This is 2 part of our 4 series blogs & FBLives on “what it takes to release you music in 2021.” Last week we talked about choosing 3 songs that you feel are most fan friendly. It is always great to look at your songs and see what type of imagery since you need to do some type of video with your music releases.
So as we get ready to promote your music, we want to take some time to research to find ways to promote the songs, knowing there are timelines with every promotion campaign.
We are giving you an extra week to do the basics. Copyrighting the songs, joining your PRO & listing your song titles and maybe scheduling any photoshoots or acquiring a domain name for a website or even beginning your Bandcamp or Reverbnation account.
TODAY, WE WANT TO TALK ABOUT PROMOTION & RESEARCHING POSSIBLE MUSIC REVIEWERS. In our Friday Facts for the DIY musician FBLive, I actually go online with you to show you how to find the right people to pitch your music to.
Here are 5 ways to begin your internet research.
Just a note: all of the musicians I talk about in this blog were unknown to me before I did the google searches for this article.
1) GENERAL GOOGLE SEARCH: Mr. Google really knows how to show you what you are looking for if you just asked a DETAILED question. So go in and do a general search & say: “Best DIY Music Magazines” or “Indie Music Blogs” or even “Blogs that review DIY music.”
When I googled those phrases, I first got a list of DIY Magazines. Like….IndiePulse Magazine, UnderTheRadar magazine, Highwire Magazine, International Music Magazine, TheOtherSideReview, Pitchfork, Ear Milk PLUS and many more! Hybot.com and TwoStoryMelody both gave me over 50 magazines that review and feature DIY music. Then others like Livewire.com, Blog.Feedspot & J.Scalco.com came up first who all had a listing DIY blogs. (SEE OUR LINKS BELOW)
2) NEXT RESEARCH BY GENRE OF MUSIC. Again, get really specific….
METAL MUSIC: ”The best Metal music Magazines in 2021” OR HIP HOP: “Rap/Hip Hop blogs to follow in 2021.” (links below too!)
You can really dig into the lists but it takes some time to either go the artists website or listen to their most recent hits. BUT it will help you to see where your genre of music is being reviewed and you can check out the magazines or blogs to see if you are a fit! I would rather take a few hours making a focus list instead of sending stuff to people who do not want to hear our kind of music. The DIY goal: to pitch at least 15 to 20 magazines &/or blogs to send your music to for each music release.
3) FOLLOW SIMILAR BAND’s SOCIAL MEDIA
When I googled “Best new DIY Rock bands in 2021,” there were some articles that suggest the best musicians to watch in 2021!….so I went to a a band’s website similar to our style.
If you get an article telling you about the best ROCK BANDS to follow this year, like I found at IndieRockCafe.com or Ranker.com, read through the list an check choose a band with your similar style. I did this and found a band called “The Wrecks.”
The Wreck’s website (wearethewrecks.com) did not show me any of their press, but I could see an upcoming tour schedule and there were links to all their social media. AAH! SOCIAL MEDIA! We can really learn about how to plan our social posts by watching other successful bands! The band actually is very active on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter; now that is a feat all in its own! Actually, I am OK with your taking one social media and concentrating on that until you feel like that is mastered & then you can jump into others. Just remember that Instagram and Facebook are owned by the same company so you can schedule posts from Facebook Creator studio for both networks.
4) CHECK OUT THE ARTIST’s WEBSITE
Again, I just googled: “The best DIY singer songwriters in 2021” and looked through the first 2 items that came up. OnesToWatch.com/blog and AlbumOfTheYear.org listed successful songwriter making waves in 2021.
In the “OnesToWatch” article and pick an artist to follow. I picked Cassandra Jenkins (https://cassandrajenkins.com) and we hit the jackpot! Cassandra released music early in 2021 and has a number of press reviews. By looking at who has reviewed her music, we can not only add those PR outlets to our list but we also see the name of the reviewer who liked her music. Also, if you check out her social media, you can see she is very active on Instagram & Twitter, sells her music through bandcamp and has quite a few videos on her website.
THIS SINGER-SONGWRITER IS PUSHING HER MUSIC OUT TO THE WORLD AND GETTING NOTICED. If you are a songwriter, I would suggest you follow her lead!
5) FINDING A PR DATA BASE
There are a number of PR data bases out there including the Indie Bible, Music Registery’s Spotify, YouTube and Apple music bibles. And there are paid services like Submit Hub. If you go with one of these, just know these are truly just lists to start with and you still have to go online and check out each PR contact to see if it is right for your genre of music.
ADVICE FOR CONTACTING BLOGS
So…you have a list of 10 to 30 blogs you think your music would be good for. Here is a list of items to be completed if you want blogs to include your music.
- First, you have to go to each of those blogs and subscribe
- Consider starting a new gmail so all these subscriptions go to one place and keep your PR contacts better organized.
- You need to go in at least every few days and comment on something you like…or let the blog writer know you like what they are saying.
- The Blogger will make a comment back to you and after 3 to 5 interactions back and forth, then you can let them know you have some music and can you submit that to them for a listen.
- Always ask for their opinion instead of a review in their blog!
- You want to make sure you have a few weeks ahead of your song coming out so the blogger can ask for a premier feature; which means, one PR blog features your music the day before the release.
Yes, this will take some time, but you are trying to establish a real connection to the blogger, not just have them share their music. You need to keep making comments and if they like you and your music, you can continue to share your other PR and songs with them in the future.
PITCHING TO MUSIC MAGAZINES
Most magazines, paper or digital, have 4 to 6 week deadlines. Some come out weekly, but most once a month. So this is exactly why we keep talking about pitching your music with a 4 to 6 week deadline. You can usually tell about deadlines by looking at their advertising section. You may see they have a deadline for July 1st for the September issue.
The great thing about magazines, is that there are usually a number of music sections you can submit to. Some of these are: Album or EP reviews, live music reviews, a What’s Happening or Music News section and, of course, features & interviews. Really take the time to look at each section. Make note of reviewers who like your kind of music and what kind to subjects they are covering in their featured interviews.
The hardest is getting a feature. Most like to feature up and coming bands/musicians who are drawing lots of fans to shows or your social media numbers are blasting off because you have done something special to get attention. Here we go, talking about what is your story ! A feature writer wants to do an article about cool virtual performances, how you are connection to your local or regional community or how your tie you music mission to a new sponsorship or endorsement company. Your story has to be unique, interesting or your activity successful.
Start with getting the music reviews, move to live reviews and then to a feature. Show the magazine you are growing!
SOME ADVICE ABOUT ADVERTISING.
Publicity means FREE coverage. You never pay someone to do a positive review for you! That is just not done. And as for advertising, think about it before you go and pay a lot of money.
If your name is NOT a household name, one ad does not work. People need to see an ad 3 or 4 times to recognize it! Be happy with the blog coverage or music reviews…. the goal is eventually to be asked to do an interview because you are doing something really unique or your fanbase is growing so fast the press can not ignore you!
NEXT BLOGS: Part 3: Picking your release dates and making your weekly calendar ‘to do’ lists! and PART 4: Action Plans and other PR suggestions
RECOMMENDED INTERNET WEBSITES & ARTICLES TO CHECK OUT!
LIVEWIRE.com Gives you 5 of the Best Indie Music Sites and exactly what they like and don’t like
Hybot.com Gives you Music Blogs That Actually Want D.I.Y. and IndieMusic
J.Scalco.com give you: about 50 blogs & INDIE magazines Best Indie Music Blogs to Follow and Submit to
Top 35 Music Magazines & Publications To Follow in 2021…with actually lists
TwoStoryMelody has music magazine list
METAL MUSIC MAGAZINES
HIP HOP MUSIC BLOGS
Vividseats.com (20 Rap/Hip Blogs to follow in 2021) & https://hiphopdx.com/editorials
ROCK MUSIC TO FOLLOW: