A version of this article originally appeared on Hypebot.
Building relationships with hip-hop bloggers and editors is an essential part of your music career. Bloggers can help get you in front of your audience and add credibility to your brand. As your music career and team grows, you’ll eventually assign this job to someone else, but until then, you'll need to forge those relationships. So, I’m going to give you three tips for doing exactly that.
1. Leave comments on their blogs
Most hip-hop blogs don’t receive a ton of comments, and yet, so few artists take advantage of that. Leaving a comment on a post that someone probably spent hours or days on is a subtle way to say "thank you" and build a relationship with them. Now, since you’re probably one of the only people to comment on that blog post, the writer will notice and appreciate it.
Think about it: if you post something online, no matter if it’s a status update, tweet, new music, or video and someone likes, retweets, or comments on it, you’re pumped! It makes you look good online and feel good. Just speaking from experience, I know I feel good when others comment and share my stuff.
2. Send them an intro email
Sending a "cold" email to hip-hop bloggers can be tricky. They receive a lot of "check out my music," "how to get on your site," and "let’s work" emails every single day. Odds are, if you send them an email, it’s going to get lost in the pile with all the other emails.
So, how do you stand out? Let me show you how I do it.
First, I send a short professional intro email. This intro email includes who I am, what I do, and how I’d like to help them. The shorter the email, the better your chances are of getting a response.
I use Google Chrome extensions like MailTrack and Boomerang to track when the recipient opens the email, and I also set a reminder to notify me in seven days to check my email and see if I’ve received a response from them. If not, I reply to the message I previously sent them with something along the lines of, "Hey [insert name], I know you’re busy, so I wanted to send a follow-up email in case this message got lost in your inbox. Thanks!" I usually continue to do this until I receive a response thanking me for following up or telling me to stop emailing them.
Typically, only serious people will consistently follow up on an email. Since not many people do this in hip-hop (similar to commenting on their blog), you’ll stand out.
3. Promote their content
This one is simple and straightforward. It doesn’t matter if it’s only on social media, by purchasing one of their products or simply telling someone to check them out will help develop your rapport with bloggers. Helping them grow their businesses/blogs will put you on their radar.
Twitter Tip: By retweeting their tweets and adding your own comments in your retweet (usually compliments if you like the content), you'll start getting on their radar pretty quickly – especially if they don’t get a lot of engagement on Twitter.
Darius Burgan is a digital marketer for brands and artists.