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Bruce Houghton’s Romancing Your Favorite Music Bloggers

BLOGOSPHERE (Hypebot) – In the last two Daily D.I.Y. posts I talked about the importance of music bloggers and how to find the ones that matter to your music via special search techniques and blog directories. But once you've found them, what's next?

Start slowly. Just like dating, a little tease and a strong first impression are important.

Begin by commenting intelligently on some of the bloggers posts. Most allow you to link your signature back to your web site. Be sure to sign each comment including your band name or affiliation (Bruce Houghton of Hypebot). Adding a few sincere kinds words about a band the blogger likes or about the blogger's writing never hurt. Asking a question that provokes dialog with the blogger or other readers is also a good strategy.

After a few days or weeks contact the blogger directly with comment or better yet include a piece of information that they might find useful. Helping others is always a good thing. You can mention your band including a link or two, but don't ask for anything…yet

Next, send a little music. Don't ask permission. It's too easy to say no or ignore a request. Include a few words on why they might like it. "I know you love bands like….” Let them know you've done your homework and not wasting their time.

Bloggers also love free stuff for themselves and for their readers. A t-shirt in the mail goes a long way and the offer of a contest prize (4 tickets and backstage passes) goes even farther and gets you more coverage. If things are really going well, offer to contribute to the blog. Most music bloggers work free and all of us could use help producing strong content. Road diaries and photos from the recording studio or OK, but maybe you've got a more creative idea.

Lastly, don't forget to say thank-you. A handwritten note (you remember…the kind you put postage stamps on) go a long way because no one does it any more. Give them props and a link back on our own blog (You do have one; don't you?) and web site. Refer to them in a comment on someone else's blog. Chances are they'll find out about it.

Just like dating, romancing a blogger is about building a relationship. Take your time, don't expect too much and you just might be surprised by the results.