city of mad men

30 07 2012

With coa//002 in the can, let’s talk about my next big project, which is an epic Greek tragedy featuring a hardy well-oiled man wrestling with the Kraken while swarms of harpies cry out in a doom chorus which resound his inability to resolve the conflict between man’s futility and a god’s immortal willpower.

Except I’m not actually writing that so instead we’ll talk about my next big project which is using advertising to get someone to actually come read my stories.

I’m using Project Wonderful, which I like because

  • Lots of indie publishers of comics and books and so on use it; very grassroots.
  • It’s based on buying a day’s worth of eyeballs, not individual views or keyword searches.
  • There are a lot of folks offering up free ad spots on lesser browsed blogs and hey, can’t hurt.

I approached this three ways, with varying results so far.

FREEBIES: I snatched up a ton of free spots. Half of them got outbid by someone who was already camping the spot for free but ready to pay cash, others I ended up taking. Again, no risk, plenty of reward, and if it flops all I lose is the time it took to set it up.

CREEPYPASTA: I saw Creepypasta.com had open spots cheap and figured this’d be a good candidate for my first self-managed single site ad grab. It’s netting me thousands of views — it’s a very trafficked blog — but no clicks yet. We’ll see if it pans out. I put like $6 total into it over however long it takes to burn up those $6, so not much of a loss.
EDIT… cancelled this one. Problem is the site buries my banner in the MIDDLE of the page, after five stories. So basically, nobody sees it despite it getting hundreds of “views.” It hasn’t garnered a single click, either. I think the A.I. campaign is the better way to go…

CAMPAIGN: I also let Wonderful’s A.I. try to place ads on any writing blogs with free spots, with it managing the selections and juggling value based on performance. This is working well so far, good clicks to views. I hope. Again, not too expensive.

My ultimate goal here is to reach out to folks who have never heard of me before. I’ve been riding the same wave of folks who knew me back from the 90s and early 2000s, on Ranma / Slayers anime fanfic or on Sailor Nothing and such, but that’s a pool which can only shrink over time. Fresh blood is needed. For that I needed art (got it!) and ads (got ’em!)

Next up, coa//003, which actually uses Marcy Wei (who features in the ads along with Penelope).

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