featurebanner_AUcoffeecupAMBER LOVE 28-DEC-2012 As I looked back to review the website’s statistics over the last nearly two years, I felt the urge to punch my computer than pause and take several deep breaths.

Looking back from 2010 to present, I’m not surprised but let’s say… disappointed. My stats have steadily decreased as I’ve moved from adult cosplay modeling into writing and podcasting. Should I be shocked by the desire for nude photos? No, of course not. But my goal, even with the modeling and costuming was that people saw “me” but obviously 99% don’t. They see a mindless figure with no personality nor other talent. I would still be doing alt modeling if I looked like that but I don’t. I’m different now. This year’s ambitions for even stepping up my adult work a notch to full out porn on a cam site leaves me hesitant after being in someone else’s cam room to see her make $2 after an hour. Yes, TWO U.S. DOLLARS. That’s not going to pay for anything no less help me fund creator owned comics and convention travel.

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NOT COUNTING THE INITIAL PAGE WHEN I TALK STATS; LOOKING FOR POSTS/PAGES

I’m proud of the few published story arcs I’ve had. The biggest one will be out in 2013 and is prose, not comics. My first comic project of 2013 is for charity and involves a mass of talented people — fully clothed talented people (or maybe pantsless but not indecent). I guess I’m bitter and disgruntled which is not unique. I know a few people who have ended their comics due to low traffic on their sites and they change focus. People’s careers evolve. I expected a fan base to migrate with me but that isn’t happening.

My peers in the comics business kept pulling me aside and in hushed tones say, “You know you have to give all that other stuff up to be a writer, right? No one will take you seriously.”

I bucked back. I said, no. No way. People like Jenna Jameson fail in comics because they aren’t dedicated. And that’s a bit sad too because I read the first issue of Jenna Jameson’s Virgin comic and it WASN’T BAD but I doubt she had anything to do with it. What would my ability to fuck on camera have to do with how well I write comics? Yet, each holiday season, I change the posts on some of my older nude galleries from private to public free of charge and there is no denying the effect. Suddenly my site is over 2,000 unique hits per day.

I scrolled through the stat listing of WordPress pages and posts  and the top non-photo gallery post is one of my controversial blogs about “cosplay massage” in which I stated that I find the practice in poor taste for a family event. That post, despite all the controversy, is #57 in popularity. Not even Top 50. It’s from 2011. If you’re interested, comment there not here, please.

RANKED #57-61
RANKED #57-61

One of the only things in my life that gives any feeling of joy is helping Stacy Korn and Bill Meccia at Comic Fusion for our annual fundraiser for domestic violence charity. Our Wonder Woman Day & Superhero Weekend has raised over $40,000 for SAFE in Hunterdon. The first mention of all that work we do is only #59 in popularity and it’s the post from back in 2010. This is actually confounding to me because the Vodka O’Clock Podcast show notes for Episode 1221 where I discuss using cosplay for charity is the most popular of the show notes. It’s at a dismal rank of #323 overall but it’s #1 for Vodka O’Clock specific posts.

The Vodka O’Clock podcast is not doing well but I love doing it. I hate editing it and hate the quality of Skype, but I love interviewing people. I also find it strange that one of the episodes I thought was the most original for an “entertainment/pop culture” show was when I talked to a former FBI agent about body language to ask him for things writers and artists should bear in mind for their character and environment; I don’t know if it’s actually the least downloaded episode but the blog post for the show notes are the lowest of all the Vodka O’Clock show notes. The show got zero positive results when I signed up for Commission Junction and used their companies like Audible and Superhero Stuff for sponsorship. Because of the zero return, they dropped me after three months. So no sponsorship exists to support the web hosting, software, equipment, or travel to make things better.

PHOTO BY SMASH
PHOTO BY SMASH

Show Notes Rankings:
* Ep 1221 Cosplay for Charity (#323 ranked overall posts) – shows the correlation that page view popularity and downloads are not relative; this episode is among the lowest download with only 24 downloads to date.
* Ep 1226 Comics from 215ink with Mike Perkins (#331 overall) – an interesting case because this was Mike’s first time on the show which only has 7 downloads but the show notes is the second most popular in VOC posts.

Download Rankings**:
* Ep 1234 – Matt Demicki creator of XOC (13,700 downloads from HipCast)
* Ep 1231 – Stephen Blackmoore, novelist (5,953 downloads from HipCast)
* Ep 1223 – Dirk Manning’s 2nd time on the show (1,331 downloads from HipCast)
* Ep 1207 – Dirk Manning’s 1st time on the show (424 downloads from HipCast)

** HipCast is the hosting site I use to get Vodka O’Clock onto iTunes. They don’t have a decent view of stats or downloads; I have to go to each show and check the counter. Episodes 1201-1205 were uploaded only to AmberUnmasked’s server and not HipCast so I don’t have any download information for those early episodes.

What those numbers tell me is that the guests with successful web reach who then promoted the show on their own sites received thousands of more hits than the guests who didn’t. Someone might have been on the show and tweeted twice the day it came out but that’s not going to get them or the show more publicity.

Of the few talents I feel I possess, promoting is one of them. I’m not formally trained in social media like other people. That didn’t exist when I was in college during the Dark Ages. Our Public Relations class was rather a joke and not much beyond whacking someone with a club and dragging them back to your cave. We learned nothing. I am my own carnival barker. I am my own PR department. I am usually my own software developer and website administrator too but at least I have one person that can get me out of sticky code when I have no idea what’s going on. I know the website has confusing navigation. I don’t want to sell a kidney to hire a professional to redesign a proper theme that would benefit such a range of content. It’s not only portfolios or only blog posts or only podcasts. It’s all of that plus links where to find my different comics and services. I’ve accepted that I have to deal with the clunky free WordPress theme.

So why am I failing at this? Why should expend another year’s worth of energy, time and money into the site, YouTube, and podcast? 

Have I given up? Not yet. As I said, I love interviewing people so I’m going to do it for a little while longer to see how things work out. Ideally, I’d like the show to be picked up by one of “those” media networks but I refuse to be associated with certain people and new networks exist. Not being able to get through the velvet ropes at one launch proved I’m not popular enough for that so I’m not pitching to them. If they don’t like what I do on my own, they certainly aren’t going to invite me into their cabal of elite nerd ranks.

6 comments on “A Look Back at Stats”

  1. Your site has been in my news reader for just over a year. I enjoy your voice as a writer, but I find your site frustrating as a reader. The subject matter ranges extremely widely and I really never quite know what to expect. The blogs that I read and enjoy on a consistent basis are exactly the opposite. They tend to be highly focused on one (and only one) subject area and post frequently on it.

    The first thing that intrigued me about your site was the cosplay/alt modeling stuff. I knew nothing about either and you seemed to be really good at it. Since I have been reading, you have talked about about making costumes, but I haven’t noticed anything about other cosplayers, or models. I’ve never seen an interview with any of your photographers. I don’t have any sense of why you’ve chosen the characters you have, or what you’ve learned about them through cosplaying them. I’d love to read any of that.

    The second thing that caught my eye was the steampunk material. Again, I know very little about it and it seems interesting. However, the posts on that subject are also very sporadic. I have enjoyed the YouTube reviews that I have seen. It would be great to see you talk about Steampunk books, or comics. Again, anything that you brought from your cosplaying experience would be interesting.

    The third thing that interested me was your Wonder Woman Day work. Again, it is hard to tell how that relates to the other material on the site. There is little-to-no Wonder Woman content: no essays, no comic reviews, no recaps of the Linda Carter show. In fact, there is not much content about specific superheroes at all. Nor is there any real discussion about domestic violence.

    Please understand that this feedback is intended to be helpful. Individual blog audiences are extremely difficult to acquire and maintain. Your alt modeling work gives you access to an audience that a lot of folks would be eager to reach.

    Best of luck.

    • Thanks for your feedback. I’ll attempt to respond to your satisfaction but I don’t even know what to say in regards to it because you contradict yourself in each point.

      I post about specific areas of interest: steampunk, modeling, fiction, conventions. I don’t understand how that is lost on you or any reader.

      The first thing you noticed was alt modeling but you didn’t notice interviews with other models. I have interviewed Jessica Nova and Aeryn Walker. Both of whom are some of the most successful I have ever seen in this business. Written interviews should not be discounted. I interviewed them prior to launching Vodka O’Clock.

      In each tutorial, I explain why I chose the character. A comment is not the place for me to bullet point all of them to satisfy YOU. My tutorials and photo galleries have paragraphs that explain ALL OF IT. Everything from being Power Girl to please my husband to being Firestar because I played “pretend” as her as a child. Not my fault if you missed all of this. It’s there.

      I’m not an expert on steampunk. I go to a couple steampunk shows and work as best I can on my financial budget on putting together outfits for them. I do what I can to promote steampunk comics I like on twitter or when I’m interviewed. If you have paid attention to my work, I’ve been on Comic Geek Speak and when we discussed our favorite costume designs, I chose Lady Mechanika for her unique styles as my favorite female character design. My story in SHAKESPEARE SHAKEN is set in a steampunk world. How exactly am I not addressing steampunk? This site is about MY work. It’s not about steampunk. I will gladly direct you to G.D. Falsken who IS an expert and author on the subject. Or the musicians like Platform One or Voltaire. Or the photographer for the east coast events, Babs Who Takes Pictures. I attend the shows and give my recaps of what I experienced. I did an entire podcast with James Hatton, one of the organizers of Steampunk World’s Fair. You should be able to see why I am confused at your “feedback” that I don’t go in depth enough on the subject? The posts are sporadic? Uh… the world’s fair happens once per year. Sorry. Not my fault.

      Regarding Wonder Woman Day?? You’ve really lost me there. I write extensively about domestic violent statistics and why Wonder Woman is our chosen icon for that event. I don’t know how or why you’d say I don’t go into enough detail about it. I dropped the Wonder Woman title ages ago from my pull list which is something I’ve also extensively mentioned on Twitter and on my podcast, Vodka O’Clock. I have been on several podcasts talking about domestic violence. Just because YOU haven’t listened to them doesn’t mean they didn’t happen. I am very active on Twitter where I frequently discuss the subjects of domestic violence and rape. If you aren’t on Twitter, I suggest you sign up. I’m @elizabethamber. There’s no “essays” on Wonder Woman because there are a thousand other sites that have that from Comic Vine to Newsarama. What I bring to the table is the reason for us hosting a fundraiser for domestic violence survivors. And again… I’ve been extraordinarily open and honest about the subject from a personal point of view if you paid attention. No, I’m not going to recap or review the Lynda Carter show. There’s no point in it. There are other places for that content. My site is about unique content. Not things you can find a million other places. If you want to see my OLD reviews on YouTube about the Wonder Woman comics I was reading… I suggest you look that up before saying I never reviewed Wonder Woman (http://www.youtube.com/user/amberthestylist). There’s a review of the animated movie, a few issues of the comic, promos for Wonder Woman Day and recaps of Wonder Woman Day. GEE, SORRY IF THAT ISN’T ENOUGH.

      You say my subject matter ranges extremely widely than you say it’s extremely focused. What are you saying? This is MY site about MY life. It’s about things I enjoy. That could be comics I read, comics I write, people I encounter, opportunities to model or costumes I design. I have not interviewed a photographer because I have not had a photographer willing to go on mic or on camera. They are usually behind-the-scenes people. Kassandra Purcell is the only one I know that is BTS and in front of the camera and we have never managed to meet. Is that really a fault? On the contrary. The fact that as a model and podcaster I acknowledged the art of photography as the catalyst for how a model can be made or broken is something that you don’t see on any other model’s site. I post un-photoshopped pictures. Who else does this? Other model’s sites are nothing but portfolios. This acknowledges many art facets including the photographers. In my Favorite Things of 2012, we discussed at least 3 photographers who we revere for their hard work.

      Your feedback would be appreciated if it wasn’t so ignorant. You need to tune in, listen, read, see what’s going on beyond photos.

  2. I am sorry if I offended you, or was unclear. I really have enjoyed some of your work and wish you the best.

  3. I’ll be the 1st to admit that I love the nudes.But I also like to read the comic and film reviews,as well as the various com reports.I work for a specialty costume store,and am very active in the local theatre community so the costume tutorials are also of interest to me.

    One thing I would like to see is a place to ask you questions that are not in response to your posts.You may have it already,but alas I can’t find it.There have been times I’ve want to ask your opinion on an up coming movie or comic story line but haven’t done so because there were no post on the subject.

    I do enjoy the site,please stick around.

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