Oprah’s Site Benefits From Free Book
Some new Hitwise statistics have led to two takeaways. First, people follow Oprah. Second, people like free stuff. Simple enough, eh?
A mere 21 words might not encapsulate everything that happened, however, so on we go. And at this point, I’ll go ahead and share the fact that I’ve never watched more than 15 minutes of Oprah’s show, so a firsthand perspective on at least one part of this phenomenon will be a little difficult to provide.
Ah, well. In any case, Hitwise’s Heather Dougherty writes, "[Suze] Orman’s latest book ‘Women and Money’ was available as a free download on Oprah.com for 33 hours. The result? A 36 month high in market share of visits to Oprah.com with a jump of 420% from the previous day. Traffic remained strong on Feb. 14th while the download was still available and reached the 2nd highest level in the past 3 years."
So Oprah obviously got something out of the promotion, and for Orman, there was a huge amount of publicity. Also, Orman’s book is currently ranked seventeenth in sales among Amazon’s books, so its brief price of "zero" doesn’t seem to have hurt her income much.
Whether you’re a site owner or a person with a product to peddle, it’s unlikely your influence approaches that of either Oprah or Orman. Still, the results they achieved may be applicable in other situations, and in any case, the cult of Oprah has something new to cheer about.