Open for business

As many of you know, today not only marks the beginning the enforcement of several new laws (including the nanny state intrusion of hands-free cel phones) and the new federal fiscal year (for which we have no budget, as usual), but also the beginning of a new quarter and a new opportunity to lock in a prime piece of blogging real estate.

I look at advertising in a unique way – I would rather lock in an advertiser for the long-term (that term being three months, or a quarter) and allow them to set their own price – although I do set a floor price which is based on what I’m paid by a long-term advertiser. If there is a market, the advertisers determine it and right now there are two political ads I’m in the process of adding once they complete a simple process of getting me the graphics and paying for the space. I also give the opportunity for candidates to add an associated business of theirs gratis for the quarter as a thanks for advertising here.

Perhaps other websites do things differently, and some place political ads for free because they like the candidate. (I was the beneficiary of one of those sites.) But having released the genie from the bottle by accepting paid political ads I don’t think it’s either fair to those who pay to put up freebies or good for my long-term goals for this site.

However, business ads are a little different and in order to make this a year-round profitable enterprise I need more of them. Needless to say, there are sites which accept business advertising, with the “leading” one charging $100 per month. But is it the leading one? 

Let’s look at some of the local sites which contain advertising. One measure of readership, while perhaps flawed, is the Alexa rating. As of today, here are World and U.S. ranks of some local political and news websites.

  • monoblogue – world rank 395,413; U.S. rank 77,079
  • Salisbury News – world rank 339,963; U.S. rank 86,363
  • The Salisbury Grinch – world rank 802,682; U.S. rank 467,153
  • Delmarva Dealings – world rank 753,577; U.S. rank 237,163
  • The Daily Times – world rank 86,706; U.S. rank 19,194
  • WBOC-TV – world rank 110,922; U.S. rank 23,059
  • WMDT-TV – world rank 686,267; U.S. rank 203,838

Admittedly, the Grinch’s numbers may be skewed since he recently changed his URL. Normally it’s in the same neighborhood as Salisbury News.

But the interesting thing about Alexa is the site demographics it provides:

The fraction of visits to this site referred by search engines is roughly 2%. Visitors to the site spend approximately 44 seconds on each pageview and a total of 24 minutes on the site during each visit.’s visitors view an average of 14.0 unique pages per day. About 14% of visits to the site consist of only one pageview (i.e., are bounces).

In essence, what this says is people come to my site to read it and stick around long enough to get a message. Compare that to:

The time spent in a typical visit to (Salisbury News) is approximately two minutes, with two minutes spent on each pageview.

Is two minutes really long enough to read an ad? I’ll leave that to you to decide. And just so I’m not perceived as picking on Salisbury News, this applies to the WBOC website.

The time spent in a typical visit to is roughly four minutes, with 60 seconds spent on each pageview.

However, I can guarantee that the competition would rightly say that they get more repeat visitors in a day, and that may be true. Obviously they’re not keen on telling people how many people read their site daily, but do you know what? I have nothing to hide. See if you can spot a trend here among the SiteMeter and StatCounter numbers I use for the last quarter.

  • Week of July 5: Site Meter (SM) 1090, Stat Counter (SC) 1169
  • Week of July 12: SM 960, SC 1133
  • Week of July 19: SM 1132, SC 1223
  • Week of July 26: SM 1109, SC 1188
  • Week of August 2: SM 1153, SC 1168
  • Week of August 9: SM 1141, SC 1214
  • Week of August 16: SM 1108, SC 1152
  • Week of August 23: SM 1302, SC 1351
  • Week of August 30: SM 1221, SC 1431
  • Week of September 6: SM 1664, SC 1540
  • Week of September 13: SM 1677, SC 2030
  • Week of September 20: SM 1237, SC1358

My peak week, naturally for a politically-based website, was the week of the election. Guess what we have again in a month?

So there are the facts which I have to present. I have an uncle who was in business for himself for nearly 30 years and he occasionally advises me on how I conduct this website as a business – I’m not sure he’d appreciate my blunt honesty in revealing these “trade secrets” but that’s how I deal with people.

I think this is a great place to advertise for certain businesses:

  • restaurants (since much of my clientele reads this from work and no one I know of blocks this site)
  • professional services (a large percentage of clients are professionals with college education)
  • sports-related (because I do Shorebird of the Week in the summer)
  • politically-related (this goes without saying)

By having this information, I believe you as prospective clients can judge for yourself whether this would be an effective tool. If you believe it will be, the actual details of how I do advertising are here. Bear in mind that the higher the bid, the better the placement.

I know I have a lot of supporters out there, and many of them own businesses. We can support each other in this endeavor called life, so give this a shot! I look forward to doing business with you. My e-mail address is ttownjotes (at)

Author: Michael

It's me from my laptop computer.