The www.LittleInnovationBook.com is an online book I’m proving free of charge for people thinking about starting an innovation effort.
Well, actually, its not quite free. There are ads and some other things there as well. The other thing are the most interesting.
Because I own the whole rights to the work, not my traditionalist publisher who has to do things in a certain way in order to fit in with the traditional publishing model, I have the liberty to use the book as a live innovation experiment.
I promised readers a while back that I’d update on how my experiments are going from time to time.
Firstly, let me tell you about the traffic build. The site got spidered pretty much immediately by all the search engines, because of the links here and the fact that the announcement I made on Twitter got retweeted extensively. Retweets are excellent predictors of Google’s pace at recognising content, I’ve found. The book was immediately number 7 for the keywords “innovation book” and for a range of other innovation words as well it was in the first page of results.
Traffic has been building steadily, and the book is presently getting about a hundred uniques a day after two months. During the build I ran two StumbleUpon campaigns just to see. You can buy relatively targeted traffic for $0.05USD a visitor, which quite cheap considering they are real visitors, not just bots. However, I did find the bounce rate on that traffic to be very high. In other words, visitors would stop at the landing page, and just move on without going deeper into the content. I’ve abandoned StumbleUpon for now.
FaceBook traffic and Google CPC traffic are better, but very expensive. It doesn’t look as though you can buy traffic for an online book and return a profit, as far as I can see.
So much for mechanisms where you pay for visitors. I’ve given up on them now and switched to Article Marketing. For those of you unfamiliar with it, what you do is write short, pithy article with lots of Google-friendly keywords. Then you submit them to various article directories, complete with a resource box containing URLS that link back to your site. The pundits all say you have to have published some hundreds of them before you notice a real difference, but that you get exponential traffic that lasts a long time once you do. I’ve been doing two a day since the start of March. I’ll come back to you on how successful that’s been in a month or so, but it looks promising for now.
But I know most of you will be interested in the “Pay what its worth” model I was trialling. Since then, I’ve also tried “Tip the Author a fixed amount” and as of this morning, I’m doing “Micropayments for Ad-Free content”. Let me run these three for a few weeks and I’ll come back to you with specific results.
Here’s the top line, though: “Pay What its Worth” works less well than the Tip scheme, and I think its because people don’t like having to make a decision on value AND tell me what they think it is. When I told them what the fixed amount was, they were far easier with it.
Anyway, as I said, let me come back to you with more specifics on that later in the next instalment. I’ll also be talking about the performance of AdSense, especially as I’ve now doubled the ad density in the book. My apologies to those of you who find them too annoying to continue.
PS: For those of you who have tipped, or paid otherwise, you’ll be getting book content in either ePub or PDF as soon as it is ready. And thank you for your support, and for continuing to read.