Market Research

So I have a question for anyone willing to share statistics - what kind of ad revenues, donations and site visitors are those of us who are doing this semi-profesionally experiencing?

I'm hoping to make an illustrious return this summer and I'm looking to go all in, no half-assing this time, but I want a sense of whether that's doable or crazy.

Help would be appreciated, thanks!




Apr 2013________$2,320.29

May 2013__________$661.00

Jun 2013________$1,033.00

Jul 2013__________$694.00

Aug 2013________$2,152.84

Sep 2013________$1,010.35

Oct 2013________$5,046.52

Nov 2013________$3,132.80

Dec 2013________$2,321.72

Jan 2014________$2,856.36

Feb 2014________$1,703.38

Mar 2014________$1,623.81

Apr 2014________$3,105.00

May 2014________$2,800.00 (month incomplete)


Feb 2014_________$613.01

Mar 2014_________$709.00

Apr 2014________$1037.00

I'll post re: visitor/view stats later, when I can gather the data. Chapter to finish for tonight, though.

Jesus Christ, Wildbow...

Guess I'll use similar formatting for my own stats. Keep in mind I launched my serial in April 2013. I'm currently getting about 240 unique visitors per day and around 2000 total visits per day, according to Project Wonderful (here).

Ads w/ Project Wonderful:

May 2013________$1.27

Jun 2013________$1.80

Aug 2013________$2.83

Aug 2013________$4.12

Sep 2013________$5.21

Oct 2013________$9.40

Nov 2013________$7.75

Dec 2013________$6.00

Jan 2014________$11.50

Feb 2014________$9.80

Mar 2014________$11.68

Apr 2014________$10.63

May 2014________$2.13 so far


Jun 2013________$23.97

Jun 2013________$0

Aug 2013________$19.12

Sep 2013________$0

Oct 2013________$38.24

Nov 2013________$0

Dec 2013________$19.12

Jan 2014________$48.25

Feb 2014________$0

Mar 2014________$0

Apr 2014________$143.55

May 2014________$0 so far

So yeah. Not particularly impressive, but last month was a big surprise in terms of donations. There's also a very slow but definite upward trend in terms of daily visitors. The ad money, while small, has still been very helpful for paying for advertisements on other sites and thereby drawing in more readers.

I might not be answering Gavin's question, though. He wanted people who are doing this semi-professionally. Writing is my full-time job atm.

Yeah, well, it's my long-term goal to do the same, actually. I'M SO CLOSE, AS YOU CAN SEE. ONLY NEED A 1000% INCREASE IN READERSHIP, AND I SHOULD BE GOOD.

Thanks for the stats so far, gang - it is kind of a snapshot between "starting out" and "hitting the stride".

@Wildbow - I wasn't sure if you'd gone fulltime yet and didn't want to limit the data to just the professionals, because I think there's only a few where writing is their only job. The only ones that come to mind are you, Alexandra Erin, and I think MCG? Possibly Meilin Miranda, and a couple others. Jim still programs, I'm pretty sure, and doest rely solely on writing.

I basically want any data but the amateur starter, because there are some that want to do it as a career and some that it is just a hobby. I want to move away from the hobby mentality and see what's working for the dedicated.

Writing has actually been a full time job since about the start of 2012, but I wasn't pulling in enough cash, so it was basically a second job (on top of the odd jobs I did to make not enough money) that paid $75 for maybe 200 hours of work a month. But I stuck with it religiously. Then in 2013, around March/April, it started to kick off. I worked less (not that I was working consistently by any stretch of the imagination) and dedicated more time to writing, then started doing the writing as my only means of income.

All in all, I'd say I put in roughly 48-60 hours a week, depending on whether I have a Thursday chapter or not.

Those are some amazing numbers, Wildbow! It must be so gratifying to be able to live off your writing, and on your own terms no less. AND with all rights to your material retained! October looked like a good month for you. Did you do anything different?

Worm was just concluding. The last chapter went up in the first week of November.

You were interested in stats.

Worm stats, as I had them worked out in December 2013. Worm ended in November:

Worm stats, as they were tonight, May 2014, several months after completion:

Pact stats, as they were tonight, May 2014. The story has been going for four point three months now:

For those who aren't clear (sometimes people scratch their heads), a 'view' is a page visit. A 'visitor' is only noted once per day; once per visiting computer, basically.

That's a funny pattern for the Pact views. Really interesting seeing how different it is without the mass of people catching up on the archive. With an 'instant' audience you can really see the peaks as people read as it's posted.

Also, congratulations on maintaining/tempting your audience over Wildbow! Really gives testament to the quality of your writing. I've been enjoying Pact. I'm sure it's a relief to see things go smoothly.

Just to throw in my experience: I've had a donation page up for quite a while now and not received anything! But I'm no where near taking it as seriously as most. There's no bonus chapters or extra material incentive. I also reduced updates to only once a week. Views wise, I had been consistently hitting 5k views a week.

Sorry I haven't had time to say this - thanks to Wildbow for providing such amazing data. It is a great example of how hard work pays off - step by step over time. It provides much hope.

The other thing to take away from it is that it's not fast. I got popular, but I wrote maybe a million words before I even reached the midway point on that month-by-month bar chart. That's a lot of months writing 45-60 hours a week in addition to school (one full third-year semester, within those first six months) and work (periodic).

Making it big shouldn't be the goal. If it is, you're going to spend a long time being very frustrated.

I firmly believe people should write because they love to write. Period. I'm just saying that your stats (coupled with advice and stories about the effort you put in) are a valuable resource to anyone who wants to take the leap of faith and devote themselves full time. It gives a real world example that it is difficult and requires patience but that success is achievable if you put in that tremendous investment.

Plus have talent and luck and work ethic.

Your work is worth pointing to as worthy of respect, and as a bar for others to measure against. Has someone written a million words, have they been consistent with their schedule, have they had quality updates, have they put in the hours? If not, if so, either way it shows in the stats.