9 Helpful Tips For Musicians Looking For Press Coverage
Hi all. I thought I’d post an original blog specifically for No Depression here for the musician community with some tips on how to improve your odds at getting press. I hope you find some (or all) of it useful!
1) Provide all information in a secure zip file link. You can host files with services/websites such as Mediafire, Hulkshare, Yousendit, etc. If you’re able to create a zip file containing your album, your album cover, your artist biography plus press quotes and relevant contact information, as well as 2 good promo shots, the music press will love you. I’ve received many submissions that are WAY too long winded, and even if the artist is likeable, it’s tiring to get through. What you are saying when you condense everything in a convenient zip file is “I respect your time”.
2) Now that you’ve got everything organized and convenient, be sure to list your other necessary info in a clear, concise fashion. For example:
Artist: Joe & the Rabblerousers
Album: We Are Here To Cause Trouble!
From: North Carolina
Sounds like: Drive-by Truckers, Hank Williams Jr, 16 Horsepower
Secure album link w/bio & press shots: www.mediafire.com/etc
Artist contact: Joe Johnson, 226-662-7777, email@example.com
3) Be personal. Who are you sending the email to? In many cases they will have a bio. Just like you, they are most likely a passionate, hard working person who loves to write about music, and they may even play music themselves. If so, why not take the time to listen to one of their songs and let them know what you think? Why not read a few of their blogs and comment on that? You will get better results by taking your time and emailing 10 people a day rather than blasting 200 with a generic message.
4) Don’t force it. You don’t have to try to become best friends. No good writer or media person is going to begrudge you for wanting a review or an interview unless they have a bad attitude. The best thing to project though, is that you are aware that they are taking their time to check out your music and that you appreciate it. Be thankful. Don’t expect anything.
5) Try all the angles. So you’re a country artist and you’ve emailed all the big country websites and barely got any response? Think it’s time to give up? Not so fast. Let Google be your friend. Search, in quotes “” – “country music blog”, “country podcast”, “country rock”, “country music”, “alt country”, on and on. Whatever suits your music. Then try mainstream websites. Country acts don’t just get covered on country blogs. Try general independent music websites like Muses Muse, I Am Entertainment Magazine, Junior’s Cave, and hundreds of others.
6) Use the Indie Bible. It’s a great directory and it will give you hundreds of ideas for places to contact.
7) Want to go even further. Technorati is the biggest blog index in the world, and it lists over 8,000 music blogs. You can do a search, and check them out to see which ones fit your music. Try Hype Machine too (hypem.com), as it allows you to search for similar artists to yourself, and see what blogs are currently hosting their mp3’s. This gives you an in. “I found your blog via a Hank Williams Jr post…..(say what you liked about it and kindly ask if they would check out your latest release”.
8) Put your hours in and celebrate the small victories. When I interviewed Led Zeppelin/Elton John producer Stuart Epps for my book, he told me that it took a team of 40-50 people working around the clock to break Elton John as an artist. In this day and age, I see many artists send a few emails, and then complain when they don’t get any royalty cheques. Go easy on yourselves! Life is too short to be so harsh towards your goals and sabotage them like that. You should be celebrating whenever even the tiniest blog writes a post about you. Thank the writer, and then have a glass of wine. If you don’t let yourself feel good about these things, it’s hard to take the next step towards success.
9) Outsource some of your promotion on micro-job websites such as Fiverr.com. I always suggest this, as I’ve been able to help multiple businesses through the site. Take a browse around and try not to get addicted.