I had a brainwave last week.
I remember a few months ago Brian Blogduck thought of a simple way of advertise your blog: write your URL on a bank note. It’s in circulation, and will be seen by plenty of people. The only problem? It’s a bit of a legal grey area. It is against the law to write on them, but a “Freedom of Speech” defence has been used in the past. Still, I’m sure your blog name plastered across a bank note wouldn’t really be classed as freedom of speech.
So what can you do instead? Well most youth hostels have book exchanges (shelves full of books that you may take, providing you leave one behind), books are relatively cheap, and it could be an interesting way to find new visitors. So why not exchange books all over your backpacking holiday? Well, that’s the theory. I’ll let you know if it works, but here’s the process behind it.
1. Create An “Entry” Page for your Blog
I spent a few hours today creating an “Entry Page” for my blog. An entry page is a page people land on when they visit your blog, as opposed to the home page. These pages give a quick synopsys of the blog, and encourage an action. I have built a couple of entry pages on my blog, such as my Firefox Page. The encouragement with this page is “Download Firefox from my site”, so I get a little bit of money. It is actually quite successful, and have received a number of downloads.
Anyway, the entry page I want is for people to leave a comment, and give a brief synopsys on the blog and the project I am running. I’m not telling you lot what the entry page URL is (not because I hate you, just I want to keep it secret to make the project interesting), but it is short (I will explain why later). I’m also sticking a map on it, so people can add their geographical location to it too.
2. Buy a Book
The next task is to buy a book. At this point, I reccommend not going to Waterstones or Amazon, you want it as cheap as possible, plus something as well to stand out (Dank, decrepid Jilly Cooper novels are out of the question). My purchase was from a Charity Shop in Colwyn Bay, and it was a copy of The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown for £1.
A huge tangent here, but for some reason, Colwyn Bay is a very good source of attractive young foreign girls. Seriously. Must have been in 3 or 4 within the Bay, and all of them had a Polish or Russian girl with wide eyes, a nice smile, and didn’t look like a mess like a large proportion. Two of them did take a bit of an interest (being the only person below 50 within the shop), plus they must’ve thought I was a caring soul giving to charity. I doubt anything will come from it (no Guy, I didn’t get thier numbers), but it made me feel good, as nobody ever flirts with me!
If you do buy a book, make sure the first page is blank, the reason why is point 3
3. Write a brief introduction in the book
Now comes the tricky part (for me anyway, due to my shonky handwriting). Sell your site within the first page of your book. I’d do a draft on paper. But three things I am putting on the first page of Dan Brown’s finest hour are the following.
- A brief introduction on the project
- Your Entry Page URL
- Something along the lines of “please don’t keep this book, exchange it with your fellow travellers”, as a way to try and keep the book in circulation.
4. Exchange the book on your travels
I really have no intention of keeping the book, so I will exchange it somewhere in Europe for another book by another author (I wouldn’t mind offloading The Da Vinci Code before I get to Italy, being the birthplace of Catholocism and all). In return I get another book, where I will repeat step 3 again, hopefully building up about 7 or 8 books with my blog advertising in it, all around Europe.
That is the plan anyway, whether it works or not remains to be seen. I will let you know when I return if it has been successful in any way!