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.