The Long Tail


Chris Anderson explains the long tail theory as a phenomenon that has been created due to the unlimited “shelf space” on the web. Instead of having a whole market being dominated by a few giants, the unlimited size of the web has given the opportunity for everyone to benefit. While the giants are still there, the less popular pieces of work in a market can still gain a following that can support itself. Essentially, the long tail theory is an inverse function.

You can see how the curve quickly decreases before reaching a relatively stable market share.

What this curve tells us is that there is room for everyone to play on the web. And while you may not be able to get into the “giants” section of the graph, you can make a decent living serving your specific niche. No longer do you have to have enough popularity to even gain access to points of distribution. You can just distribute your work directly to those who care for what you do.

By keeping the long tail theory in mind, you don’t need to worry as much about serving every single person. You can simply serve your specific niche, creating a space on the web for the work you do that does not depend on being popular just to be seen.

Start by serving your niche first, and craft a brilliant experience for them.

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