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I’ve briefly touched on the importance of Tumblr in other posts, but I’ve yet to dive into what exactly Tumblr can do for your band’s promotion efforts. This ultimate guide will hold your hand through the sign-up process and take you all the way through to a point where you can use Tumblr DAILY to promote your music and gain new fans. Before you know it, your micro-blogging platform will be a major part of your promotion efforts.
Register an Account
It probably goes without saying, but first you have to register an account with Tumblr to use it. No shit.
From the home page, click on the link in the upper right hand corner of the page that says “Sign Up.” Enter the email address you use for your band, choose a password, and finally a username.
Username Choice: The username should be something as close to your band name as possible. If your band name is “The Smithsonians,” you damn well better make your username “thesmithsonians” or “thesmithsoniansband.”
There are 2 main reasons for this. First, it distinguishes your page as the “official” page for a particular purpose. If and when a fan tries to find you on Tumblr, being able to guess your username as your band name makes things less confusing, right? Secondly, for purposes related to search engine optimization (SEO), using your actual band name as opposed to something arbitrary makes Google happier all around. It should make sense that your band’s Tumblr URL matches the band name. Throwing curve balls at it (I’m looking at you Justin Vernon – whose Twitter URL is twitter.com/blobtower, not twitter.com/justinvernon) only works if you’ve got some clout and people aren’t trying to hunt you down via search engines.
Avatar Choice: Sometimes it’s easy to get carried away with a luxurious and flattering full band photo, but just like I’ve mentioned in a Twitter profile optimization post, you should be aware that people are only ever going to see your Tumblr avatar as a smaller representation of a much larger image. These guys have figured out an exact science to optimizing the perfect Tumblr avatar, so I’m going to redirect you over here (Choosing the Perfect Tumblr Avatar) to learn more about different avatar styles that you can utilize.
Tumblr, like just about any other “DIY blog site” gives you the option to create pages for your blog. There are a few default pages that your Tumblr blog will come with that don’t need much changing (things like the Archive button and the Ask function), but I do recommend adding one page in particular that will be used as a point of connection for your band.
About Us: Adding a page called “About” or “Who We Are” is paramount. Not only will we be using this page as a miniature bio for the band to give people an elevator pitch about who your band is, it can also be used to post links back to your website. I recommend putting a link to your main website and an additional place (like Bandcamp) of where to listen to your music. A short sample bio that you can use is something like your Twitter profile of:
“Hey, we’re [insert band name], an indie-punk band from Detroit. Our music is free to listen to on our website. Thanks for checking it out [website URL]“
It’s short and simple, which is why it’s perfect. People’s attention spans are short on the internet. Remember that.
Here’s where we’re going to get a bit creative. When you’re editing the theme of your blog to not only decide what kind of “look and feel” you want for your page when people visit it, you’re also given the option to edit the “description” of your page. This is the text that shows up directly below the title of your Tumblr. We’re going to use this section to do some serious promotion.
If you don’t already have your music uploaded for streaming on either Bandcamp or Soundcloud, go ahead and do that now. The goal of having your music streaming somewhere online is to be able to grab/use the embedded player to put on your Tumblr page for even more exposure.
On Soundcloud, if you grab the HTML5 embedded player code, you can copy it directly into the “Description” section of your Tumblr page. The player code looks like this:
This does two big things. First, whenever people visit any part of your Tumblr page, your player will be there for them to listen to your songs. Secondly, it makes listening to your music a lot easier than having to visit a separate page on your Tumblr page to see what you’re about. It’s like having a safety net for the people who don’t click the “About” page to see who you are.
Now that you have your page set-up and optimized to get listens/downloads of your album, how do you actually attract traffic? There are two primary methods that I recommend using, and a bit more abstract method that you can try if you’re feeling daring.
Tumblr is all about community. Following other people’s blogs will send them an email to tell them that someone is now following them. Of the people who are notified of a new follower, a good portion of them will take the time to see who that person is and what they’re all about. They’ll be redirected to your page, see your music, and take a listen. Not rocket science, right?
To find people to follow, you should make a list of about 50-60 bands who make similar music to your own. The similarities don’t have to be spot on, as people tend to have a pretty broad sense of music tastes and not everyone is going to be 100% into what you’re doing. Having a substantial list of similar artists to work from will allow you to vary your promotional efforts so you’re not following/interacting with the same group of people every day who like the same few bands.
Go to the Search bar in the top right of Tumblr and start searching for posts related to the bands you wrote down. Follow people who post about these bands.
In a similar method to following, instead of following the user who posts about a certain band, you instead like their posts. Liking is less effective than following because people often opt out of emails notifying them of new likes of their posts because they’re much more commonplace than new followers.
A lot of Tumblr users have what’s known as an Ask/Submit feature on their blog. The Ask feature allows you to send a private message to Tumblr users, either anonymously (in most cases, unless they’ve disabled it) or publicly. Additionally, there’s also a Submit feature that a small number of blogs have that allows people to submit content to their blog on their behalf. They of course have to approve the submission, but if they do, it’ll jump straight to their blog to be shared with their followers.
Now, depending on how daring you are in regards to reaching out to strangers, you can utilize the Ask/Submit features of Tumblr to get your content seen by a number of other users.
“Hey, we were browsing through your blog and saw you liked XYZ Band. We’re called “The Smithsonians” and wanted to share some of our stuff with you since we’re often compared to XYZ Band. Look forward to hearing back. Best, -[Your Band Name]“
You can also submit your newest music video or song to thousands of pages as well to get maximum exposure when the video hits. Unfortunately, there are limits to the amount that you can engage in all of these techniques.
Currently, there are some limits in place on Tumblr that prevent mass-spamming of the site (and for good reason). Although it would be great to reach all of your potential fans overnight, there are of course limits in place to help thwart those efforts.
Maximum Follow Limit: 5,000 People
Maximum Daily Follow Limit: 200 People
Maximum Daily Like Limit: 1,000 Posts
Maximum Hourly Ask/Submit Limit: 10
There are not currently any limits on the number of people you can unfollow on a daily basis or the number of posts you can like in total.
Side Note: I suggest reading this post (Dominate Tumblr in 48 Hours) about Tumblr Promotion to get an ever better idea of how best to utilize the above promotional functions. There’s a lot to cover, and figuring out every little advantage you can utilize is key.
Responding to Messages
Just like with any other social network, I highly encourage bands to personally reply to every private message they receive. While they may be few and far between, starting conversations with people who reach out to you is paramount to success. Ask what type of music they also listen to (for research purposes) and explore their interests. Starting conversations when people reach out to compliment or talk to a band they’re now a fan of goes a long way. It shows commitment to your fan base and also helps reinforce your name in their brains if they may have otherwise not put your stellar tunes on their fancy-shmancy iPod (or whatever you kids are calling them these days).
I suggest posting at least once or twice a day, not just to keep your followers happy, but also to keep your blog looking “fresh” when new people stumble across it. Tumblr has a Queue feature that allows you to queue up to 300 posts for posting at a later date. From the Tumblr Dashboard, clicking on the “Queue” on the sidebar once you have posts queued will bring you to a separate menu where you can not only see your posting queue, you’ll also be able to set the posting frequency. I set this to 2 posts a day for my bands and let it run. Then, once every few days, I log on to Tumblr and find cool new posts to queue up. I generally do about 10-15 posts at a time so that if a band is on the road, they don’t have to log on to their social media sites every day to stay updated.
Anytime you post original content to Tumblr, you should make sure you set a source URL and click-through URL for the post. This URL that you set ensures that whenever your post gets circulated around the site, anytime someone clicks on the post to see where it came from, it leads straight back to your Tumblr page. By default, Tumblr links back to the post URL itself; something like “yourband.tumblr.com/post/88284653879.” Changing this to lead back to the simpler Tumblr URL of “yourband.tumblr.com” forces all new visitors to the site to land on your Tumblr “homepage” as opposed to just a particular post of yours. Give new visitors the full picture of you, not just a post page.
Just like with any promotional efforts, where you draw the line is entirely up to you. I hear from some artists that they want to try every promotional technique in the book in order to achieve “success,” while others don’t want to seem like a social media fiend and want to keep their posts and following to a minimum. Where you decide to call it quits with your promotional efforts is entirely up to you. When you start liking/following/interacting, keep things slow and get a feel for how Tumblr operates.
In a post I did less than a week ago, I mentioned the fact that you can easily integrate your Tumblr blog onto your band’s website so that you don’t have to maintain two different “blogs.” Take a look at that if you want to use your Tumblr blog on your website and not just have yet another site to check.
TumblrTips: A site that posts regular updates about tips and tricks on how to optimize your blog, embed certain content, and much more.
Tumblring: Another site that just has a plethora of resources on how you can use Tumblr more like a promotional tool than just a social media site.
Billboard Biz: Billboard magazine wrote a short piece about the dos and don’ts of Tumblr for musicians.
Why Tumblr: A short overview of EVERYTHING Tumblr does.
Best of luck, -Sunshine
As evidenced in a recent blog post by Brian Thompson over at Thorny Bleeder, many musicians don’t really have much of an idea of how to start blogging when every marketing manifesto and effective PR representative tells them to do so. If you haven’t yet read Brian’s brief guide to starting blogging, you should.
I’d like to suggest a quick workaround for many musicians who haven’t yet decided to take the plunge into blogging full time: Tumblr.
The bands that I work with are sometimes averse to the idea of having to start a blog that needs to be updated on a frequent basis. It’s a commitment!
Instead, I suggest they set up a Tumblr blog instead and use that as their main point of blogging contact in the interim until they can dedicate the time to blogging “properly.” The reason I like Tumblr so much is that it allows all types of media posts to be shared, allowing the band to not only post things about their lives, touring, and band related business, it also allows them to share music they’re listening to, cool photos, and just about anything else that strikes their fancy.
Another great reason I choose Tumblr as an introductory blogging platform is how well it integrates with WordPress. I encourage bands to use WordPress as the driving engine behind their websites because of its ease of use, customizability, and integration with so many other plugins and platforms.
When you get a Tumblr blog setup, you can install this plugin into your WordPress blog to easily add all of your Tumblr posts to your website automatically. Every time you blog with Tumblr, your website will automatically be updated with your new blog post. Pictures, videos, text, everything.
If you’re new to Tumblr, I highly recommend checking out this blog post. It’s a bit dated, but the fundamentals of the website haven’t changed that much. This post will start with how to set up a blog and get your profile in full gear so you’re ready to start posting regularly.
In regards to how often you should be updating your blog (micro-blog technically), there’s no steadfast rule. Some bands love to keep their fans in the loop about what they’re listening to, liking, seeing, etc. On the other hand there are some bands who try and sell themselves on the “exclusivity” aspect of their music, so a post from the band is kind of a big deal. For Tumblr, I’d say a safe starting point is 2 posts a day. This generally requires grabbing a cup of coffee in the morning, scrolling through your Dashboard and queuing up 5 or 6 posts to be posted at a twice a day interval. The basics guide posted above will explain what all of that means if you’re confused.
Twice a day is a good starting point because it lets your followers know you’re alive while still not bombarding them with your thoughts every minute of the day.
What to Post: This is solely my opinion, but I really encourage artists to share a photo/post/video they like once a day and share a song they’re listening to once a day. Letting your fans in on what you’re listening to is valuable to them, so take advantage of your tastes!
Hopefully I can do some more posting about Tumblr soon enough (like a complete musicians guide to Tumblr) that will encourage even further growth with the blogging platform.
A recent article by Last Stop Booking highlighted the fact that touring is now more important than ever. If you have the time, I highly suggest reading through the article to get a basic feeling for how you should be planning your tours as a band.
I’d like to add some tips/ideas to that post by going farther than just giving ballpark numbers and touring radiuses to go off of and instead dive into a profitable tour itinerary that just about any new indie band can use as a template.
Before you begin planning where you can go on tour, it’s important to first list your expenses. I recommend keeping an Excel spreadsheet to monitor where your money is being spent and how much each item is costing you on the road so that you can make this a constantly updated process so you have previous data to work from to really hone your touring craft. Some of the most common expenses experienced by bands on the road, both new and old, are as follows: (A sample budget will be posted below.)
Fuel: The most obvious part of any tour is figuring out how much gasoline is going to cost you to go from city to city. To start with, assume that you’re paying the national average of $4 a gallon (at the time of writing, I’m hoping that number doesn’t rise much higher!). We’ll be using this number later on to determine an optimal driving distance for each of your shows.
- Note: The standard Ford E350 touring van that bands use gets 16 miles to the gallon on the highway. This number is often less than the EPA rated highway MPG, so I like to round this down to 14 miles per gallon (MPG) just to be on the safe side. It’s always better to overestimate your costs to ensure your budget stays in check.
Food: Food costs are another important factor that you can’t leave out. Being on the road with a box of ramen at your side may work for a few days, but eventually you’ll have to supply your body with some actual nutrition. Avoid eating at restaurants and fast-food places and instead bring a camping stove, non-perishables, and some fruits and veggies you can buy every few days. These can all be kept in a cooler with a bag of ice that costs a few cents at the gas station you stop at to refill at each day.
- Average Food Cost: Although it may seem tough at first, it’s very easy to get by on about $7/day per band member. This usually consists of a protein bar and coffee/juice for breakfast ($1.50 per protein bar and a tub of instant coffee + free hot water at most Starbucks/coffee shops), steamed vegetables (Enough broccoli, green peppers, and green beans can be bought for a meal for $1 per band member) and & ramen/rice (less than 50 cents per serving) for lunch, and some form of tempeh/tofu or other protein and vegetable dish for dinner (a can of beans, corn, and another vegetable can be had for about 80 cents a can and can be cooked in a single pot coming out to another $1 or so per band member if you all eat the same thing). Dried fruits can be made very cheaply and are a great snack on the road. I add in a few extra dollars here and there to account for the candy bar splurges, nice coffee trips, and the inevitable “etc” that each person will probably face. $7/Day per Band Member
Merchandise: Although some bands may not be accustomed to doing this, keeping a running tally of your merchandise expenses on a cost per unit basis will help you not only keep your money straight, it will help you reinvest your money at a later date for a new CD printing venture while on the road or back at home.
- Average Merchandise Cost: It varies wildly from band to band how much their merchandise costs them to print and produce, but for the band we’ll be using as an example below, each CD they sell costs them $4 to produce. $4/CD
This rule is self-instated and seems to work well for bands that are just starting out. The 25% rule says that out of the money you make playing a show (including the money you make from selling merchandise) you should be able to keep 25% of it as profit. That means that if the guarantee* that’s paid at your shows is $100, $25 should be able to go into your pocket or into the band bank account for future use or to cover unexpected tour expenses.
- *Guarantee: Having a venue give you a guarantee is them saying “no matter what, we’ll agree to pay you this amount of money for showing up and performing.”
The band I work with is based out of Nashville, TN. Playing once a week in town is enough for them to hold themselves over before going out on the road each weekend. Although they turn a profit during the week from playing locally, we’ll put this money out of the picture and simply consider what it is they’re spending on the road each weekend when they play out. The cities they decide to play are entirely based on how much they can afford to spend on their expenses and still be able to keep 25% of the revenue brought in by their shows. Confused? Let’s take a look.
On average, the band we’re talking about safely brings in guarantees of $150 per show that they play. And, their $8 EPs tend to sell at least 2-3 copies per show. Although this number fluctuates, we’ll use “2” as our guideline for revenue calculations.
(Before the flack comes rolling in about how $150 isn’t that much to be earning per show as a guarantee, know that many of the bands out there first starting out are going to be hard pressed to even get that. I know of plenty of gigs where $75-$100 has been the norm and when you’re growing, being able to play anywhere just to build name recognition in a place is more valuable than anything.)
Revenue: $150 (guarantee) + $16 (Merchandise Sales) = $166 per show GUARANTEED
Expenses: $21 (3 band members food costs) + $8 (Merchandise Costs) = $29
25% Profit: 25% of $166 per show = $41.50
Money Left for Gas: $166 – $29 – $41.50 = $95.50
How Far Can You Go?
That last number is the most important part of this whole equation. Knowing how much money is left to pay for gas after every show is what we NEED out of all of these calculations. For easiness sake, we typically say that we have $100 to spend on fuel after every show.
Calculation: ($100 for fuel)/($4 per gallon) = 25 gallons of fuel to use after each show.
25 gallons * 14 MPG = 350 miles of potential travel distance after every show.
BEWARE! - This also has to cover you on the round trip portion of every tour. Although you may have earned enough to go 350 miles to the next city, remember that eventually you’ll have to make your way back home. If you’re smart in your plan, you can start at home, play a show, and use the gas expenditure you make at that show’s $150 guarantee to make your way to city #2 and continue the cycle from there, ultimately ending up back at home.
Using this calculation, you can figure out exactly how far you can afford to travel and which cities will be the most economical for you to hit on any given tour leg. Guessing wildly at a good place to go may work for a little while, but eventually the randomness of it all will catch up to you.
The budget we did above was very conservative in estimates. We assumed that the band was only going to get a meager $150 per show that they play. We kept the food budget very slimmed down and even built in a few extra dollars of “wiggle room” that could add up to a surprisingly large chunk at the end of things if it doesn’t all get spent. In addition, the 2 CD estimate we used was obviously very conservative as well and if the band does well at promoting themselves, this number could jump much higher.
Although extra money could be brought in on a per-show basis, these few extra dollars should also be put aside to cover unforeseen expenses and accidents that may happen.
The great part of being on the road is that things change. Often for the better and sometimes for the worst. Not every show is going to pay $150 as a guarantee and not every show is going to cost you your fuel budget to get to. Having a detailed account of all of your expenses is something that should stay constant though. The sooner you start keeping a detailed account of your band’s expenditures, the easier it will be to plan for future tours and expenses.
Establish a Profile Picture
After registering your account, the first thing you need to do is set a profile picture for yourself. As a band, it’s recommended that you use a catchy image that’s either your newest album cover or a picture of one of your band members.
Not changing your default photo to something that tells people about your band is setting yourself up for failure. Users of social media sites want to follow PEOPLE not just users. Having yourself on the site isn’t enough. Establishing an identity is the ultimate goal.
- As tempting as it is to use a photograph of your entire band, the profile images are simply too small to display all of your faces clearly, so opting for an easily identifiable image instead of a cluttered one is the way to go. If possible, avoid using your lengthy band name in the photo as well. If you have just a simple logo that will become synonymous with your band, that’s the thing you should go for.
- The maximum photo size is 700kilobytes. JPG, GIF, and PNG images are supported.
- 48×48 pixels is displayed in the Twitter feed and 128×128 is displayed in your profile image.
Next, it’s time to set up a profile bio. Although you have a picture, when people visit your profile, they’re going to want to read what you’re all about. Things to include are:
Band Name: Although your Twitter profile name is probably already your band name, it doesn’t hurt to reintroduce yourself. “Hey, we’re [INSERT BAND NAME HERE].”
Where You’re From: Having your city here will help in the off chance that a band is coming through town and they want to ask you to join onto a bill. Every little bit of info helps when making connections with people.
Genre: Describe your music in a few short words.
Website URL: Include your music URL so that people know where to listen to your stuff! Don’t use your Bandcamp or Soundcloud URL either. Use your official website.
The below example is the format that I generally try to use for the band’s that Sunshine Promotion
works with. It’s important to learn to be concise with your bio and to include as much information as possible.
Example: “Hey, we’re [Band Name], a psychedelic folk band from Seattle, Washington. You can hear and download our music for free at: [URL]”
It often feels like other Twitter branding suggestions always lead back to the same tip of “be unique!” While you may very well be a “psych-metal band with crusty feelings built up inside,” that doesn’t always attract attention.
The key to a successful profile is giving just enough information to people to entice them to follow-up with clicking on your profile link. Sometimes being overly descriptive and unique with your adjectives can hurt your online image, as you’ll be forever pegged as “that band.”
Pinholing yourself early on may help you build a following of people who find the term “crusty feelings” just as funny as you, but when it’s time to branch beyond that, you may alienate your original fan base or prevent yourself from gaining a new one.
Keep things simple and professional and stay on topic. Don’t tell people what you sound like. Encourage them to find out themselves.
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
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,
One of the first recommendations that I give to new bands who are trying to promote their music is to send out 10 blog emails a day. Personally, I really like to use Hype Machine (hypem.com) to find blogs that are currently posting about an up and coming song or band and then using the search function to find bands that are trending similar to the band I’m promoting.
For instance, if the band I’m promoting sounds a bit like Mumford and Sons, a simple search on Hype Machine for “Mumford and Sons” will reveal a number of blogs that are currently posting about that band. I can then go through and find a number of blogs in that particular niche and contact them about another band’s music.
Note: After you’ve typed in a band’s name into the search box on Hype Machine, a number of results are going to show up (by default the newest posts will show first in the list). To actually make it to that relevant post, as well as to the blog itself to try and find some contact information to post to, you have to click on the part of summary that says “Posted on (DATE)” instead of the blog name itself. It’s a quirky feature that Hype Machine has that’s a little tough to get used to, but once you know to click on the date as opposed to the blog name in each post summary, you’ll be finding blogs much faster.
As part of any promotion plan, I like to set a goal of sending out 10 blog emails on a daily basis. While the response rate is relatively low for music blogs these days, taking the time to contact blogs about their recent posts (i.e. about Mumford and Sons) and a new band’s music, you can slowly establish a relationship with them and send them more music in the future.
In general, I consider a blogging campaign a success if it gets anywhere between 5-8% response rate. Yes, this is a low number, but considering the number of submissions music blogs get on a daily basis, having any of them respond to your music is a positive sign. While it’s a slow push, getting a few reviews a week is always a good step in the right direction.
If nothing else, setting up a routine of sending 10 emails a day is a great way to ensure that your music promotion efforts aren’t being lost over time. Keep consistent and steady. Aiming to have a few thousand emails sent out in the first 48 hours during a promotion campaign is unrealistic, which is why having a modest goal of 10 a day ensures that you keep pushing your band’s name on a regular basis over a consistent amount of time as opposed to doing a huge push all at once and then having nothing coming in after the fact.
After the first week of promotion is over (and you’ve sent 70 emails), I try to spend the next week sending follow up emails to all of these blogs to see if they’ve had a chance to listen to the music or if they’re interested in some free music to offer to their readers. As said before, because of the number of emails that music bloggers generally receive, having a reminder in their inbox during the week not only keeps your name fresh in their minds, it doubles the chances of them opening your email.
*Week 1,3,5,7,9 etc is dedicated to sending 10 emails a day to NEW blogs about your music. Weeks 2,4,6,8,10 etc are then dedicated to following up with the previous week’s emails.
It’s ALWAYS a good idea to keep a spreadsheet of information about all of the blogs you’ve contacted and what type of response you’ve gotten. I’ll post soon about how to keep a music contact spreadsheet on Google Docs to share with your band very soon. Spreadsheets can also help setup reminders of when you’re supposed to follow up with certain blogs.