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« Paradox or Paradise: Music Choice in the Digital Age | Main | Why You Should Pay For Music »
Wednesday
Jun232010

How to REALLY Get Your Music on Blogs: Becoming an Active Community Member

 

Once you have a healthy list of blogs related to your music, lifestyle, location, personality, and fans, it is time to pick a few and start participating in the conversation.

Pick 10-20 blogs that you feel are most relevant/beneficial to your music, and just start reading and commenting furiously. Your comments must be absolutely genuine, and encourage further discussion about the topic. Get to know people, agree with some, disagree with others, and be real.

Resist the urge to self-promote right away. You must gain some respect and establish yourself as an active community member FIRST.

While participating in the ongoing conversation, share articles you enjoyed with your social networks, and let bloggers know that you did it via comments, or even a personal e-mail. Being the first to give is a great way to get on the good side of a blogger.

Sing their praises - they will remember you when finally ask them to check out your music.

If you are gaining respect in the community, if the discussion is extremely relevant to your music, and if somebody else could truly benefit by your plug, then MAYBE consider asking other community members to check out your tunes. This is the most appropriate time to do so.

Next up in the “How to REALLY Get Your Music on Blogs” series is a tutorial that will get you writing some killer blog pitch letters in no time.

Late to the game? Here are the links for the previous blog posts in the “How to REALLY Get Your Music on Blogs” series:
Part 1: Defining Your Music, Your Lifestyle, and Your Fans
Part 2: Finding the Best Blogs for Your Music

Chris Bracco is currently the digital marketing coordinator at Intrigue Music, LLC, a boutique music management company in NYC. This post was originally published as a five-part series on his blog, Tight Mix, on June 10, 2010. You can download the entire series for free as a .pdf e-book here.

Reader Comments (20)

Consider me skeptical but open to thinking more about this technique. On the one hand, I see no reason why it wouldn't "work." Makes perfect sense to become part of the community, and then promote from within.

My questions are (1) is it really worth the time? and (2), can this be done effectively on blogs that are important enough to merit your effort? I think this is, overall, a worthwhile pursuit. But I do think one needs to consider if this is actually how most bands get their music on widely read blogs

June 23 | Unregistered Commenterjustin

As a music PR I'm curious as to whether the same roles cant be applied to my job??

June 23 | Unregistered CommenterAndremusicpr

Please check out my band...just kidding.

June 23 | Unregistered CommenterJeef

@justin - I would imagine that on the largest, most influential music blogs (stereogum, pitchfork, gorilla vs. bear, etc) you are going to have to know somebody that works there, or be an already established act in order to get your music even thought about.

From my experience, a DIY musician with NO inside connections yields the best chances of getting a blog feature by participating in the conversation going on at those blogs. Bloggers love comments, they love when shit happens on their blogs.

You can also occasionally reach out to these top blogs via e-mail, but not with your music at first. Just try to stir up a conversation, making some bold comments about something that will not go unforgotten.

@Jeef niiiceeeee. haha

June 23 | Registered CommenterChris Bracco

It absolutely is worth the time! Your ultimate goal is to drive traffic to your website and sell your music right? Blogs are a critical marketing channel and tastemaker for people on the prowl for new music. Blog outreach is something that most record labels spend a TON of time doing. How else would you expect people that aren't in your town to know about you. Press, blogs and word of mouth can build up a fanbase very quickly once you've got them on your side. This is a great article. Thank you.

June 23 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

This is OFFPage Search Engine Optimization in it's simplest form. So trying to optimize your website with search engines off of your pages websites is a good move. Even in it's simplest form, as above!

Every little helps, 15 minutes spent on the above idea will indefinately result in positive time spent marketing whatever your trying to promote.

Some more tips i think may help you whittle down your list so even that is optimized.

Adding correct anchor text as the link you leave which corresponds with the pages content you have linked to on your own website is another step forward. If i leave an 'Author URL' on this comment and its www.yourband.com/usual_problems_with_our_first_gig and then i put the anchor text which is 'Author' as Usual Problems at Gigs or something similar to the content. Its backing up our website authority and how search engine bots may possibly rank websites for Organic Search.

Another idea, leaving links in the comment box itself after you become a part of said community will improve click throughs as it's more visible.

The above two ideas could work well when you leave your links on websites with high Page Ranks and the links can be followed by the search engine bots through to your websites.

Also if you do use 10-20 blogs, try to find the ones which have the above attributes AND you know for a fact optimize their ONPage content. Why? Well if they do, they will forever trying to be atleast on the first page of search results for the keyphrases in their titles, main headings. If your quick and comment you will be seen for years to come, even if they choose to change their website to nofollow.

Great post, thanks.

June 23 | Unregistered CommenterMartinT

Great article. Love the sentiment of it.

I don't like getting emails saying 'Check out my...'... so I have always felt that I should no do the same.

It's about respect... for others and yourself.

Off to find some more blogs...

June 23 | Unregistered CommenterHelen Austin

"a tutorial that will get you writing some killer blog pitch letters in no time"

Srsly? Please tell me you're joking.

June 24 | Unregistered Commenterfelix

@Joe, MartinT & Helena - glad you guys liked it.

@felix that sentence is about the 4th part of this series, not this particular article. did you read it? if so, what didn't you like about it?

June 24 | Registered CommenterChris Bracco

Chris, yes I understood that.

Don't mean to be negative but it all just feels a bit spammy, especially when you start using the language of spammers. Read "spam" as "internet marketing" if it helps.

June 24 | Unregistered Commenterfelix

@felix uhm...what...? ill be posting the 4th part up here soon...so feel free to elaborate once that one gets up here...

June 24 | Registered CommenterChris Bracco

yeah, this is pretty corny and looks like a timewaster.com to me. I actually run a small PR firm that focuses almost exclusively on promotiong to music blogs. I won't even go into self promotion here, but it's really all about the music and having a good conversation with the bloggers themselves. It's not rocket science and if your music blows the only blogs that will cover you is the ones that ask for money.

-LA

"Once you have a healthy list of blogs related to your music, lifestyle, location, personality, and fans, it is time to pick a few and start participating in the conversation."

And obviously your music has to be good, otherwise why waste your time doing blog promotion in the first place?

June 25 | Registered CommenterChris Bracco

"...why waste your time doing blog promotion in the first place?"

Just to further cheapen every available form of human interaction and ultimately turn the entire internet into a giant Tupperware party of course. Why else?

June 25 | Unregistered Commenterfelix

you make no sense, dude...

June 25 | Registered CommenterChris Bracco

Then let me be more clear: Your approach appears cheap and the direction this series is taking appears tacky.

It's really not a complicated point I've been making.

Why do you want to reduce every form of human interaction to some kind of marketing channel and every grouping of human beings to a potential audience for your marketing messages?

That's what makes no sense, "dude".

June 28 | Unregistered Commenterfelix

Music bloggers are just like any beat writer in that they need new stuff to write about. It's not rude, tacky or cheap to reach out to them. A lot of them WANT to be approached and treated as a legitimate media outlet.

That said: I would maybe skip this "join the community" step. Why?

Ask yourself this: if you knew for certain that a blog was NEVER going to write about your music, would you continue to hang out there anyway, leaving comments and "engaging" with the "community?"

If not, stop lying to yourself and just go straight for the pitch. Yeah, it helps if you read the blog for awhile so you can indicate to the author that you've at least done your homework ("I really liked your review of blah blah blah last month," etc.). But I don't think you can be "absolutely genuine" when you've got that alterior self-promo motive in the back of your mind.

The most likely outcome is you'll thrash around for a few days, become resentful because you don't really care, quit in frustration, the bloggers will be glad to see you go (if they noticed you at all), and you'll chalk up another promo angle as "a waste of time."

You might want to consider an alternative approach:

1. identify a few blogs that mesh well with your music/style

2. read them for a few weeks, ditch the ones that bore you

3. contact the ones you like and go straight for the pitch.

Of course if you really are a fan of a blog and thrilled to read it regardless of what they can/won't do for your own career, feel free to ignore my comments above.

June 28 | Unregistered Commenterscottandrew

Scott, thanks for making some good points here...finally something intelligent was said about this.

I guess it wasn't made clear, but I thought it was pretty obvious to pick a few blogs that you find interesting ... and just get involved. Don't just pick a blog and be some fake person making bullshit comments just because you want your music to get on it...that's not what I was implying. Yeah, it would be great, but becoming a genuine member of a community will bring about new opportunities that you would never have forseen beforehand.

Basically, this entire section really boils down to one word: Networking.

June 29 | Registered CommenterChris Bracco

Despite the above comment, it seems like you're suggesting that an artist should be disingenuous to a community (over a long period of time too to make it convincing) so the community will listen to and the blog may feature that artist's music.

Before your above post, that seemed to be the obvious gist of your posts. Call it internet marketing or spam, but the sinister intention seemed clear regardless of title.

Music blogs try and find good music to feature. Although the industry is changing, there's still an honest way of doing things that revolves around good songwriting, good recordings, good performances, and effective work with one's team. That's the appropriate way to aggregate a fan base and to be featured on a blog. And the best part - you don't have to con anyone.

Do you want fans because they like your music or because they feel obligated to listen because you pretended to be nice to them for weeks on a blog? The whole thing stinks.

Chris - I'm sorry if I'm misinterpreting your post, but that's how it reads. Maybe you should consider tweaking some things here and there.

June 29 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

FYI...I just released an updated version of this e-book, if interested please head on over here: http://tght.me/pJrOZm

Thanks!

July 28 | Registered CommenterChris Bracco

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