AMBER 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.
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.
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.
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.
* 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.