I have spent well over an hour today reading the two posts that this post on Hypebot links to. Re-reading, in fact, in the case of the first one as I’d seen it when Chris De Line posted it in April.

It was time well spent.

And then I left a 500 word comment on the latest one, which I have reproduced below as I don’t want it lost in the mists of time. I think it’s important.

The post on Culture Bully is excellent and points out some extremely important things that musicians do wrong when promoting themselves online.

I think everyone should read it.

How to fail at promoting music online

And here’s the link to the first post.

Music bloggers are nice people if you give us a chance.

And, lastly, here’s my long comment that sums up my view.

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I disagree about your point on the effectiveness of artists promoting themselves to blogs.

I recommend it to artists but with significant caveats, most of which line up with your points.

I’ve been on both sides of the fence as a blogger, and a manager and someone looking for PR for my artists.

In my experience the modern online marketing of music can be enhanced by intelligent promotion to music blogs.

But, the key is to have great music!

The problem you and every other blogger has is that 99% of what you are sent is crap. People don’t tell these ‘artists’ that they are not ‘good enough’ and that they need to spend time perfecting their art before spamming every blog known to man looking for a break.

When their music is worth a moment of someone’s attention and then a positive emotional response, they will find it easy to attract online attention.

This can and should be done in a systematic way with targeted blog promotion being one strand.

I encourage artists who do have material that is ready for wider attention to start with lower traffic blogs and ones that are not just about music (local sites, what’s on, demographically related – e.g. skate sites if you make skater music).

DO personalize as you said.

But, often, don’t email at all. Just read the blog, leave comments and be part of the community around that blog.

Every blogger I know reads their comments and so notices those from an artist and checks out their site (if they’ve linked it in the comment). If the music is good, often a blogger then approaches the artists and offers to cover them.

Do you have this experience?

Why focus on low traffic blogs? – because it’s all incremental.

For the DIY musician the journey to sustainability of a career or superstardom (whichever is their aim) is about a growing process done in public which attracts fans over time.

To target high traffic ‘name’ blogs with your first EP is to welcome rejection and feelings of failure.

Start small and leverage your presence on a raft of smaller niche blogs over the time that you and your career develop.

This is a strategy that does work and is a very good reason why artists should bother to spend time cultivating a select band of blogs who may form a supportive base for the next step in their efforts.

How many? I’d look at any stage of an artist’s career to be interacting on 100 or so tightly focused blogs (i.e. that are musically, genre and demographic appropriate). Some might think that’s hard to do in terms of time or too much.

But, if you’re a musician and in a scene, shouldn’t you want to be involved in it, online and offline? I don’t see why people would see contributing to their scene and getting promotion from it and within it as a chore.

Done right, reaching out to blogs works for musicians.