5 Ways to Get Your Music Noticed by Music Bloggers
This is a guest post by Andrew Zarick. Andrew is the Founder & CEO of StereoGrid, a music delivery network that allows artists to easily deliver music to and gain fans and insights from the dissemination of promotional music to music bloggers and press. He is also founder of rap blog 100BestRapSongs.com.
As both a music blogger at 100BestRapSongs.com and founder of StereoGrid, a music platform that specializes in helping artists deliver and disseminate promotional music, I've witnessed first-hand the good, bad and the ugly associated with artist PR and vying for music blogger and press attention.
Speaking as a music blogger, I often times receive upwards of 30-40 new music submissions a day. Many top tier bloggers receive even more than that. That means that your music submission, assuming you sent it via email, will fall somewhere in between the hundreds or maybe even thousands of other non-music related spam emails that the blogger receives on a daily basis.
There are a number of things that you can do as an artist or artist manager to give your submission a better chance of being opened, being viewed, being listened to, and then hopefully, being written about and shared.
1) Understand Your Press List
Have the individuals on your press list written about similar artists in the past? Do they only write about pop music or do they also tend to write about up and coming artists? Do they only write about certain genres of music? Does your music fall within that genre?
A quick way to see if a blog has written about an artist you think you're similar to is to do a Google Search with "site:blogname.com artist name" - Google will show you a list of search results from that blog featuring that artist.
2) Have a Detailed Subject Line
If you're going to stand out from the crowd you better have a damn good subject line. Is your song a new release? Say so. Is there an MP3/Video attached? Call that out. Is your song featuring a big name artist that might be more well-known than yourself? Call it out.
MP3/Video: Fatal Lucciauno - "Big Bro" (Prod. By Kuddie Fresh) + "Flawed" Freestyle
(Music Submission) Smoke - Goin Hammer (Feat. Chalie Boy and Gorilla Zoe)
3) Keep the Description Simple
Remember that the recipients of your song submission receive many submissions per day. They don't want to read a novel when determining whether or not to listen to and post a song. Tell a concise story about who you are and your music. Have you been featured elsewhere? Toured with a famous band? Have a famous cousin? Why are you different? Why should we care about you?
Confusion from Pigeons and Planes says,
"…the pitches that get my most attention are the simple ones that make it easy to check out the music. When it comes to indie/unknown artists, it all depends on the music. If I get an email with 20 attachments, a short story’s worth of writing, and links to everything the artist has ever done, I’m not likely to check it out. If I see a simple message with one song, and if I like that song, I’m going to do what I can to support."
4) Include Essential Song Assets
Music bloggers really like presentation. If you're lucky enough to have a compelling enough subject line to get an email open, further bring the music blogger into your world with well designed artwork.
Winston "Stone" Ford from The Couch Sessions makes the point,
"Any artist at this time needs artwork and presentation. If you actually have really good cover art, that’s what I gravitate towards and click on first."
Ensure that the blogger has all the assets they need to create a solid blog post. This means include links to music videos, external URLs like your website and social media presences in addition to your artwork and song description.
"Always present yourself professionally and keep a very strong brand image. It is all about keeping your brand and product as high quality as possible." - David Reyneke, Potholes In My Blog
5) The Infamous Media Player Embed
The most essential asset to include in your email is a link to your music. This is so essential that I'm giving it its own section. Realize that even successful bloggers sometimes have other day jobs that don't involve blogging. This means that a lot of work is done via mobile phone. Attach your mp3 file (or a snippet at least) to the email itself when sending so that the blogger can listen to your song while on the move. But don't stop there! Also clearly call out in your email where the blogger can go to get the media player embed code so that they can easily publish a media player with your song. If you want to get super fancy, include the actual embed code in your email as well.
The Most Common Mistake
"Spamming. Spamming is the biggest mistake that a lot of independent artists do. A lot of artists ask me, ‘how can I get noticed? How can I blow up on Nah Right? How can I blow up on The Smoking Section?’ Well, you have to create a buzz for yourself on your own. Spamming Nah Right, spamming me, sending me emails, sending me tweets is not going to help anybody. So what you have to do is create noise for yourself. When you create the buzz, I’ll be knocking on your door. Stop spamming. It simply does not work." - Trent Fitzgerald, Beats and Rants
"Great music will always transcend, but to get it out there and help it in that process, you have to have a lot of things in place. A compelling story, identity, distinctive style, and aggressive personality. Put yourself out there with those bloggers/fans/community respect and engage them with no end." - David Johnson-Igra, SF Critic