1. Write an article for your local paper.
Or your national paper. The point is, get published. Use your blogging experience to come up with a tantalizing headline and chunk it into bullet points and sub-topics. Be sure to include your website in your byline.
2. Offer yourself as an expert.
Why limit yourself to just what you, yourself, can write? Let reporters know your area of expertise and that you’re available as a source. Present yourself to radio stations, television stations, and print media.
3. Give a talk at the library.
Publicize it in the local community calendars and be sure to invite the press. Select some of your favorite books and use them as a backdrop – and be sure to hand out a few favorite posts, each with your contact information.
4. Join a networking group.
Word of mouth is a great way to build your business – and there’s nothing like meeting someone in person to forge a bond. You will find that there are plenty of people you can partner with who don’t think of themselves as bloggers or owners of web-based businesses. That doesn’t mean they don’t have an audience or complement your area of expertise, though, so don’t make the mistake of overlooking them.
5. Get a booth at a trade show.
Think about your field of expertise – who would be interested in what you have to offer? The odds are there’s a trade show catering to their interests.
6. Donate to a silent auction.
This gets your name out to a diverse group of people, even though only one will land you as a prize. It also provides a conversation starter if you attend the event – which is another way to network with people about your blog.
7. Team up with a non-profit for a fundraiser.
Why not do some good while building your business? Offer a portion of sales to your favorite charity, or create a special product just for them to sell. If the fundraiser is for a specific event, invite the media and let them know you and the non-profit are partnering up for the event.
8. Do a speaking tour.
Around your state or around the country. On radio and tv or in person. Prepare your talking points and spread your message. Include your website on handouts, with QR codes linking to relevant posts. Not sure where to start? Call your local Rotary club and chambers of commerce.
9. Call in to comment on a radio talk show.
You don’t have to be a guest to spread your message. Listen in on a talk show in your area of expertise and call in to add a few extra salient points – be sure to slip in your credentials – that is, your blog URL – so people will see you as an expert.
10. Snail mail your customers.
Send them a thank you. Give them a special offer – and one for a friend. Or three. Announce your participation at an upcoming event.
11. Write a column for a newspaper or magazine.
Does the business section of your local paper lack your expertise? Contact the editor and offer them a column – in exchange for a byline with your contact details. Seek out magazines and trade publications and offer to write for them, too.
12. Teach a class.
Go to your local community college and offer to teach a class on your topic. Look for small business development centers and other organizations that could use a class in your area of expertise.
13. Host a networking lunch.
Invite local business owners or anyone else in your target market to a networking lunch. Give a general welcome and a brief overview of your topic. Make a handout of some of your best posts for each guest – and be sure to get their contact information so you can follow up with them later.
14. Attend a conference.
There are more and more conferences aimed at professional bloggers – seek them out for great networking and partnership opportunities. Be sure not to overlook conventional conferences, though. If you blog on legal issues, attend conferences for attorneys. If you blog on fashion, go to New York for Fashion Week. Bottom line: get out and meet people.
15. Hand out business cards.
Too often, bloggers think they don’t need business cards because they are only online. Now you know better – so get some cards and hand them out. Once you have them, you’ll find there are a lot more opportunities where you’d want to give them to people than you’d have ever imagined. It’s a lot easier to slip in a reference to your blog if you can follow it with a casual “check it out” while you hand them your card.
16. Create an award.
Whatever your message, seek out someone who is doing it really well and honor them with an award. Send out press releases about what they are doing that is so fantastic and explain why your award is honoring them. Get a plaque made and send it to the award winner. Interview them and post it on your blog.
17. Give away t-shirts.
People love a fun t-shirt. Get some made up with your logo and tagline or even an intriguing headline. Heck, include a QR code, if you can – and don’t forget your website. Hand them out at events, give them to your friends and customers, and wear them when you go out.
18. Get magnet signs for your car.
Why not use your car as a driving billboard for your blog? Get your website, logo, and tagline made into a magnetic sign and let them spread the word wherever you go!
19. Guest lecture at a university.
Contact professors in your field at your local universities and offer yourself as a guest lecturer. This can be a great opportunity for a press release, too.
20. Give lunchtime seminars at local businesses.
Look up businesses who could be in need of your expertise – then call them up and offer a free workshop. Of course, you’ll be sure to give them handouts of your best posts and let them know what other services and products you can provide.
21. Keep on people’s radar.
Touch base with all those people you meet at conferences and networking events. Follow up with them by email and include a link to a post you’ve written that you think would be useful to them. Get in the habit of presenting yourself as a resource.
Remember: your primary method of communication may be a blog, but you are really a professional running a business. Think like one. Seek out partnerships, alert the press to as many of your activities as you can, and include your contact information on every handout. When you travel, seek out opportunities to speak, guest lecture, or submit articles. Complete the circle by linking your site to any press you receive and blogging about all your events and activities.
How do you market your blog? Do you use only online methods or do you mix it up? What’s worked best for you?