Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of columns by Angela Mastrogiacomo, the head of Muddy Paw PR. This particular piece is especially great – because we at Raz Mataz feel the exact same way. Enjoy!
After seven years operating my music blog, Infectious Magazine, and two years running public relations company Muddy Paw PR, I’ve learned a thing or two about the dos and don’ts of submitting your music to blogs.
At first glance, it may seem like all bloggers are monsters who never respond to your emails, and never show any interest in the music that you’ve poured your heart and soul into – but that isn’t true! Even the smallest of music blogs are inundated with hundreds of emails per week, and the truth is that we can’t possibly go through all of them, especially when you consider that the average blogger is making zero dollars for all their hard work.
However, there are a few dos and don’ts you can follow to help increase the chances of your email avoiding the dreaded “delete” button.
Do: Follow submission guidelines
This one is near and dear to my heart. I can’t begin to tell you how many submissions I get that don’t follow the very clear submission guidelines we have on the site. I know it may seem like a pain to cater emails to each individual outlet, but I promise that they’re in place for a reason – usually to help get your music to the best writer. If you choose not to follow the guidelines, your email is probably ending up in the trash. It may seem petty, but think about how many emails bloggers get a day. If you can’t be bothered to follow the guidelines they set, why should they be bothered to spend an hour writing about your band?
Don’t: Forget to include vital information
There’s nothing more frustrating than getting an email from a band seeking coverage, only to discover they forgot to include vital information like links to their music, social media, their album’s release date, where they’re from, or what they’re seeking. We aren’t mind readers and odds are we won’t spend time searching for these things on our own – or replying to ask for them. So make sure that you include all vital information up front, catering to each blog’s specific needs of course (see point No. 1).
Do: Research the outlet
Flattery will get you everywhere. If you send me an email genuinely complimenting something my blog does and saying why you think your band will also appeal to our audience, my ears perk up and I’m a lot more likely to try and work with you – even if that means overlooking a missing piece of information. That may seem unfair, but the reality is that people want to feel heard and appreciated. If you show me you’ve done your research on what we do, that means a lot more to me than getting a standard email that I know you’re also sending to 50 other blogs, who may or may not actually be a fit for your music.
Listen, I understand the necessity of the follow-up email. What I don’t think is necessary is to follow up more than once, or to follow up just days after your original email. Every blogger is different but, personally, it usually takes me anywhere from three to five days to respond to an email. Rest assured, if you followed the submission guidelines I will respond (sadly, this isn’t true of all blogs). Sometimes emails get accidentally deleted, so a follow-up is actually welcomed most of the time – so long as it’s at least week after the original email, and it’s your first follow up not your third.
Do: Be gracious
When you do find yourself featured in a blog, be gracious! Thank the outlet and be specific, if you can. Did you like their description of a specific track? Tell them. Did they correctly identify a theme within your music? Let them know. And, for goodness sake, please share on your socials. Writers are driven by a passion for music, but if they spend their precious time reviewing your band and you can’t be bothered to share it to your fans, odds are that blog won’t be featuring you again. Not to mention that the blogging community is tight, and word will probably get around. So make sure you’re taking the opportunity to truly thank the blog by sharing with your fans, thanking them, and building those relationships. Your relationships are everything in this industry.