Early-stage musicians often look to music blogs as a way to gain exposure in the industry. If you are a musician who is just starting and trying to get your name out there, you may be wondering what it takes to get featured on music blogs.
In addition to learning the steps required to get featured on music blogs, you may also be wondering how to best capture the attention of music bloggers or how you should go about building and maintaining professional relationships. Read on for answers to all of these questions and more!
Develop Your Music and Marketing Materials
Before all else, you must have fully developed music and marketing materials. After all, your whole goal is to get your music featured, so you must be ready as soon as an opportunity comes about. Your music should be fully finished, mixed, and mastered, as you want to present the best possible version possible!
Concerning developing your marketing content, be fully prepared with release information and materials. One of the best ways is through an electronic press kit (EPK), like a resume for music artists. EPKs help artists to consolidate their music portfolios and other essential personal details.
If you do not have an EPK, be sure to have the following information readily available should an opportunity to release your music present:
- Preferred release date
- Release / artist biography
- High-resolution press photo and artwork
- Social media links
- Contact information
While you may not necessarily have to provide all of this information to a music blog that wants to feature you and your music, you must be ready for any requests. While you cannot control the number of blogger responses you receive, you can control how you prepare for them!
Perform Your Due Diligence on Target Blogs
The other item you must handle before reaching out to music blogs is determining which blogs are best to target! There is an endless number of music blogs out there that you could choose to reach out to, so it is worth doing some research before jumping into outreach when you are underprepared.
Here are some best practice recommendations for finding the right blog(s). There may be many blogs left once you narrow it down this way, but this will help you cut down on blogs that are much less relevant:
Best Practices for Finding Blogs
- Find blogs that cover your genre and locale – if you are into rock music, you will not want to contact a blog that focuses on classical music, and the same goes for choosing blogs based on location
- Search artists that produce similar music – if you are having trouble determining which blogs to use, search for artists who produce music like yours and see where they are being featured
- Read bloggers’ content – read their past articles, reviews, and overall website information not only to learn about the bloggers’ content but to lay the groundwork for future conversations and relationship development
- Research contact/submission forms – if you decide to contact a music blogger(s), you will need his or her contact information in addition to any pertinent submission forms and instructions, so make sure to find these
Keep in mind that when starting out, you should keep a good list of target blogs. Choose several blogs, so you do not have to rely on a single group. In addition, make sure to include smaller, independent sites that may be more likely to feature your music instead of larger, more competitive publications.
Here are some extra tips:
Craft a Knock-out Outreach Email
The way you craft your outreach email is one of the most determinant factors of your success featured on a music blog. You may be wondering why we choose email. As discussed further down, your email (though concise) will have a fair bit of content, which is not ideal for forums like social media messenger apps.
Be sure to read these guidelines thoroughly, as you must not only be conscious of content and wording, but you must also be wary of structure and professionalism. Remember, this is your first impression on a music blogger, so you must give it the time, thought, and effort it deserves!
Structure and Content
The proper structure and content of your outreach email are a must. As mentioned earlier, many music blogs have forms and guidelines that provide detailed information on music submissions.
Music bloggers can quickly tell whether or not you followed instructions just by opening your email and scanning through.
Concerning best practices for your email, you should generally follow some basic guidelines on structure and content. Of course, make sure these align with the instructions provided by the particular music blog(s), as those take precedence.
The Subject Line
The subject line is the first thing a blogger will read before they even open your email.
Please make sure this is catchy, as you have to persuade them to open your message and read through it.
Assuming a blogger does open your message, you will want to have a solid introduction. The introduction should be straight to the point introducing yourself. However, it would be best to hold off on giving any additional significant details, as this will come later in your message.
Use this introductory section to demonstrate that you have researched their blog and understand who they are. Let the blogger know why you like their blog, and feel free to reference similar artists they cover or have covered in the past from the same music genre as you. This will segue into the central part: your pitch.
The pitch is of utmost importance because it is your opportunity to answer every music blogger’s central question: “Why should I feature you?”
Start with some background information about how you and your music came to be. Include basic, relevant details:
- Stage name
- Genre of music
- Recent positive press coverage
The most important part of your pitch comes next when you describe what you are looking for and why you think the blogger should feature your music on their blog.
Be direct about what you want (e.g., music premiere, music review, playlist feature, and so on).
You can strengthen your pitch with any notable career accomplishments and awards. Overall, however, try not to come across as overselling yourself. The blogger already knows that you are trying to make a pitch, so you must strike a balance between demonstrating your achievements while maintaining humility.
The Links and Media
Be sure to include links and media information. If you have managed to pique a blogger’s interest, they will want to hear your music and likely be interested in learning more about you. This is where having all of your marketing materials set and ready to go will come in extremely handy.
The first and most vital link to include is the one that directs a blogger to your music!
Better yet, if you can include a streaming link to a song, this may help your case even more. Bloggers want to have the inside scoop to stand out, so offering them exclusive content is ideal.
Some essential links and media that you may want to include in your outreach email have:
- EPK links – the electronic press kit will provide bloggers with everything they need to know about you since it is like a musician’s resume
- Press release links – these will supplement any press coverage you mentioned prior, and they can bolster your case by demonstrating that other people in public are listening to and covering your music
- Social media links – bloggers are often interested in how you engage and interact with your fans, so having a large social media following can carry considerable weight
- Website links – of course, any additional information that you can provide via a website will be helpful to include
Be sure to include only the links that are going to help your cause. For example, you might not want to include social media links if you just created your official Instagram account. Likewise, you might not want to have a website link if your site is still being developed. Choose the best links/media to make your case.
While we have touched on some points, it is vital to outline basic communication etiquette. Overall, make sure you are brief and straight to the point. Also, be original and creative when possible and conduct yourself in the utmost professional manner.
For better or for worse, bloggers are going to place judgments before having met you. So how you craft your email will dictate a lot. Here are some general best practices when it comes to how you communicate in your email:
Communication Tips for Submitting Music to Blogs
- Personalize your message – bloggers can tell fairly quickly if they are receiving a blast bcc message that you have sent to other blogs as well or if you have just made a generic message, that will be an immediate turn-off
- Address the editor or writer by name – this can usually be found on the music blog’s website, and doing so will demonstrate that you did your research and cared enough to dig for this information (note: if you cannot find this, address your message to the blog name itself)
- Use the editor’s or writers official email – this goes along with conducting yourself in a professional manner, as doing so demonstrates that you take the process seriously instead of offhandedly reaching out via social media for a first-time introduction
- DO NOT mention competitors – bloggers want the exclusive, inside scoop to you and your music because it will ultimately help the number of views and engagements they get on their blog. Even if you are communicating with their competitors, do not mention this whatsoever
The most straightforward approach to help with communication etiquette is to remember that music bloggers are humans. If you were receiving hundreds or even thousands of blog feature requests at a time, it would make sense that the most personalized ones would stand out.
You would also care about brevity since you only have a limited amount of time. Blog feature requests that are straight to the point get more attention. Still, they should include all the relevant information you would need to get to know them and potentially write a great blog would be the most ideal.
Follow Up With Your Contacts
Music bloggers are inundated with hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of requests from new artists who want to feature their music. So do not be surprised if it takes days or even weeks to receive a response. This is to be expected, especially when you are starting.
The first thing you should check for when determining how to follow up is whether or not a music blog has a follow-up policy.
Some blogs will request a minimum amount of time to review your blog, so you definitely should not follow up before then. If the deadline has passed, you could send a follow-up email to check in.
As for the structure of the follow-up message, this should be very short and straight to the point, asking if they reviewed your music submission. The reality is that a no-response means the blogger did not check your request or reviewed it but is not interested.
If you have not heard anything back, there is no benefit from sending another longer outreach email to the same music blogger. Patience is the name of the game when breaking in, so give it time! Plus, you can spend your time usefully by developing relationships with others in the industry.
Establishing and Maintaining Your Relationships
As is the case in almost any industry, you will find that building relationships in the music industry is critical to your success. You never know if an opportunity might arise from someone you made an impression on in passing. Plus, learning from people with years in the industry can be very helpful on your journey!
Your whole purpose here is to get featured on music blogs.
When thinking through who might be good to know on your journey, it makes sense to search for people in the music industry and blogging industry.
Importantly, once you have built these relationships, be sure to make a concerted effort to maintain them.
Some will be easier to maintain than others, like relationships you build with other artists you often run into at gigs or on tour. But others, like those made in passing, require more intentional efforts.
The Music Relationships
Establishing and maintaining relationships in the music industry is vital. There are so many different routes of access that developing touchpoints in multiple areas can and will serve you well in the long term. Here are some significant types of people to target within the music industry, though the list can go on:
Established eople in the music industry have access. And chances are, they have been in your shoes before, trying to make a name for themselves. If nothing else, they can provide you with advice based on their experiences, and they can connect you with others who can help you even more.
The Blog Relationships
In addition to music industry relationships, developing blog relationships is also critical to your success. Of course, the ideal blog relationships to build are with those who specialize in music – particularly music blog writers and music blog editors.
While you might not quickly contact the writers or editors themselves, engage with them across technology and social media.
Try following their posts, commenting if you feel comfortable, or finding other ways to engage virtually.
This may seem forced or uncomfortable at times, but this is one of the most readily available and direct ways to interact and develop relationships, especially if you are not near the bloggers location-wise. You might not always receive responses, but consistent interest and engagement go a long way!
Here are some other places to pitch your music:
Overall, the process of trying to get featured on music blogs can be arduous and challenging at times. But it is essential to be persistent and to try not to get discouraged. After all, breaking in is complex, and if this were easy, then everyone would be doing it!
Many of the greatest artists past and present experienced similar struggles, so you are most certainly not alone. With suitable release materials, email content, and relationship etiquette, you are well on your way. Just remember these basic steps, and you can improve your chances of catching the eye of content creators to get featured on their music blogs. So get started today!