The career of an independent artist thrives on promotion and engagement. Promoting music and engaging with fans is the primary vehicle that we musicians use to get our music out. Promoting can consist of many different activities including social media networking, newslettering, engaging on other online platforms, flyering, text marketing, local networking, and more. These are the standards. Finding unique ways to engage and promote music efficiently can be a challenge in today’s highly saturated market. However, one thing to consider is offering custom content, your expertise, or your experience in a particular area for bloggers. Instead of pitching your music to a blog and hoping they will feature your music, you can reverse it and have bloggers asking you for your content and they’ll happily feature you and your music to their audience. The trick is creating a benefit for the blogger.
Having a blogger feature your content in this manner can be done a few different ways. In general, if you can approach a blogger with their needs in mind, you can easily become a priority for them. Bloggers need content, fresh ideas, something valuable to their readers, and traffic. Here are a few examples demonstrating how to craft your pitch in a way that caters to their needs. Hopefully by the end of this article you’ll be able to come up with some fantastic ideas on your own.
You’re a human being with experiences and feelings. What makes you special is that you’ve infused that into your music. You can use that as leverage to make a pitch to a blogger. For example, I dealt with painful headaches for a long time starting in my early teens. This was a very special kind of migraine that had its own name – Cluster Headaches. This type of headache is so bad, the medical community agrees that the pain experienced from these headaches is the worst pain a human being can feel. What’s worse, they don’t seem to have a cure for it. As you can imagine, there are many support groups, organizations, and blogs dedicated to this topic. I wrote a song about my pain and shared my story with bloggers covering this topic. I got a really great response and my music was shared with their audiences.
A few years later, learning from that experience, I wrote an entire album about hair. You wouldn’t think there’s much to say about hair but in a community of black women who share a consciousness about wearing our hair natural, it’s a hot button topic. Likewise, if you wrote songs about a specific topic, you’re already ahead of the game! Use your topic-oriented songs as a leveraging tool to be featured on blogs covering that specific topic. Let’s say you wrote music to go along with X-Men comics. You should have no problem being featured by a blog dedicated to that topic. When I finished my album about hair, I sent my story along with my music to bloggers and offered to do an interview or even write an article about my story. This got my music featured on many blogs around the world. You can do it too! This works well because it’s unique content for them, it’s an easy way to add more content to their platform without doing much work, and it also gives them more exposure with your fans. It’s a situation where everybody wins.
Music blogs are some of the hardest to get into. That’s why some suggest to not even bother. You’re competing with too many other musicians in a very small space. However, with this approach, you’ll generate interest in a more tangible and organic manner. While other musicians are trying to pitch their music, you’ll be offering high-quality content. You can offer an opinion piece on music trends in your genre. You can offer to write an article listing the top indie artists in your genre. Or, you can write about how some aspect of our culture or recent events might be affecting how music is consumed or distributed in our community. The key is to position yourself as an expert. Of course, you’ll share your bio and a link to your music somewhere in the article!!
To make your pitch even more attractive, offer a freebie or giveaway to their readers. It can be something as simple as an album download, or you can do something physical like a t-shirt, a physical album, an item from your merchandise, or a handmade gift. You could possibly run a joint contest with the blogger which can generate even more buzz and engagement.
Make a list of about 20 to 40 potential blogs you want to reach out to. We are a blog-happy world, so I’m positive you’ll find many blogs on a wide range of topics with audiences compatible with your music. Start by jotting down your own hobbies, mission, purpose, ideals, passions, etc. Identify how these topics can tie in with your music. More than likely you’ve written songs about these topics already. Then run a basic internet search for blogs on these topics.
When reaching out to bloggers, make sure their audience is similar to yours. It would be a waste of your time and theirs if their audience has no interest in your music or style. You can find out who their audience is by looking at their media kit, their comments section, their followers on social media, or just by reading some of their content. Be very direct in what you’re asking for but also concise. Be mindful that bloggers are probably just as busy as you are. So be very specific about your inquiry and make it quick. Also, don’t forget to share a few of your songs so they can get an idea of your sound along with a brief bio. Use hot links for these elements to help make your pitch short and sweet.
Reach out to bloggers in batches so you won’t overwhelm yourself. I recommend doing this in 3 or 4 rounds. On the first round you would reach out to say 10 blogs. Wait a few weeks, then reach out to another 10 blogs for round 2 and follow-up with the ones who didn’t bite from the previous round. Keep doing this until you’ve reached the end of your list. You should get a lot of traction this way because you’ll be offering something valuable to them and their readers, which is something other musicians aren’t thinking to do. But because you’re a Musician, you have that extra business mindset it takes to make things happen for your music.
At the end of the content you supply, always provide a bio and link back to your music. That way, the reader can learn more about you. It might be useful to provide a link back to a squeeze page or create an opt-in where they have to submit their email address in order to get your freebie. This way you can actively convert their readers into followers of yours.
The best thing about this approach is that you’re offering something that the blogger can use. Bloggers are always looking for content! If it’s new and fresh that’s even better. If they didn’t have to write it, that’s all the better. If you can also offer something of value to their readers, your pitch will be too good to pass up. You can have multiple bloggers looking to feature you! If you employ the batch method as I described above, you can have a constant stream of bloggers wanting to feature you over a long period of time.
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Does this sound like something you can do? Why not start here? The UMG Network Blog is always looking for different perspectives on building a music business. We are looking for topics such as reviews of instruments and music equipment, recording tutorials, your experience at a recent music seminar or conference, and any unconventional routes to success you may have discovered dealing with your DIY music career. You’ll get to feature your own music, plus it’ll be a great way to build links and get some search engine love.
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