April 15, 2005

Wanged!
entry, April 15th, 2005When Penny Arcade, with its half-million-or-so readers links to you, the term you use is "wanged." Its usage is identical to that of "slashdotted." If your server can take the additional load, it's a good thing. If it can't, well, the internets are full of broken dreams, right?

Tycho over at Penny Arcade wrote a little editorial which included an email I sent him. It's okay, really. He asked permission to include it, and I granted him permission because I'm NOT a total idiot.

The upshot of the email was that Google Adsense seems to be a great program, and though it's too early to safely extrapolate my next year's income, the trendlines I'm monitoring now indicate that I'll easily make three times what Keenspot paid me. Of course, with the wanging those trends are shot for a while. Spikes are the data you have to throw out when you make conservative projections, and I'm sure it's clear to everybody that I'm a conservative.

Aside: If you're new to Schlock Mercenary (and some small thousands of you are) then a good place to start is at the beginning. Except that the art sucks. So start at the beginning of the current story, and enjoy the ride. It'll be a little bit like jumping on a roller-coaster in the middle of the run, and that's probably an even BETTER ride than if you have to wait through all the clackity-clackity-clack at the beginning.

Back on topic: One of the stipulations in my Terms of Service with Google is that I must NOT instruct people to "support my sponsors" by clicking on stuff. So don't do that. You, right there, with the itchy mouse-finger! DO NOT CLICK ON THE ADS! Unless they interest you, of course. That's okay.

One of the reasons I believe Adsense works so well, and works especially well for ME, is that it takes the text on the page and through what we in the technology business like to call "magic" serves up advertisments for related products and services. The Schlock Mercenary footnotes that you find from time to time often yield some off-the-beaten-path advertisments. This strip, for instance, has a footnote about the "chupaqueso," and the ads on that page deal with cheese. If the footnote gave you a hankering for curdled, pressed, and aged milk products, well, it's win/win/win all the way around. You get connected with stuff you want, the advertiser gets connected with a customer, and Google and I get a smidgen of their advertising budget for playing matchmaker.

If you are a publisher of webby things on the internets, this may smell like Easy Money. It's not. Creating content that people want to come back and read every day is hard work. So hard, in fact, that I'm not doing it right now. That strip I should be drawing for Saturday, April 30th isn't going to draw itself, but I'm pounding away at the keyboard instead. The point is, I don't want anybody to think that Google Adsense is going to make you rich overnight. If you're a good writer, and you have a large audience, you stand a good chance to make decent money, though.

In a few weeks, or a few months I'll post an update, and let y'all know how Adsense is working out over a longer period of time. Right now all I can say is that if I could sell these unhatched chickens I'm counting, I'd be rolling in the bee-sweet honey.

--Howard

P.S.: Come see me next weekend at Penguicon! I'll be there manning Steve Jackson's amazing Convention Chaos Marble Machine, whipping out free sketches, and panhandling.


2005 Convention and Appearance Schedule

April 22-24: Penguicon 3.0, Novi Michigan
May 27-29: CONduit XV, Salt Lake City, UT
July 13-17: Comic-Con 2005, San Diego, CA. (tentative... this one's pricey)
August 5-7: Fandemonium 2005, Nampa, ID. (tentative)
September 30-Oct 2: Linucon 2.0, Austin, TX. (tentative)
October 8-9: Revoluticon, Asheville, NC

Are you interested in having me come to your city? Your convention? Your HOUSE? Pay my way and pay my stay, and we can make it happen. The BEST way is to convince the convention organizers that I'm worthy of "GoH" status, but there are alternatives. Email me if you've got an event in mind.

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