Getting press can feel difficult, can’t it?
Especially if you’re committed to running your own PR campaign, it can feel like a constant struggle to not only make the connections and build the relationships needed to truly get in front of the right writers, playlist makers, podcast hosts, etc. But what if I told you there’s an incredibly valuable, not so often sought out tactic that most artists in the music industry miss? Well, there is, and it’s called guest blogging.
I’ll let you in on a little secret—guest blogging can actually be one of the best ways to not only secure press, but to connect with a wider range of future fans. You know, the people who are likely to check out your music, follow you, sign up for your email list, and come to your shows.
So, what is guest blogging exactly? It’s when you write an article for a blog, on a topic you’re familiar with or passionate about. It’s that simple.
So, say you’re browsing your favorite blog. Odds are, you’ll see a lot of articles from their writers on the team, but you’ll also see some other ones, by other bands or maybe industry professionals. You see this in all different types of blogs, so if you’re scouring your favorite beauty blog or video game website, you’re likely to see the same thing pop up. Guest contributors writing about topics familiar to the existing blog.
If you’re wondering how to get started with guest blogging and why it actually is all it’s cracked up to be, check this out.
What do I blog about?
Ok, you’re on board! Now, how do you get started? Where do you find these opportunities?
The first thing you want to do is brainstorm three to four topics you could easily write about. Generally speaking, you want these to be topics where your passion, knowledge, and brand intersect. So for me, as a publicist, my guest blogs tend to be about things like press, relationship building, and community.
Think about your brand. (if you need a little help, try this article). For instance, maybe you’re a pop-punk band who is all about the pizza and skateboarding lifestyle. (I know, very cliche but, work with me on this). Maybe you’re a big skater and that’s been something you share a lot of on social. But maybe the deeper theme behind all your music is wanting to bring the world together and leave this planet better than you found it. Great, now we have some options!
There are always music blogs taking on guest blogs—in fact almost all will. But you’ll want to pitch them specific ideas. Think about your expertise in that realm. For instance, did you put your first music video together on a tight budget? That’s a topic you could write about. Are you great at pulling a crowd into a show? Suggest that.
But then, think outside the box with guest blogs. This is where your mission and interests come in. You can look for blogs that cover personal growth and pitch a blog about how art has helped you grow or how art has the power to change the world, with three steps to get started. You could approach skateboarding blogs and pitch a guest blog for how to master a specific skate style or trick. (can you tell I don’t actually skateboard?)
The great part of pitching to non music blogs is that you get in front of a totally new audience that never would have seen you otherwise. Having a mix of those and music blogs is a key to guest blogging success.
How do I find blogs?
If you’re looking for music blogs, I suggest scouring different social media groups and submission sites to get ideas for where to submit. I don’t suggest submitting through those avenues—email is always best, as it allows you to be personal in your introduction and connection—but that, plus word of mouth should help you start to make a list. See where other artists have been featured and add those sites to the list.
The same is true of the non-music blogs. Think about some of the sites you’re already visiting regularly, and don’t be afraid to ask around (friends, social media, etc) and start compiling a list. Also, look up those that might be featured on the kind of sites you’re looking at. For instance, back to the skateboarding example, look up famous or emerging skateboarders and see who has featured them.
I suggest keeping this all on a spreadsheet with name of the outlet, contact, and a section for notes (like “passed, confirmed feature, etc)
Why is this better than traditional press?
There’s nothing wrong with the traditional press of album reviews, interviews, and spotlight features. I love that stuff! But, the strength of a guest blog is twofold. It’s that people (future and existing fans) get to know you in a totally new way. They’re not just hearing about your music, they’re getting a sense of who you are as a person and what your personality is like, and that’s a really powerful connector for them.
Second, it helps people who don’t know you find common ground. I can’t tell you how many people (artists, celebrities, so on) I’ve had no interest in until I read something about them that showed we had a shared interest or experience.
For instance, that we both had anxiety, or that they were bullied too. That is the stuff that bonds us and when you can create that similarity, that opportunity for a shared experience with someone, you’ve just made yourself a new fan.
Angela Mastrogiacomo is the founder and CEO of Muddy Paw PR. She loves baked goods, a good book, and hanging with her dog Sawyer.