One of the biggest pain points for any DIY artist out there is publicity. There’s nothing like creating a wonderful record that you are absolutely proud of and want to get in front of people, but when you’re just starting out as a musician or even if you’ve been going at it for a while, getting your music featured on music sites can be a tough venture.
Most people think that the only way to get featured on a music blog is by hiring a publicist or having a manager or a record label. Although having either of these on your team will only make the process easier, it is not the only way to get your music out there. It takes a lot of time, effort, and rejection, but with the right presentation and demeanor, anything is possible.
Have Great Music
This one goes without saying, but you would be surprised that acceptance and honesty are one of the most difficult things any musician has to endure. You need to make sure your music isn’t just well written, but needs to sound good too. Make sure your recordings are high quality. No music outlet will feature your song if it sounds unedited or even worse, not mixed properly. Music production is very accessible, and although you can pretty much produce your own music in a bedroom nowadays, I would still recommend investing in quality mixing and mastering.
You don’t need the biggest audio engineer in the industry to mix and master your stuff, but that will only help add some flair to your pitch to blogs)
Have A Press a Release or Website
A press release is the quickest and easiest way to give a media outlet a bird’s eye view about you as an artist and your latest release. Press releases should be no more than one page, which includes important details such as your bio, any upcoming shows or tours, links to your new release, and even quotes about the new song. Be sure to tell a story through your content – these media outlets stifle through thousands of emails a day, and only the eye catching, creative ones get coverage (unless you’re an established artist or have relationships built with this outlets, like most publicists do). Press releases are the most popular way publicists send media outlets new music to cover, and if you present a well crafted press release over to their inbox, the higher you will be increasing the chance of getting coverage.
Another alternative to press releases (or you could include this as a bonus; again, it won’t hurt you – it only helps) is a website. Websites aren’t dead – you’re actually on one right now! Sarcasm aside, having a website for your music is not only useful, but also can portray you as a “serious” artist. A media outlet will feel more inclined to cover you if they see you have a website – it shows that you are invested in not only your music, but your branding and image as well. Although we’re talking music, your branding and presentation in the online (and offline) world is everything in the industry. Your website should have your bio, your music, and a merch store if you have one as well.
Search for Blogs/Websites That Feature Your Genre or Artists Similar to Yours
When I released music as a DIY artist, I wanted to get as much coverage as possible. But I didn’t know where to start. And I’m sure many of the up and coming artists we see online went through the same thing, but somehow eventually ended up gettin featured on a couple of sites here and there, some major, some small. This is how you get your start too – where they did.
One of the most powerful yet free tools available to any musician out there is Google. That’s probably how you find out a lot of information right? But it’s also the best way for you to find blogs and outlets that want to feature music like yours. The way to do this is to identify an artist, album, and single off that record that resembles your sound. Once you do that, go to Google and type “*artist name* *album name* review” or “*artist name* premieres *song title*”. You’ll notice that most of the search results you get will be from different media outlets and blogs who have covered that artist.
Of course you’ll see some big media outlet names here and there, but try to focus on the smaller ones. You can of course pitch your music to bigger outlets, but smaller outlets are trying to get their name out there, just like you are. They will be excited to see that bands are reaching out to them to get coverage, because it’s a vicious cycle. They’ll post about you, you’ll post about them, your fans will like and share their article, driving traffic to them, your friends that are in bands will want their music covered as well, resulting in them contacting the media outlet, you get the idea. Using this method is a great way to compile a list of outlets you can contact to cover your music. Before you start firing emails away, make sure you visit the publication’s website and check their “contact” page or if they have a “submission” page and make sure to respectfully follow their guidelines.
Make Your Email Direct, Yet Approachable
Now comes the moment of truth – sending your emails. You got your music, your press release or website – you’re ready to go. Make sure your headline does not sound desperate – that is a quick and easy way to get ignored in an outlets’ inbox. A great way to write your subject in your email is to simply have your artist name, the song name, and the release date of your single – that’s it. Simple as that. The actual body of your email is where it is your time to shine. Be clear, provide important and relevant information, and please, for the love of the music gods, do not send a copy and paste email to every media outlet out there. And do not email all of them in the same email – they will see every other blog you are trying to get coverage from. Instead, visit their site. Make sure to become familiar with it, look at the artists they post about and find artists that are similar to you. When you’re pitching your music, complementing their blog is a great way to break the ice, but also naming a writer that consistently writes about artists similar to you is a great way to strike conversation, as well as let the publication know that you’re not just firing emails away. They’ll see that you’re actually taking the time to become familiar with the website and writers or that you’ve even been following their publication for some time.
Now you’re ready to get your music featured on music blogs! Let me know in the comments below how it went and if these tips were helpful, as well as any other music marketing questions you may have!