Open Invitations To Bloggers: I'm Your Billboard / by J.C. Hutchins

While there are some notable exceptions to this rule, I've found that two camps of RSS-powered brethren -- dedicated bloggers and dedicated podcasters -- rarely intermingle. I don't know if bloggers perceive podcasters as RSS's red-headed, loud-mouthed stepchildren ... or if podcasters are so content to hear each other chatter that they can't be bothered to interact with bloggers. Perhaps it's both. Perhaps neither. But as I've watched the social media space more and more, the divide has become more and more clear to me. I don't like it. It doesn't make sense.

Here's my brass tacks reckoning about entertainment, and new media entertainment specifically: If you're dumping your heart, soul and precious time (and money) into a project that is designed to be consumed by an engaged audience, then you're damned-near obligated to evangelize your work. What good is a story or song (or blog or podcast) if there's no audience to experience it?

There's no shame in craving an audience, or growing one ... which brings me to promotion, and the aforementioned RSS divide. I perceive this to be a picket line of sorts: Will a podcaster betray his mic-friendly roots by connecting with a blogger? Will a high-profile blogger be perceived as "slumming it" if they promote their work to a podcaster?

If you're in one of these camps I'm discussing, honestly consider this: Have you ever considered reaching across that divide and promoting yourself to your RSS opposite?

There was a time when I didn't. I look back at the past two years of communicating (and promoting) with podcasters exclusively, and see two years' worth of wasted opportunity. The cross-pollination possibilities were -- and are -- endless.

It's boneheaded to stick with your respective RSS cult. It is wise to look to your RSS opposite and see them as a new media ally.

Podcasters: Reach out to bloggers for promotion. New media marketing cannot begin and end with a podcaster networking solely with fellow podcasters (or worse, networking only with podcasters who produce shows in similar genres). Podcasting, despite its growth, remains a niche within the social media entertainment space -- and when 'casters only communicate with 'casters of similar genres, they relegate themselves to something worse: ultra-niche obscurity.

Similarly, I encourage bloggers to connect with podcasters to promote their work. This is a currently-untapped marketing opportunity for bloggers. Podcast listeners are a captivated audience. Just like blog readers, they form relationships with show hosts, and look to them for more cool content. Podcasters play one-minute audio "promos" (gratis commercials) of other podcasts on their shows. These promos generate interest and new listeners. A great many successful podcasts -- including mine -- hinge on this marketing method.

I can shake my fist at podcasters and insist that they reach out to bloggers, and either they will, or they won't. But I can bridge this gap in my own content, and I'm doing just that.

Bloggers, this is your open invitation: Consider my show a billboard for your work.

If you want to promote your blog to thousands of engaged listeners, for free, here's your chance. Create a one-minute audio promo for your blog, and send it to me. I'll play it in an upcoming episode of my podcast. Boom, done-deal, no reciprocation required.

Don't wig. Creating an audio promo is easy: Write up the quick "elevator pitch" about what your blog covers, include your URL ... and that's it. Record it with a computer mic and email it to me: If you don't have a computer mic, call this number and leave a voice mail: 206-984-0918. I guarantee I'll play your promo in a future episode of my show.

Aside from a few minutes of time investment, it's is a risk-free chance for you to promote your blog -- you know, that thing you believe in and want to grow -- to thousands of listeners. It doesn't get much simpler than that.

Are you in? It's doesn't make sense to say no. Remember what to do:

  • Write your pitch and include your URL.
  • Record it to MP3 an email it to me -- -- or call this number and record it: 206-984-0918.
  • That's it.

Bloggers, I hope to hear your promo soon -- and podcasters, I hope you'll reach out to bloggers to promote your show. To not market your work to new audiences is foolish. Be brave, look outside your comfort zone, and evangelize your content. I bet you'll grow your audience more quickly than you expect ... and sharing your work with new consumers is what, in my brass-tacks view of things, it's all about.