We live in a digital world. You’ve built a career online through blogging, so it makes sense to base much of your marketing on the same principles. But if you focus entirely on web marketing, you’re neglecting an entire swath of potential new readers.
Here are four offline ideas many bloggers typically overlook that can help you reach an untapped market.
1. Become a guest columnist
Contrary to popular belief, newspapers are not dead. Even when you specialize in digital media, it doesn’t hurt to cross over to another medium in an effort to reach a new audience.
Contact the local newspaper about becoming a guest columnist. You can write about similar topics from your blog or express your opinion on local issues. Alternatively, if you write about a niche subject such as home repairs or baking, you can respond to readers’ questions in your column. This will help readers feel more connected to you, which could make them inclined to check out your blog.
Include the web address or QR code to your blog in the tagline of your columns so people can easily check it out. In addition to introducing yourself to new readers, you are also getting a free advertisement for your blog.
Volunteering can provide many benefits beyond just helping others and supporting a good cause. Not only will it make you feel good, but it can also help you form new connections with people and introduce them to your blog.
Whether it’s working at a local soup kitchen, helping out at an animal shelter or serving on a board for a non-profit organization, choose a cause that means something to you so that you’ll get the most out of it. Depending on what you choose to do, it could even help you come up with new topics for your blog.
Volunteering will help build your reputation among those you are working with, but also your readers as they see a different side of your personality. It could make them feel a stronger connection to you, especially if you select a cause that is near and dear to their hearts.
3. Print branding
Depending on your budget, you could have some branded materials made to use for various occasions. In a digital world, promotional products can build a physical connection with readers. You don’t have to order a ton of items, but it will definitely be to your benefit to have some of these items on hand.
If you blog about specific places or things to do in an area, consider using stickers or decals as rewards for the businesses you review. They can put them in their front windows as an accolade, while it serves as an advertisement for your blog at the same time.
Alternatively, create stickers or decals to give out at meetups and other events. They can be used on laptops or car windows, making them mobile billboards for your blog. For bigger promotions such as a contest or raffle, you can use branded T-shirts, coffee mugs, key chains or magnets.
For bloggers who sell goods, consider sending letters in one-of-a-kind envelopes like these from Company Folders, featuring your logo or other branded elements. It could be a thank you note with every purchase, an invitation to a meetup or a birthday card with a discount code in it. This personal touch will help build brand awareness and strengthen your readers’ loyalty to your brand. It’s also a simple way to take your blog from the digital world to the real world.
Business cards are a must-have for networking. A unique design on a standard stock is a minimal expense to connect people to your blog. Include a QR code to let people check out your site in a quick and easy manner.
4. Attend blogging meetups
Blogging keeps you inside most of the time, but it also provides opportunities to get out of the house and meet readers or other bloggers. It’s important to approach a meetup as more than a self-promotional event. Instead, go with the intention of learning new things and making contact with others within your industry. Use it as an opportunity to catch up with people you know, too. If it’s an event with readers, use it as a chance to answer their questions or survey people about potential blog topics.
Remember those business cards you bought? Take them with you to trade with others. Don’t forget to follow up on those conversations later to build your relationships. These could potentially lead to cross-promotion or guest blogging opportunities. It’s also good to know people who can relate to the ups and downs of professional blogging, even if it’s just exchanging ideas on how to beat writer’s block.
When you’re laser-focused on making your digital content as great as possible, it can be easy to forget about offline opportunities to market yourself. These techniques add a personal touch and help readers feel a connection to you beyond the screen, which strengthens your relationships and builds loyalty.
Do you have other offline marketing suggestions? Share them in the comments below.