The idea that you have to spend money to make money has been around since business was created, and while writing and indie publishing erotica has cut a good portion of our costs down, there are still certain things that will tap our account. I've already discussed my desire to keep close to the black. I didn't want to go into debt with this business until I could ensure that I would bring in enough to break even soon enough. Frankly I am a risk averse person and we were not in a place we could risk funds like that.
Its been almost a year and while I'm not touring Europe on my paycheck I have completely reimbursed my initial start up fees for my lap top, editor, covers, fonts, the few pieces of advertising I have set up. I am currently looking into hiring a web-assistant. Someone to check through my links and ensure they're active and correct, to give me feedback, and to help me with some extra advertising here and there around the web. But again the risk averse person within me is saying "this is stuff you do!" But it takes away from my writing, reducing my output and creativity with more analytic type work.
With each business decision there are pros and cons, and a level of risk, taking time to think them through before diving in and possibly wasting a bunch of money. When I'm faced with a decision I set up a goal, a cancellation deadline, and a baseline.
For example - another avenue I'm looking into is web ads on a popular website. The pros are that it is relatively cheap, has no cancellation fees if it doesn't work, the trial period could be as long or as short as I like. The cons are that while it would advertise to my web presence and help me expand my blog and my site I don't know if it will directly influence sales, plus all my advertising thus far has been free, and stepping into the world of paid advertising means that I will have more money I need to make to stay in the black. I have decided that I will set up a 2 month trial, with the goal of reaching 500 "new" views on my pages.
In the end my decisions are based on my overall goals for my business. Views may not instantly translate to sales, but without views people won't know about my works.