After writing the ‘Marketing 101‘ post I decided to focus on sourcing out this platform of blogging. I can say the one thing I have done correctly is write consistently. What I’ve neglected is my fellow bloggers.
For this I do apologize.
Having researched this element and what I am finding is successful blogs have one thing in common. They generate commentary and they interact with their community. And you cannot generate commentary unless you read and comment on fellow blogs.
Patrick gave me some very sage advise about social networking to which I am very grateful.
When I began this blog, in all fairness, I really didn’t know what to expect. For me it was simply a tool to write on a consistent basis and hopefully become better at it. I had not finished the book at that point. I was still experiencing growing pains with it as it and the format had not fully taken shape. I don’t believe I had even started up with the two writing groups I now belong to.
There was this notion, an immediacy to focus on writing and photography. Two things that I always loved and for whatever reason put on the back burner as the rest of my so call life seems to dictate.
Somewhere in the mix of the past few years I adopted the ‘no excuses’ rule. Meaning simply that when I say things like ‘I love to do (blank)’, and I ask myself why I’m not then doing (blank), if it starts with ‘because‘ then it’s an excuse.
For example I love to run. Right now I cannot run. My feet are numb as a result of the chemotherapy and until they are back to normal (which will hopefully be in a few more weeks) it is not advisable as I could do permanent nerve damage.
An excuse would sound like this, ‘I love to run but I just can’t find the time right now.’
The most common excuse we use is that we don’t have the time. Our lives are so busy that we just don’t make the time for the things we love. Sad really.
This shift in thinking has been pivotal to where I am now. But I digress, as I often do.
I am now going to embark on a marketing plan that I’ve put together and we’ll see if it works. Again, it is about the journey and I do hope to learn a thing or two along the way and will share them with you (the good, the bad and ugly!)
I will be calling this segment of my blog ‘The Marketing Files’. I will follow it with a catch phrase of what I am researching, discovering or so completely in the dark about. The point of these will be to attempt to learn how to market a blog. This is where it starts.
One thing I need to be careful of is my sense of humour. It can be very strange and not everyone ‘gets me’ as a certain child o’ mine as pointed out a time or two.
For example, several years ago the giant phone, internet and optik TV provider, Telus, sent out small stuffed red chameleons about six to eight inches in length. This was a very poor marketing campaign.
These were sent to business customers as a way to thank them for their loyalty. I still have Jason. That is what I named him and the reason why is another story altogether.
Anyway, several years ago a certain radio station was having a contest with a top prize of $25,000. The idea was for the listening audience to come up with a creative way to visually show they listen to the radio station. A brilliant marketing campaign!
I took a picture of Jason (the stuffed chameleon), mocked up a headset on him and gave him a boom box to rock out with and added the catch phrase
‘WHY IS THIS IGUANA SMILING? HE’S LISTENING TO (RADIO STATION)’
I put the posters up around the City. One of the delivery people for the printing company that we used put it in her car window.
Now the first thing you may note is that I called it an ‘Iguana’ when clearly it was not. My clever thinking was that a chameleon can change and this one changed species.
In any case, people had to call in if they saw signs, take pictures and email them to the radio station. It was brilliant and when I saw the contenders I knew that my efforts were amateurish at best. Still, it was fun.
The winner would be determined by having generated the largest audience. The guy that took the top prize? He was at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. He held up a sign in a massive crowd toward a camera that read ‘I LISTEN TO (RADIO STATION)’. I think it was Matt Lauer of the Today Show or some such personality who saw the sign, tracked down the guy and had him on the show the next day. Can’t get more publicity than that, can you! And he won hands down.
What did I learn from this little endeavour? Don’t be weird! That’s what I learned. Most people looked at this poster and the first thing out of there mouth was that it wasn’t an iguana. I lost them right there.
Because of this colossal error on my part, Jason later turned into a serial killer. Being the empathic personality that I am, however, I cured him of this irrational behaviour and he now sits on the rear-view mirror of my car happily directing me in my travels.
So once again I took the long way around and have given several examples of why my humour should not be brought into the mix.
At this point you are likely asking yourself ‘what the hell does any of this have to do with the business of blogging?!’
That, my darlings, is my point. I need to focus, focus, focus. Not lead you down several back alleys and causeways to the point that you can’t even recall what I began discussing in the first place, which was marketing a blog.
And I’ve just given an example likely of how NOT to market one.
I’m looking forward to this little venture and I do look forward to your feedback as well.