So, you’re an independent musician. I bet you’ve got a new single coming out soon! You’re going to want to get that single reviewed on all the hottest blogs, and maybe even submitted to some bigger publications too. Let’s talk about how to pitch your music for review.
WHAT SHOULD YOU SEND TO BLOGGERS?
- Your song! This can be either on Soundcloud or on a cloud server (I recommend Dropbox). You can include it as an attachment to your email if you want – preferably either in mp3 or wav format – but bear in mind some bloggers will prefer not to have to download to listen.
- Your story! Tell me a little bit about you – where are you from? Who are your biggest influences? What are your greatest career achievements to date? It’s all about the song, of course, but YOU are the human interest aspect. It’s always a lot easier to write a review of a song if I know who the artist is. If you’re sharing an EPK or a bio page on your website, make sure it’s up-to-date – if it’s not, it reflects badly on you AND makes us share inaccurate information about you.
- Your artwork! Some bloggers might not need or want this, but for reviews here at Three Chords, I put your artwork in my review template graphic which is shared across our social media channels too. It helps me to recognise your song, and it will help other people too. It’s also another great way for you to share your creative vision. I would always recommend including it in your press pack.
- Tell me about the song you’re sending me – what do you want people to take away from it? Why did you write it? Is there a cool story about its origins? Similar to the previous point, writing a review is so much easier if I know what the song is about. All of this info helps me connect with your music.
- Your links – website, social media, merch store or anything else you have – and if you have a pre-save/pre-order set up for the song, send that too! How else do your new fans connect with you?!
- Pertinent dates – a release date for the single, any dates for any upcoming EP/album releases, any upcoming performances/online streams within a reasonable timeframe (and links to where people can buy tickets or tune in online).
TIMING IS EVERYTHING
- Particularly if you’re hoping to drum up interest in a release, it’s always a good idea to give the media plenty of time to work with your music. Not only does this mean they have enough time to write reviews in time for your release day, but they can help you generate pre-saves and pre-orders, too! Many bloggers and other online publications will schedule articles weeks – or more – in advance, so it’s always a good idea to get in touch as soon as you can, rather than just a day or two before your release. Otherwise, you may be waiting weeks (or more) for reviews!
- Know who you’re approaching! Even if you can’t find a person’s name, it’s always good practice to know who you’re emailing (note the publication by name) so you don’t ask a blogger to play a song on a radio show they don’t host.
- Send your emails individually. There’s nothing more ego-deflating than seeing you’ve been included in a “hi everyone” email sent to 70+ people – especially when that email asks for radio play and your hands are tied. Take the time to send an email individually to everyone. You’re sharing your new music with them and trusting them with something you’ve worked super hard on! Make us feel like we’re special for receiving it. As bloggers, our egos are very delicate.
- It’s good practice to keep track of who you’ve sent your press release to, and who has responded with a review (or whatever else you’re asking for). It doesn’t have to be anything more than a sheet of paper with names and check marks on it – but it’ll stop you from contacting the same person multiple times, or chasing up something you’ve already received.