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 (hypem.com)
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.
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 (http://www.google.com/blogsearch) 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.
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).
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,