What to do with Your Music
So, you wrote the song. You recorded it and likely paid someone to mix and master it. You got it up on all the major streaming platforms. You took the initiative and you got this done for yourself! Take a moment to pat yourself on the back. You’re already miles ahead of the artists that make music and let it sit on their hard drive for years! Now, submit your music.
Now that your music is published, what should you do with it? How are you going to get that song in front of the right people? I’m going to show you how to get your music heard by the right people and to make the right impression that will land you a feature on a blog, or many blogs.
Why Submit Your Music to Blogs?
This is not easy. Submitting to blogs is tedious and takes a lot of motivation. But submitting your music to blogs the right way can get your music in front of thousands of potential new fans. Internationally! You have the power right now to get your music heard. So, it’s time to do it!
Music blogs are read all over the World. Your song could be the next big thing in a country that you have never even been to and that’s just the beginning. If your music is seen by the right people, there could be tours around the World. You might never be famous guys, let’s face it. But, you can be well known. There might not be bags of money in your future, but you will land thousands of fans that adore you and love your music. You just have to trust in me and let me show you the way.
For the purpose of this article, I will be focusing on Hip hop blogs. But the same principles apply to any music blog. So, soak up the information in this short, but information jam packed guide and get to work.
My name is Crystal, but everyone calls me Jem. I am the Founder of Nevernaire Media Group, the head writer for Nevernaire Hip hop Blog and the host of Crystallized Beats podcast.
I have spent the last three years promoting Indie Hip hop artists and studying everything there is to know about Indie music promotion.
In the past three years, I have promoted over 250 Indie artists. I have done the interviews, I’ve done the music reviews and I have become someone who’s opinion people respect.
I started Nevernaire Blog from the bottom. With just one blog post:
This was the first thing that I ever posted on Nevernaire Blog. I was determined to give credit where it is due. That first day, I came up with the tag line “Shining light on the talent in the shadows” and that has been my mission ever since. I love Hip hop and I want you to be successful.
And you will be successful. You might have read other blog posts or books about submitting to music blogs. You might have tried to submit a couple times, saw no results and stopped. That’s not going to happen this time. Because this time, you have me and I’m rooting for you to succeed!
The most important thing is that I have submitted hundreds of songs to other blogs for my clients (successfully). I’ve created dope press releases that get people’s attention, and I am going to explain exactly how you can do it too.
Stick with me kids, I’ll learn ya 😉
Why is this so Important?
While I touched on this a bit already in the introduction, I can’t stress enough how important it is that you take the time to submit your music to blogs. Bloggers are considered an authority on the subject that they write about, and music is no different.
People respect the opinion of the writers that write for the blogs that they read. If a writer on Hip hop DX says you’re dope, think about the exposure that you will get from that! Now think about how much exposure your track is getting right now, without the promo. It’s bleak right?
Yes, it’s going to take you some time and effort to do this the right way, but you will have an advantage over the artists that refused to put in the work. You are not them. You are motivated and you know the value of promotion for your music. And if you don’t, then let’s talk about that real quick.
Promotion is ABSOLUTELY necessary
There is no silver bullet that is going to get your music heard. You might get thousands of streams on Spotify from a little promotion on social media, but you are not likely to get heard by the RIGHT people if you don’t put in the work. The artists that are big now, they pushed their music. And back in the day, we didn’t have social media. We had MAGAZINES, catalogues and newspapers.
You read this material to find out what the next up and coming thing was and you pushed your mix tapes or your cds at your shows. Almost everything was done by word of mouth. If you want to learn more about the history of Indie music promotion, watch this interview with Prince Po of Organized Konfusion on Crystallized Beats podcast. This man knows what he’s talking about when it comes to promo and you will learn something.
Make sure that you come back! We are just getting started
A note about motivation
Procrastination is real guys. And it is mostly based in fear. It is the fear that you will fail, fear that you will be ridiculed, or people will find out that you’re a fraud. It’s called “Imposter Syndrome” and everyone that has a dream and a vision suffers from it at some point. I suffer from it myself and I have been doing this for years.
That feeling that maybe I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about is always in the back of my mind. But, I have Hip hop celebs on my side. And over 250 Indie artists that believe in what I’m doing. And that means something. And you will have the same thing. Your music will be liked by SOMEONE. Everyone has fans. People love creative people, and they will support you.
So, what can you do about procrastination?
I’ll tell you what I do. I have a 1-5 system. I decide on one big goal that I want to accomplish. In your case, it’s going to be getting your ass in gear and submitting your music to these blogs…
I tell myself that I’m going to count to 5. And when I get to 5 I am going to get started. I count….
- Breathe deep through the nose and slowly exhale through your mouth.
- Imagine how great it is going to feel when you are finished
- Envision yourself reaping the benefits of completing your goal
- Think about how motivated you will feel to complete another task when you’re finished
- Take a deep breath and whip your ass out of bed or off the couch and go do it!
This works. But you have to WANT IT. You have to want to succeed. No one can teach that power. It comes from inside of you.
Professionalism – The Do’s & Dont’s
There are a few things that you should know about being professional before you submit to blogs. These are the things that I have learned from having a music blog and getting submissions ALL over the place, such as email, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
- Do submit your music through the proper channels. If the blog says to email them, email them. If they have a submission page, use the submission page.
- Do keep track of who you have already contacted on a Google spreadsheet.
CLICK HERE FOR A FREE TEMPLATE
- Do follow up in one week through email if an email address is available
- Don’t hit the editor up on social media
- Don’t submit your music more than once
Follow these guidelines and you’re much more likely to get your music featured.
Also, some blogs do charge for a feature. This is because THEY CAN AND SHOULD based on the amount of exposure you’re going to get from the feature and the amount of traffic the site generates.
Promotion is very important, and it should be part of your music budget. Nothing worth having ever comes easy or free.
Do you need a press release?
The short answer is yes, you do need a press release. But why? When you submit your music to a blog, they might decide they would like to write about you. A press release is a good way to give them information about yourself, your latest releases and any shows that you have coming up.
If you don’t have a press release yet, that’s ok. It is pretty simple to create one and if you don’t feel like you can write one up on your own, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will help you out. Or you can hit me up on Instagram @nevernaire. I check my message requests often.
When creating a press release, you want to start with an eye catching headline. Really put some thought into it. What makes you stand out from the rest of the press releases that this person is looking at right now? Make it short and make it POP!
Next, you’re going to write up a bio. Keep your bio to 5 or 6 paragraphs. Again, make it interesting. Have you won any music awards? Opened for any big names? Put that in there. If not, that’s ok. Just be honest and be yourself and tell people what is great about you and your music. Explain how you developed your music style. Who was your inspiration?
Next, you are going to be tempted to put a link to every social media platform and all of your streaming music. This is a mistake. What you need is either a website that is your main hub and has all of that information on there already, or a LinkTree account.
I highly recommend having a website to all the artists that I work with and have designed many of them myself. However, if it isn’t in your budget right now, LinkTree is a free service that allows you to share just one link that will bring the user to all of your other links.
What to do next
Ok, so you have your press release and should have at least a LinkTree account if not a whole website. Put your LinkTree link at the bottom of your press release and voila! You’re ready to roll.
So, what should you actually submit to the blog? You are going to want to put your best foot forward. You’re only going to get one shot to do this, so do it right. Choose the track with the best production quality that best shows your personality and music style. If they’re looking for an MP3, send that. But if they’re looking for a link, send your Spotify link. That’s what I prefer for my blog submissions.
Heeeere we go!
Ok, you’re ready to submit to your first blog. I have put together a list of the best blogs to submit to, but you don’t have to stop here. If you’re on a roll, keep submitting.
To find the information that I have provided on other blogs that I missed, go to the blogs website and see if there is an obvious link to submit your music. If there is, great just click that and follow the instructions.
If there isn’t, click on their contact tab and see if there is a submission form there. If there is, fill that out and send it in.
Don’t forget to add the blog to your spreadsheet of blogs that you have contacted and add a follow up date for 1 week.
Next, find the email address so that you can follow up with them. If there isn’t an obvious email address anywhere, that’s ok. There is a Chrome extension called Hunter. Download that extension and sign up for a free account.
Go back to your tab with the blog page open and click on the Hunter extension button. It will give you a list of email addresses that are associated with the website. Take that email address and put it on your spreadsheet and move on to the next blog.
Alright, you’re equipped, you’re motivated… Let’s do this!
Here is a list of the best blogs to submit Hip hop music:
Alright, that’s forty blogs to get you started.
You did it! Pat yourself on the back and wait for the responses to come in. In the meantime, you should be working on your social media presence and posting content regularly.
If you’re ever stuck and need advice, hit me up on Instagram @nevernaire. I’ll help you out.
If you enjoyed reading this guide and found it to be useful then please leave a comment. And share this article to help other Indie artists find this information.
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