Friday, October 9, 2015

First Impressions from my TopWebcomics.com Ad

Here's my ad, but you don't have to click on it.
As I mentioned last week, I am running a month-long ad banner on TopWebcomics.com. It just started appearing on Wednesday. In the past, I tried promoting Amphibian.com on Facebook but did not get really great results. My hope is that advertising on a site devoted to web comics will have provide better returns.

Okay, first of all let's address the irony of running ads to promote a comic that I refuse to monetize with ads. I don't think I'm too much of a hypocrite. Right now, I don't need ad revenue to fund the server that runs Amphibian.com so I am free to try other methods of earning money from the comics. And I don't hate all ads on the Internet, I just feel like in many cases they've become so horrible that they actually detract from the content on many web pages. Ad blockers have only gotten more popular because ads have gotten more horrible. My decision to pay for ad promotion on TopWebcomics helps their site, which has already been driving a fair amount of traffic to my comics (as long as I stay near the top of the 2nd page). Even if no one sees my ad because they're all running ad blockers, I feel like I'm giving back to the site.

So how many people have seen the ad?

Well, I don't know. Unlike Facebook advertising, I don't know how many people have seen it. But I can tell how many comics have been viewed because of it. I am using a referral code in the banner's URL and a cookie to track how many times a person who came to the site by clicking on the ad views a comic for the next month.

So far, over 800 comics have been viewed as a direct result of the ad. That's approximately 29% of the comics viewed since the ad started running just 48 hours ago. Not a bad start.

Other interesting things to note
  • A majority of the people coming from the ad are jumping back to the first comic and reading the early ones as well as the current ones.
  • There has been a significant increase in the percentage of visitors to the site who are using iOS devices. Maybe my mobile-first approach to webcomics will finally pay off?
  • Spiders are not a problem. Is it because they don't do cookies, or follow ad banner links, or include query strings on links they follow? I'm not super-knowledgeable in this field of Internetting, so I don't know. I'm only reporting what I see.

That's all for today. I hope you like today's comic, which pokes fun at ageism in the software industry (at 36, I'm starting to feel it) by making clearly absurd claims as to the origin of new programming languages. Or maybe I'm on to something...

Amphibian.com comic for 9 October 2015