How to lose all ad revenue in 1 comment (a Pocketables story)

I don’t write Pocketables for the money, obviously… I like playing with tech toys, helping people, and this seems to be a pretty decent way to do that. That there’s usually enough money to pay for hosting and a beer or two a month is an added bonus.

TL;DR – WordPress / Disqus users – learn from my fail.

But I don’t sit on top of day by day revenue counting every penny like Scrooge McDuck.

So our ad partners reached out to me yesterday and mentioned that I’d gone down to making like 50 cents a day in advertising for the past week or two, meaning that Pocketables was now running at a major loss. It’d been that way for a week or two. All because of one word in a headline that got a comment. I check the ad revenue about once every… uh… maybe two weeks or so to plan whether it’s Miller Lite or Guinness night I guess…

You might notice our famous barely changing site no longer has a recent comments… it will again, but yeah, one word in the recent comments flagged as advertiser poison. That recent comments bar displayed on every page of the site. That turned 4,800+ pages that the advertising network had served ads on (we have 20K, but most never serve,) into “won’t touch this”.

Le sigh….

As the recent comments doesn’t allow me to edit it, and the comment is not offensive, just removing it until the comment slides off….

Said it before – I like writing about tech toys and how-tos, I do not enjoy SEO, running a website, dealing with WordPress issues and hosting providers who say “unlimited” and then impose limits the first days (looking at you, hosts who limit inodes but nowhere near storage, CPU times, etc.)

So yeah, headline was mine, comment was inoffensive, had the headline now not appeared on every single page on the site that one article would have not been advertised on and the 400 or so hits it got would have not made a penny… or served ads. As it stands, learn from my fail.

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

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