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Connecting with music bloggers and writers is one of the best ways to get word out about your music. These people are tastemakers and influencers – their readers have grown to trust their opinions and thoughts. It’s important to remember, though, that these writers aren’t just another marketing tool. They are real people with whom you should be forming a real two-way relationship built on communication and courtesy.

Some excerpts in this post came from Hypebot‘s Clyde Smith. His original article mainly discusses business writers, but I think a lot of the points ring true for any kind of writer, blogger, or tastemaker. You can also check out a similar post here.

Know Who You’re Talking To

“Know who you’re talking to, what they usually write about and what they’ve said about what they want to see. I know everybody’s really busy but sometimes you’ve got to bite the bullet and put in the time for proper research. It will pay off in the long run even if it’s painful at the moment.”

Be sure to check the writer’s sig at the end of their post. This will give you a general idea of the kinds of topics they cover. Clyde’s says: “music tech, DIY music biz or music marketing.” A lot of times, the writer’s contact information is also in the sig, so it’s pretty difficult to miss information on their interests. Some bloggers and writers may have a short bio available. You should also read the articles or posts they have written in the past to get a better idea of their interests and writing style. The main point here is that you should do your research.

Remember That Writers Are Humans With Limits and Work With That

“Though I have a list of interests in my sig… it’s more a general guideline. But like most music industry writers and pro journalists in general, I cover way more things than I can truly understand with much depth. That means that sometimes I’ll miss something I really should cover or cover something that doesn’t really deserve it.

To be honest most outlets don’t support true expertise. That’s because media business models are based on what readers show interest in and tend to be pageview driven. Since reader response mostly has little correlation with expertise in terms of pageviews, except for very specialized publications, there is no reason for ad-supported, pageview driven media outlets to invest in true expertise.

So getting worked up when I or another writer covers one thing and not another is not a good move.”

Don’t Get Argumentative In A Writer’s Inbox

“Sometimes our choices lead to people becoming argumentative. I understand that tendency. I’m an argumentative kind of guy. But arguing with me in my inbox cause you want coverage is not a good look. At this point, for every 10 items that I bookmark or receive via email, 5 of them are plausible, 2 I really should cover, 1 gets covered. Strictly speaking, that math may be overly optimistic in terms of your odds of coverage.”

Arguing with writers or music bloggers is really like slamming a door in your own face. If you’ve done your research, asking for clarification about their decision can be okay – it will help you provide them with better content next time. But if you get aggressive or argue, there won’t be a next time.

Don’t Talk Trash In The Comments

“Another issue similar to arguing in writers’ inboxes is making catty or angry comments on blog posts. There are multiple musicians and music business owners who probably deserve some coverage but killed their brand with me. I can think of a couple offhand who I would have covered or turned to for insight by now but I’ll never write about them until they establish a positive relationship with me that counteracts the damage they’ve done in the comments.”

Remove Roadblocks to Coverage by Helping the Writer

“When you send intro or update emails include links to other media coverage, especially newsier items, and to online resources for quick reference. Make it easy to find pics and related content for use as needed by bloggers.”

Need some ideas to start emailing music bloggers? Download these 10 free email templates: 10 Attention-Getting Email Templates for Musicians

Have you ever had your music or business featured on a blog or music news site?

Whether you write your own blog or try to get featured on other music blogs, blogging is a key part of your marketing plan. Running your own blog is a great way to connect with your fans. You can show them glimpses into your life and the creation of your music. In essence, it creates a deeper connection with the fans you already have. On the other hand, having your music featured on another blog is a great way to grow your fan base. Bloggers have a strong influence over their reader base. The readers really trust the bloggers thoughts and opinions, so if they say your album is good many will go check you out.

This interview with blogger Tim Board, originally posted on the Cyber PR Blog, has some great insights that you can incorporate into your blog strategy. Tim Board runs the blog Front Range Scribbles where he writes about music in the Colorado area. He also runs Front Range Radio where he plays a lot of the music he highlights on his blog.

 

Here’s a run-down of some of the key take-aways from this interview:

1. Let your blog evolve over time.

What you start out writing about may not be what you end up writing about in a year or so. For example, you could start a musician blog on your website about your day-to-day life thinking fans want to get to know you as a person and find out that what they really want to see is the music. In the end you could be writing about your experience in the studio and the inspiration behind songs.

2. Find your niche.

If you’re writing your own musician blog, figure out what really makes you unique and incorporate that into your writing. Maybe you love working with vintage gear to get your signature sound. You could write blog posts about what to look for when buying vintage gear. When trying to get your music placed on blogs, you need to keep your niche in mind. You could be the best punk band out there and never get placed on a blog dedicated to reviewing folk music no matter how many nice emails you write.

3. Try to form a relationship with bloggers.

Think about how annoyed you would be if people kept sending you in-your-face marketing emails. Instead, try to start a conversation. Send some music and ask for their opinion. It could read something like this: “We’ve been following your blog for a while and see that you have a great ear for folk music. We’re working on a new album and would really appreciate your opinion on our single.”

 

Here’s a short round-up of the interview, but you can see the full interview on the Cyber PR Blog.

Is Front Range Scribbles your first foray into digital media? If so, what was the inspiration? If not, give us your history.

Yes it was. The blog really started out as a test for myself to see if I could just maintain it on a regular basis. The blog in the beginning had no direction it was a hodgepodge of writings, or photos. I would write basically whatever was on my mind that particular day. I then started a show on blogtalkradio featuring music and interviews with local independent artists. It was at that time I decided to change the focus of the blog to just writing about music. Writing about independent artist and their music, combining my blog with my radio show was an easy decision for me.

Front Range Scribbles has a focus on Colorado based independent artists. What are the benefits of focusing on the promotion of local artists?

The biggest benefit is being able to see the local artist perform live and talk with them one on one. A live show give me a chance to hear more from the artist then what they have published on the internet or on a CD. Sometimes the artist will perform songs they are working on that is not available anywhere. An artist from another state or country I can’t see them live or talk with face to face. A phone interview is not the same as a face to face interview.

What do you suggest to an independent artist looking for blogs to connect with for the first time?

The internet is full of bloggers writing about music. Look at websites or social media sites of other artist you perform with or know and see if any articles have been written about them and by who. Look at sites such as ‘Indie Bus” once again see who is writing articles about various artists. Once you find some bloggers, get a feel for what the blogger writes about, genre, geographical artists etc. If you do contact a blogger, try starting a relationship first, don’t just email the blogger and say hey write about me or about my single/CD. If a blogger does write an article than watch for comments and respond. The readers will enjoy seeing comments from the artist.

How do you prefer artists approach you who are interested in blog promotion or partnering with you in any way?

The easiest way is to send an email to tim [AT] frontrangeradio DOT net

Where can people find you online?

My website is www.frontrangeradio.net, my blog site is www.frontrangescribbles.com, and my weekly radio show can be heard Sunday nights 9pm Eastern on www.party934.com

 

What’s your blog strategy?

Has your music ever been featured on a blog?

Share in the comment section below!

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