Random musings from the PaperDemon admin.
Another project on the horizon
Back in January I talked about the status of my web dev projects. Basically I'm rewriting all my software to turn it into more of a platform or package that I can just plug in and reuse more easily on multiple websites.
My friend Potter, whom some of you may know as Jiita and Piccolo in ZMT, came to me recently with a cool idea for a website. Now I have even more motivation to finish my software so I can use it on this new project.
Here's a quick lowdown on status since the last status update:
SHM REDESIGN - ~COMPLETE~
PD GALLERY UI - members area selection of galleries is ~COMPLETE~ but still need to redo the browsing menu.
AJAX COMMENTS - I'm still stuck on this one due to a technical problem with jquery's form plugin file uploads. I'm working to resolve this still.
ADVERTISEMENTS - I've been trying a variety of ad networks. So far I've tried BuySellAds.com, Project Wonderful, AdEngage, BlackLabelAds, in addition to Adsense. Some have been more successful than others.
AdEngage was probably the most dissapointing. I tried it in the adult section of PaperDemon and didn't get any buyers for ads. Instead my ad units just showed CPC ads that got me only about $0.02 per click. I've since removed most of the AdEngage ads and replaced them with BlackLabelAds (Adbrite's adult ad network) which turns much higher profits than AdEngage does. Adengage also uses CPC but the money earned per click is much higher than AdEngage.
I tried out BuySellAds but realized I don't have enough traffic on the ad unit for it to be worth $5 per month for an advertiser. This is the lowest price you can go. Plus it would be showing the same ad for the whole month and a lot of my traffic is repeat visitors. I doubt my visitors would like seeing the same ad for a whole month especially if I have to put it on every single page to give it the traffic it would need. If I could get my traffic to triple I'd have a much better chance of selling an ad unit and I could place it on the art pages which typically have more random visitors, it would be a better value for the buyer.
With ProjectWonderful I have 3 ad units each getting somewhere between $0.01 and $0.10 per day. It fluctuates a lot. I plan to put the skyscraper ad unit on more pages in hopes of getting it more traffic and driving up the price of the unit. And at least 0.02 is better than a giant blank ad that says "your ad here" and not getting any money at all.
It's unfortunate I can't place Adsense or Project Wonderful in my adult section because the adult section is doing very well traffic wise. But I guess BlackLabelAds will have to do for now.
Strangely, my Adsense revenue has dropped significantly as of late. I'm not sure why that is as most of the adsense ads that I removed and replaced with Project Wonderful were underperformers. I did hear something about other publishers reporting a drop in their Adsense revenue and that it had to do with the fact that advertisers are spending less money on advertising. This means the cost per click is lower and my revenue goes down.
Basically in the end it all comes down to needing more traffic. I need to try some more SEO strategies.
Learn the libraries or reinvent the wheel?
For the most part of my time working with PHP, I've done things my own way. I don't use a lot of libraries or read too many articles or books about how to "correctly" develop web applications. I know that most developers stay up to date with the latest libraries that help alot with development. There are also a lot of premade free packages out there that can give you a content management system in minutes such as Word Press. And there are probably a lot of things I'm doing wrong since I'm self taught. Yet I'm still doing my own thing and dread the idea of doing it any other way.
And for a long time I felt like I was an inferior web developer because I wasn't taking that approach to web development. It's like I'm reinventing the wheel, the same wheel thousands of other developers have already made.
But an interesting thought occured to me today. With music, I typically don't like to read sheet music when I play the piano, despite being fairly quick at sight reading. I'd rather figure out the notes myself by ear and then rearrange the music in a different way. And when I do it this way, I understand the music far more than if I had learned it through sheets and it becomes more enjoyable to play.
So maybe that's my nature; figuring it out for myself. Maybe it's because I'm a creative person. It seems more fun to me to build an app myself rather than just downloading an existing app and customizing it or plugging in this library with that library.
So here's to all you reinventers of the wheel out there!
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