Sunday, August 10, 2014

New figures and the way forward

After looking at the figures for readers of my blog, viewers of my youtube, viewers of my friend's youtube and readers of my newspapers, I have come to a conclusion. Namely, it's worthless to look at figures. As stated before in The Truth Above all Truths, hits are worthless unless they miraculously transform into money. So far, very little evidence can be seen of the internet being anything other than a massive time-soak.

In conversation yesterday with my friend, the following gems came out - despite her youtube account rocketing from 1025 hits a few days ago to over 1800 today - it's worthless if it's not making money. She questioned whether it was worth even bothering with youtube given that it makes no noticeable money. Her videos are aimed at a niche audience that likes to view the same videos repeatedly. Yet, despite the 1800 views, income from her growing collection of videos is so negligible (read close to nill) that the question is whether it's worth her continuing. My own videos have made the massive sum of $2.36 or thereabouts in 2 or 3 years of my having monetised my youtube accounts. Given that the income comes from advertising, is this a total failure of advertising, is the advertising engine somehow fraudulent in showing adverts but not paying anybody?

Out of curiosity at one time I put an Amazon advert using my own "Amazon store" on my most popular website. After a few months I had a notification from Amazon that the store was being deactivated due to no activity. Clearly that payment method didn't work. Another of my friends runs a blog and has Amazon advertising and claims it pays for some of his toys. This is hearsay though.

One of the most intelligent investigations into making money online that I've discovered so far was done by a British newspaper, in an article entitled You can make six figures. In this article they discover that the people that make money are selling courses or kits on how to make money online. Frequently they're just recycling the garbage written by other writers. It would thus be quite possible to set up a website that quoted heavily from Guerilla Marketing and charge people for access to the money-makers forum on the website. The whole thing is fraudulent. There's just no way to make money enough to live on, online.

Looking back at youtube figures. I have a video with 1,000 views. My friend has 1800 views on one video. Neither of us is making a cent let alone a dime off those youtube videos. My blog makes little to no money and her blog makes even less.

The newspapers that I have running are pretty well worthless. They do generate a few Twitter followers and retweets/favorites though I'm pretty sure followers, retweets and favorites are essentially valueless as they don't ever seem to generate advertising clicks. I'll be brutally honest here - I blog because I enjoy blogging but I also blog in the hope that the blog will generate some worthwhile income eventually.

In terms of the online newspapers - to go "pro" with them would cost $9 a month. Given that they have been running for a month and the best has had 102 views, I cannot honestly say that they're ever going to reach a point at which paying for them is going to be worthwhile. Given that this blog has about 200 views a day and most of the time no clicks on adverts, it would be a very long time before the newspapers reached a point where advertising clicks would even pay for the pro version of the paper.

There's a lot of baloney out there about the internet making money. It does not make money for anybody other than the big sites that got in early. Certainly there have been exceptions. I believe there was a site that catered in women's undergarments. That took off but it didn't take off for the reason the site owners thought it took off. Women will stop off to buy their undergarments at the nearest store, usually. The people that buy women's undergarments online are not women - they're men buying gifts for their wives but the predominant buyers are cross-dressers and closet transsexuals.

Currently I run several online newspapers. They're all auto-generated. Those that seem to be working are the medical newsletter that has jobs in it and one aimed at beauty but which seems to be picking up only transgender/transvestite/porn. I tried to cut the porn out and to get it back on track but that cut viewers. I gave up in the end. Even those don't generate more than 100 viewers in a month. They're all Twitter advertised and receive multiple retweets and multiple favorites.

So, there are all these figures but what do they actually mean? Going back to what I said a few days ago, they're just figures unless they turn into dollars. Just about every counter online can be faked. I just checked and found the following on a site I will not mention...

  • Youtube hits $4 for 1,500 views
  • Facebook Likes $9 for 250
  • Twitter Followers $12 for 1,000

Unless followers and hits are genuine, they're worthless. Purchased hits are worthless. Out of curiosity, I asked the purveyor of these dodgy hits whether that included full viewing of the video and the adverts. I did not immediately receive a response.

Veritassium stated on his youtube channel (see Humans Apply Within, Robots Need Not Apply) that he and Rory Cellan-Jones from the BBC both set up fake Facebook pages and paid for likes. He also stated that the fake likes were buried amidst a torrent of other likes. Thus paying for likes of a page on Acme Widgets would also generate hits on a wide variety of other pages in order that the person selling the fake likes would not be discovered and barred. Thus, one of my suspicions, based on the low return rates from Adsense on my blogs and on my youtube is that many of the hits are fake hits from the click farms as they attempt not to be discovered. How many of my 1,000 hits on one of my videos are genuine? How many of the 1,800 hits on my friend's video are genuine?

More than how many hits are genuine but when is the time to quit or how much effort do you really want to put into a blog/youtube channel/website?  This is a website I haven't updated for about 8 years...
DayNumber of visitsPagesHitsBandwidth
01 Nov 201315852825.90 MB
02 Nov 20131134804.09 MB
03 Nov 201314411121.18 MB
04 Nov 2013151834167.86 KB
05 Nov 2013121825224.23 KB
06 Nov 20139141968.58 KB
07 Nov 201324561852.79 MB
08 Nov 20131939178110.69 MB
09 Nov 2013113416923.35 MB
10 Nov 2013132911112.06 MB
11 Nov 201361010110.34 KB
12 Nov 20131218261.99 MB
13 Nov 20131217634.85 MB
14 Nov 20138814273.00 KB
15 Nov 201312162877.52 KB
16 Nov 201391125154.73 KB
17 Nov 20138914961.93 KB
18 Nov 20131121994.45 MB
19 Nov 201391736334.61 KB
20 Nov 2013131634320.15 KB
21 Nov 201371115896.60 KB
22 Nov 201311381042.50 MB
23 Nov 2013182871968.55 KB
24 Nov 20131620382.74 MB
25 Nov 20131519261.78 MB
26 Nov 201391627320.62 KB
27 Nov 201379916.84 KB
28 Nov 2013111519161.57 KB
29 Nov 2013791274.16 KB
30 Nov 20131518381.08 MB
Average1123636.15 MB
Total3596941,903184.43 MB
As can be seen - the hits are pitiful. I only keep this website going for personal reasons. You can see why I don't believe in spending money on anything to do with the internet either. I have not earned worthwhile money from the internet. I have never got a job as a result of an online application. I have not become famous as a result of anything online.

So, is the internet worthwhile? This brings me back to what I said a few days ago in conversation. The internet begs us to keep trying because we feel that riches are just beyond our fingertips. If only we can reach out further then we can perhaps reach those riches. It's very similar to gambling - we feed coins into the one-arm bandit in the hope that if we feed enough in, we'll get the jackpot. What is the way forward? Does one keep pushing and hoping that the internet is not a one-arm bandit or does one simply write it off as a massive time-soak that has no profitable use?

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