Tuesday, July 26, 2005

More on Blog Carnivals

If you want to learn more about blog carnivals (in the context of the future of journalism) go here. It also contains a list of all extant and extinct carnivals - there's something for everybody.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Cooperative Advertising For Bloggers

Now for those of you who know what cooperative advertising is, then you know there’s nothing new about it. From the early 1900s until just a few years ago cooperative advertising ruled when it came to advertising for small businesses and while it does still exist, overt examples are getting harder to come by.

Now, for those of you who don’t know what cooperative advertising is, please let me explain: Cooperative advertising is when two businesses-- usually one very large business and one small business split the cost of advertising by advertising together. One of the most common examples were the soft drink signs on the front of curb markets and country stores that were once quite common all over the country. Often a small business couldn’t afford a sign of their own so a soft drink company like Pepsi or Doctor Pepper would sell them a sign at less than cost, that included not only the name of the store but the name of the soft drink as well. The small business got a sign for cheap and the soft drink company got themselves a building to advertise on. Occasionally, when competition was at it’s fiercest, the drink companies would give the signs to the store owners free of charge.

Stick with me now as I’m going somewhere with this.

Cooperative advertising is found in print, radio, and television as well on the walls of buildings and on billboards. AC-Delco (a division of General Motors) has entered into hundreds, perhaps thousands of cooperative radio spots with local auto parts dealers and back in the days when department stores were locally owned and operated it wasn’t uncommon to see newspaper ads pairing manufacturers of name brand products with the local department, appliance, and hardware stores.

The most common examples of cooperative advertising still in existence today are the heating and air-conditioning advertisements that pitch a manufacturer’s brand such as Trane or Carrier with the local dealers shown at the end of television commercials.

Like I said, I’m going somewhere with this.

What about double sided business cards for bloggers and small businesses? Take me for example: I pass out 200 business cards each week advertising my websites, BloggingPoet.com and LaureatesKids.com but the back side of my cards are blank. What if a business or nonprofit decided to furnish me with business cards with my websites on one side and their website on the other side? For starters I would probably pass out more than I do now as I can’t afford to print more than I do. Secondly, that business would get some of the cheapest advertisement any business can buy. And number three is the fact that business cards are often seen by far more people than just those people they were handed to. For me that means more readers come to my website and for the business that decided to pay for my our business cards-- more sales for less money.

If you’d like to know where to mail my business cards and what to put on my side, simply send an e-mail to idleblogs (at) yahoo.com

Oh, and another cheap advertising idea I’ve used for a couple of years at one of my other domains, VegetableStalker.com, was to have my bank add my domain name to my personal checks in the lower right corner just above where my signature goes. The bank added it to my checks for free and there’s no advertising cheaper than free, right?

Got an idea for the Idea Consultants? Feel free to contact any of the Idea Consultants to discuss it and don’t forget to return to IdeaConsultants.org for more great ideas.