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 with a title like ‘New Business Blogging Resource Available To Public.’
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.
Good tips. I would add that you should just mention it to everybody you meet that might find it of interest. I have a fitness oriented blog that I will often mention to people at the gym, or to runners at a race that I plan on doing a write up about or that I photographed.
Seven offline tips to increase blog traffic
Most blog publishers focus on online methods for building traffic. Ted Demopoulos, a corporate communications professional and co-author of Blogging for Business, has seven offline tips for increasing blog traffic. Business Cards. Listing your blog on …
One of my friends bought me a hat with “The Blog Herald” on the front of it so I’m wearing it everywhere I go :-)
Yep t-shirts are good too – emblazoned across the back for me and across the front for my partner because she’s got … well I’m sure you get the picture.
heh usually when I’m at work, I tell people about my big plans to get rich off blogging.. which obviously will never happen, but it usually perks their interest, so I write my site down or give them a bus. card if I have one on hand :) seems to be working out well :D I only live in a small town right now, but I’m moving to the city this weekend for a year or so.. and I’ll still be working with the public.. yay :)
I love the hat idea Duncan!
Maybe I’ll ask for a “Blog Hat” for my birthday, instead of getting the normal stuff I don’t need or often want. A T-shirt would be good too. Maybe a “TheTedRap.com” or “I Read TheTedRap.com” bumper sticker too :)
Word of mouth is a great tool, but take care not to get too promotional or you may turn off the very people you hope will visit, and beocme regulars, at your site.
Adding the blog URL to a business card (and for that matter to your e-mail signature) is very low key, but stickers, while interesting may border on the annoying. Unless, of course, your blog audience really digs stickers.
The key is to know who you are trying to reach and then use the communication channels or tools (either on or offline) that is most likely to reach that audience. Throwing out a bunch of methods to see what sticks might be detrimental to your blog traffic.
In other words, pick and choose.
What about beer mugs? Tee Hee! Cafe Press rocks for getting mugs, t-shirts, hats, bags etc with your logo. Now we can also get logo gear with our blog on it too!
Great tips Darren! You’ve got me hot about blogs for sure!
So when are you writing the book Blogging Millionaires Secrets of the Blogging Giants? I’d love to see you standing beside your house with a pic and comment, “The house that google adsense bought!”
I’m going to mention your offline tips in my blog today http://www.webmomz.com/blog
I’d love to hear more in-depth about press releases and good/free submit services.
so what should i buy for blogging business products or services suitable base on your tips?
[…] Just as we all have reprinted our business cards and stationery to get our web address on there, now it’s time to go back and add your blog address too! Problogger Darren Rowse offers these tips for 7 places to promote your blog in the brick and mortar world. […]
I’ll post a link to the press release for blogging for business at bloggingforbusinessbook.com when I write it, as well as tips and info on results. My press release for SantaBlog.org is still generating traffic which surprises me as it’s 5 days past Christmas.
While I’d love everyone to buy (hundreds of copies) of my book, I’d suggest you study problogger.net – Darren has lots of great info here!
I have just discover a list of app 130 sites that were hacked by a hacker… if you want the list to publish let me know
My blog is for other Mortgage Professionals. Since I’m an outside salesman, I made up some flyers that I take along on calls. When I walk into an office building to meet with a client, I always check the directory at the entrance to see if there are any Mortgage Companies in the building. I drop fliers to them after my sales call, or before, depending on when I get there.
Thanks for the tips. I have found mentioning my kelake.org blog at the end of presentations helped build a dedicated readership – hosting my presentations on my blog helped too.
Thanks a lot.
Great tips glad I read this. Online I have set up my email to automatically sign with my web site URL and I use it in my signature when posting on forums.
I think I will start using business cards for offline advertising but my primary blog is entertainment related (tv blog) I have several more in the works but they will probably be in this same niche. I’m wondering how can I specifically advertise them offline? I thought about sending press releases to my local tv stations and newspapers or emailing them since were not that big a town but then I thought that might be pushy.
This is a great article! I’m sure many people seem to forget that they should try to promote their blogs offline as well as online.
For those whose blogs are less business and more “niche” orientated, you should try to get the word out amongst clubs and organisations which would be interested in your blog. For example, if you blog about a certain sport, get the word out to local clubs and see if you could be included in their newsletter. Parent bloggers can gossip about their blog (and also find subject matter!) at their local schools/nurseries.
[…] about being the only blogger without business cards. Problogger lists business cards as one of the 7 most effective offline tools for promoting your blog. Brian Yerkes has a whole gallery of business cards of bloggers. (And a big […]
I loved the tips, and I’m surely going to try them out! Although I only blog for fun, I would still like to increase the traffic to my blog, and maybe eventually convert the purely-for-fun blog to something else, more worthwhile. Thanks a lot.
Great ideas, even if put down to a smaller, non-business scale.