December 21, 2010
We’re revamping the marketing content on our home page, and that means we’re selecting a new tagline that better matches our business. (Here’s a quick summary of what makes us unique: we ask textbook authors to work directly with potential adopters to get their books into fighting shape. This lowers costs for students and increases options for professors. Click here for more information–and to read about the new word we invented to describe our model.) Since we rely on the community for making our textbooks, we figured it was only in character to ask for help on this project, too.
As you no doubt expect, we don’t cross-my-heart-hope-to-die swear to follow the results of this poll. If somebody suggests something that’s absolutely brilliant, we might use that instead. So consider this fair warning that we reserve the right to claim ownership to any slogans people suggest in the comments below. (That’s Eleven Learning-style legalese for you, folks.) And if we notice themes in what people like that aren’t reflected in the final outcome, we might pick something else. Or we might just pull rank.
December 16, 2010
There are lots of reasons for a company to blog. For us, it isn’t to attract new users through SEO. Our audience of textbook authors find us via referrals from peers, not because they’re actively searching for us. While I look forward to a day when this isn’t the case, Google just isn’t the way we attract new authors. (On the subject of referrals: Kind Reader, do you know someone who has written a college textbook, refuses to give up control to the big publishers, but still needs help sharing it with the world? Don’t be shy.)
Instead, we blog to describe ourselves to the authors who are already on our site and want to learn more. By talking about the issues surrounding textbooks, we can show them how we’re different from the competition.
That’s not to say that search engines don’t drive traffic to us; it’s just that they don’t drive terribly valuable traffic, and I don’t look at that data very often. So I was very surprised when I looked at our all-time stats this morning. The number one query that led people to our blog was…
I also spot these gems:
“is it ok to steal textbooks”
And this one:
“how to make money stealing textbooks”
Perhaps it was this woman who Googled that.
The entry drawing all this attention to the blog? This one. It’s a post (with an admittedly snarky title) on how the big textbook publishers have lied about their business model for decades, and how that deception is coming back to bite them in the butt. When I wrote it, I honestly had no idea I was putting out the welcome mat for scofflaws.
The full scoop is that while “stealing textbooks” may be our #1 search term, it–and all the related terms–still comprise under 10% of our total blog visitors from searches. That may no longer be the case after I post this, of course. I’ll keep you updated.