When bloggers think about promotion, they think about online promotions like link exchanges and Google ads. While online should be where most of your promotion efforts should focus on, do not overlook the opportunity to do some promotions off line. When done correctly, they can be more effective than your online promotions. Here are a few no cost to low cost ideas.
Make Some Business Cards
Does your blog have a business card? If not, then you should make some. Not only are business card great promotional tools, they help legitimized your blog and built its brand. A business card really does mean business.
Business cards are relatively inexpensive to make. My local print shop, Unico Print Media, can produce 1,000 full color business cards for as low as $85. Yes, you can make simple black and white business card for considerably less but I don’t like going cheap on business cards. When you’re online, people don’t get to see your fancy office building with valet parking. Their only point of contact with you, besides your blog, is your business card. Therefore, you should really make it stand out.
Use Your Car As A Billboard
Head down to the local sign shop and get some vinyl letters of your blog URL cut out and stick it to your car. I have my TTZ logo etched to the glass that covers my amps, but I also have the site URL located at the back hatch. I’m not sure how many people visit my site after seeing the URL on my car but the letters are cheap to create and helps add to the brand – cool car, cool site.
If you have some money to spend, you can try wrapping your car. There are several advantages to doing this. The wrap does a good job protecting the vehicle’s paint. When the time comes to sell the car, just remove the wrap and the paint job will look factory fresh. The second advantage comes at tax time. You can write off the cost of the wrap as a business expense. It’s also a lot easier to prove to the IRS that your car is used for business when it’s a moving billboard.
Make Some Pens Or Other Promotional Items
While many people throw away business cards, most will keep a pen or T-shirt. Pens are a really effective offline promotion item because they’re inexpensive to produce (the yellow 1234Pens.com pen pictured above can be made for as low as 85 cents each) and they do a great job re-enforcing your brand.
Normally, when I walk a trade show floor, I wear a TTZ T-shirt, but lately have switched to T-shirts provided by sponsors. For some reason, they like to see me in their shirts. I will be making a bunch of John Chow dot Com shirts soon. I plan to send on one to Shoemoney for his Free Shirt Friday. It’s a really cheap way to get a plug from his blog.
Brand Anything That Will Be Seen By A Lot of People
If you use something that is going to be seen by a lot of people, brand it. I used to attend local LAN parties with my Dell XPS gaming notebook. The LCD lid is branded with a TTZ logo. Sarah’s personal computer has the TTZ logo etched on the view window.
Join Local Networking Events
In addition to the international trade shows like Computex, I attend many local networking events. These events attract like minded people and makes for a perfect target audience to go after. Make sure you bring your business cards and a few pens.
Be A Keynote Speaker
I haven’t actually done this one yet. However, I have received offers to keynote a few events. Keynoting is a great way to give your blog a plug and raise your name to a whole new level. Keynoting normally happens after you’ve become well known. However, don’t let that stop you. Join the local chapter of Toastmaster International and practice speaking in front of a crowd.
Get The Newspapers To Write About You
Getting the local papers to write about you is a great way to increase your brand and make the locals aware of you. Newspapers are always looking for story ideas (do you have any ideas how hard it is fill a paper with news?) and a story about a local boy making a splash on the Net is always better than a story of cat stuck in a tree.
The easiest way to get some local press is by sending a letter to the newspaper editor. I recommend you start with the biggest newspaper first and then work down. The reason for this is leverage. If you can get press from a national newspaper like the Financial Post, you can use it to get press coverage from a small local paper. Many times, you won’t even have to call them. They will call you because they saw your article in the big paper.
These are all the offline promotion ideas I can think off the top of my head. Feel free to add your ideas in the comments.