Over the last day or so, I posted two polls on what you do
and do not want to see, content-wise, here at The Beat. Many many thanks to the hundreds of you who voted and commented. It generally confirmed what I know the regular, devoted readers of the site like to see, and we will be trying to do more of the industry analysis and news that everyone seems to like.
Also not unexpected, the most soundly rejected categories — entertainment news, top ten lists and celebrity photos — are in fact what drives about 90% of the traffic on the web, so downplaying that kind of material does leave us at a bit of a disadvantage.
I monetize this site — and raise money to pay the people who help me run it — with display advertising. Keeping traffic up is important to those advertisers and to the occasional networks and affiliate deals that I run. And sadly, if I started running posts entitled “10 best photos of Benedict Cumberbatch in the new Star Trek Movie” my traffic would climb dramatically. I don’t plan to do that, but in running this site for the very, very dedicated and engaged readers who have been here for the whole journey and keep coming back daily, there are a few things you can do to help the Beat. And, no, I’m not going Andrew Sullivan with a paywall subscription model. (Not yet anyway — let Sully try it out first.) But there are a couple of free easy things you can do to help this site stay healthy and independent.
* Click an ad from time to time! Just do it! Don’t click the same ad over and over, but I think you know what I’m talking about. Buy stuff from my advertisers and tell them you saw it on the Beat!
* Share!!! I’m pretty good on Twitter and Facebook but I could be shared more! Especially if you have a Google+ account. If you like what you see here, tell others! Tell Reddit! Stumble! Sharing makes you a better person.
* Spill! I can always use more tips and links. Not tips and links to other comics news websites, but the interesting and quirky and newsworthy stuff you get by hanging around your favorite creators Facebook page all day. Don’t be afraid to Tell The Beat!
I’m not putting the onus of supporting the Beat on my readers, but if you really don’t want me to post the stories that make up 90% of the rest of the internet, it won’t hurt to show your support for the site.
The Beat is 100% owned by me and independent. I’m a crazy nutter running a 2003 business model in a 2013 world! Very few other sites can make that claim, except Jonah Weiland and Tom Spurgeon. In fact, if you don’t like the Beat then go do all the things I just suggested for the Comics Reporter. But for those of you who are sticking around for the ride, let’s have some fun!
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.