Ed Driscoll

Long Tail Marketing In Action

In his review of Brian Anderson’s South Park Conservatives, Orrin Judd wrote:

A couple years ago he was one of the first editors to contact us and suggest that we blog about stories from his fine publication, City Journal. This struck us then as a very smart use of a relatively new instrumentality to create buzz for a magazine that deserved it. That there are still major newspapers and other publications that haven’t figured out the benefits they could reap from having folks steer readers to them for free only makes Mr. Anderson seem further ahead of the curve.

In South Park Conservatives, Anderson namedrops numerous bloggers and conservative journalists pretty liberally: in addition to myself, Glenn’s listed, Orrin’s listed, Andrew Sullivan is listed, Jonah Goldberg is listed, Josh Clayborn, and numerous others.

It’s a pretty smart example of marketing to the Long Tail: those writers will draft some thoughts about the book or at least reference that they’re mentioned in it; others will link to their blogs or online columns, others will blog about those blogs linking to the original posts, and so on.

When I asked him about the Long Tail, Hugh Hewitt told me:

“I would rather have 90 percent of the blogs and none of those top ten percent bloggers writing about my book, than I would have all of the top ten percent and none of the 90 percent doing so.

“Because the 90 percent of the tail operate in very high trust environments: they’re read by their brother in law, they’re read by their neighbors, their friends in church, their friends at work. If they say, ‘hey you ought to read this book’, it’ll sell a lot of books!”

If Anderson’s book does well, hopefully more authors will start to pick up on the Blogosphere as a marketing tool.