ad-lib, week 1

Okay, so it hasn’t quite been a full week yet since I started my foray into advertising, but I have some interesting results to report on.

I got my first ad up and running at noon on Thursday, being the high bidder for an online comic that enjoys very high daily numbers, and immediately began to see a change in my own site views. Within a few hours, I saw a marked increase in my own stats.

Within twelve hours, my site views had increased by three hundred percent.

In twenty four hours, that average held, and some sales came through, as well.

By Saturday, I was holding steady with a daily improvement of three hundred percent per day unique page views, and a small handful of hard-copy sales. So I added another site, using the smaller banner ad, but had some difficulty being the high bidder. One site continually outbid me, and on both I had to wait for approval by the site owners.

By Sunday, I was high bidder on one other site for about three hours, then lost the space, but gained exposure on a third, which I then lost a few hours after that. Although I did notice a few hits coming in from those two sites, I found a fourth to bid on by Monday and have seen marked interest in click-throughs from them.

While mulling over the whole affair, I ran out of paid exposure on the original site but still have exposure on the fourth choice – my stats are holding, but I’m beginning to develop a strategy.

The two sites that gave me the most bang for my buck – resulting in dramatically increased readership and several hard copy sales – are one online webcomics. I’d been contemplating changing my plans, and trying to spend more money on a single, expensive-to-bid-for site hoping for a massive wallup over the course of, say, a day or two. It would cost minimum around $10-20 / day of exposure, so I could only afford a day or two on that experiment.

But I’m starting to think the less expensive, longer running ad space is more profitable, in the grand scheme of things.

My first, most productive ad has run out, so right now I only have a banner at one smaller online comic – I’m seeing results from them on par with those of the larger web comic, so I’m going to hold steady and let that ad run its course without adding another one to the mix, for at least the rest of this week.

I’m curious to find out if the new readers I’ve gained will stick around, hopefully add Midnight Reading to their regular visits, maybe tell a friend, etc. I’d like to see if my readership levels maintain at this higher number without running new ads, or if they begin to decline. With the premier of my latest novel, In The Time Of Dying, coming out in October, I’d like to see numbers high enough to spread the word and generate sales, or at the very least garner some new, weekly readers.

It’s very interesting, using Project Wonderful. I have to say it’s very easy to use, and well laid out. Took me a few minutes to really gain my footing there, and I’m still learning how best to utilize the auctions, but I’m getting the hang of it. Oddly enough, it’s a tiny little bit like playing the stocks – you find yourself checking numbers, predicting outcomes, spotting trends.

As you’d expect, the sites available that have the most viewership are also the most expensive to bid on, and no matter how high you do bid, you can still easily be outbid by someone more savvy. Once you place a bid, if you’re approved right away, you also find out right away if you were the high bidder. If not, you can change your bid, or just hang on and wait until the higher bid expires. I’m finding I get a lot of notices of being outbid, then instantly being the high bidder again – I believe that’s due to the maximum amount I have set – a new bidder might go above what I’m paying now, but then my maximum kicks in and I oust them.

Like I said, I’m still learning the ropes here, and collecting the data – but I can say without doubt that buying ad space, and using Project Wonderful to do it, is worth the time, effort and slight expense to anyone looking for increased exposure that may lead to sales and return visits.  You only spend what you’re willing to spend, and you can rest assured if your ad runs, the expenses will not exceed what you’ve designated. You can track how much you’ve spent, and what’s left in your account – you can add or subtract using Paypal.  And frankly, it’s kinda fun.

I was, and am, pleasantly surprised.

Power to the People!

Make Love, Not War!

Do I get a discount if I’m paying cash?

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2 thoughts on “ad-lib, week 1

  1. That’s good news about it so far. I think these series of blogs about advertising can be very useful to anyone wanting to know more about advertising. Maybe it can help me learn how to get exposure on a project I have in mind when it is ready.

    I am really surprised at the quick results you saw. That means you did your homework or you were extremely luck when picking the websites. Either way, congrasts on hardcover sales. Hope these new readers come back for more of your books. I did (although I got e-books). Love the Keeper series and find that I see independent authors as a see traditional published authors. If I like the first book I read by that author, I feel the need to read the others (hmmm… that must be why my reading queue never shrinks).

  2. I have to admit, I’m stunned by the speed of the results. I’ve just put it a longer bid for the one I have running now – an inexpensive space at a web comic – after checking the daily totals. This site is smaller and easier to advertise on, but it’s bringing me the same results as the larger, more expensive site and actually, if this trend continues through the week, it’ll prove a more valid investment than I could have predicted.

    If and when you reach this point, I’ll gladly talk you through it. And I’ll suggest to anyone out there on the fence – if you have $20.00 or $30.00 hanging around in need of use, it’s well worth the investment. Only time will tell if these new readers hang around, and I’ll blog about those results – good, bad or ugly as the weeks progress.

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