This article is not a how-to in the sense I will give you step-by-step instructions to getting your music featured on more blogs…
Instead, my goal is to take your thinking to a higher level in order to understand some bigger concepts that will enhance your overall promotion strategies.
When I’m not wrangling toddlers, I spend my time acting as a music blogger and a music promoter; but I am also a songwriter and producer.
I walk both sides of this blogging / submission line.
When I write about these things I’m speaking from experience more than anything else.
Let’s get into it.
On the Internet, your attitude means everything.
If you are a negative person, an introvert, or expect everyone to rush to you and start treating you like a rock star because you think you are awesome; then don’t waste your time using the Internet to promote music.
The thing you need to understand is you are in the game of relationship marketing.
This means connecting with everyday people like you, like me, and like your favorite blogger you read everyday.
Whether you think so or not, your attitude comes across in your emails. It shows up on your website, your EPK, and everywhere else you are putting yourself online.
If you are giving bloggers a bad taste upon first impression, you will not be featured.
However, showing a little respect and being nice can go a long way.
In the event you are not sure how to be featured on a blog, sending a one line email asking how to be featured goes a lot further than an email telling the blogger you want to be featured.
This may sound ridiculous but it happens. All. The. Time.
Attention to small details goes a long way.
Tell a story
This one is simple.
One thing that separates a good submission from a bad submission is when there is a story behind the music.
80% of the time when a band submits materials to us they simply send a list of links. If we are lucky, we receive a short bio or description of the music.
Why do you think VH1’s Behind the Music was such a popular series?
The harder a blogger has to work to get into your music, the further your chances of being featured decrease.
When we receive submissions from PR firms or independent promoters, who represent artists and songwriters as their clients, we receive a very polished bio with a bit of band history as well as a list of accolades and awards (if they exist).
These submissions are always accompanied by great photos, mp3s, and links to everything a blogger would want to know about a band. They also, conveniently, include a list of popular bands that are similar in style so we know what to expect before clicking play.
Including these comparisons also helps blogs determine which writer best connects with a submission (if multiple authors exist).
It is safe to assume more of these submissions get featured.
But the good news is you do not need a PR firm to put together a great submission package.
This is probably as important as your attitude.
If you have no goal or have no clue what you are doing, you will fail.
The beautiful thing about this is you are in control. You get to make these decisions. No waiting for permission or approvals to move forward.
Whether you spend 30 minutes a day or 40 hours a week, you need to have some sort of outline with reasonable goals to achieve.
When you are trying to find blogs to feature your music, you can spend as much as 4 hours a day or as little as 10 minutes a day searching Google for music blogs in your genre. It doesn’t matter but be consistent.
The next step is to find blogs that you think are relevant to your style of music.
You need to look through the previous articles posted on these blogs, get a sense of what the authors like in music, and then decide if they would write favorably about yours.
If you can locate 3 to 5 blogs a day, you have made a list of 21 to 35 potential features in 1 week. If you can get featured on half of those, you have created a decent buzz. As long as you don’t stop or give up, the buzz will keep buzzing.
As you do this you want to make a list, taking note of the blogs website address, the author (or authors) who you think like your music, how to contact them, and make sure you follow the directions the blog gives for submitting music (if directions are provided).
I highly recommend creating a spreadsheet. This will help you organize your blog contacts and keep them for future reference.
If you do not have Microsoft Excel, you can use Google Drive’s spreadsheet feature free of charge.
One important thing to remember about your strategy is to not blindly submit to blogs.
Do. Your. Research.
This does not mean spend countless hours over-thinking the process but simply show a little common courtesy by getting to know the blog and bloggers before sending your music for consideration.
If you can geniunely come across as a reader of the blog, it will spark attention and raise your chances of being noticed. It is ok to say things like, “I enjoyed your review of XYZ band, our music is similar but with ABC twist” in your submission e-mail.
You need to say more than that, but you get the idea.
These 3 concepts can tremendously help you up your blog marketing game. Just remember 1) you are not a rock star and 2) you are connecting with people. If you can do this you will be fine.
Do not underestimate the power of the follow-up. If a few weeks have gone by and you have not heard back from a blog you submitted to, send a quick follow up and ask if they received your original submission.
Sometimes e-mails are unintentionally missed or sometimes even opened with the intention of remembering to get back to you but distractions often cause people to be forgetful.
You should also assume bloggers receive a lot more e-mails per day than the average person. Be patient and be respectful.