Three Months Later… How Are We Doing?
By Guy LeCharles Gonzalez, Chief Executive Optimist, Digital Book World
Three months ago, during the mid-afternoon of January 25th, we flipped the switch on DigitalBookWorld.com and shifted from the event-focused site promoting our inaugural Conference (that would kick off the next morning), to the community-focused site you’re reading now.
To help accomplish our goal of becoming “The Publishing Community for the 21st Century”, we wanted to do three very specific things, with this web site representing the hub for each of them:
- Offer a range of programming, year-round, focused on implementing the strategies that were put forward at the Conference.
- Promote a sense of optimism about the future of publishing, and the opportunities hidden in the challenges the industry is facing.
- Publish content that syncs with our mission of focusing “on publishing strategies, not tools; solutions, not theories; practicality, not punditry.”
Since January 25th, we’ve produced 6 WEBcasts and 11 episodes of The Roundtable, as well as a second 7x20x21 event that was the epitome of publishing optimism (the videos from which are available on-demand here on the site), and our first Digitize Your Career Forum. We’ve also published 105 articles on a number of topics, including eBooks, marketing, and the evolving business model; insightful takes on Amazon and the iPad; and inspiring profiles of a variety of optimistic publishing professionals.
Our editorial plan has been to focus on quality over quantity, optimism over gloom and doom and empty hype, publishing 4-6 substantial articles each week, and leaving the link-blogging on Twitter where it belongs. Poking around Google Analytics is always an interesting exercise (something all editors and marketers should do on a periodic basis), and it’s fascinating to see where our traffic is coming from, and what you’re all reading the most.
Referring Sites – 47 %
Direct Traffic – 37%
Search Engines – 16%
Google provided 93% of our search traffic, and that total number has grown each month as we publish more content and have more sites linking backing to it, resulting in our showing up more frequently, and higher, in relevant keyword searches. We keep our sitemap updated regularly and expect search to eventually represent ~25% of our traffic mix.
Top Referring Sites
twitter.com – 24.45%
booktrade.info – 6.97%
news.ycombinator.com – 4.89%
networkedblogs.com – 4.69%
facebook.com – 2.88%
linkedin.com – 2.52%
blog.writersdigest.com – 1.90%
mediabistro.com – 1.87%
Not surprisingly, Twitter is a major traffic generator, and actually represents closer to 30% as HootSuite, ow.ly, and iconfactory.com are all tracked separately, and combine for another 4.5% of total referred traffic. Facebook is actually 7.5% as Networked Blogs traffic is primarily coming via our feed into Writer’s Digest‘s Facebook page; it will be interesting to see if that picks up with this weekend’s addition of the “Like” button to the site. (Scroll down and test it out!)
The Hacker News (ycombinator.com) traffic is a bit of an aberration as it all went to one article, The $75 eBook: A True Story, about 6 weeks after it was originally published, and while it likely wasn’t our core audience, it’s always nice to see when an article of ours has relevance beyond the publishing industry. (Thanks to Mike Cane for submitting it.)
- My First 36 Hours with the iPad
- Getting Past “Good Enough” eBooks: Liza Daly
- The $75 eBook: A True Story
- eBook 101: Designing for Kindle and ePub
- O Brave New eBook
- How Many Kindles Have Really Been Sold?
- What Happens to Book Sales if Digital Versions are Given Away?
- Closing the Gap Between Publishers and Readers
- Discoverability: Still A Book’s Biggest Problem
- Glue Offers Authors an Alternative to Amazon
That eBooks and marketing are the subjects of our most popular articles isn’t surprising, but seeing Tim Brandhorst’s article, “Closing the Gap…”, already in the top 10 after being published just last Friday is. Chalk that one up to a combination of our Friday enewsletter getting out before the end of the day, and the fabled Tim O’Reilly Bump via Twitter over the weekend.
That’s what some of the numbers tell us, and there are other insightful numbers like registrants to our WEBcasts, our growing list of DBW Members, and the 850+ comments and trackbacks our articles have received, but there’s nothing like direct feedback to let us know how we’re doing.
With that in mind, the comments section on this post are an open forum to discuss anything and everything related to Digital Book World. Tell us what you like and don’t like. Who would you like to hear more from, and what stories are we missing out on?
Remember, this is YOUR community; we’re just facilitating the conversation.
How are we doing?