For more years than I’d care to comment on I’ve looked at my writing stats – be it word counts, book sales, blog traffic or … Well, just about anything measurable, I’ve taken a run at evaluating it. And I do it regularly. And I’ve tried very hard to avoid writing for free.
My latest analytics adventure was looking at my DougGreensGarden.com website.
If you’ve been there, you may notice links on most articles to one of my ebooks. Or, an ad for some product. Or, even some graphic ads flashing on the screen. All this was by way of making a few dollars to support my writing habit. I put the links in manually, Adsense put in everything else.
How Do The Ads Perform?
Really poorly as it turns out.
A while ago, I had a blog post go viral and over 600 clicks on one Amazon link came from that surge in traffic.
Sales from those 600 clicks earned me US$ 3.34 (Break out the bubbly, I’m rich)
Also, I no longer expect to make money on Adsense – breaking $0.30/day is an outrageously successful day. And, as you can see above, $9.38 for one month.
(Author note: Adsense has been removed from the website. Thirty cents a day wasn’t worth the hassle and the reduced reader experience. Updated Feb 2021)
We’ve all gone ad blind because of the flashing and pouncing of a variety of advertising systems.
And I’m no better than any of my readers as I can ignore ads with the best of them.
I Ran Some Facebook Ads
I got every amazing stat I was supposed to hit (according to the manuals) except one.
Great response rate.
Hellishly cheap clicks (almost unheard of in one of my author groups).
Three people even “liked” the ad and one person shared it. BTW, this interaction with an ad is why my click rates were so low.
Facebook gives bonus marks to ads with high interaction rates.
The low score? It was the book sales of course.
Where Facebook Ads Shine For Book Sales
Facebook ads shine when it comes to fiction book series. If you can afford to spend money advertising a single book, you’ll make your money on what we term “read-through.”
You buy the first because of an ad but you buy the second, third etc because you liked book number one. Fiction authors only have to advertise the first.
Non-fiction authors, like yours truly, don’t generally create that read-through effect.
To Make This “Writing For Free” Even More Interesting
Ebook sales do not come from my websites. They come from direct advertising on Amazon.
So What’s All This Got To Do With Writing For Free?
What’s a website? It’s free writing.
DougGreensGarden is somewhere around 800 posts. I am now killing the shorter ones or ones that generate no visitors and consolidating them for search engine improvement) so the raw number was shrinking but the quality was improving. I was working fairly hard at this but have now stopped.
The site makes twenty-five cents a day from advertising, so it takes a while pay me for an hour of my time.
Why Do We Go To Websites Like Mine?
We go to be informed or entertained. We don’t go to buy “stuff”.
I can’t say I blame anybody for not clicking like a mad fiend on my site. It just is.
But when readers no longer click or support creatives on their website, then creatives will go where they are supported.
And What About Retirement?
I’m looking at the projects I want to do in what I’m calling “retirement”. LOL.
It’s not really retiring, it’s more like rebooting.
I’ll have more on this in future posts.
Now I’m retired I don’t have to do a damn thing.