My drug of choice is writing––writing, art, reading, inspiration, books, creativity, process, craft, blogging, grammar, linguistics, and did I mention writing?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Analytics, Business Bits, and Quotes About Money

Couple of quick bits of business before I get to quotes.

This happened over the weekend:
This is not "Cardio" mode on the elliptical. 

What you're looking at are days where pageviews were up in the thousands.  Those valleys are from about midnight here in Oakland to about eight in the morning.  I think most people who use Stumblupon are probably in the United States.  Almost 95% of that traffic came from one post: 20 Ways to Sabotage Yourself as a Writer. 

Pageviews were about double this.
So I'm going to obsess and weep over the half who DIDN'T give me a thumbs up.
The reason this happened is due to Stumbleupon.

As people who "stumble" the site like a page, the page comes up more often for other "stumblers".  I have no idea exactly how it works, but what was happening for a while there was positive feedback loop.   As you can see to the right, a lot of people liked this page.  The more people who "liked" it, the more it came up for others, the more people who saw it, the more that liked it--and so on.  It was not awesome enough for the kind of runaway viral effect that some sites or memes have, but it did okay.  It looks like it's finally plateauing as you can see from today's 24 hour shot (below).  Last night's numbers are starting to look a lot more like before this article took off.  So maybe things have finally leveled off.  Or maybe I don't understand how the Stumbleupon engine works when it decides what to show people, and this may happen again and again.
Who's old enough to remember Excitebike?
Doesn't this look like one of the "hella hard" obstacles?

Now you can see that the effect is starting to taper off, but for those few days, I was getting hits on the order of TEN TIMES MORE than my best days.  This is epic on a scale that no other social media has even come close to, and I think that's largely due to the fact that most of my friends aren't actually all that interested in what I have to say about writing.  They are either not interested in writing at all or are way better than me.

So what does all this mean?  Well three things really:

ONE- Not a whole lot of much.  It's awesome to be read.  I feel like John Motherfucking Grisham right now.  You guys should see me strutting around the house like a peacock with my pearock out.  But here's a little screenshot that might help keep things in perspective:

Might need one or two more popular articles before I start deciding what color my Ferrari should be.

They don't even send me a check until/unless I hit $100.00, so basically, I've been doing this since February, and I haven't actually made a dime.  I've made about ten dollars a month...in THEORY.  That's ten dollars for about 120 hours of work each month, give or take.  (I'm giving this blog roughly thirty hours a week right now.)  So...yeah, I'm making something like 8 cents an hour.

About right for a starting writer, actually.

Even this crazy, off-the-hook pageview bonanza of the last few days (which is probably $2.40 of the $2.50 I've made this month) hasn't made me enough to get a value meal.  I would still be ordering off the 99 cent menu.  So until I write hundreds of such inexplicably popular articles and/or I have something that really goes viral, this is just a thing I love to do, and I get excited every time I look inside my little teapot and see a little itty bitty tempest.

Who's a cute little tempest! Who's a cute widdle tempest! Yes you are.  YES you ARE!!!

TWO- If you are wondering how you can help a struggling writer out, but you don't have money to spare, I can't stress enough how awesome a "like" on Stumbleupon would be.  This site works better than anything else I've tried because the only people who are going to see my pages are people who have put "Writing" in as one of their interests.  I only have so many friends on FB, LJ, and G+, and even when those friends "Share" my articles, I can't get these kinds of numbers.  Stumbleupon rocks the kasbah of getting my niche writing to the niche audience that might enjoy it.   I've set up a button in the top right of every screen, and if you are signed up for S.U., all you have to do is give it a click.

(And Stumbleupon is worth signing up for just to look at it.  It's free.  It's REALLY cool, you get to customize your interests, and it adapts to the things you "thumb up" and "thumb down."  They have the BEST astronomy pictures if you put "Astronomy" in as an interest.  Oh. My. God.)

This is a monthly view of my pageviews (below).  The spike just left of center is basically the night I discovered Stumbleupon.  I put up a bunch of articles and they get an initial ten views each (it seems to be 15 now, so maybe there's something that tracks how much "street cred" I have with Stumbleupon).   If no one likes them in that initial "test" phase, they go quietly into the Stumbleupon night.  But a few of my articles caught a few people's eyes, and so they come up a once in a while.

If you look really close, you can see where I made fun of Justin Beiber.
But even after the night I discovered S.U., and even before "20 Ways" took off later in the month, you can see that Stumbleupon nearly TRIPLED my pageviews.  So I really can't sing it's praises enough.

If you're looking for an easy way to help, click that Stumbleupon button.  Not. Even. Kidding.

THREE- I probably need to start being more careful about images I use.  I sort of knew I could get away with murder as long as I wasn't even breaking triple digits, but it's time to be more careful.  I've done some research into how to find the free licence stuff.  Might mean the pics are a little less cool, but they're mostly there to distract you from the huge wall of text anyway.  Even though I try to avoid images with copyright, I know if I'm using google, there's no real way to tell if I'm not using an image that someone else stole.

I have no interest as an artist of making actual money off someone else's creative toils.  When it one image on one of ten articles that got me one cent, I didn't mind just using an image off a web page where I didn't see a "Do not reproduce..." or "Copyright" or "All Rights Reserved."  But going forth, it's time to take a little more care.  I really don't want to end up in legal weirdosity, but mostly I just don't want to take advantage of someone else's hard work in a way that they're not okay with.

On that note, I thought it would be appropriate if today's quotations were about writer's attitudes towards money.

The lack of money is the root of all evil.
Mark Twain

Writers don't make any money at all. We make about a dollar. It is terrible. But then again we don't work either. We sit around in our underwear until noon then go downstairs and make coffee, fry some eggs, read the paper, read part of a book, smell the book, wonder if perhaps we ourselves should work on our book, smell the book again, throw the book across the room because we are quite jealous that any other person wrote a book, feel terribly guilty about throwing the schmuck's book across the room because we secretly wonder if God in heaven noticed our evil jealousy, or worse, our laziness. We then lie across the couch facedown and mumble to God to forgive us because we are secretly afraid He is going to dry up all our words because we envied another man's stupid words. And for this, as I said, we are paid a dollar. We are worth so much more

Donald Miller

It's a kind of spiritual snobbery that makes people think they can be happy without money.
Albert Camus

1 comment:

  1. I really love stumbleupon. I'm so glad you found it for us. It is so much fun.