My friend Rob has a gaming blog, Twilight of the GM, which has been picking up hits lately. (And that's without me giving a free plug and sending traffic that way.) He's built it up by being active on Google+, something which I've hesitated to participate in. For one thing, Facebook soaks up way too much of my time, and for another, I would have wanted to use Google for personal stuff, not just yet another extension of the outreach for this blog. It seems that the blog is stretched thin and wide -- keep of like the old Grade 9 math curriculum.
The conversation we had was about his numbers. He asked me if he was reading it right and if he could possibly be getting as many hits as Blogger was reporting. (Oddly, Google Analytics reported somewhat different, but still encouraging, numbers.) So the subject of advertising came up.
Up until now, I've resisted the siren call of banner ads. I remember the crazy schemes of the 90s that never sounded like they would yield anything more than a few dollars for me while a whole otta traffic went flying off to some other site. Assuming that anyone ever actually clicked on those banner ads. Now, I do have banner ads on the (x, why?) comics-only site, but those came with the space. I wanted the free platform and the support, then I had to have the ads. They should only be advertising comics (and perhaps games) and the ratings for those shouldn't be higher than the rating for my comic, in terms of "maturity" level. So it isn't a big deal to me.
I figured that if I had a following big enough to support ads, then I would have ads for my own stuff. What stuff? I don't know. Books, maybe. T-shirts. Mugs, pencils, bookmarks, notepads, magnets. Whatever I could draw from the comics, so to speak. As soon as I figured out how.
Well, I haven't exactly got that kind of pull yet, and many of those who come to the blog are here for the articles, not the comics. I don't even know how many (or which) comics who lend themselves to T-shirt and bookmark design.
And the biggest obstacle: yeah, I don't know how to accomplish any of that anyway.
The Situation Lately
I won't be bashful: I could use the extra money, if it were worth the effort. My son's going to college in the fall, and any little bit will help. But there are only so many after-school hours that can be dedicated to per-session work before it begins to take its toll. There needs to be some secondary source.
I did spend the weekend researching Math for America only to have all of that blow up in my face. It seems that the "priority" deadline, whatever that is, is today. I don't have all the information I need or any of the forms or letters. There's a regular deadline at a later date but there's another problem. To be a part of this, I have to take a PRAXIS 2 exam. No problem with taking the test itself, but registering for it, well, that's a completely different problem. Their site has been having problems, and their forms don't work right. I check a box, it says nothing is checked. After much hoop-jumping, I got it to acknowledge the correct test. It then gave me a list of 10 sites in NYC to take the exam. Actually, there were only two, listed multiple times.
Big shock: every listing said that there wasn't any test being given at that location for the date indicated. (Come to think of it, there was nowhere to select a date: there was an "open window" for when tests would be given. Except that there wasn't.)
So this brings me back to the question: Should I turn on AdSense and start running ads for the people who come looking for answers to Regents exams? Should I create a store that sells notepads, bookmarks, T-shirts and books? Do I keep talking to myself and hope someone's listening.
Any suggestions would be appreciated. And freelance job offers may be considered.
Thank you for sitting through a mini-rant on Day 2.