Hi chumps! Hey, here’s another opportunity to give me feedback on the site or any wiggy issues you’ve discovered. I’m afraid when I asked this last week, my call for information was eclipsed by your kind wishes for my dad’s health. Thank you for those good thoughts and prayers. I deeply appreciate them.
I spent Saturday at a terrific local event here, BlogathonATX. I first came to them 2.5 years ago when I started the blog and had exactly 2 pages up (Cake and the Pick Me Dance), and I couldn’t have found a nicer, more supportive bunch of geeks than the Austin IT geeks. They really set me on the right road to creating this blog.
Funny story — I was at BlogathonATX last year when the blog flipped the odometer to 1 million. This year the blog flipped to 3.4 million that day. That gives you an idea of the kind of traction Chump Nation’s got — 2.4 million page views in one year. And it’s growing.
That’s great news for us chumps, but bad news for my pocket book. According the the uber geeks in the “Tech Cave” my site traffic is such that I can’t keep using shared hosting (about $25/month), I have to bump it up to a designated server. ($600 a month!) Egads. Then I talked to a nice developer at WPEngine and they can do a quasi designated server for about $200-250 a month (depending on my traffic, which is about 250K views a month now). That price stays until I top 400K a month, and then there is no avoiding the doom of the designated server costs.
If I don’t switch, I will run the risk of the site crashing, or loading reeeeealllly slow (which is annoying and pisses off Google who will punish my SEO). That happened when I was at GoDaddy and I got a spike from HuffPo. The server crashed for days. So I switched over to BlueHost. Now the geeks say that’s not enough.
So guys, to offset my costs on having to change servers, I’m going to start running ads. There was bafflement in the “Tech Cave” that I hadn’t done that already with the numbers I’ve got. Instead of being my own ad agency, I’ve joined the BlogHer stable of bloggers, who will provide advertisers for the site. So, soon there will be a box (where my book ad is now), with a rotating cast of ads. Nothing smarmy (I turned down all the spyware people who wanted to advertise here and dating sites), but stuff like toothpaste and Volkswagons, and ordinary consumer stuff. They also have opportunities to review products, which frankly my blog doesn’t lend itself to (like mommy blogging or food blogging does), but then I thought, “Fuck, why not?” Chumps build new lives. They use toothpaste. I wouldn’t review anything I don’t personally like. Throw it up there, make the corporate overlords happy, and then go back to our regularly scheduled programming.
Anywho, I don’t mean to sound like a public radio fund raising drive this Monday. I appreciate the book sales, the great reviews, and the occasional donations. I’m now going to be adding ads to keep this place chugging along. And so you know, I have an agent and will be doing another book (if she can sell it, and I have every confidence she will). So, good things ahead I think. Meanwhile, I have to figure out a way to monetize this blog at least to the point it can pay for itself. And a new server.
(Bill Hicks would probably tell me to shoot myself now. Marketing! Aigh!)
Meanwhile, give me your feedback on the new design. I can’t promise design-wise I’ll fix everything, but I am interested in your preferences. And I absolutely want to know if links are weird. I’m already on top of making the links a darker color than pale grey. And I hate the itals on the New Post header. Lay it on me. Thanks!