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Engage the Blogger - Don't Offend

Posted on 8.06.2006

With the emerging power of Web 2.0 and the perceived effectiveness of television advertising waning, many advertisers are targeting bloggers. It's a good idea. A blogger's network can be quite expansive and, depending on its following, quite persuasive. So getting your product or advertising message to a well-respected and influential blogger can have a massive impact on your business. It's easy, inexpensive and direct.

Many companies are targeting a specific blog and sending out test products and insider information, hoping that the mention in the blogosphere will boost sales and provide links - thereby providing higher search rankings. Many times it works. But it can backfire.

Many bloggers feel that advertising is the anti-blog. It's a sort of free-speech ideal and advertising can feel like "selling out." Hounding these bloggers by constantly shipping product or posting advertisements on the blog network can draw the ire of the blogosphere. Before long, you can find your good name sullied by a vast network of very influential people.

The solution is to do your homework. Read up on the blog that you are interested in. Spend some time becoming a part of that blog, not just a name-dropper. The more you engage the blogger and can provide some real value to his/her network, the more likely you can effectively advertise. By proceeding with sincerity and caution, your host is much more likely to test your product or give your company a gratuitous mention in subsequent posts. It can be a win-win situation if handled properly.

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