So you want to get music blogs to notice your music..
So you want to get music blogs to notice your music…
I’ve been a music blogger off and on for about fifteen years. I started to take it seriously after going to SXSW in 2004 (when I was a writer at Three Imaginary Girls). Since then, I’ve run my own music blogs and was editor of the SunBreak, a general interest, Seattle-centric blog. A lot of people seem to ask me how they can get their music heard by music bloggers, and while there is no foolproof formula (beyond “be Radiohead,” which is way more effective than "be like Radiohead"), here are a few things that I’ve learned that I think can be beneficial. Plus, I love this forum and want to see it thrive, so I figured I’d contribute something.
1. A Good Story Trumps a Good Song. I can’t stress this enough. I get 50-60 e-mails and press releases in my inbox each day, and there's simply no way I could have time to listen to everything I'm sent. If you have a compelling story, though, I'm far more likely to hit play. Find what makes your music unique, or worth checking out, and lead with that.
2. Have Embeddable Content That's Easy to Listen to and to Share. If you want bloggers to write about your music, you'll do yourself a huge favor if you have high-quality content (YouTube videos, Bandcamp widgets, etc.) that are easy to drop into WordPress. Please don't attach mp3 files.
3. Timing is Important. I would recommend contacting press when you have something important to promote (a new album, crowd-funding campaign, show opening for someone well-known, etc.) and give them plenty of time (at least 3-4 weeks).
4. Personalization Helps. A lot. It might just be me, but I’m far more likely to read your e-mail if the first words are “Dear Chris" and not “For immediate release.”
5. Have a Well-Written Biography in Your E-mails, and On Your Website. A few paragraphs of biographical information goes a long way.
6. Don't be Presumptuous, or a Dick. This should go without saying, but I can only cover what my schedule allows and what I'm interested in. One label owner once e-mailed me and said something like “all of the other bloggers in town have written about one of our releases, now it's your turn.” No, it's not.
7. If You're Acting as Your Own Publicist, You Should Know What Publicists Do and Do That for Yourself. Namely, send out press releases around their campaigns (see #3, above), follow-up with people most likely to be receptive, and get your music to the press (by making albums accessible to download, or invite to shows).
8. Be Persistent, but not Annoyingly So. If you e-mail me a month before a show and you don't hear back, following up a week or two before is totally fine. Maybe I missed your message the first time or put it on my back burner until it was closer. Spamming me every day won't work.
I hope this is all beneficial! Please feel free to ask me any other questions you might have, or tell me why I'm wrong, or whatever. I can't speak for every blogger, but I hope this is a good start.