Back a bit, Eric Sink wrote How would you reach YOU? It was about marketing software, but the same question is applicable to any small modern religious group, Pagan or otherwise.
For me, the fact Hemlock Vales is linked from ADF’s main site is enough, as I was interested in ADF after finding out about ADF through Isaac Bonewits’ website, which I learned about from, of all places, Steve Jackson Games when they republished Authentic Thaumaturgy.
But what if we assume a hypothetical Arthur who didn’t get that link set? How would he find Hemlock Vales?
A first answer would be Witchvox. And, indeed, Witchvox has an entry set up for Hemlock Vales Protogrove. Okay, let’s go further. Assume this hypothetical ur-Art doesn’t know about Witchvox.
Okay, let’s go to Google. Other search engines may be equally important, but Google is the most known/best-analyzed.
“state college” druid — click in three pages, don’t see anything relevant
“state college, pa” druid — The fifth link down will get them there via ADF’s main site. Not bad, not great.
It gets worse if you change out “druid” for “pagan”. But there is a bright spot: Try “penn state” or PSU with pagan…and you see the student group’s home page.
Perhaps I’ll ask them for a link.
And I’ll seek out other ways of improving my link-fu. (Let’s be honest, this blog is one of them.)
This is, of course, all about online marketing. What about offline? It seems harder in some ways, yet effort there can yield results. The easiest route is, obviously, word-of-mouth. I’ve had a number of referrals from the UU regulars of other UUs interested in finding a more Pagan-focused group locally. It hasn’t usually panned out…but it’s worthwhile. To get good word-of-mouth, though, requires a positive impression.
Another major offline option is flyers…which I think are best saved for later.