The extreme Web makeover is complete, and Interesting Thing of the Day is finally back up and running. There were, as I fully expected, a number of little glitches in the new system that I’ve had to work through, but for the most part, the transition was pretty smooth. If I do say so myself, I’m quite pleased overall with the new site.
This little publishing project, which is now, incredibly, entering its fourth year online, has taught me all sorts of valuable lessons, but what has astonished me more than anything else is the seemingly complete disconnection between the site’s income and the amount of effort I expend on it. Revenue from ads and affiliate links generated significant money, month after month, even when I didn’t touch the site at all or add any new content. Conversely, times when I’ve worked around the clock for days at a time to add features or write new articles have had hardly any financial impact.
Of course, the majority of traffic to the site (and thus, by extension, the majority of income) has been driven by search engine referrals. So what the statistics tell me is that if I want the site to succeed—as in, provide me with a reasonable paycheck for my efforts—I should focus less on creating lots of new articles and more on making people aware of what’s already there. So that will be one of my biggest ongoing projects in the coming months.
Nevertheless, I do have a healthy list of topics to cover, and I’ve already begun receiving submissions from several guest authors. I would love to have other people write, say, half the content, and that’s yet another thing I’ll be pushing for.
My fantasy remains, as always, that at some point the site would bring in enough income that I can treat it as a full-time job and post a new article every day. I don’t expect that to happen soon, but I’m hopeful that the new, more relaxed publication schedule—along with help from other authors—will enable me to keep it going indefinitely while trying to build a bigger audience.