Everyone wants major placements on big name blogs —and understandably. Not only does a positive feature from them hold weight with their audience, but it’s a pretty big ego boost for the indie band that gets featured. The problem? The likelihood of a truly indie band getting featured is pretty slim.
But before you get too deflated, or angry, or go through the myriad of emotions you’re likely feeling when you accept that and let it sink in, I want to re-introduce you to something you’ve probably given very little thought, but is in fact your best shot at long term success: small blogs.
While indie hopefuls may view smaller blogs as beneath them, insisting they’re destined for great things (and they might be), they’re missing out on a crucial player in the music industry if they skip them. As both a blogger (for small and high tier sites) as well as a publicist that has placed my artists on both, I want to let you in on the secret of just why small blogs are the missing ingredient to your music career.
They tend to have a more loyal audience
Obviously the more well known blogs have a thriving audience—they didn’t get to where they are without it. But through my almost decade in this industry, I’ve noticed that the audiences of smaller blogs tend to have a fierce loyalty to them. The fans of a small outlet often feel deeply entwined with the writers, which makes them a lot more devoted. For emerging bands that are featured, this usually means that when people decide to click play and like what they hear, they don’t just become casual followers, they become avid listeners. And that’s incredibly valuable.
Their features are often in-depth
Maybe it’s because the writers at larger outlets have more assignments and therefore less time, or maybe it’s because there are more rules and regulations, but for whatever reason, I’ve noticed time and time again, that for the most part, when you’re looking for a really juicy write up on an emerging artist who the world doesn’t know just yet, you want the write up of an emerging publication. They will put their heart and soul into that piece and for paragraph after paragraph they’ll go on about all the nuances that make this band/album/project as special as it is.
I can honestly say the best quotes (and some of the best writing) I’ve ever had on bands I’ve worked with, has come from outlets that were just getting their start or just getting into their groove.
Between those incredible words and their fiercely loyal audience, you have yourself a recipe for success.
They’ll be your biggest advocate
When a writer at any outlet decides to feature you, odds are it’s because they’re really into you. Simply put, writers don’t waste time on projects they don’t like. That being said, I’ve found that writers of smaller outlets tend to go above and beyond for the artists they love. Not only sharing the article on their outlet’s social media (which isn’t always the case for larger outlets), but they’re also sharing on their personal social media—and I don’t just mean when the article comes out, I mean every time you have a new song, when you’re touring through their city, you name it. They become your superfans and we could all use another superfan, right?
Many writers will go on to write for bigger outlets
I don’t like to harp on this one because it feels a little too calculated to me, but keep in mind that while many writers might be starting their career at a smaller outlet, if they’re a strong writer, they’re almost certainly going to move up the ranks to a larger outlet. Making that connection while they’re still a budding writer, and working with them even before they’re highly sought after, is a great way to grow together, and to create lasting connections that will benefit both of you as you grow.
You’re in the same life stage—and that can work to your favor
One thing emerging artists seem to forget in their excitement to get to the top is that while your music might be the greatest thing ever, you simply can’t skip ahead 10 years to the part where you’re a nationally recognized, touring artist that sells out 2,500 cap venues and lands features in Rolling Stone like it’s NBD.
The emerging artist needs the emerging outlet and vice versa. Plain and simple. Partnering with outlets that are in the same life stage as you not only makes sense, but it’s actually beneficial for both of you. You’re feeding off the power of community, you’re helping one another out, you’re growing together. Honestly, if there’s one thing we need more of in this world, it’s that. Because this business you chose to get into, it’s driven by the spirit of community, and it’s better together. I promise you that.
Angela Mastrogiacomo is the founder and CEO of Muddy Paw PR. She loves baked goods, a good book, and hanging with her dog Sawyer.