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    12/10/2006
    For love or money
    As I was looking for a link on LLB's blog (for a cafe press post I am doing) I noticed her last post. I got side tracked....

    Her post Wowie Kazowie!, talks about the really amazingly great year 'visitor wise' All About Romance has had in 2006.and about raising their ad rates. I have odd ideas (shut up) about making money off blogs, websites and most of all reviews. (another post in the works since I read that article the Dear Jane posted about some amazon reviewer making cash off reviews... won't be up for a few weeks cuz I am doing some tracking in the RT mag *g*) I think my views were shaped from spend so long in xfiles fandom.

    Fanfic is at heart nothing but sheer love, lust fannish musing over 'something. Sitting down, creating, learning new skills and the like - just to showcase your fannish colors and 'talk' to others of like mind is just awesome. I think. And is a huge part of what drew me to AAR.

    It was the back fence... looking to chat about books, put up honest reviews and help put a more positive face on romance. So when it starts to talk about crappy cafe press sells and charging more for ads, it seems to be no longer about the love of books and romance land but about making a buck.
    Is that just me?

    Once upon a time I was apart of a huge website for a tv show. I have never seen a blog, message board or website in romanceland come CLOSE to the amount of traffic this site did (back in the day of course - five years later it is prolly closer to AAR's numbers) in a day much less a year.

    Now the chick who ran the site was pretty computer smart but still had to pay for some support and things she couldn't figure out herself. I have to admit I thought/think she was pretty off her nut because of the amount of coin she dropped a month to pay for the site, bandwidth, support and whatever else comes with it.

    So I think it is smart that AAR, Smart Bitches and whoever else charges for ads to help/try to recoup the cost for the site and give-a-ways. But if you raise your cost too much, don't you put yourself outside the range of the people you are trying to get to advertise with? And I find that sad. I mean hell I hardly ever click on those ads and they have no effect on my romance buying decisions but I like the idea they are there for the authors to use.Is that just me?

    Is everyone else rushing out to click on the ads? Is it just certain sites? If so which ones? Hell the big sites like Writespace and Best Reviews (who I think are 'for profit sites' correct me if I am wrong) can't seem to UPDATE their ads to reflect new books. LOL then again I don't go to those site often.


    At the same time I find myself going to AAR much less over the last year then I did when I first joined romance land. Blogs have news up quicker and since they are driven on the bloggers personality I think they tend to be more fun than a review site.


    So even if hits and traffic are up... is it good time to raise rates? Or is it just me and AAR is as busy and fun as ever?

    Labels: , ,

    8 Comments:
    1. To be completely honest, I visit AAR probably once every other week, if that, anymore. I used to go every day, sometimes twice or more depending on what flamewar was going on. Now, I go to see which books are coming out, or which books have been reviewed (and the funny part of that is I rarely read the reviews anymore unless it's a book I really really want and just want a few hints as to how it's going to be, not for the opinion of others), so my time on that site equals up to about 2 minutes.

      There are many reasons why I don't participate in it anymore, but the safest one to talk about is that I find I don't need it. It's more of a resource, and one I really don't need to use much anymore because blogs tell me what is coming out faster than AAR can.

      By Anonymous Misty G, at 12/10/2006 07:51:00 AM  

    2. Note to self: Try not to use the word "anymore" 20 million times in one post....anymore.

      By Anonymous Misty G, at 12/10/2006 07:54:00 AM  

    3. Interesting post Sybil. So for myself - I still visit AAR A Lot. I think they both serve two different functions for me. I love blogs and the intimacy of them - getting to know bloggers better and making deeper and real friendships. For myself I'm much more open and wordier on a blog than on a message board at AAR. But very few blogger blog every day. With some it's every few days or once a week or sometimes less than that. So there is often a kind of down time in between posts. On the other hand, message boards are more active, especially if there are four going at the same time as at AAR. Plus there are many vistors to AAR that don't participate in the blogging world and while I don't get to "know" them nearly as well as I do fellow bloggers, I still enjoy reading what they have to say and I would miss it tremendously if I stopped visiting. Xina and Robin are two excellent examples. Although Robin does particpate quite a bit in the blogging world, she doesn't have one of her own. So while AAR doesn't have quite the intimacy or relationship building of blogging, it does have it's own very good appeal to it. I think the two of them compliment each other. At least that's how I see it.
      And as for charging for ads - since I'm not the one being charged, it doesn't bother me at all. I don't know all the ins and outs - setting up a blog is free - but I would imagine there are quite a few costs involved in hosting a web site such as AAR so what's wrong with trying to recoup expenses or even make some money? It's not costing me anything. I still get the enjoyment out of visiting.

      By Blogger Kristie (J), at 12/10/2006 08:14:00 AM  

    4. I visit AAR two or three times a week. I like to keep up on the reviews and I truly enjoy many of the discussions on the boards. It appears to me that most frequenters of AAR really care about the romance genre, and as a rule the posts are well-thought out and well written.

      As a writer about to advertise for the first time with AAR for my next book (WITHOUT A WORD, Brava, 2007) I'll be keen to see how this click-on advertising works. I don't know their new rates, because I contracted with them before I heard they were raising them. But if the site needs more dollars coming in to keep up the good work, and if they keep the rates reasonable, I'll be okay with that.

      EC Sheedy

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/10/2006 01:47:00 PM  

    5. I still go to AAR to read the reader to reader. I hardly ever visit the Potpourri board. Sometimes I read the ATBF and sometimes I read reviews, but alot less now that I am blogging.

      I, like Kristie J, like the intimacy of reader blogs and that was what I really enjoyed about AAR but there is a lot less discourse there than there used to be.

      Finally, I don't want ads at Dear Author ever. I don't think I could be fair to an author who paid me money to run the site. I guess the day that DearAuthor gets to be so big that I can't afford to maintain it out of my own pocket, is the day that it goes away. I don't foresee that happening because I don't think that a romance reader blog can really grow as big as a tv or celebrity or tech site or anything like that.

      By Anonymous Jane, at 12/10/2006 08:48:00 PM  

    6. I bet I could count on one hand the # of times I've visited AAR. Nothing wrong with ads to make a bit o coin but I never click on them.

      By Blogger Amie Stuart, at 12/11/2006 11:53:00 AM  

    7. I think the ads run at AAR are fugly beyond belief. I've never clicked on one, and never will.

      And I also don't for a minute believe those stats are possible. Check out what http://www.trafficestimate.com says about the visitors, and even if those were uniques, you wouldn't get what she's claiming for the year by doing an average calculation.

      Or look at what http://www.alexa.com has to say. I think she's misreading her stats program.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/11/2006 03:24:00 PM  

    8. traffic ranks from alexa.com:

      romantic times - 116,133
      aar - 249,128
      trr - 428/144
      smart bitches - 638,371
      fresh fiction - 1,168,170

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/11/2006 09:15:00 PM  

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