Return on investment case study: how a site made 18 times it’s monthly costs in 2 weeks

Another hat I wear is that of the official Bryan Talbot fanpage webmaster.  This is a site I run voluntarily and have done so for over 14 years.  It is a labour of love for me: Bryan’s work had a huge impact on me and I wanted to help publicise it better.

Over the years I have learned almost everything I know from running this site because it is a site I care about and one that I make sure is updated every 2 weeks come hell or high water.  In fact, one irony is that I have yet to work on any professional site that has more pages than this fanpage!

Bryan recently asked me to upload a few scans of his artwork onto the site and sell them through PayPal.  He said I could have a commission on each one sold which is our usual arrangement, and so I launched the online sale.

In the 2 weeks since the launch of the artwork sale, he has sold four pieces of art at a total revenue of £1,090 and a total cost of £20 monthly hosting and £40 for my commission.  That means that in 2 weeks the site has made 18 times its monthly costs – for hosting – of £20 and has in effect paid for it’s whole year’s worth of hosting.

Why has the artwork sale been so succesful? –

  • site longevity and ease of finding: I started the site so long ago it has come to dominate the field – there is no one running a competitive site, it is number one in Google for the search term “Bryan Talbot” and it is the only place people tend to go to for information on Bryan and his work.
  • correct and appropriate use of social media: the Bryan Talbot Facebook fan group has over 250 members and the Bryan Talbot twitter presence has 93 followers: the sale was announced on there and was soon retweeted by other comics fans on Twitter,
  • an exceptional product: Bryan has a huge reputation in the comics world and his artwork has to be seen to be believed: there is a massive fanbase interested in the collectors items that are his original artwork.
So how do you achieve ROI of a factor of 18 on your site? – simple: great products on easy to use sites that are frequently updated, and easy to find and have a community of committed fans interested in what you’ll do next.

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