How to Be Your Own Publicist in 2015

I regularly get emails from people who would like to learn more about things they can do themselves to help pitch their new video, book, song, or product without hiring a publicist like myself until I’m in their budget (I don’t charge THAT much, I promise!). I’ve put together a list of basics that I think just about any new business (musician, author, entrepreneur) can implement to start getting publicity for themselves and increasing name recognition.

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How to Get Your Music on Music Blogs

There are many facets of a successful music publicity campaign, but among the most common questions I hear from newer artists are about how they can promote their music independently and get it covered on music blogs.

Since many new artists often don’t have the money to embark on national tours, advertise on major music outlets, or sometimes even print physical copies of their own album, getting coverage on music blogs (both local and national) is the best way for them to spread the word about the music they’re creating.

This post was difficult to organize because of how many different ways there are to approach promoting music. I’ve done my best to explain the psychology of why music blogs write about the music they do, how to prepare your own music for publicity efforts, where to find music blogs to email, and what your emails should look like for best results.

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How we got a 75% Response Rate from Local Press

Building a local fan base is great way to have a “jumping off” point for your music. While you may have dreams of selling out Radio City, you have to start small sometimes to build up recognition on a regional level. Starting locally and then branching out to nearby cities will give you a solid touring structure to base your work from as you progress. It’s not the most “attractive” and “rock star” way of doing things, but starting with your local area to build a name for yourself is my personal recommendation for any band looking to make a sustainable career.

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200 Words or Less: The Art of the Music Blogger Email

We’ve talked about music blogging here in the past, but we’ve yet to develop a solid strategy. In keeping with the theme of this post, let’s keep it brief and talk about the best types of emails you can send to music bloggers.

1. Keep it brief. 200 words of less!

2. Don’t brag in the body of the email. Save this for the end.

3. Talk about THEM. Talking about yourself is a sure fire way to get ignored.

4. Thank them.

5. Cross fingers.

Sample Music Blog Email

Dear [blogger’s name],

My name is [insert your name], I’m in a band called [insert band name here], and we make music similar to [similar artist names]. I saw that you posted about [talk about recent blog post they made] and thought you might be interested in sharing [what you want to share] with your readers as well. 

[link to your music]

If you have any questions, please let me know. 

Thanks for taking the time to read my email and all the best,

-[your name]



[Band Name] has been featured on MTV’s Jersey Shore and Teen Mom. 

Bestselling dream-pop album on Bandcamp during release week. 

Over 5,000 copies sold to date

“[Band Name]’s music has the ability to transport you to a completely different world.”


So, as you can see, we cover all that we need to without overwhelming the blogger. You tell them who you are, what you sound like, and how you found their blog. Thank them for taking the time to read what you have to say and don’t try and brag about your accomplishments in the body of the email. If they listen to the music and like what they hear, they’ll use the links you provide in the bottom of your email to find out more (make sure you have a bio setup on your website!).

Being brief isn’t a sign of “weakness” or a lack of interest, it’s just how the music industry works. If music bloggers had the time to read through mini-novels every time a band sent them music to check out, they’d never leave their desks.

The advice I often see about needing to create a “story” is only relevant if you have one to tell. 90% of the artists I work with make music because they love it and in the fast-paced music blogging culture we live in, that should be enough.

Good luck, -Sunshine

Finding Quality Music Blogs to Email

One of the hardest things about sending your music out to blogs is…well…finding them. Although there are seemingly thousands of blogs out there, how do you find blogs who are interested in what you have to say in your music and who are actually willing to give your music a listen?

Part of that comes down to a quality email (more on that later), but also having a solid list of music blogs at your disposal that you can send PR emails out to and have them respond with a review or a little bit of press about your band. Let’s start the music blog battle by finding music blogs to send emails to.

1. Find Similar Artists

The first step you have to take is figure out a few artists who sound similar to you. This doesn’t mean you have to lower your self-worth and say that you’re not doing anything original with your music. This just means that you have to first connect with fans of an already established artist who sounds similar to you.

For instance, there’s an indie-folk band I’ve been promoting for a while now that works as a perfect example for this post. Although their music isn’t exactly like the following bands, the band and myself got together and found 5 bands that we thought they embodied pretty well and sounded similar to (be it through first impressions, chord progression style, or sense of melody)…

They compared themselves to:

1. Mumford and Sons

2. Laura Marling

3. Conor Oberst

4. Fleet Foxes

5. Paul Simon

A pretty broad range of artists, right? Having 5 bands whose fans you can point your music towards gives you a good starting point for finding blogs that are posting about similar music.

2. Find Blogs

Hype Machine (

I’ve mentioned Hype Machine in another blog post, but I really think it’s a great resource for finding blogs to send your stuff to. Start by taking one of the five bands you wrote down in the previous step and searching for them on Hype Machine. This will bring you to a results page that lists a number of blog post “previews” that let you read a little bit about what the blog is and what their recent post about band XYZ is. In the bottom right hand corner of each of these post previews is something that says “Posted on DATE).”

Clicking on the date of the post will bring you to the blog post of the blog. From there, it’s up to you to find an “About” page or a place somewhere on the blog where the blogger gives a little bit of information about themselves and gives you an email address.

Google Blogs

A very similar technique to using Hype Machine is searching Google Blogs for similar artists. A popular search technique that I like to use is to first navigate to the blog search section of Google ( and search for one of the artists you have listed above. There’ll definitely be some overlap between Hype Machine searches and the blogs you find through Google Blogs, but you’ll be able to weed these out as you start organizing your blogs into a spreadsheet.

Regular Google

Google’s blog search only works if the blog has feeds enabled. If there’s no RSS feed available for the blog, it won’t show up in the blog posts portion of your searches and there’ll be plenty of blogs that you miss.

Another search technique that I often utilize is searching the web for “(Band Name) (Most Recent Album Name) review.” This yields relevant results because you know that the music blog you’re looking at is not only staying relevant with current music trends, it’s also relevant to your listener base. You can reach out to blogs who are posting about a similar sound to your own, making it much easier to reach out and get publicity from them.

How Many Blogs Should I Find?

On average, any email campaign that I start I look to hit anywhere from 750-1,000 music blogs. This is obviously spread out over the course of a few days or weeks depending on the urgency of the campaign, but it casts a huge net to hopefully hear back from some bloggers who listen to your stuff.

What Information Should I Be Getting From Music Blogs?

When you start mining information, you should be getting a few key pieces of info from the blogs you’re going to be sending to:

  • The blog’s Name
  • The blog’s URL
  • The blogger’s name
  • The blogger’s contact URL
  • The name of the band you searched for to find the blog (to give you something to talk about with the blogger).

Next Time

We’ll talk about how you can organize all of this information into a spreadsheet or Google Doc so that you can easily navigate through the blogs you’ve contacted, what you emailed them, and how best to follow up.

Thanks for reading,

-Sunshine Promo