So You Do What, Exactly? is a series dedicated to explaining what all the confusingly named music industry people actually do. We’ve brought in these confusingly named people to tell you themselves. First up, bloggers. Joe Sparrow from the brilliant A New Band A Day tells us how bloggers can help launch music careers, why he blogs and how you should get in touch to get your music heard.
“I love writing, and I love new bands”
I started A New Band A Day for a few reasons – I love writing, and I love new bands, and there was also a John Peel-shaped hole in my life after he died. I like the immediacy and throwaway nature of blogging as a creative endeavour. In fact, I enjoyed it so much, I started a second blog, www.badcoverversions.com, which finally proved to me that I have too much free time, or have mightily underestimated how many hours are actually in the day.
Like it or not, music blogs are now a vital staring point for new bands. With the click of a mouse, a hundred bloggers can sift you into – or out of – their recommendation pile, and they could be jabbering about your latest witch house remix to a readership of thousands within minutes. If their post hits the Hype Machine running, you could be heard by hundreds of thousands before breakfast.
From my point of view, running A New Band A Day is as much about time management as much as loving new music. The vast majority of bloggers work full-time at boring office jobs. I have to ruthlessly weed bands out of my email inbox, simply because of time.
“Blogs are a vital starting point for new bands”
So if you’re a new band, when you contact a blog, keep it simple, and straight to the point. Explain who you are, and what you sound like. Include a photo and a link to a Soundcloud or Bandcamp page with your best three songs on it. The blogger will listen to whichever song is nearest to his mouse pointer. Be nice, and keep things personal, and chances are your email won’t get deleted.
But here’s an uncomfortable truth: all bloggers will make a definitive yes/no judgement on your song within the first ten seconds, and then move onto the next song. If they don’t choose yours to feature, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your song is bad – just not what they’re looking for.
So take heart – there are always thousands of other blogs to try. And they can all have as much of an effect on your career as each other – which is to say: nothing at all, stratospheric exponential growth, or anything in between.
The aspect of blogging that gives me the most pleasure is meeting a band who tell me that I understood them and what they do. This is what a blog does – enthusiastically pass on that connection. The thrilling element of blogging is that a blogger can take a band that people are dimly aware of, and, if the wind is in their favour, give them a leg-up into the stratosphere.
It doesn’t pay, and it garners little praise, but the bloggers don’t really want either. They just want to hear something they haven’t heard before.
Bloggers are music lovers, many of which have become influential taste-makers and, thanks to aggregators like The Hype Machine, can have a huge impact on a band’s career. Make them a key part of your marketing strategy.
If you have questions about your band’s next step or if you’re just a bit curious about the music industry, leave a comment here, tweet @amazingtunes, Facebook us, or email me at email@example.com.