Friday, October 2, 2009

Shameless Self Promotion





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.

28 Your comments, banter and witty repartee:

hokgardner said...

Brilliant. Unfortunately, back when I started blogging, it never ocurred to me to do it anonymously, so I could never get away with such tactics.

Keep us posted on the results.

And if you want to send cards and pens to Austin, I'll be happy to scatter them for you.

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Hokgardner - Now that's a great idea. It did not occur to me that I could recruit soldiers into my guerrilla advertising army. If you e-mail me your snail mail address, I will happily send you a supply. Of course, I would gladly return the favor any time.

Also, if you come up with any great stealth placement ideas, please share.

The Only Girl said...

This is perfect because I too have thought of this same shameless self promotion strategy. But my husband thought I was nuts and put me off. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this is really successful for you so I can tell him "Ha! I told you it would work. You're stupid and don't know anything about blogging. "

Good luck!

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

The Only Girl - Thanks for the encouragement. Even if I only get one more reader, I will still have had a TON of fun getting them.

Aria said...

I LOVE IT!!!!! I think I'm gonna start going on field trips to Houston *innocentwhomewhistle* Well once I get better, otherwise all my comments will be of the "you contagious beotch" variety, and we don't want that! And, btw, thanks for the well wishes. I love that you have pens, I'm totally jealous about that one... but cards I can do, so *wink* thanks for the tip, Lady!

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Aria,

My pleasure. I hope we can start an underground advertising revolution! There is almost nothing more fun than dodging the floral manager at the local supermarket as you "plant" your business card in her ficus (bonus! that sounded dirty).

linlah said...

Brilliant and fun. I'd be a secret agent for you too.

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Lilah - you could do the same with watermarked photos that have your website written on the back. Could be the fast track to a coffee table book - The Best of Corn Bean. Huh? Huh?(pokes poor Linlah in the ribs)Great idea, right?

kyslp said...

You need to mail some of your cards to us (your readers) so we can spread them across the US. Also, keep the whole operation on the DL so nobody will know where the cards are coming from. Next step: We can start talking about finding the cards on other websites. (Must not use our blogger names, though so we can't be linked back to you.)This could be a nation-wide movement/treasure hunt.

Ok, I need to go clean the bathroom or something because I obviously have too much free time.

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Kyslp - There is no shortage of brilliant ideas amongst you guys. Some call it too much time, I call it untapped marketing genius. It's better than viral video.

peewee said...

Fertilizer sticks!!! HAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHA!!!

Amy said...

I am utterly impressed by your super secret stealth missions! What an amazingly creative way to advertise! Brilliant!

BTW...The hat with your website is worn often as A) I am lazy and don't feel the need to do my hair in the mornings (everyday is casual day in my office. YAY!) and B) It is the ONLY cap I have found in the last 15 years to fit the freakish shape of my melon!

So be checking your hits from Louisiana! I'm working for YOU babe!

MamaOtwins+1 said...

Fertilizer sticks - that's awesome. I never thought about advertising this way - so unique.

Found you through the comments on Speaking from the Crib today!

Missy said...

What a great idea!
Although, you are way ahead of me in the fact that you actually have cards and pens and I do not.

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Pee Wee - She was old. I don't judge.

Amy - Thanks for wearing the hat. You really need to get one that says Goodbye 20's . . . Hello Botox on it. I think I got that from Vista Print. They are inexpensive and fast! Oh, and more readers in Louisianna would be a great thing. I love it down there. It's been too many years since I've been back. Maybe 2010. The Big Easy is calling my name.


MamaOtwins+1 - Welcome. Thrilled to have you here!

This is kind of a case of necessity being the mother of invention.

Missy - Check out vista print and inkhead.com. I have gotten great deals on personalized materials from both of those places. Give it a try and best of luck spreading the word about your blog!

The Crazy Baby Mama said...

i'm in the same quandry. i printed out 250 Crazy Baby Mama business cards in the hopes that people would read and (occasionally) click on an add or two. (ahem ahem)

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Crazy Baby Mama - So glad you stopped by. I really enjoyed your blog today. That was Kyslp's doing. She recommended you. She's a smartie, that one.

Those cards are 250 opportunities to stick those suckers in boxes of Pampers. You could do that in one trip to Costco. It's all about target marketing!

SPEAKING FROM THE CRIB said...

dang girl - you are up to some serious shiznit

I LOVE IT

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Speaking from the Crib - I guess I needed a hobby. I think my family wishes I would have chosen knitting.

A Musing Mom (Taylorclan6) said...

I'm sorry, I have to out you.

You are a blogging whore.

Where can I get my hands on one of those pink pens?

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

A Musing Mom - Funny that you say that. It's not the first time this year that I have been accused of that. If you e-mail me at diaryofamadbathroom@gmail.com, I will gladly send a few your way, no charge. But, for clarity, let me state that the difference between a whore and a hooker is all about the $$$$. No money will be exchanged for your pen,so you are correct - I'm a whore.

Please see this post for more about me and the oldest profession - http://diaryofamadbathroom.blogspot.com/2009/06/taking-walk-is-not-equal-to.html

Martinis or Diaper Genies? said...

this is sneaky. I like it.

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Martinis or DGenies - You bet it is. It's more fun than adults should be allowed to have!

The Royal Family said...

good idea!
thanks for visiting me on my special sits day, I hope you had time to enter my giveaways!
See you soon, The Buzz Brandy

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

The Royal Family - Thanks for stopping by. I did not get to enter the giveaways. I'll go do that now.

Sherri @ Luv a Bargain said...

Hmmmm....I never thought of pens and fertilizer sticks:) Love it!!! I did stoop to putting my blog address on the back windshield of my car. Anything to help:)

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Sherri - That's a great idea! If I weren't a covert blogger, I would do that too.

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