This post is part two of the “How to REALLY Get Your Music on Blogs” blog series here on Tight Mix. You can download the entire series for free in the form of a .pdf e-book here.
In the first part of this blog series, I suggested that you write down some defining characteristics about your music, your lifestyle, and your fans. I hope you kept that piece of paper, because now you are going to use those keywords in your search to find the best blogs to approach with your music.
Where to start your search
Searching for anything online can be a complete waste of time if you are looking in the wrong places. It is often difficult to figure out the best place to begin your search, and can be quite overwhelming. I have tried out dozens of search websites in my days with Ariel Publicity & Cyber PR, but I always find myself coming back to the same few resources. Here is a list of some excellent places to start searching for music blogs:
Google Blog Search
Google Blog Search is basically just Google, but only focuses on content published within the blogosphere. The search engine indexes blogs by their site feeds, which are checked often for new content. You can also subscribe to an RSS feed of your search terms, which can be a very helpful tool if you want to get the freshest content related to your search sent straight to your feed reader.
The Hype Machine
The Hype Machine is an MP3 blog aggregator, which basically means that it re-posts the newest and most popular music from a hand-picked selection of music blogs around the globe. They make it very easy to discover new music, as well the music blogs that are hosting this new music. The best way to find music blogs on The Hype Machine is to search for artists that sound similar to you, and click through to the blogs featuring that music.
Elbo.ws is another aggregator website that features a collection of great music blog posts and acts as a snapshot of what music being blogged about often. They encourage their users to visit the blogs to read the posts, buy the music, and click the sponsor ads. The site is very similar in function to The Hype Machine, so you should try searching again for artists that sound similar to you. They track a ton of music blogs, so you should be able to find a few more hidden gems here.
Captain Crawl boldly calls itself “The Music Blog Index,” and is just as simple and effective as Google Blog Search. It may even be better, because it focuses solely on music blogs. This powerful search engine helps users find videoclips, live concerts, mp3s, reviews, promotion material, demos, lyrics, documentations, and more. Look up some music that is similar to yours, and you’re guaranteed to have a healthy list of blogs in no time.
What keywords to use in your search
Ok, remember the little exercise I talked about in part one of this blog series? Sift through whatever defining statements you wrote down, and handpick the most buzzworthy terms. Here are some popular keywords that I wrote down about my band:
poetry, hip-hop, rap, jam band, indie, rock, painting, drawing, New Jersey, New York, NYC, suburbs, teenagers, Nas, The Roots, A Tribe Called Quest, Gorillaz, vinyl, records
Now, start hitting the search engines with combinations of your most defining keywords, and visit blog after blog after blog.
Compile a list of contact information
While performing your search, keep an excel spreadsheet open and input the contact information for all of the relevant blogs that you come across in your search. Most blogs will give you several ways to contact them, but some will prefer certain methods. To alleviate the confusion, create a “notes” column in your spreadsheet, and make little comments about specific submission guidelines, and anything else that differentiates a blog from the rest of the pack. This will save you tons of time and headaches once you actually start sending out e-mails to these bloggers.
What about all those other, non-music blogs?
It is extremely important to note that getting featured on non-music blogs can be just as beneficial for your music career. More likely than not, you and your fans share a similar lifestyle, or similar common interests. If, for example, you enjoy exercising regularly, it would be a great idea to search for blogs related to staying fit. Maybe you can present the blogger with the idea of writing a post about listening to music while working out, and ask that your music be mentioned in the post. Targeting location-specific blogs is useful, too. If you’re from Akron, Ohio, try to find some blogs that only talk about things happening in Akron. A few weeks ago, I found this quote by Zilla Rocca in the comments section of Audible Hype, and I’d like to re-post it here because he articulates this strategy really well.
He even takes it a step further, suggesting that artists should reach out to forums, fan pages, and other non-blog websites too:
Stop catering to just bloggers. Most of them will be gone in 6 months, and even more will be gone in a year. There are a billion other websites that have nothing to do with hip hop, and whose webmasters and authors DON’T get tons of free shit flooding their inbox on a daily basis. GO AFTER THEM. They will enjoy a nice piece of quality free music delivered to them because they are jaded and edgy and tired of free music. If you rap about limited edition Dunks, look up sneaker and boutique blogs who love that stuff. If you make beats that sample Indiana Jones movies, find diehards who have forums and fan pages all about Indiana Jones. These people most likely don’t know what 2dopeboyz is, but it doesn’t mean they don’t want fresh new music that caters to their tastes.
- Zilla Rocca
Getting a feature placement or an interview for your music on a lifestyle/non-music blog is a great way to snatch up new fans. It positively reveals a side of you that fans may not have known about previously. Keep an eye out for these kinds of blogs, and don’t dismiss them in your search.
- Scope out blogs (both music and non-music) that relate to your music, your lifestyle, and your fans.
- Compile a list of contact information for you to use later on, when you start crafting your pitch letters (more on this later).
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.
In the next installment of “How to REALLY Get Your Music on Blogs,” I’m going to stress the importance of becoming an active member within blog communities.
In case you missed it, click here to read to read part 1, “Defining Your Music, Your Lifestyle, and Your Fans.”