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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Creative Ways to Promote Your Blog Offline

Please Read Getting Organized before this Article!

So you have taken the necessary steps to get organized now let us move on to creative blog promotions. I was so excited about the blogging kick off that I had to give you all another article. Now just because you have created the most beautiful and well written blog in the world doesn’t mean that people will just magically appear and start following you. You are going to have to put just as much work into promoting and advertising your blog to get the word out that you are the new blogger on the block.

There are many ways to get the word out about your blog but I first wanna talk about offline promotions. What you may ask is offline promotions, well here is the easy answer it is promotion within your community and all around your town. It is very important to connect with those in your own community because you will have a much easier time connecting with these people because these are people that you see all the time, they are your neighbors, local business owners, parents of your children, coworkers, your spouse’s coworkers and don’t forget your friends and family (unless of course in this venture you don’t want anyone to know who you are). This group of people will show you the most loyalty because they have a personal connection to you. They will also act as your own personal promo team because chances are they will tell someone else about you and your blog and this is free advertisement.

Here are a few ideas that have worked for me in terms of offline promotions. I will list them here and then explain them in more detail:

  • · Car Decals
  • · Business Cards
  • · Postcard Flyers
  • · Stickers
  • · Accessories with your blog’s name on it (candy wrappers, bottles of water, bubbles ect.)
  • · Newsletters

I know that you are probably thinking I don’t have the money to do these types of things I am trying to make money now spend it will that’s the great thing about these ideas. I did them all for little to no money because I got creative and took the DIY attitude. So let’s examine each one and I will explain how to do it, what you will need and any expenses associated with it.

Car Decals- Okay so here is one that I don’t believe can be done on your own with your printer. But there is a cost effective solution VistaPrint they offer a ton of free products which I have ordered every single one. Keep in mind these items are to entice you to buy something but you don’t have to. The only thing that I had to pay for was the shipping which was not all that expensive at all. They have multiple attractive templates free for you to use.

Once you get your car decal you have to know how to work it. I make sure that I park in very noticeable spots when I am at my son’s daycare, at work, or even at the store. I make sure that it is visible at all times so that passerby’s stop and look. I know that my decal has prompted many a conversation which allows me to promote my blog even further.

So basically all you will need is a free VistaPrint account, then create your free car decal using one of the free templates, pay the shipping which is around $4 and some change, stick it on your car and do all your regular daily tasks while always making sure that your decal is visible.

Business Cards/Postcard Flyers/Stickers- All of these things will serve to increase your visibility in your community even more. For me personally I talk with local small businesses that cater to moms and ask if they would be willing to put my flyers up in their establishment. By making sure that my postcard flyers are in the business were my targeted audience shops I have a far better time reaching and gaining more followers. I currently work with three local companies one of which puts all of my flyers in their gift registry bags.

Business cards will serve you in the same ways except this is more of a tool for when you go out and talk to local business owners or you meet someone interested in working with you and your blog for giveaways, product reviews and advertising. The business card will be far more professional for these situations. So remember this postcard flyers are for potential readers and business cards are for potential business opportunities.

Now moving on to stickers because many of you are probably thinking why would I make stickers for my blog. Well if you are a mom blogger that means you are probably targeting parents moms or dads well what is a sure fire way to get to the parents through their kids. I recently promoted my blog at a children’s clothing event. This event was filled with parents and children so I created tons of stickers to put on different accessories with my blog’s url and I handed these things out to children. What parent isn’t going to look at what their child got? Most are going to look to see what it is and the ones that don’t their children will surely say look mommy/daddy what I got for free from that nice lady over there. This very thing happened to me and the mom walked over and started talking to me which gave me the perfect opportunity to promote my blog and I did just that.

Okay so here is the skinny on what you will need and how much it will cost you. All three of these things were free at VistaPrint. I ordered the max amount that I could from for free from VistaPrint and the rest I created I printed myself (due to a time crunch and needing them that day). So I have already talked about VistaPrint, so now I am going to move on to how to make these items yourself incurring only the cost of buying the Avery notecards, business cards and labels. Avery makes office products that you can pick up in any local office supply store. You can by the different sized perforated cardstock style paper templates and labels and then head on over to the Avery site where they allow you to design and print your different projects for free. I don’t know if you noticed this but I love me some free stuff. So as far as the price for these items it’s going to vary. With VistaPrint you will pay the shipping and with the Avery Templates you will pay between $5-$10 depending on what template you buy. Now don’t think that it will look bad if you make these things yourself even the Coast Guard does this we order the Avery templates and make our own business cards and that’s the government for you cheap, cheap, cheap.

Branded Accessories- I hit on this a little in the previous section but now I will further explain. Have you ever gone to a fair or trade show and you see the promotional tables with all the cool free things to give away. Well you too can do this for far cheaper than a fortune 500 company because let’s be honest you don’t have that kind of money. So this is going to be a true do it yourself venture. Here are the following things that I have but my blogs name on with only a product label (or sticker as we called it previously): bottles of water, crayons (the cheap ones from the party store), little note pads (also the cheap ones that come in a pack at the party store), free ink pen (from VistaPrint), little party favor bubbles (from Target). I set a budget for myself and I went out and got all of these items and then I sat down and I just put my own labels on all of the items to make them personalized and branded with my blog’s name and url. I then just started handing them out to people to increase my visibility even more. It was a bit more time consuming but it was by far cheaper than paying a company to do it for me. If you would like to see what these looked like refer back to my post What a Great Weekend at the Wee Three Fall Event there are some really got shots of all of my homemade promotional items. Let me tell you they were truly a hit. After that I saw my California viewership increase.

Newsletters- If you just came from looking at the post I mentioned in my previous section you would have seen there were newsletters on my promo table at this event. Why is that you may ask? Well when you are walking around town talking to people and telling them about your blog its best if they have something tangible they can look at besides just a flyer. I created a newsletter with teasers of my best post in order to entice them to read further to finish the articles. I put a link to where they could find the rest of the article. You can talk a blog up all you want but if they don’t have something to look at then they may leave the conversation and forget all about it because they don’t have anything to pull them in and then remind them to check it out. The newsletter will give you a chance to promote your favorite post and the most popular ones on your page. Be very very particular about the ones you include in your newsletter because you cannot put them all. I would suggest only putting about 3 or 4 teasers and then a few sentences about yourself. You can give these to anyone that you talk you your blog about. Send them to your family to distribute to others while they are at work or out and about. If you don’t work out side of the home give them to your neighbors or give some to your kids school to get the attention of the parents. Choose what is best for you and just get them out there.

Alright so this post went so much longer then I originally planned it was suppose to cover promotions and advertising but I only talked about offline promotions I still have to tell you all about online promotions which will be next week and I am hoping that I will get to advertising as well within that post. Now I you can see why I stated that you must get organized first. If this is more then a hobby to you then you must get serious and treat it like the business that it is and give it ample opportunities to grow.

I wanna share a passage for the book that I am currently reading on publicity called Guerrilla Publicity: Hundreds of Sure-Fire Tactics to Get Maximum Sales for Minimum Dollars by Jay Conrad Levinson, Rick Frishman and Jill Lublin. Don’t think just because you aren’t selling a product these things don’t apply when trying to sale your blog and concept to potential readers and advertisers.

“Publicity never sleeps—it’s an ongoing, 24/7 battle—so you can’t sleep either. You have to fight for it night and day, and really truly want it. Since you’re the product, you’re also your best marketing tool. So to be successful, you must honestly believe in what you are promoting. You can’t fake it.” pg. 19

“Learn to spot promotional opportunities and take advantage of them. Always be alert for openings that can work in your favor.” pg. 21

“Opportunities don’t find you; you have to find them—and make them happen” pg. 22

I hope that this article has helped you all and if it has please show your appreciation and VOTE FOR US


Passionate Blogger said...

It's obvious that you have worked very hard to promote your website and it's very generous of you to share your experience. Thank you & All the Best to You!

Danielle said...

I have been very dedicated to promoting my blog. I think that I look at it as an extension of myself and I just want to do my best at promoting it because it is the same as promoting me.

Khaye said...

WOW! How awesome! I love your enthusiasm in making all this to keep your blog promoted. I'll start working on mine!!! I'm not yet a mom. But I surely will try promoting my blog to everyone!

Danielle said...

Hey Khaye,

The great thing about all of these different promotional tools is that no matter if you are a mom or not you can tailor them to your blog and your audience. I actually love promotions and marketing its probably my favorite thing because you get to connect with people and I figure if we are writing blogs we want to connect with others.

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This is my first time to read you blog, Im impressed. Keep up the good work my dear ;)

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