The last two weeks have been very different than most of my Risky weeks. Usually, a big chunk of my day is spent making new pieces, photographing them and naming them, and then listing, listing, and listing, but sales have been really slow since Christmas for a variety of reasons so I've been spending my time promoting my shop(s) in other ways and indulging other facets of my creativity. Sometimes it also just nice to take a break and focus on something else.
I decided to dive into Project Wonderful, finally, and I learned a lot about more than just Project Wonderful. First, I created a few 125x125 square ads, mostly animated, and then signed up on the site and loaded them into my account. PW supports many other sizes, but I found that most of the sites I wanted to advertise on accepted the square size. I'm interested in hearing from anyone who has success with another size. Then I added some funds from my PayPal account. I suggest starting with $10. Next, rather than bidding with one ad, I created a campaign. (PW told me this was a relatively new feature.) Basically, you choose a set of criteria that you want to bid with and then PW goes out and retrieves all the sites that have PW ad space meeting that criteria. A word of warning--if you don't put any exclusionary criteria in, as in you don't specify type of site you're looking for, number of hits you want that site to get per day, and no minimum bid, etc.--PW is likely to come back with half the internet for your perusal! And you will probably freak out the first time like I did.
I tried this instead and got better results: I created an ad that focuses on my Nurse Purses, which are a specific type of nursing necklace for nursing moms. I then set my criteria to look for square ads in the Parent/Kids section only with 100-500 hits per day and per week. That gave me a reasonable list to work with. Once I got that list, I went through and physically looked at each site to see where the ad placement was, if I liked the aesthetics of the site/blog, and when the last time was that the site was updated. No use running an ad on a site that hasn't updated in a week unless you can tell from the PW stats that the site still gets a lot of daily traffic regardless. Then I bid on sites anywhere from $0 to $.20. Sometimes you're the high bidder and you get right in, other times you're not, but you'll get in when the high bidder's bid expires. Once you bid on several sites, you can check back in throughout the day(s) and see which sites are getting the most views and which are actually garnering hits. Then you can do a cost/benefit analysis by tilting your head to the right and going, "Hmm, that site ain't worth it," canceling that bid and perhaps looking for another one or staying where you are. Maybe one of your sites is getting 5 times as many hits as others, but you keep getting outbid. Perhaps you should dump the under-performing ones and bid more to stay in the running on the site that's working for you. Keep in mind, though, that 3 hours of data is not enough for historical analysis!
Stay tuned for my next post on the subject: Project Wonderful = Serendipity!
Enter the February ArtFire Giveaway through noon tomorrow, Sunday, 2/8!