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Bob Baker: Music Marketing Espionage Online

image from 3.bp.blogspot.comOne of the big questions that self-promoting musicians ask is, "Where should I focus my efforts when it comes to marketing my music online?"

In addition to creating digital outposts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and more ... you also need to reach out to websites, bloggers and podcasters who cater to your target audience.

But there are so many millions of sites to consider, which ones should you focus on?

That's where a little online music marketing espionage might prove to be helpful.

What do I mean by espionage? Well, what if you could uncover a list of the prominent websites that currently cover and link to the most popular artists in your genre?

Knowing the websites, journalists, bloggers, and podcasters that are actively sending web traffic to artists similar to you could be valuable, right? Of course. Luckily, there are a few online tools that can help you discover this data for free.

So here's what you do:

Make a list of three to five popular artists in your specific genre of music. Better yet, make a list of the top independent artists who are thriving in your category. That way, you'll uncover online sources that support unsigned and up-and-coming acts.

Armed with this list of other artists, go to the following websites:

Google Advanced Search Trick

Go to Google.com. In the search box, type the word "link" followed by a colon and then a particular artist's website. It will look like this "link:www.artistwebsite.com" when you're done. Don't use the quote marks and leave out any spaces. Click "Search."

The search results will show you a long list of web pages that link to that artist's website. Here's a screenshot of results for Bon Iver's home page.


Bon Iver

Open Site Explorer

Another place to search for inbound links and other web stats is www.OpenSiteExplorer.org, presented by SEOMOZ. Go there and enter any artist's website and it will spit out another list of results. There's a pro version of Open Site Explorer, but the free version gives you plenty of links to work with.

Open Site Explorer

Uncovering these incoming links to other artist's websites is just the first important step. Next you'll have to visit each of the links and determine which ones are worth pursuing. That will take some time. But having this prime list of sites that already cover music similar to yours will give you a big headstart.

What do you think of this idea? In what other ways do you discover the best websites, blogs and podcasts that cover your style of music?

Bob Baker is the author of three books in the “Guerrilla Music Marketing” series, along with many other books and promotion resources for DIY artists, managers and music biz pros. You’ll find Bob’s free ezine, blog, podcast, video clips, and articles at www.TheBuzzFactor.com and www.MusicPromotionBlog.com.

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