As a band or artist, getting a tastemaking blog to express interest in your music can be both exciting and affirming, and the right mention on the right blog can go a long way towards launching a career. That said, giving exclusive debut rights to a blog can have definite downsides as well.
Guest post by Patrick McGuire of ReverbNation
Having a blog express interest in your music can be exciting and affirming for a band. Love it or hate it, tastemakers in the blogosphere are largely responsible for determining what kind of music the world listens to these days. Even passing mentions of bands on popular music blogs have the power to launch careers. So it’s no wonder why so much effort is put into pitching singles and albums to bloggers on behalf of bands and their publicists. Many bands looking for exposure reach out to blogs in hopes of having them debut their singles, but giving exclusive debut rights to just one outlet isn’t always the best move.
Not all blogs are created equal
It’s important to remember what you bring to the table when you decide how you want to promote your music. Giving just one blog the exclusive rights to the debut of your single is risky. Why? Because not all blogs are the same, and a bad or hasty decision might mean a ruined opportunity for your band. Does a blog want to debut your single? That’s great, but before letting them, it’s important to do some investigating first. What kind of readership does the blog have? How frequently do they post? Does the music it shares resonate and compliment your band? If you have any hesitation at all, take your debut offer elsewhere or consider rolling out the single yourself.
Going it alone
If you can’t get someone reputable to debut your single, it’s probably better to debut it yourself than to premier it on a blog you’re not excited about. There’s a lot of ways you could build excitement and draw interest on your own when premiering a new song you’re excited to share. This is a far better option than putting your single in the hands of someone without the skills, following, and resources to properly introduce it to the world.
If you’re looking to introduce new fans to your music, that won’t happen if you let a tiny, unknown blog debut your single. That’s why it’s a good idea to approach pitching your music to blogs with realistic expectations. Yes, take the time to pitch your single to influential blogs, but expect to not hear anything back and make sure you have a backup plan for ways to promote your single.
Ultimately, only you can know if giving a blog exclusive rights to premiering your single is a good idea or not, but it can only make sense if your band gets more than it gives. If your band has a decent following, you’ll probably generate a decent amount of traffic when you announce the release of a new single. Don’t waste that opportunity on a blog just because they’re willing to debut your song. You might be much better off directing that attention to your own website. That way, you’ll be able to promote your own shows, merch sales, and your other releases.
Patrick McGuire is a musician, writer, and educator currently residing in the great city of Philadelphia. He creates music under the name Straight White Teeth, and has a great affinity for dogs and putting his hands in his pockets.