Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Website updates and observations

I've spent a couple of days going through and updating all of the ads on my blog.  I still hadn't updated many of the Amazon ads from my oldest blog posts (I switched to advertising Barnes & Noble books when Amazon dumped their Colorado affiliates), and I've also been switching all of my ads to a better linking format that Barnes & Noble started offering since I joined their affiliate program.

Of course, I have more than 350 posts on this blog, so as you can imagine, inserting a new image link into every single post took some time — the better part of three days, to be precise.  But now that's all done, the links are all updated, and I feel so much better to finally be rid of all my old Amazon affiliate links.

Going through my old posts, though, I made a few observations:

1) My blog posts have gotten a lot better as I've settled into my self-imposed role as a book reviewer.  My reviews used to be just a paragraph or two about the book I was currently reading, rather than the longer, more in-depth reviews I write now once I've finished the book.  I still like to maintain a fairly casual feel to my reviews, but I think I've improved them so that they tell my readers a little more about the book I'm reviewing.

2) As much as I read, I forget a lot of what I've read.  There were some books I reviewed in the early days of my blog, a good three or four years ago, that I no longer remember reading.  At all.  Not even reading my own review jogged my memory!  Thankfully those seem to be just the books that didn't make as much of an impression on me — the ones that I really liked, or that really moved me, I had no trouble remembering.

3) Ebooks are rarely the cheapest edition.  I've changed my links so that I always link to the cheapest edition, as per my sidebar (see "About Livre du Jour").  For YA books, the ebooks are consistently the cheapest edition, but with adult books and especially bestsellers, that's rarely the case.  The ebooks are sometimes about the same price as the mass market paperback, but more often, they are a couple dollars more.  This is annoying to me, as both a blogger and a reader — I personally don't like paying more for an ebook than I would for a cheap paperback, and as an affiliate marketer, I wonder if ebooks being the cheapest edition available would actually increase my affiliate sales.  Ebooks make a great impulse buy, because the buyer can download them immediately, unlike DTB (dead tree books) that you have to wait for while they ship.

Going through old posts is an interesting experience.  Luckily for me (oh boy) I'll probably need to do it again sometime soon, because a few of the cheapest editions I've linked to are bargain books, so when they are no longer available I'll need to update the links!

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