I have a confession to make Internet readers, so huddle up and I will spill all my dirty little secrets. I have gone on a guerrilla advertising spree as a way to promote my blog.
As many of you know, it can be difficult to grow your readership outside of the blogging community. Those of us who blog, read each other regularly and through those blogs we find other blogs to read. It's a perfect little network if you're on the inside of it. But what about the regulars? The non-bloggers? How do you get to them? Sure, sometimes you'll get a word of mouth read from a regular, but the process of building readership is slow and requires infinite patience. And, surprise, surprise, I don't have much of that patience stuff. Action, no matter how ineffective, feels better than waiting.
But there's a dilemma in my approach as I blog anonymously. So how do I promote my blog without attaching a face to the deed? I certainly can't walk up to some ego-tripping PTA harpie, press my card into her hand and tell her to check out my blog. The reason I can't is because then I can't savage her in print when she decides to spill confidential information about someones kid's special ed plan to a non-PTA mom who was volunteering for the school bake sale (yup that happened and If I'd had a blog at the time, I'd have outed her bitchy little ass). I also could not have handed a pen to the store manager at the tile store, as I had basically accused him of hiring sales help from the Forrest Gump employment agency.
So where does that leave a girl with 500 business cards and a dream? Stealth promotion, of course. Everywhere I go, I leave behind a pen or a business card with my blog name on it. Go to the ATM? Stand a couple of cards in the crevice in front of the machine. Midnight run to the drug store for Children's Motrin? Stand a few cards up next to the children's cold medicine. Go to the bank? Leave pens in the ATM vestibule near the deposit slips. This one is a public service to the bank as it keeps their pen safely on the chain. I have even gone as far as target marketing my demographic (or at least who I think my demo is) by going to the humor section of Barnes and Noble and burying a business card deep within the pages of books by female humor writers. Kind of a "Designer Imposter's" approach to advertising - If you like this book, try this website. I also leave a pen on the keyboard of every computer station sprinkled throughout the book store. It's cheap, it's easy and **BONUS!** I know that the person picking up that pen can read.
More than anything else, I have to say that this approach is pure fun. It's a little like a High School prank, but nobody gets covered in a bucket of pig blood as a result. It's fun to dodge the Walgreens night manager who's giving me the stink-eye for malingering in the band-aid aisle. It makes every boring shopping trip or errand just a little more James Bond.
Ever since I have started doing this, I have kept a close eye on my web hits from the Long Island area and I have started to see a few hits from the towns that I have, well, hit. Which reminds me, I'd like to offer a note of apology to the lady in Stop and Shop who bought the hanging pot of yellow mums. Sorry, that was my bad for sticking that neon pink pen inside the flowers. You got all excited that they came with "fertilizer sticks". Yeah, I laughed all the way home on that one.