It’s Day 4 of Bloggy B-Card Week! Be sure to catch on this week’s posts: what to put on a blogger business card, If That’s Your Business Card, I Can’t Wait to See Your Blog and Seven Trends in Blogger Business Cards. You’ve been telling me how much you were looking forward to learning about QR codes so let’s get to it shall we?
What’s a QR Code?
QR codes are little blocks of awesome that look like this:
(That’s my QR code. Go ahead, scan it. You know you want to.)
The “QR” part stands for Quick Response. A QR code basically gives you quick access to information by scanning a barcode-like button on your smart phone. In the business world, they’re popping up all over the place. Magazines are using them so readers can interact in fun ways. Realtors are using them on For Sale signs so house hunters can see the inside of the house without even walking through the door. Retailers are using them on store fronts to encourage people to check in on Foursquare. The list goes on and on.
So how can a blogger use QR codes on their business cards? Well, that’s the whole reason for this post. But before we get to that, you need to know some of the basics.
How Do You Scan a QR Code?
Scanning one of those puppies is a piece of cake if you have a smart phone. If you’re smart phone-less, you’re out of luck unless you carry a bar code scanner around in your back pocket. Even if you don’t have a smart phone, don’t let that keep you from creating one for your blog. Tons of people DO have smart phone (I’m not trying to make you feel bad- promise) and you’re making it easy on them to find out more about you or your blog.
To read a QR code on a smart phone, you have to download an app to read the code. Here are a few popular ones:
Red Laser (For iPhone and Android phones)
QR Code Reader app (iPhone)
QR Code Scanner Pro (Blackberry)
To scan the code, simply open the app and your phone’s camera will pop up. Hold it over the code and your phone will automagically scan it. It’ll then open up whatever the code is linked to. Easy peasy.
How Do You Create a QR Code?
Now that you know how to scan QR codes, how do you create this little square of magical goodness for yourself? There are tons of places to create them. For the majority of them, all you do is enter the URL you want to link the code to and the software will generate the code for you. Here are a few places:
Kaywa– one of the most popular and no need to sign up for anything to use it
iCandy– create a QR code as well as view analytics about your code
QR Stuff- TONS of options for generating QR codes
Mobile-Barcodes– another place to generate a code
Jumpscan- this is if you want mobile-friendly contact info instead of going to a page
There are tons of other ones too if these don’t strike your fancy.
Ideas for Using QR Codes on Business Cards
Here’s the juicy part. Now that you’re well-versed in the ways of the QR code, how the heck can you use it for blogger business cards?
The biggest thing to note here is that whatever you link to MUST be mobile-friendly. Be sure to test it on your smart phone (or snag a friend’s phone for a minute… just give it back). TEST TEST TEST. You don’t want to print 250 cards with QR codes that don’t work.
On your card, be sure to add a little explanation of what they’ll find within the QR code. Be alluring, be direct or be creative. Just a few words will do.
Other than just linking to your blog, here are seven cool ideas for using QR codes on business cards:
1. Link to a place that tells someone more about you.
You have a gazillion options for this. You could simply link to your About Me page on your blog or create a special About Me page just for those who use a QR code. You could link to your About.Me page (you have one, right?), where you can show off all your websites and social media profiles. You could also link to a Jumpscan profile that contains your contact info. Gigi from Kludgy Mom has a tutorial where she walks you through using Jumpscan to create a mobile-friendly page with contact information.
2. Link to an email sign-up form.
Have a newsletter you think others would dig? What about a way to subscribe to your blog posts via email? Link that form to your QR code. You’ll grow your subscription base in a cool, mobile way. Guess who’s QR code does this? Wink. Wink.
3. Link to an entry form for a giveaway.
Are you being sponsored at a conference this year? You could do a giveaway for that sponsor’s product and then link to a page to enter. If you’re worried about timeliness, you have a couple of options. First, you can do a small print run just for that particular conference. Second, you could update that page with each conference. Just make the page name generic enough that you can use again, so instead of www.blogname.com/type-a-conference-giveaway the URL is something like www.blogname.com/QR-code). If you’re not doing any traveling for a while, then just change that page’s content to about you. If you’re going to go this route, just create a separate page (not a blog post).
4. Link to a video about yourself, your mission or something else really cool.
Create a short video where you tell someone a little more about yourself or your blog’s mission. It’s a great way to show off that personality of yours. If you’re involved in any philanthropic stuff, you could also use this as a chance to explain how you’re helping the cause and encourage others to donate.
5. Add you as a contact into their phone.
How could would it be if someone scanned your QR code and it automatically added their contact info into your phone? While it may be a little forthcoming, it’s also pretty darn cool. You can use QR Stuff’s vcard option to do this.
6. Give out a special offer.
Wanna give your new fan something special? Depending on your niche, you could send them to a page where they can download a short e-book, checklist, or something else you deem as special.
You could also offer a special advertising rate or promotional offer. Possibilities are endless here.
7. Encourage someone to follow one of your social media profiles.
Go for it! Have a gazillion followers on Twitter? Link to your profile. Do people really love your Facebook fan page? Get them to like your page right then and there. Are you a YouTube queen or kind? Yep, take them straight to your channel. Again, QR Stuff lets you do this all with ease.
There you have it. Does this make you want to create a bunch of QR codes and tape them to your car or what?
Seriously though, you can do SO much with QR codes on your business card. Now go and rock it.
Where Can You Buy Blogger Business Cards?
MOO Business Cards (this link will get you free samples so you can test them out)
Tiny Prints (lots of great templates)
By the way, a few of these links are affiliate links but I hope the content I provided was worthy of a click.
This post was part of a week-long series of blogger business cards. If you want more b-card goodness, check out What to Put on a Blogger Business Card, If That’s Your Business Card, I Can’t Wait to See Your Blog, Seven Trends in Blogger Business Cards, and the Blogger Business Card Showcase.
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