Running a blog is a busy job: in addition to writing or curating quality content, you’ve also got to make sure that you promote your blog in as many reputable places as you can. That usually involves using social media, keeping a current and well-chosen blogroll, linking to other blogs, and making yourself visible in the comments section of other blogs.
All of these promotional ideas involve using the Internet—which makes sense, since you’re trying to build an online audience. But have you ever considered going offline to promote your blog? By using other vehicles to drum up support for your blog, you can attract casual Internet users, find new partners for promotion, and make a tangible impact in your community. It’s entirely possible to build a new audience by exploring offline blog promotion.
Recruit new cybercitizens
You might spend the majority of your time using the Internet for work, school or other personal projects—but the majority of the country hasn’t made the Internet their second home. For starters, not everyone in the U.S. has reliable Internet access: a Pew Internet study from last year reveals that 21% of adults in the U.S. don’t use the Internetbecause they don’t think it’s relevant to their lives.
So, how do you make it relevant to the adults you know who aren’t online? Use the same tactics you’d use to attract online readers: provide information that’s useful and relevant to them. Word of mouth is still one of the most effective marketing tool, so use it: tell your friends and family about your blog, and encourage them to tell others. Circulate a business card with your name, your URL, and the subject of your blog. And if you live in a small community, you could write an editorial for your local newspaper and include your blog’s URL in the byline or bio. Give people a reason to turn on their computers and look for your website; and if you give them up-to-date content that’s important to them, there’s a chance they’ll come back.
Do work in your IRL community
In addition to getting the word out the old fashioned way, you could also use your blog to help your community. Choose a charity or non-profit in your area, and offer to volunteer with them. You can learn a lot from a non-profit organization: many non-profits operate on woefully thin budgets, and use cheap and unconventional promotional methods. By working with a non-profit, you can do more than just learn how they connect with the community; in addition to doing rewarding work to positively affect your town, you can also offer your blogging services to boost your name recognition. If you focus locally, you may be able to build a reputation that will spread both online and offline.
Blog promotion is a tricky thing: it’s difficult to strike the balance between reaching your target audience and oversaturation, but it can be done. By promoting your blog online, you can introduce a whole new set of readers to your blog and to the Internet. You can also use your online savvy to effect real change in your community. When you choose to promote your blog online, the positives can outweigh the negatives.
Jesse Langley is a seasoned journalist and blogger. He covers social networking, newsletter and SEO topics and contribute online material on behalf of American InterContinental University.