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50,000 is the magic number

(warning: Long, rambling, work-related post, which is intended at least partly as a memo to self.)

Four years ago, when I moved the Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan archives over to Keenspace's servers and got the rocr.net domain name, Keenspace still had a deal with the cartoonists hosted there that if a cartoonist had more than 50,000 pageviews in a month, the money people at Keen would send them a cheque, which the cartoonists could then frame and hang on the wall. The Dot-com boom was already over, but advertising revenue hadn't tanked completely yet, and popular cartoonists were eligible for a cut. By the time I qualified, though, the deal was off.
Between that time and Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan moving to Modern Tales, the comic actually became pretty popular. But after the move, only a handful of episodes remained on the Keenspace-hosted site: Some short archived stories, the latest episode, plus whatever recent episodes I haven't deleted from the archives yet. The Keenspace pageviews sunk to very low levels, as they should - the action is now at Modern Tales, where I actually get paid for my work through subscriptions.
But 50,000 pageviews a month has remained a bit of a magical number for me, and I'm very pleased that since the restoration of Dolphins and Dragons to the free archives, this number is once again in sight! I posted a message to the El Goonish Shive forum about the EGS-derived flashback sequence, and it did the job of alerting readers of that comic to the existence of mine. When I followed up with a link to the restored storyline, it caused my archive pageviews to surge to pre-Modern Tales levels: over 2000 a day. That's a modest number but the archive now has far fewer episodes in it than back in 2002. I expect that peak to end about now, but it shouldn't be impossible to sustain that level of interest and more.
I've already mentioned that I think ads for comics on other comics sites work. In a few weeks I'll advertise on Clan of the Cats with a specially-made campaign, and it shouldn't be too hard to come up with another campaign on El Goonish Shive advertising the restored storyline, which should appeal to many EGS readers.
The one good thing about the Bush administration's appallingly spendthrift fiscal policy is that it's made the US Dollar very cheap so this sort of promotion won't cost me much. Of course, any return on this investment won't occur until later, at which time the US Dollar will probably be worth even less. So I'll do this primarily to stroke my own ego, and to build and maintain my reputation in online comics circles, a task I've been neglecting for the past two years.
One thing I'll be asking more often in the next couple of years when I ask site owners about their demographics is "which percentage of your users is European?" I want to pursue publishing opportunities and freelance work in Europe again.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 30, 2004 7:48 PM.

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