How to contact music blogs

July 18, 2008
Pitchfork Media LogoImage via Wikipedia

There’s a general understanding nowadays that music blogs, especially the more influential ones such as Gorilla Vs. Bear, You Ain’t No Picasso (who broke Bon Iver), Aquarium Drunkard, Brooklyn Vegan and many others, can have a profound effect on an artist’s career.

They only cover stuff they like and have track records in turning on large amounts of people to great new music.  But how do you go about getting your name into one, or many, music blogs?

Here’re a few things I’d consider:

  • Do your homework:  You need to find blogs who’re talking to fans who might also like your ban.  Who does your act sound like?  Go to HypeMachine (hypem.com) and type in the names of similar artists and find out who’s talking about them.  Get the contact info and write them an email.
  • Be relevant and brief –  I’d send along something like:  “Hi, I saw you liked band x.  Great band/album.  I’m in a band that sounds quite like them, here’s my myspace etc.”
  • Try not to annoy – Follow ups every 10 days to 2 weeks is sufficient.
  • Don’t send any attachments or MP3s:  Say what you need to say briefly, with possibly a press release below your message in the body of the email.  It’d help if you had a website set up where bloggers could download the music and info if they were interested, but simply offering a myspace and website URL is usually enough.
  • Record and track your progress:  I’ll use Google Docs to record contact info and notes on a certain bloggers contact.  It’ll sometimes take 3 or 4 emails to get any kind of response so you’ll need to easily track what stage you’re at with each contact.
  • Build relationship:  Remember, you’re not looking for the front page of Pitchfork just yet.  If you get any response from a blogger, even a “Thanks, but no thanks”, use that as an opportuinity to start a conversation – you never know where it might lead later on.

Anyway, that’s my $0.02.  What’s your experience in this brave new world of music journalism?

Update: By coincidence (I’m behind on my feeds 🙂  New Music Strategies and Jeff Pulver have both posted great ideas on this subject.

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del.icio.us

June 30, 2008
Del.icio.

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about social bookmarking site del.icio.us, and the various ways I use it to aggregate information for Penny Distribution.

•    Tagging interesting articles or some relevant new story, then providing my tags as an RSS feed/Email Subscription for folks who’re interested in music industry stuff and want to follow what I’m reading each day.
•    Tagging artist news, reviews and coverage with the artist’s name – then providing an RSS feed/Email Subscription for that artist so fans can be kept informed of news about their favorite artist.
•    Subscribing to my peer’s del.icio.us RSS feeds – basically having other folks researching on the internet for me 🙂

These functions have been incredibly useful in connecting Penny and our artists to fans and people interested in what we do.  I have a sneaking suspicion, however, that I’m not getting the most out of the service from label perspective.

If you’re a label, artist or manager, do you use del.icio.us to connect fans to your artists?  And if so, what approaches do you take?

My delicious RSS feed is here and you can subscribe to the Penny News service via email here.

If you liked this post and think someone else might find it interesting, please forward it along.  Thanks!

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