Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Active versus Passive Discoverability.

Louis Shalako

Active discovery is when a product is actively promoted.

Over the last twenty-four hours, our blogs have garnered 784 hits. It’s a bit startling to realize that in the same period, we sold one ebook via Google Play, for a grand total of $0.31. At the same time, according to Google analytics, we earned $2.32 from our blogs.

At one time, it was our sense that a blog would have to get about two million page hits, before the author would see a $100.00 cheque from Google. That’s obviously not true, because we just theoretically earned $2.32 for only 784 hits.

What happened, was that somebody obviously clicked through on one of our AdSense ads. 

Those ads are contextual. If we’re talking cars, like Ian Cooper on his blog, Google presents readers with automotive ads.

If Dusty Miller is talking about love, romance or just plain sex, Google presents ads the most appropriate that they can find for the category.

Passive discoverability would be when you publish a blog post and do essentially nothing.

There are other things you can do. If you have an opt-in email list, those subscribers would automatically get a post in their inbox every time you wrote something. That one’s a tough call. If you only write once a week, it might be a good idea to begin building such a list. Presumably, the subscribers to your blog would also be interested in the contextual ads, because it’s in their category, and they might be more likely to click through. If you write a lot, if you write on any subject under the sun that turns your crank, the email list might not be all that useful.

At the present time, Shalako Publishing, Long Cool One Books and Larga Fresca Uno Libros don’t have a subscription email newsletter. We’ve never been entirely sure what to put in it. 

That’s one reason.

By actively posting our blogs on Twitter, we got a half a dozen retweets. This brings us page hits from unique users. It’s not the same thirty to seventy people coming back all the time. It brings a bunch of them in a short period of time, and this creates a kind of heat or velocity in algorithms. Google’s payment algorithms are pretty much top secret, but the more active the account, the more weight it may carry in terms of the blog.

From personal experience, a passive blog might bring in a few page hits in a day based solely on content and SEO/specific searches by key word or subject.

For an unknown author, writing fiction or industry observations, how-to or informative content, getting readers and reads takes a little more active approach.

Here’s an article on active versus passive blogging.

Passive discoverability and active discoverability go hand in hand. What is interesting and mysterious is the relationship between the blog, the social media we post a blog on, and the fact that we did sell a book on Google Play last night, which we can tell from our analytics/speadsheet on that platform.

The thing to do there is to change the link in the ad once in a while. Promote Google Play for a while, then do iTunes or Amazon, or any other platform where the books (or other products) are sold.

With Google blog widgets, we can put our own ads on the page along with Google’s. Smashwords now has an html widget, easily pasted into any blog or website. Zach Neal has one on his blog.

If the reader can click through on an Adsense ad, they can sure do that with our ads too. In terms of passive discoverability, a good cover, a good blurb, interesting titles, in genres and categories that people want to read, the usual rules still apply.

Over the course of time, the blog has a lot of material. Google’s own ranking system values or optimizes for authorship, uniqueness of content, activity, and of course the sheer number of people visiting the site.


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