Sigh. I don't know what to do about the YABC website. The Google adwords advertsing was going relatively well...and then, very strangely, as the pageviews went up, the clicks went down (according to Google). Of course, even more strangely, the Google reported pageviews went down...it makes no sense. The site has been getting well over 200K pageviews a month, but Google only reports a fraction of that and I have at least the banner ad on every page.
I've emailed them about it a few times and they basically say "Sorry." Which basically means, "We're a great big huge company now and we can't be bothered that you're giving us thousands of pages of free advertising that we're not going to pay you for. Sucks to be you! Ta-ta!"
Even using an average assumption based on how many clicks I was getting before (when Google's reported pageviews were at least closer to what my stats show), I should be getting about double what they are giving me.
I used to use FastClick, but they hardly paid much at all and had annoying animated ads and junk ads to boot. I just can't go back there. I spent more time reviewing the ads to make sure I wasn't displaying gambling or dating sites than working on the site. At least, if felt that way.
I may just have to cut back on the free books or something. I can't afford to keep running it at such a huge deficit. The Google $$ was covering the hosting costs (which were $40/month and are now $50/month) but now I'm only getting just over $30/month from them. Amazon income last quarter was just under $30, though it went up to around $70/quarter around Christmas. It's the shipping costs that are killing me. Shipping is costing me somewhere around $100/month (sometimes more, sometimes less). Then there's the other expenses - domain name, forum, newsletter...
At the moment, I'm in the red almost $800 so far this year.
I hate to do it, but the only thing that makes sense, if I can't find other ways to earn some income off of the site, is to start disengaging from the forum giveaway and maybe even the forum in general. It costs me money to run it and most of the people in the forum either never visit the site, or already did anyway. And before I re-instituted the forum giveaway, it was really quiet in there.
I may have to do away with the review giveaway too. I don't know. Ugh. Maybe it will just go down to the publisher sponsored contests (which I still pay shipping for) + the random newsletter giveaway, since that is only once a month. Though I still have to do something with the prize books. Maybe I'd just do a set giveaway instead of the review thing. I don't know, I don't know, I don't know.