Journalism Basics: An important tool

There it is: My business card. Well, one of my business cards. I have several, but this is the one I use for my neighborhood blog, Eastlake Ave.

Not terribly exciting. The design isn't much. Just black type on a white card. Only one line to break up the type.

I know, I know: boring.

But, it's a key part of my equipment as a beat blogger. This is how I introduce myself and the site. It's what I leave with people so they know how to get ahold of me and, more important, how to find Eastlake Ave. And, at this time when self marketing is everything, this card is one of my main promotional tools.

A business card is no secret. I've received them from several bloggers around town. But I wanted to emphasize how simple this is and how effective. I print these at home on my inkjet. The stock is Avery #8871. The cards are prescored so they break apart nicely and look great.

Design? Newer versions of Word have templates for business cards. I did this one in Illustrator but you can do something similar in Word. Tinker with their templates. Go wild and add some art. But get the essentials in there: your name, your site's URL, your e-mail address, a phone number, your Twitter ID. Make sure it's legible.

It's not fancy. It isn't sent digitally. But for promoting yourself and your site, there's not much that can beat it. People love getting a card. They refer back to it. You can leave them at meetings or coffee shops. You can hand them out to businesses (I was doing that the last two days). No one has refused to take one of mine yet.

If you're a beat blogger, you shouldn't be without them.


Tracy at WSB said...

Took us a while before we realized we needed them but of course they are obligatory now. We get ours printed cheaply at a local printer, with a block of color on them just for fun, although I think for the next run we will upgrade to heavier stock. And even before seeing yours - I was thinking the other day, next run we need to put our Twitter and Facebook ID on ours :) - TR

Curt said...

I didn't set up a Twitter account for the site at first. "Why would I need that?" I thought. Ha! I'm constantly amazed. Post. Tweet. Within seconds I'll get 10-20 page views. People are really watching for this stuff. Lots of printers do business cards (even the big-box office supply stores) but you can do short runs at home. Given how many I've handed out the last couple of days, I may need to go the commercial route!