Archive for the ‘Indie Business’ Category


Indie Inspiration: Dog Lovers

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

Indie Inspiration: Dog Lovers

1. BW Barkery //  2. RodaLuLu  //  3. Dogtails  //  4. Rockstar Puppy  //  5. Bacon Square Farm  //  6. Mimi Green  //  7. Billets-Doux


Today I’m featuring some of the incredibly cool accessories for our furry friends from Etsy (I’m just in love with number 7!)


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A revolutionary way to support Indie Bloggers and Creators: Flattr

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

Most indie bloggers create content and share it with the world in addition to having a “day job”. Some advertise, take on sponsors, or even accept donations, but still: blogging is usually a labor of love, not a career.

But, let’s face it: how much entertainment and information do you get from your favorite blogs and websites each month? As much as you get from your cable TV or Netflix subscription? As much as your favorite magazine?

Beyond bloggers: what about webcomics or videos? Music? Free apps and software? Charities?

Honestly, I spend far more time on the Internet looking at content that was, for the most part, created for free, than I do with any of those other services.

Enter: Flattr. A relatively new platform for supporting those purveyors of content that you’ve grown to appreciate and love. The concept is simple: designate a certain amount of money each month to Flattr content creators with. Whenever you see something you appreciate, you click the “Flattr Me!” button or bookmarklet. At the end of the month, Flattr divvies up your funds amongst those sites.

I encourage everyone to think about the value of the content they get online beyond the price of their Internet connection. This is a really great way to support the people who are working hard to spread information, art, entertainment, and culture.
If you’ve used Flattr in the past, either as a donater or donate-ee, share your experience in the comments!


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Why you should think twice before using Facebook to advertise your Indie Business.

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Do you use Facebook for advertising? If you run an indie business, you have probably been tempted to at some point. Practically everyone and their dog has a Facebook account (…guilty) and their influence is literally unavoidable.

You might want to rethink your advertising strategy, though.

A study from Web Trends showed that only 1 out of 2,000 ads gets clicked. Perhaps more disturbingly, the Advertising Research Foundation conducted a study that showed that a blank ad performed 60 percent better than that.

Here’s what made me sit up and take notice, though.

A software development company reported that 80% of all of the clicks (that they had to pay for anyway) came from automated bots. Some people had suspected this prior, but no one came up with a way to actually track it. From the article:

“A couple months ago, when we were preparing to launch the new Limited Run, we started to experiment with Facebook ads. Unfortunately, while testing their ad system, we noticed some very strange things. Facebook was charging us for clicks, yet we could only verify about 20% of them actually showing up on our site. At first, we thought it was our analytics service. We tried signing up for a handful of other big name companies, and still, we couldn’t verify more than 15-20% of clicks. So we did what any good developers would do. We built our own analytic software. Here’s what we found: on about 80% of the clicks Facebook was charging us for, JavaScript wasn’t on. And if the person clicking the ad doesn’t have JavaScript, it’s very difficult for an analytics service to verify the click.

What’s important here is that in all of our years of experience, only about 1-2% of people coming to us have JavaScript disabled, not 80% like these clicks coming from Facebook. So we did what any good developers would do. We built a page logger. Any time a page was loaded, we’d keep track of it. You know what we found? The 80% of clicks we were paying for were from bots. That’s correct. Bots were loading pages and driving up our advertising costs.”


In other words, if you pay for Facebook advertising, there is a good chance that 80% of what you pay for is coming from bots and not from actual, potential customers.

A large company might be able to blow a portion of their advertising budget on bum Facebook ads, but an indie company certainly can’t.

There are a number of reasons why these bots are being created- perhaps they’re from companies trying to blow through their competitors advertising budgets; the more sinister theory is that Facebook itself generates these in order to make more money on advertising (that can’t possibly be true, can it?) but the real question is why Facebook isn’t stopping it. Google has fairly sophisticated methods of determining which clicks are legit, and in fact, click fraud is even a felony in some places.

Considering the fact that Facebook makes 85% of its revenue through advertising – finely tuned based on all of the billions of pieces of your personal information – you would think that they could figure out the formula for successful advertising. Apparently this is not the case.

If you have experience with advertising on Facebook (or anywhere else, for that matter) please share in the comments! This is fascinating (albeit suspicious) stuff.


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Hazel & Agnes is the creative blog of Natalie Matz. Click above to learn more!