Monday, January 21, 2008

Free Advertising

Happy Monday and Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. DAY. This posting will be a little shorter than usual because of a technical snafu. I budget 1 hour a day for blogging and blog reading. I'd spent almost 40 minutes writing up a very detailed blog only to have the battery in my laptop DIE just as I was getting ready to hit the "Post" button. Not to worry...blogger backs up. right?

Yes, but it's not often enough because it only saved the first 3 lines of the blog. As I teach when I'm talking to my apprentices [who I affectionately call 'mentees'] budget your time. So I have only about 1/3 of the time to do this blog that I originally took to write it. So in addition to the teaching I am giving of free ways to advertise I also want to tell those of you with "blogger", don't rely on Autosave. There is a blue "Save Now" button that I'd never noticed before. It will save your blog as a draft. Learn from my mistakes. :-)

So for free advertising there are some questions to consider.

Are you using the free advertising available to you? Do you even know where or what it is? Do you know what you're advertising?

These are important questions to ask yourself as you create a marketing plan and strategy that will be effective in reaching your target audience. Are there blogs that you can write? Before you answer that does your target audience read a blog? Is there a better way to reach them? Would submitting an article to a local parenting magazine be a better use of your time and resources? Do they attend church or synagogue? If so, are there local community events paper targeted to that audience.

These require time and thought but it's been my experience that asking these questions rather than running out and throwing money around is far more effective use of your time [and money]
Is there a possibility of going on a blog tour? I know PR firms that sell blog tours for thousands of dollars but maybe you already know some people who will allow you to join their blog for a day as a guest blogger. If you're going to do this try to find a way to track this. I'd suggest mentioning a particular blog in your blog. For example:

"I've learned a number of things as a writing career coach and as a writer. Some lessons have been more expensive than others. On January 1 of this year I talked about an important business lesson I learned. It has been one of my top 5 most visited blogs. You can check it out at: "

Then, if you've got tracking software like google analytics [ ] you can check that particular blog for hit count on the date. It will drive people to your site to see what you have to share with them [we're all curious] and you can see how many people clicked through to check out your blog.

Now, don't do this too much. You never want to make a blog, yours or someone else's, an infomercial. If I was writing a normal blog and had that one link above I don't think anyone would feel I'm trying to jam something down their throat. I'm not. My Writing Career Coach program is designed to help fiction, non-fiction, journalism, and other writers learn what they need to reach their writing goals. When I've accomplished that, you will trust me when I recommend a product as well. I trust you to give me attribution when you copy something [I only ask that you post my name and this blog address] and you can trust me to share solid information without trying to get you to open your wallet every day.

I hope this one technique to getting free advertising [and also ways to track those posts] will be helpful. And if any of you would like to host me on your blog I'd love to come chat.

I'll continue with the HIGH story tomorrow. I'm out of my 15 minutes and now it is time to spend an evening with my Marketing Director [aka my hubby]. Tomorrow I'll be sure to keep my lap plugged in so I don't lose 40 minutes of work and so I can share even more on Free Advertising with you. I can't wait to see you tomorrow.

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