I came home from a vacation and decided to check my google analytics account to see what kind of traffic I was getting to my sites. I was very surprised (and excited) to find that my visit count for the day was incredibly high for my html5gamer.net site. I had been getting 20-50 visitors a day and then boom there were hundreds of visits recorded for the day. I remember at one point checking the the number of active visitors on my site and seeing that there was currently 30 and thinking that there was some kind of problem with the code. But after a while and some double checking it looked legit, my site was actually receiving some significant traffic.
Of course in the moment I thought I had made it, that the site was talking off and soon I would be rolling in money with all the advertising profit I would make. Then reality set in and I started trying to figure out where all the traffic was coming from. It didn’t take long for me to figure out it was pretty much all from google plus. And it didn’t take long for the traffic to subside either. A day or two later the traffic peaked at 2282 visitors then declined as abruptly as it started.
Now I know that 2000 visits in a day is not really much to brag about as there are plenty of sites that regularly see much more traffic. But to me this was very exciting and a huge success. Unfortunately I don’t really know how to make it happen again. After traffic subsided I was quick to add social media buttons to my site hoping for a repeat, however to no avail nothing big came of it (unless you count $7.51 in adsense profit significant). While it is true that my daily visit count went up slightly to around 30-80 visitors in the weeks after the spike, nothing really significant came from it.
I guess that social media really can drive some significant traffic, however a lot of it seems like it is out of your hands. All you can do is create the best content possible and then just hope the web community deems your site worthy of sharing with their friends.
Ever see that ’90 Kevin Costner movie called the Field of Dreams? For those of you who are not familiar with the movie the catch phrase from the movie is “If you build it, they will come”. I saw this movie when I was young and this line has always stuck with me. In retrospect I think I approached this experiment with a similar kind of mentality. That if I simply built something online, people would come (and click on advertizements and make me lots of money). Almost a year later, however, I am realizing that there may be more requirements than simply building “something”. I was talking to my wife about some of my frustrations and told her that I was becoming disillusioned with the “if you build, it they will come” concept when it comes to the realm of the online. In response she pointed out something I missed in the movie all those years ago. Kevin Costner’s character in the movie wasn’t just building “something”, he was creating something very unique, special, and in high demand. He was building something that people could not find anywhere else.
So, how does all this relate back to web entrepreneurship and this blog? Well… In an honest appraisal of the things I have built so far I am realizing that they really are not all that special or unique. My blogs and game offer almost nothing new or special. So, I guess it is not really all the surprising that I have not made much money. I can take comfort in the thought that I have learned oodles from my efforts thus far, however the bottom line is that as of yet I have been highly unsuccessful in online entrepreneurship. Guess it might be time to update my frame of mind from “If you build it, they will come” to “If you build something special, they will come”.
I don’t really know why or how but for some reason the single post on my blog that has received the most traffic has been my post back in 7/11 titled “free Animated explosion on transparent background. This does seem a bit strange to me as it really is not all that relevant to the keywords I am trying to target with my blog. Nonetheless, I am currently working on another HTML5 game and have some additional animated explosion sprite sheets and am going to post there here as kind of an experiment to see what happens. You can save them by right click – save image as.
I did not draw these, I simply re-sized them and removed the background. They are saved in .png format and have a transparent background making them perfect for use as a sprite sheet in a game. You are free to use them in any way you see fit. I got the original files from lostgarden.com
If you are looking for some more free animated sprite sheets I highly recommend you take a look around all the things Lostgarden has to offer. There are a lot of free to use pixel art animations including several other explosions. They do not however have transparent backgrounds so you will have to edit them out yourself.
At long last I have finally finished my HTML5 game portal. You can find it here. I have been working on it for about 8 or 9 months and I think it is finally ready to go! I included a unique ranking system that hopefully will improve the user experience. This is the first website that I have done that is data base driven, so it took me a bit longer to figure that out. I am hoping that it will be a good way to promote my future HTML5 games. If you are trying to promote an HTML5 game, please visit the site and submit your game.
Here is my universal AJAX function. I am posting it here for reference. Over the months I have adapted/revised this function and now have finally gotten it to do pretty much what I want it. I did not write all of this myself I pulled most of it off of somewhere, but I can not remember so I can not give proper credit. Let me know if you have any suggestions on how to improve it.
// Universal Ajax Function
// Useage Example: universalAJAX('http://url.com', "var1=true&var2=false", functionWhenDone, functionWhenWaiting, functionWhenFail);
function universalAJAX(URL, DataToSend, doneFunction, waitingFunction, errorFunction)
if (json_http.readyState==4 && json_http.status==200)
Well, good news is I got my first Google Adsense check in the mail today, bad news is it took me several years to earn up to the minimum $100 payout. 🙁 Looking to my little chart on the right of how my income compares to how much time I have invested in this project and how little money I have made, it really is quite depressing. I have some news for anyone who whats to make easy money off of the internet – “Don’t quit your day job”. I don’t know what I am doing so wrong, but every one of my projects has an initially burst of visits and then gradually tapers off. I have spent a lot of time this past month updating my Asteroids Inc game to be submitted to a HTML5 contest where the first prize pays out $30,000. I have my hopes up, but realistically it is unlikely that will pay out. I still have an HTML5 portal I am about 75% done with that should be released here in a few weeks which I am hopeful for as well, but I guess in truth I am feeling a little defeated.
Moving forward, I guess I need to seriously look into other various forms of monetization. I bet that might help my overall income from this project. Finishing the new HTML5 portal also just may be a good priority which could add a lot of traffic and give me a place to promote my game.
Things are definitely looking down income wise (and morale wise), but this is my dream, and I am going to see this one through to the end.
Turns out installing photoshop 7 from the cd on a 64 bit windows is possible, but it is kind of buggy. Do a quick search on google and you will find it is a common problem. For a while I was stumped and had to live without my vintage photoshop, however I was finally able to get it to install. How I got it to work was I had to unhook all my monitors except my primary display, and then run the install program in compatibility mode (windows XP), and boom, it installed no problem. I don’t know if this will work for/help everyone, but prior to doing this the program would not install.
Incorrect (This is how I would assume it would work)
You will notice you cant use .x to access the property the loop is currently processing, you must use the [x] In truth I do not understand why this is so if anybody out there cares to enlighten me that would be appreciated. Either way hopefully this might save some frustration.
More often then not when I am are working with a mySQL database using PHP I want to put my results into a 2 dimensional array. A while back I found a snippet of code that very effectively does this. However, I am constantly digging through old projects trying to remember/find the piece the code that does this, So I figured I would post it here for reference. The code is only one line and will put the results of a mySQL query ($mySQLresults) into a 2 dimensional array.