It used to be that just one good review in a magazine could sell loads of albums. Even a bad review could be really good for business if it was in a publication like Rolling Stone. That’s all changed since magazine reviews have become pretty irrelevant as the music world has moved online. Now its the music blogs like Pitchfork or Stereogum that can make the difference not so much in sales, but visibility to a new audience. Sometimes those larger blogs are tough to break through, but the smaller bloggers still provide more of a one on one chance to state your case.
But how do you approach bloggers in the first place? There really is a right and wrong way to do it, and I’m writing from experience when I offer these 5 tips to get a blogger interested enough in what you’re doing to actually post about it.
1. Read the blog for a while to become familiar with the theme and feel. You can turn the blogger off completely by sending something cold without knowing the backstory of the blog.
2. Make some post comments without any overt marketing. Just try to move the conversation along on a few posts. The idea is for the blogger to recognize you as someone who contributes regularly and adds to the conversation.
3. Only after the blogger becomes familiar with you is it safe to reach out about what you’re doing. If you’re a regular reader and contributor, the blogger is much more likely to read a press release or take a listen to your music.
4. Sometimes asking a question about your project gets a response. While many bloggers are too busy to answer every email, many go out of their way to accommodate a regular reader and contributor. As a result, it’s perfectly okay to follow up after you’ve sent something to the blogger and there’s a good chance he’ll answer.
5. Never hard sell, just inform. Hard sell is a turnoff in general. Don’t do it. It’s okay to state the relevant information, but keep the superlatives like “Best band ever!” out of the equation.
As a blogger who gets hit on multiple times per day by PR people, record labels, artists and startups, I can tell you that if you follow these 5 tips, you’ll have a much better chance of getting bloggers to pay attention to you and your music.