Back in September I posted a tip stating that freeware authors should release frequent updates to their products. I claimed to be practicing this tip myself, and that it was working. A constant stream of updates creates a constant stream of press and blog coverage. Someone who sees two bits of news about Paint.NET is more likely to try it out than if they’d seen only one bit of news.* I personally don’t recommend going the uTorrent route and updating two new builds every day though – that seems a bit too much. Why should I even bother updating when a new release is just hours away? However, I’ll bet their ad revenue is higher than mine, so I’ll keep my mouth shut beyond that 🙂
For the last few weeks I have been aggressively pushing out pre-release updates to Paint.NET v3.20 (one update per week!), and so I have some new data. Today (or rather yesterday), November 20th, 2007, was my 4th highest traffic day ever as reported by Google AdSense. The #1 and #2 days were right after the huge v3.0 release at the end of January. The #3 day was at the end of March after v3.05 was released. And because of all the new ways I’ve optimized my AdSense, today’s earnings were significantly more than double the average of those 3 days’ earnings: more clicks, much higher CTR, and significantly higher eCPM. Just like John Chow says, there’s really only one secret formula: get traffic, optimize ads. It’s true, and everyone with a monetized website knows it.
As far as data I can actually share**, Google Analytics states that today there were 17,412 unique visitors to http://www.getpaint.net :
Including the help content and other areas I track separately, there were over 24,000 unique visitors. This is obviously chump change to anyone who runs big websites for a living (imagine how much traffic I’d get if I really, really tried). I’ve always wondered how much money one could make if they were able to sneak their AdSense code on to the front page of Google.com or Microsoft.com … even if just for one hour!
My prediction is that with the next beta release, which I should have out by end of next week, I’ll break this record. And we’ll be that much closer to another stable, quality Paint.NET release …
* Just another theory of mine. I could be wrong, but probably not.
** AdSense’s Terms of Service are pretty strict about not sharing most of your statistics other than gross earnings.