Saturday, October 07, 2006

Requesting reader advice on blog promotion

Okay, forget the survey tool; I've added the list of promotion possibilities to the body of the post, so let me know in the comments which you like, or any other ideas you have. - Mgt.

This is a housekeeping matter, but I could seriously use some advice from Grits readers and fellow bloggers. A few months back I put Google's Adsense ads on Grits - you may not have noticed them, but they show up more prominently on the individual post pages. They don't generate much money - in fact after several months I'll soon be getting my first check from Google, supposedly, for $100. When I signed up, it was with the intention that whatever money was generated, however small a sum, would be used to promote the blog.

I don't have a lot of great promotion ideas, though, and figure readers and other bloggers may have better insights, anyway, into what might be effective. So I've created this survey to gather readers' advice on the topic. It's just one question and will only take a second.

And speaking of promotion, you can help promote Grits by turning your friends on to the blog, forwarding posts to people who you think might be interested, and, when you see a Google Ad at Grits on a topic you care about, click on it and Grits receives a small amount per-click. (I don't encourage gaming the system, just letting you know that's a way to support the site.)

Let me know: What's the best way to promote a low-budget niche blog like Grits?

Question: I'm about to get a check for $100 from Google AdSense. I vowed when I put up AdSense several months ago (it's not a big money maker) that any revenue would go toward promoting the blog. Here are some promotion ideas I've come up with or heard others recommend. Feel free to leave your own suggestion.
  • Print nice, full-color Grits business cards for one to one promotion among people I meet
  • Buy several Texas blog ads - not many, though, with that small amount
  • Buy a bottle of high-end scotch and screw promoting the blog.
  • Mailer via snail mail to 150 opinion leaders promoting Grits
  • Pay an artist to design a new logo
  • Print magnets, bookmarks or other swag for one to one promotion giveaways
  • Two words: Green. Fees.
  • Fork over for Typepad hosting services and dump blogspot
  • Buy my own Google ads using Grits' criminal justice-related keywords to boost traffic
  • Use the money for research costs like open records requests and newspaper archive searches
  • Buy criminal justice-related books - that counts as research, doesn't it?
  • I wonder where Willie Nelson bought those mushrooms he was busted with and how much they cost?
  • Delayed Gratification Option: Wait until the second $100 comes and get the Oxford Dictionary on CD-Rom I've coveted for years
  • Other (please specify)
Add your thoughts or additional suggestions in the comments, and we'll just do this the old fashioned way.


Anonymous said...

Grits for Breakfast: the Beer

Mike Howard said...

I went to fill out the survey but it's closed. I feel you on how to promote the blog. I have no budget for mine (of course, it's slightly less professional and well researched) and generally have no idea how to get readers. Please share any insight you gain from this!

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Okay, try it now. Sorry about that - no wonder I wasn't getting any responses! I was feeling lonely.

PD Stuff said...

I couldn't get the survey to open, so I posted a suggestion over at PD Stuff. But I'm with poverty lawyer 1: I'm interested in any insight you get. Have you thought about LawBlog Ad Network? I know TalkLeft has a link to the service, as well as other ad options.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Okay, I THINK it's working now. I was able to access it from a different computer and it seemed to work. Let me know if there are still problems and I'll just post the options in the blog post. I just thought I'd try the survey for fun - didn't mean for it to be a big hassle.

Anonymous said...

not working for me either Grits :(

I know that Amazon the book people have a kind of incentive scheme, where if a person buys from them after clicking through your site, you geta tiny amount per sale. Might be worth looking at.

As for promotion, I cant remember exactly how I found my way here but it was through a google search for something TX/prison related. I would suggest just networking with everyone and anyone who has an opinion/works in or for the system for now, oh and avoid like the plague a certain large 'inmate family support' forum.

Anonymous said...

I think I'd go with the scotch, or maybe the business cards.

Anonymous said...

I vote for open records. Spend it on better reporting and readers will follow.

Anonymous said...

Mushrooms! ... Ooooooh! I haven't had those since college. Go with the mushrooms. And let us know if you find Willie's source.

Oh, and I like the logo - if it ain't broke don't fix it.

Anonymous said...

I guess it all depends on why you want to promote the blog, and who to. If you're promoting to Joe Public, then maybe get some newspaper reporters to do a piece on it for you. That $100 might buy a couple of drinks to sweeten them.
If you want to promote it to folks who work in the system, then I still think networking is the best way to go, with maybe business cards to back up the word-of-mouth approach.

Or you could invest in some clear coin purses, have your logo put on them and sell them at a profit to inmate families.... oh sorry, wrong website.

Rantor said...

come up with a slogan or catch-phrase and have a friend design a logo for Grits for Breakfast; have a T-shirt made; wear the T-shirt, which should contain the URL; offer the T-shirts for sale on your Web site; CafePress is one on-line place to sell such items (I don't think that the items are made until sold)

Anonymous said...

buy mike savages book "Liberalism is a Mental Disorder" and Medveds book "Right Turns" read several times each.

Just kidding I like your site. It's not my site but the .us site that Ivorydome moved to is making money. It crawls with ads though.

Anonymous said...

Since you're focused on the Legislature so much, why don't you wait till the legislative session then buy Grits for Breakfast swag to deliver to all the offices - something they'll keep on a bulleting board or a magnet to stick on filing cabinets that reminds them of your URL? Those people are your target audience more than the general public, or do you agree?