How Blogs Helped The Four Hour Work Week Become a Best Seller

I’m sick of the usual interviews with Tim Ferriss, which waste time arguing over whether it’s possible to work four hours a week. What I want to know is how Tim got so many people to talk about him and his book, The Four Hour Work Week, and how he made his book into a New York Times Best Seller.

So I called him up and did my own interview. Here’s what I learned.

Timothy Ferriss

Timothy Ferriss

The 4-Hour Workweek

Tim Ferriss is author of the #1 New York Times best sellers The 4-Hour Workweek and The 4-Hour Body.

A few lessons from this program


Blogs and radio

Before he published his book, Tim called successful authors to find out how they promoted their books. He discovered that the two most effective tools were blogs and radio–and radio was losing its influence. So he pursued bloggers

Least crowded channel

All the methods of connecting with bloggers were loud and crowded. Email is the most crowded. (Maybe because most people haven’t listened to my interview with Mark Hurst.) In-person, he says, is the least crowded channel. So he went to events that let him connect with bloggers face-to-face.

The messenger, not the message

Tim realized that building connections was about getting people to care about him, not his message. So he didn’t promote himself. He just got to know people by asking questions.

Robert has a mob around him

Blogging celebrities like Robert Scoble have mobs of people around them at events. (Here’s why.) Tim didn’t push his way in. Instead, he got to know the people around the celebrities–like Robert’s wife.

Being “trendy”

Alana Semuels, tech writer at the LA Times, taught this at the Mixergy PR Forum. She said that reporters don’t care about your company nearly as much as they care about trends. So when you want publicity, pitch a trend that includes your company. When Tim tapped into his blogging connections to promote his book, he didn’t pitch the book directly. Instead, he pitched a trend–people are outsourcing more and working less–and said that his book explains it.

Who should we feature on Mixergy? Let us know who you think would make a great interviewee.