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« Crowd Funding Week 2: Feeling Confronted & Insecure, But Pushing Ahead | Main | Why Music Should Never Be Given Away For "Free" »
Thursday
Jul082010

How to REALLY Get Your Music on Blogs: Tracking the Results of Your Hard Work

Google Analytics Sample

After sending out all of your pitch e-mails and following up, you will probably receive a healthy amount of replies from bloggers. It’s really fun to get all psyched up about this, reply immediately, and watch the features pop-up all over the web. However, while basking in promotional glory, many artists completely forget the most important part of the entire process: tracking the results of your hard work!

The main reasons for undergoing a full-fledged music blog promotion campaign are to raise awareness about your music, and drive web traffic back to your official website, where people can interact with you, become fans, and ultimately buy whatever it is you are selling (CD’s, digital downloads, Uzi-Shaped USB drives, t-shirts, sock puppets, etc). Don’t just blindly assume that your web traffic, number of fans, and online sales will automatically increase because of your recent efforts in blog promotion. There are tons of tips and tools out there that can help you track and measure the effectiveness of your blog promotion, so you can figure out what worked and what didn’t. Try some (preferably all) of the following simple methods to track the overall effectiveness of your blog promotion campaign:

WARNING - It’s about to get geeky as hell up in here. Embrace it.

Keep tabs on blogs that feature your music

Track your results!

In the same Excel spreadsheet that you used to wrangle up contact information for blogs, make a new column called “Featured?” and record which blogs ended up featuring you, and which ones didn’t. The percentage of blogs that featured you can be used as a rough indication for success. It may also be helpful to keep some additional notes about blogs that responded to your pitch (make a new column called “Responded?”), but may not have featured your music. With this ratio, you can determine how effective your pitch was at garnering responses from bloggers. For the very short example above, these are the stats you would be calculating. They should be pretty self-explanatory. Its a very short list, but you get the idea:

  • Follow-Up Rate: 4/8, or 50%
  • Response Rate: 4/7, or 50%
  • Feature Rate: 3/8, or 37.5%

Monitor your official website activity

In order to measure your hard work effectively, you absolutely need to pay attention to what is going on at your own official website throughout the blog promotion campaign. You need to know where people are coming from, what pages they are viewing, how long they are staying, and what actions they are performing (hopefully buying your music!).

Google Analytics

Google Analytics Logo
If you haven’t already done this, sign up for Google Analytics NOW and embed the code they provide you into your official website. Google Analytics provides you with all the necessary information to find out where your web traffic is coming from, and what actions people are taking on your website. You can easily tell which blog features are driving the most traffic to your website, and set goals to see if any of this traffic is resulting in more music purchases. Not diggin’ Google Analytics? Then try some of these other services that will track the same information for you to analyze:

Monitor the conversations about your music

blahblahblah

Most blogs will blast out their freshest content to Facebook, Twitter, and other popular social networking sites. They also encourage their readers to share and bookmark their favorite content on the very same sites. There are an incredible amount of tools out there to help you see if there has been an increase in the conversation about your music, or if your blog features are getting shared.

BackType

Backtype Logo
BackType is an analytics platform that will help you understand the social impact of your music. Type in the URL’s of the features you have landed on blogs to see who’s talking about and passing along your music.

Twitter Search

Twitter Search
The quickest and easiest way to monitor the conversation about you on Twitter is by performing a simple Twitter Search. Use the same keywords that you came up with earlier, as well as any keywords that bloggers may have used in their features about you. You can subscribe to an RSS feed of your Twitter search as well, so you can constantly receive updates as they come in. If you can find the time, try to reach out and thank as many people as you can for talking about and passing along your music.

More Resources: Click here for a gigantic list of social media monitoring solutions, posted in the form of a wiki.

Conclusion

And that just about wraps up the “How to REALLY Get Your Music on Blogs” series! Blog promotion is no easy task, especially for an artist without an expert digital marketer on call. I have used these methods in the past to promote artists and get them some excellent feature placements on popular blogs. My hope is that this series will help some of you DIY artists out there, and inspire you to take charge, get your hands dirty, and start REALLY getting your music the blog coverage it deserves.

Some things to keep in mind

  • An extensive list of keywords that define your music, your lifestyle, and your fans will make searching for the right blogs much easier.
  • Make Google Blog Search and Captain Crawl your best friends.
  • Thank every blogger in advance when sending off tracks for consideration.
  • Don’t get discouraged if you don’t succeed at first. Follow up with bloggers that may not have read your e-mail the first time around. Persistence is key!
  • When seeking out blogs, remember that getting featured on lifestyle and other non-music blogs can be just as beneficial for your music career.
  • Try to be casual and personal in your messages. You can use a base template, but try not to make it sound like a generic mass e-mail.
  • Don’t give everything away! You risk completely devaluing your artwork by doing that. However, letting go of a few songs can draw a lot of positive attention to your music. Be smart!

Thanks for reading! Feel free to leave your insights on any of the tips I’ve provided. I look forward to your comments.

To read the previous parts of the “How to REALLY Get Your Music on Blogs” series, click the following links below:
Part One: Defining Your Music, Your Lifestyle, and Your Fans
Part Two: Finding the Best Blogs for Your Music
Part Three: Becoming an Active Community Member
Part Four: Crafting a Killer Blog Pitch Letter

This post is part five 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.

Reader Comments (11)

Great pointers, still in my first few months of trying target marketing like this and its assuring me that i should not doubt myself.

July 8 | Unregistered CommenterMartinT

Man, this is EXACTLY the kind of info that old-fart-tech-challenged-but-the
music-part-is-cookin' dudes like me can use!

Many thanks, Chris, I'm sure you are helping many.

July 8 | Unregistered CommenterDale Morgan

Chris

Thank you for this series. I am going to start putting it to the test today to promote my new album,
called Deep Salvage!

Jeff

Great to hear guys. @Dale, glad I could be of help! If anything is unclear, feel free to reach out to me on twitter (@cbracco) or facebook (/chris.bracco).

One thing that I have been trying to do lately with when there's a review of my music on a blog or website is to always post it on my Twitter feed (which flows into MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn) so that it generates more traffic to my review on their site instead of just posting up what they said in my press page. The reason is I figure if the blogger/webmaster looks at their stats & they see people go to the site with me as an entry page they'll be more likely to (a) review more of my stuff in the future (b) more likely to do an interview or other bigger feature (c) give the music another listen & become a "true fan."

I'm curious about these numbers & if I'm reading them right:
* Follow-Up Rate: 4/8, or 50%
* Response Rate: 4/7, or 50%
* Feature Rate: 3/8, or 37.5%
So half responded to the first message & only one of those contacted in the second wave responded (I know this is just an example & only has eight contacts) & three folks did features. Which to me seems like an incredibly high percentage, but then again eight seems like an incredibly highly targeted & manageable campaign for the personal contacting & blog commenting you've mentioned in other articles. I'm curious about how you find the percentages go as the blog number increases. I'm seeing closer to 1% but my list is a bit out of control (about 1600 bloggers makes it hard to know which ones are active or defunct, much less trying the 100% personal contact you suggest). & of course it brings up the question is it better to cast a net of 10 with a 30% review or 1000 with a 1% review given that both activities take about the same amount of time/labor. Of course we probably all know the answer is both.

@Brian, yeah, obviously as your list gets larger and larger, that feature rate percentage will definitely fall. I like to keep my lists between 50-200 blogs, and constantly make sure that the blogs are still active, and remove the ones that aren't. If there are a few blogs that I have contacted several times without a response, I might just take those off the list, too.

This is a keeper but having trouble downloading the pdf? Comes out all garbled. Any ideas?

July 27 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Nock

Great series! I just want to give a quick shout-out to http://nextbigsound.com/ I get weekly updates in my inbox tracking plays and fans across the web; not as in-depth as Google Analytics, but very convenient.

August 23 | Unregistered CommenterMojo Bone

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

I am always looking for new music to review for send it to submissions@humanfankind.com :)

January 9 | Unregistered CommenterBlogger

Damn, this is really really great advice and information- thanks a bunch for sharing! Took lots of notes and will be applying these tools, we'll see what happens! Thanks again.

August 30 | Unregistered CommenterTolan Shaw

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