Updates have picked up but visitor numbers and ad revenue have slumped. What to do?
Still, it is arguable that all my ads are underperforming compared to other websites with the same audience size. That's something worth considering. ROCR is one of those old standbys that have a loyal audience but don't attract a whole lot of buzz; there's a shortage of casual visitors who come in and poke around and then hit a button to go somewhere else. Which suggests to me that I should avoid relying on advertising too much and use any reclaimed space on the website to promote stuff aimed at the loyal visitors, such as e-books.
Actually, I'm not convinced I'm keeping the interest of all the loyal visitors either, or rather, I'm not creating any new ones with the latest batch of updates. During June, semi-regular updating resumed after two months of sparse updating with what I consider to be some fairly desperate attempts. Since AdventureCon, there's been at least one pencil-based update a week and I am personally much happier with the quality of the art and script. But the readership statistics have been disappointing over this period. I didn't do a post on readership numbers for April and May because there really wasn't any point; pageviews slumped predictably because there weren't any updates for people to read. The numbers for June, however, show the slump continuing:
ROCR.net: 98002 pageviews, 8434 unique IPs, down from 260,000/11513.
ROCR@Drunkduck: 9951 pageviews, uniques unknown, up from 4900.
COTWQ/ROCR@Moderntales jointly: 9341 pageviews (estimated), monthly uniques unknown, down from 42000.
This means that compared to March, pageviews for ROCR.net have slumped by 60%; those for the joint presence on Webcomicsnation/Modern Tales have slumped by 75%. The only silver lining is how well the remasters on the Drunk Duck mirror are doing. I put a lot of work into updating the old art for that, and it's the one area of my content empire that's growing in popularity right now.
This leads me to conclude that the problem is not so much the regular summer doldrums as the pencil art not finding an audience. Some of my most loyal readers have written in to say they like it a lot, but it may be harder for newcomers to get into. This is unfortunate as pencil art will be all I have to offer for the time being, and in any case I rather like it.
For now, I will continue to update with one penciled page a week, and try to find an audience for it that likes pencil art. I know that audience are out there, but apparently it is not stumbling on ROCR. Who knows any good pencil comics to advertise on?
Finally, enjoy today's update: some gift art by my fiancée on the occasion of the website's ninth anniversary!
Related: Statistics for March, Statistics for February