Grades to date
- Zine statements — All in! Thank you!
- Book reviews — I’m still missing links from Shay, Kiera, Monica, & Hannah T. Please email me your link when your review is live.
- Web presence reflection. Due tomorrow. Thanks to those who have already submitted theirs.
The campaign blog
You already started the process of building your website in the first half of this unit. Your future crowdfunding campaign is one way to put that site to use. (Alternatively you can buy multiple domains if you pay for a hosting plan. For instance, I own several with DreamHost and simply pay for the domain registration for each new site and use free WordPress installs for the CMS.)
Note: One of the first things you’ll want to build on your blog is a contact form to collect names/email addresses. In fact, you probably want a link to that form on your email signature as well. As you know by now, an e-newsletter will be an effective way to reach your supporters and you’ll want to send them updates when you post new content on your blog. You might use something like Constant Contact in conjunction with a plugin from MailMunch to make collection go smoothly.
What you decide to write about obviously depends on your project, but the blog itself is important as it provides a homebase for your work that you own and that is therefore independent from the algorithms, terms of service, and other abuses that come from contributing user-generated content on social media. By all means use Twitter, Facebook, IG, and others to promote your work and your campaign, but don’t depend on them for publishing your writing. (That said, I encourage you to disable comments on your site and add a spam plugin to keep trash from piling up in your inbox).
What you can see from this example is that although Lucas’s backers are only now just receiving the game, this project started six months earlier. He launched his Kickstarter on July 1 and first posted on his pre-campaign blog on May 31. During that pre-campaign month he blogged about lots of different ideas: the genesis of the game, his design process, rethinking the concept itself based on conversations he was having with other experts, and other thoughts on how the project can continue to evolve.
For your report, I’m asking you to strategize by sharing a list of at least five blog post prompts (~100 words total) that will be related to your project. You can steal these from other crowdfunding campaigns or base them on what you think will get patrons excited about your idea. Some other thoughts on blogs and crowdfunding, many of which come from Joseph Hogue:
- Publish interviews. Interviews are fun, easy, and attractive to readers. Who might be good candidates? Anyone who is related to your project themes and could drive traffic to your site. If you’re publishing a memoir about depression, perhaps you could interview a therapist about it.
- Guest post. Once you have met some of your outreach goals and have a network of people you’re in touch with, consider asking them if you can guest post. Propose a few potential topics and see if they are amenable to it.
- Spread the word. This probably goes without saying, but once you add a new post, you need to let the world know about it. Post links to it via email subscribers and social media. Add relevant hashtags and tag people who were somehow involved in your content with hopes of getting it to circulate further. You can also reach out to a variety of folks who write blogs about crowdfunding.
Homework for our last class
- Continue to work on your report. It is due on Friday, December 13.