Going Grassroots Style - 12.13.99|
(Editors Note: This is now the 150th piece in this section. It has spanned over two years in time and at least one new piece a week. Please continue...)
Anyway, now that I've reminisced a bit, it's time for me to actually get on to the point of the piece (something I kind of stray from once in awhile). About a month ago, I decided that I was going to try to actually spread the word about my site a little more than I had been doing. Since I bought the domain name and re-designed things several months back, I just sort of waited for things to take off, and they did for awhile. After starting up, I noticed in my stats that several places had linked my site and I was getting feedback from people about different things every so often. Every month, my traffic was growing fairly steadily (which it fortunately hasn't stopped doing), but due to my slightly addictive personality, I found myself wanting even more.
After blaming myself for simply not having interesting content (who am I trying to fool, anyway?), I decided that I'd submit my site a couple different places and see whether I could pull down any awards. Within a little while, I had gotten one small mention one place (that I hadn't even submitted to) and a couple months later, I got another small nod. The traffic bumped up for a couple of days and steadily trickled back down to slightly above normal again, leaving me with sort of a thirst to have the sustained viewers.
Being a music fan and and a big collector of promotional stuff in general, the idea came to me out of the blue one day--I'd make stickers for my site and distribute them around the town where I live and to different people I know. Sure, it's kind of a cheesy idea and something rather base for an internet site, but I've always thought there was something fun about stickers.
After doing a little research online and with different people I knew, I decided that I would go ahead and pay a little extra for decent vinyl stickers. I still didn't want to spend a ton on them (as I knew they probably wouldn't deliver a lot of people to the site anyway), but I wanted them to look nice and be of good quality just in case someone got one that actually became interested in the site.
I came up with a design, sent it off to the company (and got a great deal through Sticker Guy! in case you ever need them), and in the meantime decided where to put them out once I'd gotten them back. They were going to be black on white stickers about the size of a bookmark, so I narrowed down my places to locate them as ones where I thought people with some of the same interests would hang out.
The first spot I put them was a used bookstore I frequent in town. In addition to just being a very cool place, I thought that perhaps some of the visitors who frequented it might have an interest in local writing and or the Lesion Legion section because of its storytelling aspect. My second stop was at a local coffeehouse that I sometimes frequent on cold winter evenings. Not only do they have a couple wired workstations located within, but I thought that perhaps people hanging out there would find something interesting at the site. The final place (for now) that I put them out was a club that I frequent. Since they play techno music on some nights and have dancing, I thought I might be able to hand out some and people would be interested in the music reviews at the site (even though I have really weird taste). While I was there, I saw that several people had picked up the stickers and then stuck them on others backs. Not exactly how I wanted them to be used, but it was funny nonetheless. I even managed to hand a couple out to people I met during the course of the evening. Shameless, I know.
The final places I'm thinking of depositing are a couple local music stores and possibly another coffee house, depending on whether I see any action from the ones I've already put out. In the end, it's sort of a goofy way to promote the site, but I have to admit that it's been pretty fun as well so far. Any suggestions? Drop me a note. Did you come here through a sticker you found? Tell me what you think.