Marketing Your Blog In The Real World (Offline)
This week’s post is different – instead of sharing another “newbie” tip, I’m actually seeking your advice.
Over the past month, I attended two weddings, met many people for the first time, and did much more “offline” socializing than normal.
Upon meeting someone new, the inevitable ice breaker is, “So… what do you do?” followed by the obligatory mention of profession and home state, and ideally, stimulating conversation ensues.
But despite encountering folks from across the country with a variety of interests, I hardly mentioned my blog, Webomatica. A few days after the last event, I realized I missed the opportunity to gain a few more readers.
In retrospect, I neglected to mention my blog because I don’t have a clear explanation or “pitch” – especially one that would be understandable someone who doesn’t normally read blogs. I also lack the simplest of “offline” promotion – a business card.
So in looking for a solution, I have two questions:
- How do you explain “blog” or “blogging” to people who are unfamiliar with the profession?
- What successful, creative methods of real world (offline) blog promotion do you employ?
Here are some ideas I jotted down regarding the second question:
- Come up with a one sentence “pitch” or description of what my blog is about, understandable by the non-technical.
- Design a simple, clear graphic identity specifically for print.
- Create a business card with the name and URL of my website.
- Make some promotional products (stickers or T-shirts) that could be given away or sold via the blog.
But these are just brainstormed notes – I have no idea of their effectiveness. So I turn it over to you, readers: how do you answer the above questions? Or, in simpler terms, how do you market your blog offline?
Pretend I’m someone you’re meeting for the first time at a social event. How would you let me know about your blog and inspire me to check it out?
Lastly, here are some articles I found regarding the subject of offline blog promotion:
- Problogger: Use Newspapers to Promote Your Blog
- Coyote Communications: Market Your Web Site Both Offline and Online
- Online Business Coach Donna Gunter
- Problogger (Tony Hung): How To Market Your Blog In 2007 (see “Connect, Connect, Connect”)
- Bootstrapper: 21 Ways to Promote Your Startup Business (see “Old Media”)
- Anvari.org: Creative Business Card Ideas
Jason Kaneshiro is a relative "newbie" blogger and the author of Webomatica, covering technology, movies, and music. He lives in the Bay Area and works in web / instructional design in San Francisco.
Hey Jason, curious but lovely dilemma! I simply
say I am a writer. Then when asked where do I
write, I say I write online, or on the Internet
for those who are a few light years behind.
Then I say that if they want to view my writing,
here’s the URL. See, I deal with the folks who
are still pecking away on the old typewriters
so, blogging may as well be some kind of strange
mating ritual. For those a little more advanced,
I do have business cards with my blog info. Thanks for the questions.
Hi Carolyn, that makes sense. More people would be able to relate to the “writer” profession than “blogger”.
A business card also seems to be the way to go.
I say I’m a web publisher. I describe blogging as an online magazine, which most people seem to understand. I need to print up some cards with my domains listed out.
Context makes the wedding unlikely to get sticky matter out there. Getting an email address is possibly the best avenue… the hyperlink. Meanwhile, the key will be talking up great content … then leading to “the solution of the great article I’ve written… oh, you want the address?”
Thanks for all your suggestions.
I say I am a guitar lover, champion of the instrument, and a help to those who want to have a great time playing guitar.
“Really?” they say.
Yes, I say, go check out my site (hand them a card I have with my url), it’s a blog, and you’ll find some great stuff on guitar and music. Chances are they either play a little guitar, know somebody who plays guitar, or want to pick up an instrument and maybe guitar is it.
To me, the approach is the content, not the platform (blogging), especially since I think for many regular people the word “blog” has a sort of negative connotation. Hopefully we’ll break out of that mold the more people realize the unique value of blogging.
Ignacio that is a good suggestion to focus on the content. These are all good ideas which will help to frame how I talk about my site.
Rats! I wish I’d seen this earlier; I just put up a post about going offline to build blog traffic. Will have to check out your suggested links as well.
It’s true; there are plenty of people who don’t live on a computer, but if they like your blog they can turn into very loyal readers. First, though, they have to know about it.