I have spent time recently thinking about offline methods of promoting my blogs or websites that will be an effective return on investment and I was comparing what other sites/companies do to promote their products and services.
One thing I did consider heavily was having a custom tshirt designed with my Dragon Blogger logo and URL on the front and back. A black T-Shirt would be fitting, I just don’t leave my house more than once a week sometimes and not sure it would be the most effective form of advertising.
However, I have seen other companies get lots of promotion and even good responses from various T-Shirts promoting their products and services. Some companies thrive on selling custom tshirts as well. But advertising your blog isn’t as simple as slapping your logo on some sports tshirts and then just assuming that someone will see the URL and be curious enough to be drawn to your site.
I do actually wear a custom tshirt for my wife’s blog, but her blog is a local Arizona music production company. Whenever I assist her with Rock Along Productions events, I am always wearing her company T-Shirt as it is an important part of the image. I think this works very well since her company has a physical presence and relates to the AZ local scene. The fact that whenever I go out of my house it is usually to assist my wife with her events means I wouldn’t have time to wear my own custom tshirt anyway which only further reduces my return on investment.
My wife actually went through six variations of tshirts from several companies and recently purchase t-shirts from someone giving a great discount ,but unfortunately was very new to the T-Shirt making process and was creating them from his apartment. As a result the quality of work was not consistent with some shirts varied shades of color than others, so it pays to go to a reputable company if you do decide on getting a T-Shirt to promote your business. Don’t try to save too much and go with a company that doesn’t have an established reputation or else you may suffer a Death by T-Shirt from all the frustration you may end up with.
Some other items I considered ordering are:
Blog Business Cards
Again, I barely go out in public who would I distribute them to? I could drop them off at local restaurants in their "free lunch" jars and maybe get some traffic that way, but this hardly seems like a valuable ROI. This would be different if I were to attend a blog convention in Las Vegas, in this case Business cards are a must.
Car Magnet or Bumper Sticker
This may be of some value, having a car magnet or bumper sticker promoting my site. I see many people do this for local businesses and my wife had bought magnets for the side of her car and they were noticed at a local drive thru.
USB Drives, Mouse Pads, Mice…etc
If you can get them in bulk and give them away in contests you may find some value in purchasing computer accessories branded with your image/logo/url and then give them away in contests. Who couldn’t use a free 4GB USB stick, but the problem is while you can buy plain ones for about $10-12, it costs twice that to brand them and this can add up quickly. This option particularly works better for larger companies than for a small blogger.
Unless your blog/site is very pertinent to the local geographic location of where you live, I haven’t come up with a valid reason to invest in physical branding of materials to help promote my blog site. This would be different if I ran a blog for a local company or specific to Arizona or Phoenix where I wanted locals to visit, but I just don’t see it bringing in even less than 1 person per month visit to my site.
Have any other bloggers experimented with T-Shirts, Bumper Stickers or other promotional materials? What was your experience, was it worth it?