We talk a lot about blogging, or web logging, here on For Bloggers, By Bloggers. It’s pretty much all we talk about and that’s perfectly fine because it’s what we set out to help people with when we started this adventure. So a title like “Take Your Blog Offline” probably raised a few eyebrows when I put it into the rotation for today.
I want to help you find ways to increase your readership and grow a more involved community around your blog and I want to help you do that by showing you ways to take your blog offline. No, I’m not talking about shutting it down. I’m talking about building in experiences and events where you can take your blogging efforts and display them in real-world scenarios.
One of my favorite aspects of social media, blogging in particular, is the ability to meet new people. But not only meeting them via Twitter or the comments section, I love taking those relationships deeper by finding ways to interact in the physical world as well as the digital one.
Real trust and deeper connections can be harnessed faster and stronger when you actively pursue real-life meetings with people you “know” online. Here are 4 ways to take your blog offline that can really build some IRL engagement and deeper trust within your community.
4 Ways To Take Your Blog Offline
1. The Meetup – If you’re a blogger that’s active in your local tech community, there’s a good chance that a portion of your readership is local. Why not plan a [Your Blog] Commenter Community Meetup (or Tweetup) where everyone can get together and just hang out. Make it a potluck-style outing and everyone can bring their favorite food or beverage to save on snacking costs for you. You can plan it through Meetup.com (especially if you want to make it a monthly or bi-monthly thing) and most people will jump at the chance for an informal place to meet people they’re already interacting with and it can really be a lot of fun.
2. The Talk – Look around in your area and see if there are any organizations like the local Chamber of Commerce or Social Media Club that have special interests group related to your blog topic. Reach out to someone there and see if they are looking for guest speakers or presenters for events/conferences/meetings/etc. and offer your services. Most groups like to know of willing speakers in their areas, especially for niche audiences, and will at least inform you of the likelihood of an open spot. Once they give you the go-ahead, take your most popular post and turn it into a presentation. Not only will this help your speaking chops and storytelling skills, but it will position you as more of an expert and possibly get you some new subscribers. (Toastmasters is another good group to look into to build those skills.)
3. The Submission – This one is pretty simple, but look around in your area an find either the newspaper contact or local indie newspaper (for Nashville, it’s the Nashville Scene) and look into their submission guidelines. Go through and find your favorite popular post and re-work it to meet the guidelines and submit it as a feature or opinion piece. If it’s chosen, you’ll have that credibility link to point to on your site and they’ll at least know your name now.
4. The Code – I’m a big nerd for ways to integrate real and digital worlds and have recently been looking into the benefits and downsides of things like QR codes, Microsoft Tags and NFC technology. Why not play around with some of that technology and make random flyers with QR codes or Microsoft Tags that lead back to a popular post. Maybe create a specific landing page with a funny picture or quote just for the heck of it. Playing around with new technology and finding ways to integrate it into what you’re already doing blog-wise and be just as rewarding as it is fun when applied correctly.
So there are 4 ways to take your blog offline to get more online engagement. Have you played with an of these ideas before? What has worked? What hasn’t?
I’m interested to hear your thoughts on ways to take your online content and merge it with your offline activities for real results.