In this post I discuss techniques 5-9 for offline blog promotion strategies.You can read 1-4 from part 1.
5. Go Postal
One morning a good blogger went to his PO Box to find that inside it was a rather large parcel. Inside was two things – a book and a T-shirt. He didn't know the name of the person who sent them to him but on the accompanying business card and note was the name and URL of a blog which he checked out later on that day.
Promoting yourself to other bloggers can be effective but many of them are being ‘pitched’ with ideas all day everyday. Sometimes to break the ‘virtual’ zombie like state that these pitches can leave people in it can be effective to send them something physical.
This need not be expensive things (although they could be). Over the last year I’ve been sent quite a few things including T-shirts, hats, books, ipod shuffles, electronic picture frames, birthday cards (many), memory cards, letters, USB memory sticks, trophies (for awards), food, diet supplements…. etc.
6. Mainstream Media Exposure
In the same way that you as a blogger are often left scratching your head wondering what topics to cover on your blog, mainstream media outlets (TV, Radio, newspapers, magazines) are always on the lookout for story ideas to cover.
Why not pitch them with a story idea about you and your blog?
This doesn’t always work but I’m always surprised by just how many of my own ‘pitches’ to mainstream media have worked.
The key with this is to give an angle for the media outlet to work with. Don’t just contact them saying that you’d like them to write about your blog – contact them with something that is story worthy. This takes a little work and at times creativity – but put your mind to work and see what you find.
Don’t just pitch big media outlets – put feelers out to local, national and international ones. When you get a nibble, develop a relationship with the journalist so that if a future story idea comes to mind you can develop that contact.
Sometimes these relationships can even develop into ongoing relationships. I’ve seen a few bloggers negotiate regular columns or ‘expert spots’ on radio. Similarly once you get known to journalists they begin to seek you out for quotes on stories.
7. Internet Cafes
I met one blogger a year back who had a blog with a very local focus. He negotiated deals with three local internet cafes in his area to make his blog the home page on all of the computers. In return for this he gave them some free advertising on his blog.
In a similar way the blogger made a similar deal with the local library who also made his blog the home page of their public internet computers.
This worked well for him because he had a local focus but it could work for blogs of all shapes and sizes.
Getting T-shirts printed up that promote your blog can be useful in a number of ways. For starters and as mentioned already, wearing a T-shirt can can reinforce your brand (and promote it) at conferences or meetups. You’ll be amazed at the conversations that wearing a T-shirt with your name and URL can open up.
Secondly, giving T-shirts away to readers can also have an impact both on them and their networks. I saw this at SXSW earlier in the year when I spied one of my readers wearing a ProBlogger T-shirt. He told me that he’d had a lot of people come up to him as a result of seeing the T-shirt.
9. Offline Publications
Many bloggers are protective about allowing their content to be republished but I feel that good bloggers should give it a go. One such incident that made me a loyal reader of a blog is that a person someday asked a good friend of mine to publish his articles in his monthly magazine on upcoming trends in bollywood and new faces.He decided to let them publish that for free that post.Many of whom decided to check out the source of the post became loyal readers of the blog
Magazines and newspapers are often on the look out for people to submit articles to them and will usually give a byline as part of their payment for the article. You’ve got the content just sitting there on your blog, why not submit some of it to an offline media outlet?
Stay tuned for one last post on the topic of offline blog promotion which will include 4 more of my strategies plus 7 from my readers.