So I've dipped a tiny toe into the advertising waters by placing a tiny button ad on Girl Genius. Which is to say, I never see the ad when I click over there to check on it, but I have gotten some traffic in from it, so I know it's there sometimes. Apparently, even though I bid one price worldwide, the system breaks the bid down into regions, so basically, my ad is showing on Girl Genius everywhere but in the U.S., where the majority of my target audience is. I'm not sure how to fix that.
I'm placing the ads through Project Wonderful, which seem to be only wonderful for webcomics so far (in fact, I originally started the account when I was putting together the Hero Go Home webcomic, but never used it).
Here's the cool thing about Project Wonderful: it's set up like an auction, so you're bidding for space on the site, and your bids are automatically regulated so you never pay more than you have to.
Here's the bad thing about Project Wonderful: it's set up like an auction, so if your site has really low traffic (like mine, though growing slowly), you may get no one bidding on your site, and therefore make no money from ads.
So traffic is the key. And the two steps I've taken recently--adding Movie Monday and Out of the Vault, and placing the Girl Genius ad--have noticeably increased traffic, though it's still barely comparable to this blog, let alone a successful one. Networking would be good, except that I've pretty much cut ties with most of the people I should be networking with. The closest thing I've got to a networking arrangement was the guest appearances by naamah and sargon, who are also serializing a novel (an idea I shamelessly stole from them), but I haven't linked it because our audiences don't really overlap at all. I need to fix that; they did help me out, after all. So I'll just put a big NSFW label on it or something.
And all the things I'm trying to do to increase the viewership of the blog take away time from producing content for the blog. This is really hard, and I worry, now that a couple of people have read the first chapter and no further, that I need to go back and punch up the beginning to keep people reading. But I also need to be moving forward. Aaaarrggghhh, too many things to do and no idea whether any of them will do any good in the long run.