January 6, 2016

Not Looking

Revenue from my business is down. Way way down. Depressingly down. I’m now down to 46 cents a day. This is not a trend I like. Quite frankly, it’s one the scares me.

I have a couple of theories as to why this might be. Traffic is down overall, and especially for my most profitable app is the Writing Sample Analyzer. I do know from some past email exchanges with a few of my users that the app is often used for work purposes. With the holidays, it’s likely some of my regular users are vacationing, which could explain the dip in traffic. Revenue was even lower Thanksgiving week at just 41 cents a day, and it was coming back before diving again. Then again, Christmas was a long time ago.

I do wonder if the dip in traffic isn’t somewhat of my own doing. I did receive some complaints over one of my updates a couple months before traffic started to slow. Then there was also the snafu with the my terms of service. In it I maintained the intellectual property rights for all direct communications to me regarding my website and apps. I tend receive unsolicited emails with a suggestion for website improvements a couple of times a year. Occasionally those suggestions contained ideas I’ve already had myself. I wanted to protect myself from someone else intellectual property claims on good ideas we both had independently. (It’s happened before that someone wanted compensation from my website simply because we had the same name.) It was pointed out to me, however, that the language of my terms of service was vague, and could be interrupted to mean I was claiming the intellectual property for any supplied content to my webapps, such as the writing sample analyzer. Given that many of my users to my writing sample analyzer are in the legal domain, I could see how this belief would make them nervous. Nervous enough to find a different readability ease tool. Let me be clear: I take your privacy and property rights very seriously. I do not store such content on my servers and I absolutely do not claim any rights to it.

Perhaps scariest of all are the things about starting my own business are the number of factors beyond my control:
– Google may change the search algorithm, resulting in fewer eyeballs on my apps.
– Advertisers may decide to offer less revenue for those fewer eyeballs.
– Another developer may come along and write another labor probability calculator.

For the sake of my sanity I need to focus on what I can change: creating great content my users love. I am going to ignore Google Analytics as much as possible for the rest of the month. Hopefully when I do finally check back in I’ll see revenue has been inching back upwards.

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  1. […] total income was $21.63. On the surface that’s a pretty average number, but the month started out at a crawl and ended with a bang. For the last nine days in January I earned $9.40 cents. That’s a per […]

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