and Fantastic Story Quarterly? Or that a bizarre incestuous relationship occured that resulted in the mutant Startling Stories combined with Thrilling Wonder and Fantastic Story?  These and other bizarre tales of horrifying pulp relations can be found on my magazine pages.

If you’d just rather look at some nifty covers, check out my dream ‘magazine rack’. Just roll over a title for some info or click on it for a larger image.

(Please note that a few – very few – links on these pages are inactive.  I’m working on it, I’m working on it…) 

Meanwhile.  In my never-ending quest to put dollars in the wallet (while goofing off at the same time) I’ve been monetizing The Classic Science Fiction Channel.  As related earlier, I’ve chosen adsense and Ebay affiliates programs.  So far adsense is pretty close to the mark with relevant links.  I’ve got three weeks yet before I get to see if anyone is actually clicking on them.

I’ve got more hope for the targeted Ebay searches, even though they aren’t done yet.

Why you ask?  Because there are some 376 individual magazine titles to create searches for, that’s why.

Yes folks.  Rather than offer a generic search for ‘science fiction pulps’, I’m creating what will eventually result in 200+ individual keyword searches on Ebay, one for every science fiction and fantasy english-language magazine produced from 1926 to the present.

In some cases, titles are so similar that they have to be grouped together (sorry ’bout that) and no matter what I do, some inappropriate items are still showing up in the search results, but I’m pretty pleased with the results so far. 

I’ve gotten up to the Fs at this point and I’m trucking along.  I ought to be done by the end of the week unless some major interference arises.

Here’s why I think you might find these pages useful. Rather than plugging in your own searches, I’ve already done the work for you. Just his the shop page, find your desired title and click on it. Looking to fill in your collection of Amazing Stories?  One click.  Hoping someone is actually selling a copy of Brief Fantastic Tales? – in less than ten seconds I can tell you.

The best part is, you don’t pay anything extra if you win and bid. Ebay pays me for sending you there.  I did all the homework, all you have to do is find something you already want to buy.

I will be adding a few general searches, so if you just want to browse the pulps and maybe hunt for a bargain, you can do that to.

So now its back to the Fs.

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