This post was submitted by Ted Demopoulos, co-author of Blogging for Business, Demopoulos Associates.
Most bloggers concentrate on online methods for building their blog traffic. There are also a number of effective offline methods worth exploring for increasing the number of readers.
Suggested offline methods can range from simple and practical, like mentioning your blog on your business card, to outrageous and impractical for most, such as hiring a skywriter or advertising on the side of a blimp. I’ll admit it — I’ve always wanted my own blimp!
Here are some simple and practical methods that my clients and I have had success with. Some are bound to be applicable and simple to implement for you.
1. Business Cards
Most business cards list the organization’s Web site. Listing your business blog on your business card as well is very respectable. Listing your blog on your business card can help it stand out instead of being filed with all the others — never to be seen again, and can start conversations with clients and prospects. When exchanging business cards, many people report questions such as ‘what do you blog on?’ and ‘how long have you been blogging?’ and others.
I’ll admit I don’t mention either Blogging for Business or The Ted Rap on my business card. Why? I seem to have a multi-year supply of “old” cards. If I were starting again however, I probably would print new cards and I obviously will eventually. I think I would have built readership for The Ted Rap faster if it had been displayed on my business card.
Just as your business card can mention your blog, so can your letterhead.
I just received correspondence from someone I’ve recently started doing business with. Their letterhead listed a blog, and I immediately went to check it out. I’m certainly not the only one that does this!
I have stickers that say ‘TheTedRap.com’ and ‘TheTedRap.com, Ted Demopoulos on Technology and Business.’ I like to stick them on routine correspondence with clients as well as prospective clients. Stickers are cheap and get a lot of attention. I stick them all over.
4. Press Releases
Press releases normally mention the company’s Web site. A company’s press release template can be modified mention a blog as well.
A press release can also be issued to specifically publicize a blog, especially if the blog is a useful resource. A press release heralding Joe Blow’s view of the universe and what he has for lunch would be silly, however a press release describing a blog that offers benefits to its readers is not. For example, I’ll probably issue a press release for bloggingforbusinessbook.com
This press release is driving about 100 people a day to SantaBlog.org once the press actually picks it up (I’ve been interviewed by a couple of reporters so far) it should generate even more traffic.
You can send press releases for free from prweb.com. although I typically pay US$30 or US$80 for their enhanced services. Plenty of resources on how to write press releases on the web – it’s not hard.
All my presentation slides and handouts list my blog and website on every page in small text near the copyright statement. These often serve double duty as well: they publicize my blog to presentation attendees and afterwards I usually place the presentation on my Web site for free download to anyone interested.
6. Voice mail messages
Some people have reported some success mentioning their blog on their voice mail message. For example, ‘Hi, this is Joe Blow at XYZ Corp. Unfortunately I’m unable to answer the phone at this time, so please leave a message. Also visit my blog at “XYZcorp.com/JoeSpeaks.’
I don’t do this because my name is so long that just saying “Ted Demopoulos at Demopoulos Associates” takes a long time and I personally hate long voice mail greeting.
Although some people and organizations have explicitly advertised their blogs, it is more common to add a blog URL to an existing advertising campaign.
Most people’s reaction when they find that you have a blog is not to immediately drop everything and go read it. By gently reminding them over and over, through both online and offline methods, they are more likely to eventually go look at your blog.
And if your blog has good content and offers them value, they are more likely to return and become regular readers.
Feel free to add more tips and experiences, for example anyone ever really advertise on the side of a blimp??
Ted Demopoulos, co-author of Blogging for Business, Demopoulos Associates.