More Content, Fewer Ads; Now Accepting Donations
To our Valued Readers,
In our quest to improve upon Infopackets.com and overall visitor satisfaction to our site, we've rolled out some major changes this past week and will continue to make improvements in the weeks ahead.
Some of the changes we've rolled out this past week include:
- additional content: 5 more articles per week
- added: payment link for donations by PayPal, card, and by mail
- inclusion of "How To" articles to the site
- removal of Vibrant Media ads (blue double-underscore links / pop up ads)
- removal / change of Google ads
- added: 'Help Support Infopackets' tab at top of page
- cleaned up the site / new content links
The changes we've made (in detail) are listed below.
Why These Changes Are Necessary
As I've mentioned previously, we've lost approximately 65% of our revenue, which began April 2011 due to an algorithm change by Google. The loss of revenue and web traffic has been financially devastating for us and continues to this day, despite our best efforts to correct it.
With such a massive drop in revenue, we've regrettably had to cut down on the number of articles being published per day. As such, the site has become stagnant.
The changes I'm about to describe in this article coincide with my action plan which has been in development over the past year and half. It will not only correct the problems we're having with Google, but will also help to alleviate revenue problems, as well as breathe new life into the web site.
RE: 5 More Articles Per Week + How To Articles
Starting this past week, our writers have began to gradually double up content on our website, beginning with 5 new articles per week.
The additional content will consist of similar news coverage, as well as a shift in focus to include How To articles (based on frequently asked computing questions), and a new focus on Windows 8. I will also be adding a voting poll to ask readers what content they'd like to see us cover.
Provided that we are able to acquire the appropriate and continual funding from our readers, more content will be added to the site as we push forward.
In the coming weeks, I will also be rolling out additional, major changes to the site, including a login system, which will pave the way for public commenting (other than Facebook), access to articles using mobile devices (ad free), and similar. These are extremely exciting changes and I can't wait to get it up and running.
I will discuss the funding situation further down this article, but first I need to explain some of the other changes we've rolled out this past week.
RE: Removal of Vibrant Media Advertisements
To improve upon visitor satisfaction to our website, we have done away with Vibrant Media ads.
Vibrant Media ads were previously displayed within our articles, and represented as blue double-underscore links on text. If you placed your mouse over top of these links, a pop up advertisement was displayed.
Many of you have expressed your extreme dislike for these ads due to their intrusive nature. We've listened to your requests. Moving forward, these ads have no place on our website, and so we've removed them.
Removing Vibrant Media ads, as well as other ads from the site means we'll be losing out on significant revenue which we have relied on for the past 10 years. Revenue generated from ads helps us to maintain our operating costs, which are in the thousands of dollars each and every month.
RE: Removal of Google Adsense banners
We've also removed 1 skyscraper banner from the site, which was previously displayed on the far right of the page. We've also changed the skyscraper ad within the article to be displayed as text-only, instead of an image, as it is less intrusive.
Some of you will wonder why we can't remove all ads banner ads from the site. The truth is that we still rely on some ads for revenue, and can't remove them all -- at least, not right now. If we are able to secure enough revenue through donations on a regular basis, I will be more than happy to remove every single ad on the site.
RE: 'Help Support Infopackets' Tab
This past week I've added a 'help support infopackets' navigation tab at the top the site, next to the Home, Archive, Contact tabs. These tabs are accessible from any page on the site at the top of the page (to the right of the search bar). I will be updating this page as time goes on and include additional methods for funding our site.
RE: Cleaned Up Site / New Content Links
Over the next few weeks we will be inserting links to related stories inside the articles. For example: if you're reading an article about Windows 8 and the Start Menu, the text will contain links to other stories we've published which are related.
Right now, related stories are grouped together and presented as links at the bottom of each article page. These links will be removed when the new system is in place.
Adding the related article links within keywords of the articles will help to promote topical focus for the page being viewed, which will improve our search engine optimization greatly, as well as help to increase page views to the site.
We've also removed images to 'Game of The Week' from underneath each published story, as it interferes with topical focus of the page, which I believe is responsible for penalizing our website. To access Game of the Week, you can visit our archive page, or click on the Game of the Week image on the far right of our website.
Producing additional content and removing advertisements from the site means that our operating costs will go up and we'll be generating significantly less revenue.
To offset this, we are asking for donations to the site. There are 3 ways you can help to fund our website, which I will describe in detail below.
RE: Donations by PayPal / Credit Card
As of this moment, we have only 1 gateway to process electronic payments (credit cards), and that is using PayPal.
You can use the link below to send us a payment right now using PayPal. We graciously extended our thanks to those that are able to donate to our website.
Click the button below to donate now.
PayPal will allow you to process a credit card payment, even if you don't have a PayPal account.
Note that the proceeding payment page will have a title for "Computer 411", which is part of Infopackets, Inc (www.infopackets.com).
RE: Donations by Credit Card (not using PayPal)
I understand many of you choose not to use PayPal for a variety of reasons. As such, I have applied for an online merchant account to accept payments by credit card. This requires programming and configuration changes on the web server, which I hope to finalize in the coming weeks.
For now, please consider sending a check by mail (discussed further down), or make a payment using PayPal's processing system without signing up for a PayPal account.
RE: Funding through Amazon.com
We have also set up a link to Amazon.com, where 4% of your purchases will automatically be credited to us (click here for more on how to do this). This works out well because many of you will be purchasing products through Amazon during the holidays.
If you shop at Amazon regularly like I do, please consider using our link throughout the entire year. All you need to do is first click our link, which will take you to Amazon, proceed to checkout, and we'll be credited. It's seamless and simple to do.
RE: Donations by Check / Holidays Cards by Mail
I understand many of you prefer to send a check by using old fashioned snail mail. You can send a check using the address below. Thanks very much!
If you have a holiday greeting card, you can optionally enclose your donation inside a greeting card. That said ...
I would absolutely love to receive greeting cards from all our readers from everywhere around the world, even if you can't afford to send a donation. For all the cards I receive, I'm going to take a photo and put in on the web site and share it with you.
Note: please make checks payable to Infopackets, Inc. Any amount will do. Don't forget to include your name (printed legibly), as well as your email address in the "Memo" portion of the check. Thanks for your support!
The address is:
137 Meconi CT, off Rockhaven
By Amy Croft RD
Remember to affix the proper postage as this is going to Canada. To get the proper postal rates, visit your post office in person or online USPS if mailing from USA. Generally speaking: from USA to Canada, a square envelope of 2oz will cost $1.75 in postage. 1oz will cost $1.25.
Note regarding the address: please ensure you write the address down on the envelope exactly as you see it. There is another street in our area with the exact same name (ours is Meconi CT ("court"), the other is simply "Meconi"). In the past, letters have bounced back to the sender because the mailman was unable to make the distinction of street names, even though the proper postal code was written. Using the address above will help to ensure it gets to the right place.
I will be making additional announcements in the coming weeks as I roll out more changes as they are released.
Thanks for your support,
CEO | Chief Editor