Friday, March 11, 2011

Using Project Wonderful ads to sell eBooks

For those keeping track I recently posted about using Facebook for advertising here. In that "campaign" I spent 15 dollars and received 49 clicks and may have sold one book due to the ad.

An artist friend of mine, Christopher Steininger, has had tons of success with Project Wonderful, so I gave it a try. Project Wonderful is a site where you can create an account, create an ad and have your ad displayed on various websites. You are able to search for websites that might have potential customers then bid on the ad space (which comes in various sizes). It's a system that looks complicated in the beginning, but after about twenty minutes makes sense (plus they have a clever tutorial, though the best way to learn is from doing). So I came up with two ads.
Both are quite small, as you can see. I was hoping the cover of Draugr would intrigue
"clickers" and the Dust ad does let them know that it is an eBook. Then I deposited 15 dollars in my account using paypal and bid on several websites (some to do with comics, others to do with fiction).
Here are the results for Draugr

I have two ads because I changed the ad slightly. Overall you can see that I spent $5.24. The websites I advertised to over the 10 day stretch had 360,000 visits and received 98 clicks that took people to my website. So already this is much cheaper than Facebook per click.
Here are the results from Dust :

I spent $9.84 and the websites I advertised to had over a million hits and I received 73 clicks to my website.

So the total for both campaigns was 171 clicks. A higher number than I received from Facebook (which was 49 clicks).

Number of sales from these clicks = 1 or 2. That's about all I can attribute to the campaigns. So I didn't earn my money back. What's up with that? I thought advertising was the answer to everything! : )

I do feel that there is more potential at Project Wonderful. If I were to do another campaign I would use larger banner ads with better designs. I also understand the bidding system a bit better now and you can literally spend pennies a day (even nothing--that's right your ads run for free) and get a good return if you're willing to do a bit more "poking" around at various websites. In the future I would rather do a long-term campaign (for pennies a day) to get attention and "branding." Most people don't just click and buy. They click then go away. But if they keep seeing your ad for two or three months then they are more likely to click again and go "Oh what the heck" and buy.

Meanwhile I'm going to go back to writing!



Anonymous said...


There is also something to remember -- it isn't all JUST about who buys. Branding is a very important part of being an author. If you can make people remember your name, they may come back later to buy your book. Something to think about. You can't just value an ad campaign on the direct sales alone.

Unknown said...

Absolutely. I think one of the benefits of Project Wonderful is that you can do long term advertising for a meagre budget. It's actually affordable.

Unknown said...

What great info, thanks Arthur.

Unknown said...

I've really enjoyed reading about your experiments. As soon as I have more short stories published to put into a collection of some sort, I'm going to try a few of these experiments as well. Great blog

Life of Lois

Unknown said...

thanks Loreen and Lois,

It has been a very curious adventure.

cleemckenzie said...

Thanks for the research and for sharing it on your blog. I'm learning so much more about marketing these days than I am about writing!

Unknown said...

That writing is the hard part! : )

sgl said...

Arthur I just surfed in after doing some random blog googling for Project Wonderful. I've been using it since about last October just to promote my websit and after blowing some change on really inappropriate sites (with the wrong demographics) I tried experimenting with campaigns. For a dollar each night, I'm getting displays at about 20-50 sites at a time (as some of the costs are 0.00 if no one else is bidding) .

That said, I still do traditional bids on sites I enjoy as a consumer and that have good traffic numbers. Over time I've found the ones that work for me.

One caution about PW,t hough. I run Google Analytics on my site and I find that the way the two work differ. PW counts more unique visitors than Google Analytics, sometimes by a factor of 1.5-2. I think it's important to run another set of tools to track visits and length of visit so you get a true sense of what a site is doing for you in terms of traffic.

Anyways, I wish you the best as you move forward. I do hope we have more writers come into the system. Right now the biggest traffic sites are webcomics, gaming sites,a nd youth portals.... finding places to advertise is a challenge!

Unknown said...

Thanks SGL. Very interesting. I hadn't thought of the way PW is counting its hits. You've opened my eyes. I can see it being useful if you can find your right demographic. It is hard and you're right, I wish there were more writing sites. I'll keep crossing my fingers!