So, you have created your album, put it on your internet site and – nada. Next day? Still nada. And you start to quietly wonder how you could get help to let this ignorant world know that you just created this stellar material.
Well, review sites like RockmusicRaider are one of the venues you have to gain many more fans and supporters on this cold, cold internet thing. Usually offering more or less free, bona fide and also paid feedback on the stuff you produce. And this might – just might – incite these readers to buy your tune and make you stinking rich.
But how to get OUR attention?
For instance, at this moment I have large amounts of unread emails sitting in my in-box and looking at me. Plus messages quietly blinking their life energy away, waiting to be answered, wrecking my stats. But here I am with limited time, only two hands and a day job.
Now, not all is lost. Here are a few hints to get you moving closer to the front of the review list or even jump to the very top of it.
# 1 – Write great music!
Yeah, I know: That one sucks and everyone is saying that. And it is the same friggin’ line used by blogging experts to me, taking the verbal blow torch to your esteemed behind with stuff like ‘write great content’, which usually gets the WTF reaction.
But you know what?
All cussing won’t help. Face it, they are right. For me to pick up a promo, it’s got to connect emotionally and technically. Like straight away. Snap! Bang. Fingers twitching with the urge to write about your music. Shit carelessly thrown out into the open won’t even get looked at – and maybe sometimes this is a good thing. I got only 1’440 minutes in my day, but for really good stuff I will add the night to it. Okay, just kidding, but you get my drift. This is why you will find many good ratings on the blog. Because I actually choose the content I am covering.
#2 Get a PR! Oh, and get a PR. Please.
Yep, you heard that one right! And I know they suck and you would like to hate them with a passion, because they cost money. But get off it! It’s an investment. They fulfill a very useful function in the music business. And it is money really well invested. Usually these folks have connections to review sites like mine already and will literally flood all channels to get attention. They don’t choose, they cover what they have on contract and do so in a standardized way.
Meaning, my lazy ass knows what to expect, where to find what data. Quicker access, faster delivery of the goods to you. And your stuff gets widely distributed, even outside of your direct sphere of influence. Also, it gets the administration out of your hair to find new blog sites to promote your stuff one by one. Now, there are indie bands that like to do their own promotion, like in really independent and I respect that. But I can also see the real value a PR will get ya.
#3 And/or get connected to a label!
No, the music industry don’t pay me (I wish…), but I can see the value labels potentially bring to your venue. Depending on the weight of the music label, you will find great spread. Ironically, these very same labels not only come directly to us reviewers, but sometimes use … well … PRs to promote their stuff.
See what I mean?
A whole spider web of connections you got yourself going all of a sudden. Now, I agree: Labels are really expensive in a sneaky and scary way. They can be greedy, sucking up many of your profits, keeping rights of your songs for themselves. That kind of stuff – perceived or real – is in the mind of the beholder or more in the contract it governs. But again, there is good in their services, too. Or in other words: If they were that bad, why would anyone use them? As to me, a band promoted by a label might just get that much quicker to the blog than an indie one, but then who knows if your stuff is really good?
#4 If you try to contact RockmusicRaider, go straight at it, no maneuvers!
Get straight to the point and don’t schmooze me. No brownie points for that, but hey keep it nice nevertheless, will ya. I often get stuff I cannot work with too, either not complete or not enough information to really work with it. Try to use the subject line in the email or contact to let the author know what you would like to do.
Then a bio of reasonable length would be great, plus some description of what you are up to. The tracks of course and any video or picture you are willing and able to divulge without me getting my skull hammered in by the copyright wackos.
The request also needs to indicate clearly when the release is going to happen. I of course gladly take any juicy and secretive detail and element you care to add to this. Needless to say that requests not meeting the above will not get a lot of loving attention. And especially for the virtually unknown bands. Those often have no internet presence to boot, so I cannot even look them up to check or communicate with. What do you want me to do?
Clear? Then go, don’t be a stranger now.
#5 The thing with the music!
Here is an important one: If bands really want to be published, then why do I quite often get such bad MP3 quality delivered to my headphones? It happened already that I dismissed an MP3 copy of some records, only to find the CD and be amazed.
If MP3 needs to be, then send it in lossless quality, of the kind that would end up on the compact disc. Sometimes the over-compressed quality of this standard is so bad, it actually wrecks your music. And reviews are made off the quality of the record that you are releasing to the reviewing community.
#6 Standard? What standard?
This one is kind of personal. Some of my partners in crime insist on physical promos and I can relate to that. Music is not only the sound, it is the artwork. The booklet with the lyrics, the smell. Okay, I am getting carried away. As far as I am concerned, send me an electronic copy any day and I am happy. Of course complete with the aforementioned support material.
#7 Be obnoxious!
Yeah, okay. I don’t necessarily mean that one literally. But if you sent out a promo request and you are not getting a response, well then yell. A little poke out of the dark abyss of the reviewless masses may work wonders for you to get noticed and obtain that review.
Of course, if you are not getting any meaningful reaction by the 3rd time, you may just wanna can the idea and go somewhere else. And believe me, this is nothing personal. With the current staffing issues limiting things to certain parts of yours truly only, it is not possible to cover everyone – just too much material out there.
Yep, there you go. That should get you a little more grip on this slippery rock surface of RockmusicRaider‘s inner workings and review sites in general. Now go ahead and send the next promo for review!