Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The results of publications

As many people may know, I have several Twitter accounts. Most are broadcasting on automatic using the DynamicTweets service. They also use TwitterFeed to promote new blog posts. I'm also using Paper.Li in an experiment to see what results it gets me.

From results so far, it appears that with the @valkyrie_2 account, Zephod's Governor Watch, Zephod's Photo Gazette and Zephod's Sunday gazette are scoring well for readers. The other paper that's doing well is Zephod's Sunday Gazette.

Interestingly, Zephod's Book Gazette, Zephod's Business Gazette, Zephod's Medical Gazette, Zephod's South Carolina Gazette and Zephod's Travel Gazette all seem to be falling by the wayside in comparison.

The view from all but one of the other Twitter accounts is equally dismal. Interestingly the other accounts bar one are publishing solely photography newsletters and all but Zephod's Photo Gazette are getting very poor viewer figures. That can probably be attributed to the fact the other accounts are 100% automated and probably don't have anybody actually reading what's said. Having said that the newsletter on the other account which won't be named is getting runaway viewers yet is totally automated too. This seems paradoxical. I almost forgot I have a further account that's not named either supplying specialist Medical news. That seems to be getting readers. That account is pretty much automated though I do monitor it.

I'm not sure I can really explain it much other than the Photo Gazette just comes out as "Zephod's Gazette" rather than as it should, simply because I didn't update the Twitter text. The photography papers seem pretty much to be totally unwanted by readers. Heaven knows why. They're all automatically generated from what's available online.

Today I had an interesting conversation with somebody that asked "what do you call a business that hasn't made money in 3 years" and he answered "a hobby". That's about right. I suspect that's all photography is. It's a hobby and nobody really wants to see picture or read about it online. The die-hards all have the stuff they need and rapidly bore newcomers. I'm just astounded by the complete lack of interest in anything to do with photography - which is a very fine hobby.

Having said that - if you've noticed, this blog tends more toward the business end of photography than anything else and is more applicable to general business than anything else. Anyway, the decision with the newspapers is that the Zephod newspapers will remain as they are for the moment. If the poor readership trend continues then the poorly performing papers will be axed on Monday or Tuesday and more effort will be put into the better performing papers. Those on other accounts that are performing poorly will get total redesign to be specific to some genre or another. Both my blogs and newspapers are a hobby for me but I do like to see success with them. Failure is not an option - it just means I need to tweak the content to suit more what people are willing to read.

In actual figures, the readership is:
  • 47 for one account
  • 38 for one account
  • For the poorly performing Zephod accounts 11, 16, 16, 19 and 14
  • For the better Zephod accounts 34, 59, 20 (plus a subscriber)
  • For the other accounts 11, 7, 11, 10
Although the figures are low, there is some hope for 5 newsletters even though the other 9 are probably just going to get deleted. As I have said, I'm not sure whether there's a lack of humans reading Twitter or just a complete lack of interest in photography newsletters. As an experiment, I'll change one newsletter. That was the Truth In Photography newsletter and it was aiming squarely at astrophotography, schlieren photography, shadowgraphs etc - all the really interesting and tricky stuff that should be fascinating but there were just 10 viewers. It's now aiming at model photography, boudoir photography etc. It will be interesting to see what effect if any that has on viewer numbers. I can't say I particularly like the resulting paper but I'm not the end reader. It seems a little hit and miss what works. If I have 5 hits out of 14 I reckon that's pretty good.

At the end of all this I could either pay Paper.Li a monthly fee of $9 and hope that adsense sales will make up the $9 each month or hope that it gets me more Twitter followers and hence blog viewers. At the end of the day, the crux of it all is adsense. Nothing is guaranteed to work and nothing online has ever made me any money so far so its very welcome everything thus far is free.

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