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Troy

A Sista's Plea for Indie Black Media Compromised by Crazy Ads

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This sister right here, Yvette Carnell of Breaking Brown is singing my song.  

 

 

Would you believe just moments before I watched this video I'd emailed the editor of the site http://breakingbrown.com/ to try to understand how they squared their mission with the all the crazy ads they were running.  I could not image the trade off in what I viewed as integrity was worth whatever these ads would generate in terms of revenue.  This in my mind is far worse that what Googles ads do.

 

I normally don't reach out to editors in this manner, but the Yvette, seems forthright and conscious so I took a chance.

 

Below is a screen shot from the Breaking Brown Website:

 

 

img130.jpg

 

 

After listening to her appeal in the video above, I still think Breaking Brown should get rid of these ads.

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She is getting a solid response if her comment section on this page is any indication: http://breakingbrown.com/an-important-message-from-breakingbrown-founder-yvette-carnell/

I haven't visited the site before today, so I would hesitate to give anything since I don't use the site that much. I wonder though if there is something that can be bought and shipped for sites to generate revenue?

 

As of right now the few methods of monetizing require you to roll with Adsense. I was kicked out of the program and the only monetization I have on CBP is Amazon Associates and my books for sale. I also have consulting sessions, but that hasn't garnered anything.  I also haven't sold many books through the site (paperbacks). Although I do get a few Amazon Associates bucks. People are definitely reading on mobile devices more. With the amount of traffic she is potentially getting, I would think that Amazon Associates could be very lucrative for her if she built an online shop. This is something I'm trying to get this basketball guy to do on 901prepscoop.com. I made him sign up for Amazon Associates and told him to start building stores for every sport on his shop. He has yet to do one post which is on him, but I know for a fact people would click through and he could make dough.

 

What has to happen is a Google Adsense program designed FUBU. This is the only solution because I just don't think people will come off of 25 bucks a year or even 3 bucks per month very fast. I hope I'm wrong.

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I agree Chris even if people did decide to make the contribution

 

I actually discovered the Breaking Brown Blog when I added blogs to Huria Search: http://aalbc.it/breakingbrown I did not take the site very seriously because of all the crummy ads. 

 

Later, I stumbled across a video with her and Boyce Watkins and they were plugging the site so I visited it not realizing I'd visited it previously. I did recall that the site was plugging The Black World Today website, which Boyce runs, and I see that she is tight with Boyce.

 

At any rate, if they can get their website to work on a subscription only basis they would be the only one I know that can do that.  I'm not aware of any commercial entities that are doing that not a website, newspaper, magazine, nothing...

 

I solicit and collect subscription for AALBC.com through the eNewsletter, and that actually covers my fixed costs, but it does not come close to providing a living or even paying writers for content.

 

I can't image what it would take to send a journalist to cover a story in some remote location, $3 a month from hundreds of people would not cut it, you need 10 of thousands to even begin to think about it.

 

Yeah Amazon can work really well especially for high priced items (sneakers yes, books no).

 

Another problem is she spends an awful lot of time bashing Obama, while I might agree with much of what she says, I know most Black folks are not interested in that and certainly would not pay for it.

 

But the real problem is we, as a people, don't work well together.  

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Subscription model died in the 90s and early 2000s. The only means of consistently generating revenue for a site is to have so much content you get a ton of traffic that can be sold to people who want to advertise to your market. Outside of the monetizing is really a process of generating traffic and getting enough of a return on Adsense to pay some bills, but that takes some serious dedication and a lot of writers for content. It also requires entertainment as Black people have to be entertained for them to spend money with Blacks. 

 

We don't work well together and that really is the bottom line. We don't even help each other very well. If people simply shared each other's websites that would be a start, a big start. Like this morning you used the tag #HBIT and I immediately used it to tweet a website I found in the Huria Blog list. You know how many times it has been used today? twice by you and me and so goes the world.

 

Once again you and I are still trying to see evidence of conversion and trying to figure out how to generate more traffic.

 

I do have some validation for how social media only creates a temporary bump. I'm into my second week of my 30 days of only using social media for 30 minutes a day. My site had a huge bump in traffic right after I stopped using Facebook so much and it all generated from Google searches for "Black women called cockroaches on Shark Tank". That string of words generated the most traffic CBP has ever seen across a 5 day span. I'm talking almost 150 unique visits per day for 4 straight days and then it dropped down to around 100. This is because I was one of the only people on the web to have written about the comment on Shark Tank. I have this as evidence of the power of business writing as it pertains to entertainment. This is now in my "to do" list for increasing traffic to the blog.  What is more interesting though is although I had such a huge increase in traffic, people generally entered the page and left on the same page or went straight to The Lip Bar's website (I included all of their social and website info on the article). With that much traffic I still didn't see a bump in the sale of books or in visits to the other pages on the site. What's even more telling is that on the best day I had 197 Page views, 160 Unique visits, but I only had 7 returning visits to the site.  This has me very disturbed.

 

Exactly what does it take to get people to return to your site? In the last 24 hours this is how long people stayed on the site:

47 VisitsLess than 5 secsgreenlegend.gif

2 VisitsFrom 5 secs to 30 secsbluelegend.gif

7 VisitsFrom 30 secs to 5 minspinklegend.gif

1 VisitFrom 5 mins to 20 minsorangelegend.gif

2 VisitsFrom 20 mins to an hourredlegend.gif

5 VisitsLonger than an houryellowlegend.gif

 
Now I need to find those visitors in the last 4 sections because they are my audience, but I would assume those people who came to the site because of the cockroach comment didn't stay very long, so what exactly keeps people on the site?  What makes people come to AALBC and stay on the site? How do you integrate the message board into the site so there is a constant ability to have content provided? As I keep tracking this stuff I will share it with you. I will say this, I sold more books while participating in social media aspects so there has to be an equal distribution of time to both for those of us with content or items to sell.

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Your visitor stats do not look unusual, in the sense that the majority of people who visit a site do not stay very long.  The majority of visitors will be new and a minority will be return visitors.  

 

As you suggest, if have a ton of content you generate more traffic.  That is one reason AALBC.com has survived for so long.

 

I often will see some obscure page jump in terms of traffic because people are searching on a particular subject or person I've covered that is not covered many other places.  This is called the long tail and some have made a science out of creating websites based upon this idea.

 

Whenever a popular author passes away I see a bump in hits on that author's profile page.  When Maya Angelou passed away Guy Johnson's page, Maya's Son, surged in popularity and was the top page on the site for several days.  Maya's page saw an increase too but because there is so much more competition for Maya Angelou and less for Guy Johnson my Maya page did not see nearly as large an increase.

 

Again, as with many writers, my website is my product.  So social does not help me as much as in might help someone who has a tangible product like a book.  I'm down to about 5-10 minutes a day on social media.  I share from websites not on social and I only login to check for comments that I need to answer; if I don't see any I'm out.

 

I even updated my banners to instruct people on how to get their questions answered or how to reach me.  I get getting messages from Facebook saying I'm not responding to my messages.  I updated my facebook page banner to make this plain to visitors

 

10559807_10152940758036909_5769764917796

 

 

Here is an quote from a Blog, The Black Agenda Report, that I discovered as part of by blog promotion project:

 

WHY YOU SHOULD COMMENT ON OUR ARTICLES HERE INSTEAD OF FACEBOOK

Facebook & Twitter are like rivers.  If you're not standing by the bank when something floats by, it's gone.  Good luck finding that brilliant conversation you had with somebody in a FB thread 2 or 3 weeks ago.  People who "follow," "like," and "friend" you on FB may rarely or never see your posts, especially if they're answering someone else's, and those lacking that tenuous relationship are even less likely to see them. 

So like and follow us on FB and Twitter, but when you post your comments on our articles here, anyone who finds the article finds the comment, now or a decade from now.

That's because Facebook respects your carefully thought out comment exactly as much as an emoticon or an LOL or STFU, LMFBAO, and needs to make room for the next one.  Mark Zuckerberg doesn't respect you.  We do. 

 

I don't normally see this sentiment expressed on a Black sites.  Generally Black sites want people to engage on social sites, but then I have to step back and remember all big Black news sites are white owned and controlled.  They are not interested in empowering Black folks.

 

The problem is most Black folks don't know this.

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That quote sums up the whole point very well. I don't have anything else to add except this, the visitors who stay 5 minutes or more are the customers that can be monetized. The goal is to reach those customers with content that can generate into potential revenue. The goal is to keep creating content and then when the long tail becomes the method of generating visits over the lifetime of the site. What I found this morning through analysis is that focusing on social leads to the less than 5 seconds crowd. We know this and as long as we continue to explain this to people then they will begin to see the value in visiting the websites vs sitting on Facebook.

 

Great stuff Troy!

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