Sprout Builder is a fabulous (and free) new service which you could use to create an interactive promotional widget for your blog.
To give you an idea of what can be achieved using Sprout, I've quickly created this promotional Blogger Buster widget. This only took around 20 minutes to create, but those who have more time and patience could easily create an incredible promotional tool for their blogs which (as you can see) can be easily emailed, embedded and shared by it's viewers.
If Sprout Builder seems like a tool you would be interested in using too, you can get started creating your own widget right away! You will need to register your name and email address in order to save and publish your widget, but the easy "greenhouse" building platform will offer you an idea of the possibilities until you're ready to sign up for your free account!
One of the best things about Sprout widgets is that they can be embedded in almost any web page. Even in MySpace! This means you could create a Sprout to promote your blog and include this in your online profiles, your web page, send it by email and ask your friends to share it too.
A great Sprout widget could easily become viral, and when used as a means of blog promotion this has the potential of gathering more readers (and potential subscribers) to your blog.
Sprout is rather easy to use. Building your widget is a case of "drag and drop", but I would advise using one of the pre-made templates to get an idea of how pages are constructed before trying to build one from scratch!
My only complaint so far is that the widget builder hogs my computer's memory; after using this for a while I noticed the interface became rather slow (but then my beloved laptop isn't quite as high-spec as I'd like...).
No doubt, Sprout will become an invaluable marketing tool as it's popularity develops. I'm definitely using this for some other projects I have lined up in the coming weeks!
Pop over to Sprout Builder to check it out for yourself and let me know what you think about using this as a promotional tool for your blogs. And if you create a great Sprout of your own, feel free to send this my way!