Saturday, November 3, 2012

Death Of A Website

My first website highlighting my great idea for the next pet rock. The idea struck in the early years of this century, I think, 2001 or perhaps 2002: The Hillbilly Dinner Napkin. You can find it for the next couple days at and after that, at

A friend gave me his program Web Studio so I could learn how to build websites. I had my idea, a story and  a program and I built a website around it. There's been a few changes since the original, but basically it is still the same since I placed it on the World Wide Web.

I owe a lot to this website, not the least learning what it takes to sell stuff on the web: People searching for what you've got. I remember loading my website and waiting for the cash to come rolling in. Not only didn't the cash roll in, but visitors didn't either. To this day, after being online for 10 years, I still get less than 100 visitors per month showing up on this site. Recently, most of those visitors show up from Russian Porn Sites according to my visitor logs. Don't ask me why.

I tried though. I sent samples to late night comedy shows, hoping for a television mention to spur some interest, no luck. I showed these at various motorcycle events I attended and sold leather at. I had samples for sale in my store. Everybody gets a kick out of it, but no one every decided to purchase twenty of them for their Thanksgiving dinner.

Did I make some money off the site? Not as much as I spent over the years. I sold a dozen of these to the Iselton (California) Chili cook-off committee. I got a few more sold on line, but really not much. The domain is comming up for renewal and it's time to put it to rest. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Because of this experience though, I did find out what it took to sell stuff on line and tools to do it. If you do (or I should say did) it right, an individual could get right in and make a damn good business. I did it, I found a niche and worked it, sold tons of stuff and if I would have played my cards right, I might have floated to the top, but I didn't.

 Today, not so easy to sell on the web. A lot of competition and the Big Boys have locked in the first couple pages of search: Amazon, WalMart, Ebay and more. It was the wild west when I got started, but Return on Investment became harder and harder to do with on line advertising, hucksters were pitching programs to be millionaires by selling your used stuff on Ebay and the New Economy was this wired world. Sorry, that came to a crashing halt. The little guy is locked out again, perhaps you can recycle stuff on Craigslist, become a virtual scavenger, finding stuff and listing it for free.

Have a good laugh.

RIP: Hillbilly Dinner Napkin

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