Strip News 6-9-9

Nate FakesReady for a few reviews?

  • Pigs of the Industry leaned on Small Lives, Sidewise, Kogoshi, Fallen Hunter and thumped on Melvin Blank while This Week in Webcomics dishes out Riceboy. I Am Legend covers Machinegun Angel and Rain Of Gods while I discovered that Canterrain has reviewed World Break, Gunnerkrigg Court, Prime of Ambition, The Dreamer, Broken Things and Aliendice. Webcomics Critique talks about the Book of Biff and Snowflake while Webcomic Overlook examines Lagend and Deleted Scenes. Storming the Tower updates us on Ellerbisms and we can also see Forbidden Planet’s take on the same while Tangents looks at a sort of choose your own adventure comic called Aetheria Epics. Pausing for a quick breath, Webcomic Finds looks at Hero (and explains how negative and positive space works.) MPD57 gives us another opinion on Sidewise along with Small Lives and we can compare that with Original Wonders interview with Sidewise’s creator. Newsarama gives us reviews of Melvin Monster and Woman King as Kleefeld chimes in with his overview of Sidewise. Down the Tubes looks at Aldebaran – The Catastrophe
  • And Madkinbeard shows us all up by making up a small comics criticism zine. heh.
  • The Daily Crosshatch talks about L. Nichols’ work and I hope to be the one to introduce you to Comic Strip Improv. That’s a fun concept.
  • MPD57 gives a platform for those who disagree with closely analyzing Zuda’s contests. I commented there but Zuda’s contest conditions favor certain kinds of comics and specific strategies.
  • Speaking of strategies, I’m a big fan of having character reference like turnarounds, colors and constructions worked out for easy reference. It hadn’t occurred to me to do the same thing with the strip details like backgrounds and special fx. Wish I’d thought of it. And then there is discussion on We Make Comics about the value of whether or not to use color in our comics. Meanwhile, Kez chimes in with a practical definition of the terms webcomic and digital comic. I can get behind those definitions.
  • Wolfus on the Webcomic List forums has made a very generous offer to devote a portion of her table and her gothy spokesmodel talents to pimp out your family friendly comic. There are a few other details but the basic terms are pretty good and I see very little risk in it.
  • Webcomic Overlook in the top 20 – congratulations – and there are some other comic news bits to see as well.
  • And you might think it is impossible to combine the Endless with garbage pails. But you’d be wrong. This is the kind of thing that comes from unrestricted brainstorming or forcing yourself to make art out of random thoughts.
  • Let’s also take a step back once in a while and re-examine what we’re doing. One never is fully aware of one’s assumptions. The decision to mix things up flies in the face of accepted wisdom but that’s an update schedule that’s not so taxing and it may even be a very good option.
  • I can also officially report that I followed the advice from webcomics.com that I mentioned here. Even taking into account that people are on computer less this time of year and that comic sales are down (and therefore advertising is down as well,) the minimum bid tactic did not work to drive up the ad bids at all. Perhaps with at least a few thousand daily pageviews it may have worked but I certainly lost during this month trial by setting a minimum bid of twenty cents on the 160 ad in the sidebar. On 13 of the last 30 days, there were no bids at all with an average daily bid of 3.6 cents. I’ll come back in a month and compare results with an open bidding strategy. (I just want to clarify that I’m not obsessing about ad pennies but I am concerned with being smart about what I do.)

ArtPatient.com

3 Comments

  1. I’ve been messing a bit with that Minimum Bid idea myself.

    Of note:

    -> I actually get at least 1,000 pageviews daily, usually more than that. 2-3,000 on a good day. I imagine this will only rise over time.

    -> The ads that I added minimum bids to have been averaging at least 20 cents for a while now, and I even delayed implementing minimums until these higher bids fell.

    -> Webcomics.com’s advice is not merely to implement minumums, but to run HOUSE ADS when ad prices dip. Your ads only appear to be for this blog, and unless you have merchandise or something else you actively sell, I doubt you’ve been using your minimum bids for that. The idea is, advertising your own stuff should be worth more than a low-paying bid.

    On my own site, if I don’t get at least a 20-cent bid, I run ads for my Zazzle shop. If I get a sale from that, I’ve made much more than I lose from not running an ad that would pay me, at most, 10 cents a day. Less once you factor in PW’s cut.

    If your site doesn’t have alternative forms of income besides the PW ads, this approach doesn’t make sense. I can see where yours stumbled, but mine is coming in pretty well. The daily bids are around 20 cents, which means that while I’m probably showing the house ads a good bit of the time, I’m certainly not making any less by enforcing a minimum bid.

  2. I’ve been messing a bit with that Minimum Bid idea myself.

    Of note:

    -> I actually get at least 1,000 pageviews daily, usually more than that. 2-3,000 on a good day. I imagine this will only rise over time.

    -> The ads that I added minimum bids to have been averaging at least 20 cents for a while now, and I even delayed implementing minimums until these higher bids fell.

    -> Webcomics.com’s advice is not merely to implement minumums, but to run HOUSE ADS when ad prices dip. Your ads only appear to be for this blog, and unless you have merchandise or something else you actively sell, I doubt you’ve been using your minimum bids for that. The idea is, advertising your own stuff should be worth more than a low-paying bid.

    On my own site, if I don’t get at least a 20-cent bid, I run ads for my Zazzle shop. If I get a sale from that, I’ve made much more than I lose from not running an ad that would pay me, at most, 10 cents a day. Less once you factor in PW’s cut.

    If your site doesn’t have alternative forms of income besides the PW ads, this approach doesn’t make sense. I can see where yours stumbled, but mine is coming in pretty well. The daily bids are around 20 cents, which means that while I’m probably showing the house ads a good bit of the time, I’m certainly not making any less by enforcing a minimum bid.

  3. Thanks for chiming in, Rachel. I have a healthy respect for your opinion on these matters. On the 160ad in question, I did/do have an ad for my Zazzle shop as the default.

    The key to getting a decent return out of this seems to be the larger traffic you enjoy (and the kind of merch I have available isn’t directly related to this site’s content – so it’s hit and miss on sales.)

    I get pretty decent bids for the traffic that visits, according to what I see on other comparable sites using PW. There is a natural ceiling that people are willing to bid and setting it high (for this site) at 20 cents was too much.

    With more traffic, it seems like the bidding process would push the bid numbers high enough anyway without having to set minimums. I suppose, at that point, you could justifiably decide that you want to see $x per day or you’ll just run your own ad.

    With my specific circumstances, I’m not sure that setting a much-higher-than-usual-minimum works as a strategy. I’ll see the next month’s non-minimum results and decide if it’s worth trying ten cents as a minimum along with a better ad.

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