Claiming comics, ads and Piperka tour
You may have noticed a change in the ads since a couple of weeks ago. Piperka joined Comic Ad Network. They're pretty much a successor to the late Project Wonderful. The payout might be less than with Google's ads but I'd rather use ones that are actually relevant to the site and don't try to track and profile you. If the amount of clicks these get is any indication then it's safe to say that they're better received than what I had before. It's a delight to see a comic gain a dozen of new readers on Piperka after running an ad for a few days.
The reason why I went looking for new ads right now was that Google hit me with a second soft suspend due to "invalid traffic concerns". I just don't care to deal with that anymore and I was without ads for a while. I tried a different general purpose ad network in between and I got feedback in just a couple of hours from a user that they redirected them to a malware site. In all likelihood they gave cancer as well. I'm not naming names but I removed those ads immediately afterwards. It's definitely not what I want from my site and I'm apologizing to anyone who got hit by that. I spotted CAN on a comic and asked to join them. I was a bit concerned whether they'd have me since they seem to strongly target comic authors as publishers but they accepted me nonetheless. Even though it's a bit odd that they call Piperka a comic and me an artist on their site.
I suppose I could offset the lower ad revenue somewhat by promoting Brave. It's a privacy oriented browser and I'd get a few euros for every install that's been minimally active for a month or so. I had to even go through a KYC circus to get validated. What I think of Piperka and the revenue I get from it is that I could choose to lean more heavily on ads and possibly gain tens of euros each month. Maybe a hundred, at maximum. But as neither a hundred a month nor zilch is enough to live by, I'd rather try to focus on encouraging Piperka's user base to grow, even if it means foregoing advertising opportunities. Piperka's large enough to get contact attempts once in a while from all sorts of ad networks, trying to entice me to use their ads. I think CAN's ads are useful enough that they rather feel like a service by itself. I think I've found what I'll stick with, for now.
So if you have a comic to advertise then try it out. It's a bargain for what you get.
Speaking of growing the user base, I made an interactive tour of Piperka. I haven't yet linked to it from anywhere on the site. I have a steady amount of hits from search engines and it might not be apparent right away what Piperka even is about and I wanted to try to give them an idea about it, without expecting them to create an account first. I used to have an "example" page that demonstrated the interface but that had no interactive bits to it and was a bit of a wall of text so I retired it a couple of years ago along with the site backend rewrite. I'd welcome any feedback about the tour page, especially since I may be blind of what issues there might be to using Piperka and my perspective to it is irrevocably marred by the fact that I created it. I haven't yet tried to make the tour mobile friendly so it might be better to try it on a regular browser.
I'm considering advertising Piperka. I've almost never done so but I suppose there's no harm in trying. Especially since CAN seems to give me a perfect audience for it. But if all I gave them as a landing page was my current home page then they might not even figure out what they clicked on.
I made a short example comic for the tour. It's hilariously bad. If anyone would want to contribute anything better then I might replace it. Or perhaps it's just what Piperka needs, who knows.
One new feature I made last month is comic claiming. With it, I can attach a user account to comics and it'll give you a few controls over the comic. Like direct edits to their descriptions. It's pretty basic at the moment but I can add more features to it if there's interest.