Regular readers know I love to muck with the advertising on this site just to experiment with stuff that’s out there, I’ve tried just about every ad market out there in the name of being able to actually write an intelligent review from the perspective of someone who has actually used it and while I’ve amassed a ton of info I’m putting into an epic series of blog posts for you, I switch stuff around so much, this site has never really had a chance to make any actual money. (Actual money here is defined as more than just almost covering the hosting.)

Now, I would do this blog even if it didn’t make a penny because I enjoy it but the sad fact of the matter is, in order to justify devoting as much time to this blog as I do, I really need to make it start generating at least some income, especially since I had to give up one of my big revenue streams this year because of the issue with my hands. Many e-commerce bloggers “convert” their traffic into money by making their blog side-by-side with their store but, while I don’t hide the name of my store, I don’t feel like I can be honest and “real” and talk shop about ecommerce on any blog that is side by side with my store so I intend to keep them separate as much as I can. Real Hillary is a much more useful to you as a blogger than Hillary: Corporate Blogger of Professionalism, trust me.

The point of this post is not to be all “aw poor baby” but rather to just give you a heads up about some new stuff I’m going to be trying next year all for the purpose of trying to monetize this site:

  • eBooks Galore. Over the next few months, you’ll be seeing lots of ecommerce related eBooks from me. I’m hoping to have a new one available for sale each month, if I can. I’ll be posting when they come out and adding links to them all over the site but I’m giving you the exclusive scoop right now: every eBook I put out will, at some point, appear on the blog for you to read, totally free. Some eBooks will be made up of old blog posts you’ve already read while some will be written new but then hacked up and syndicated on the site. Either way, if you aren’t subscribed to The Whine Seller via email or RSS, you’ll probably want to be so you can get all that content without having to pay for it.
  • Podcast. I’ll give you more info on this as we get closer to launch but, briefly, there are a lot of great ecommerce podcasts out there, many of which are interview or call in format that happen at a specific time each week. This isn’t going to be like those, in fact, I’m actually calling the podcast Audio Articles because that more closely defines what it will be: informational articles, how to’s and opinion pieces. There will sometimes be interviews or call-ins but the overall focus of the podcast will be to keep the episodes as timeless as possible, like an ongoing audio class on ecommerce. My hope is that this will bring more readers into the site as well as more buyers for the eBooks but, most importantly, be the sort of podcast you could tune into a few years late and it would still be useful. More info on that once it is ready to roll.
  • I’m starting to sell my own advertising both on this site and on the podcast. I mentioned this briefly here and here but now that I’m done testing ad markets, I’m in a position to sell those newly vacated ad spots myself. Because this is something new I’m doing, I have made banner impressions on the site very cheap. I’m also only selling a limited number of spots to make sure that every ad gets optimal exposure so ad spaces can “sell out” until a new ad space opens up. For now, I’m only selling by impression but if you would rather buy by the month or by clicks, please let me know and I can set up a custom purchase. In the spirit of this blog, I’m also selling all my advertising through the new Vendio Stores so this is a great opportunity to try them out if you haven’t gotten to see what the purchase process is like on them yet. You can see what ad spaces are available here. Sponsorship for the first 10 episodes of the podcast are up there as well if you want to reserve your spot early. (You’ll also be able to sponsor an already aired episode at a discounted price if an episode airs without a sponsor but that’s not available until episodes start airing.)

On a personal note, I really appreciate all of you reading this. I am not one of the biggest blogs out there but I have a fantastic group of readers who regularly retweet and share the stuff I post and I really have to thank you for that. Without you guys, I’m just a really sarcastic seller talking to herself. So, in all seriousness, thank you for reading and I hope you’ll stay with me through the new year. This has been a very weird year for me for a number of reasons and I’m looking forward to a bright and shiny new year (love that movie, by the way).

Anyway, if you enjoy reading The Whine Seller, please keep reading, retweeting, and sharing the site and if you want to support the site by buying advertising, one of my books or supporting my advertisers, understand that I greatly appreciate it.