5 Things Not To Do When Pitching Your Music To Bloggers

Although I’m a publicist now, I started my career in the music industry as a blogger, and in the six years since I created that blog, I’ve seen my fair share of submissions from bands and publicists alike. Thousands of emails have landed in my inbox, but I’ve only covered a fraction of those stories on the website.

Why?

At least two-thirds of them are boring, poorly written, and just plain ineffective.

Being on both sides of the game has given me a unique perspective in regard to the art of pitching. As a blogger, I quickly learned what kind of submissions I preferred to receive and which information is most helpful when writing up a feature. (For example, an actual link to the music you’re pitching would be great—you’d be surprised how many artists leave this out altogether with the assumption that you are going to take the time to track down the song or album yourself). By the time I became a publicist, I already had an idea of what worked and what didn’t, which has helped me write pitches that get opened and covered, no matter the level of artist I’m working with.

When you’re a band or solo artist running your own PR campaign, it’s critical to understand your own story and be able to present that story to outlets in an effective, newsworthy way. And while you’re focused on making music and establishing your brand, sometimes it’s easy to forget that crafting the perfect submission email that incorporates all of these elements is just as important as making the music itself.

Talk to any music blogger about the submissions they receive on a daily basis and you’re sure to hear a few complaints. An email that says, “My name is X, here’s a link to my music,” does not a feature make, and just won’t cut it when you’re competing against thousands of other artists for coveted real estate on a blog. So here are a few tips on exactly what NOT to do when pitching your music to bloggers so you can avoid being THAT artist.

Looking for your next big break? Search ReverbNation Opportunities today.

1. Don’t ignore the blog’s submission rules

Nothing will get your submission deleted faster than ignoring the rules an outlet has laid out very clearly on their contact page. If they request that you format your subject line a certain way, do it. If they only take Spotify streaming links, don’t send them a SoundCloud link, and vice versa. If the outlet states that it doesn’t review albums, or doesn’t want to know anything about music videos, don’t waste your time sending a pitch if that’s what you have to offer. And please don’t send your music if they don’t accept submissions at all. Plain and simple, ignoring guidelines is the easiest way to land in the trash.

2. Don’t be that person that uses BCC

I automatically delete any pitches in which I am copied on BCC, and I know other editors who do the same. Sending out mass emails shows that you didn’t take time to research the outlet, the writers, or put any effort into personalizing your submission at all. Yes, it may be easier for you in the moment to hit send once, but it won’t benefit you at all in the long run.

Instead, personalize each and every email you send out by including a compliment about an article you really loved on that particular blog, or why you’ve been following that site for so long. Something that simple truly means the world to the writers who are working tirelessly behind the scenes, and it hardly takes any effort on your part to do so if you’re a true fan of their work. Not to mention that, on a larger scale, the music business is all about forming and maintaining relationships, and you won’t be doing yourself any favors if you’re not trying to get to know the people who have the ability to help you share your music with the world.

3. Don’t send a million attachments

Editors receive an overwhelming number of submissions each day. Don’t clog up their inboxes with unnecessary attachments, press releases, downloads, or unsolicited press photos that will take up valuable storage space. All of those materials can be uploaded to your EPK, which you can instead send in your submission via a simple link. Unless the outlet’s guidelines state otherwise, links are always best.

4. Don’t submit old music

There is an insanely fast turnaround in music these days, so a release, whether it’s a single or album, becomes old news FAST. If you submit an album that’s been on the market for a year, you’re just going to get laughed at for sending it in the first place. Seriously. Keep in mind that those first few weeks that follow your release are crucial when pitching, and if your music has been out for longer than a month, your chances of locking down a feature are much lower.

And finally…

5. Don’t assume the writer or editor is actually going to listen to your music

There’s nothing more annoying to writers than when we get a pitch that reads something like, “Here’s my new single in case you were looking for new music to cover.” We look out for new music to cover all the time, and a lot of it lands in our inbox every week. So much, even, that we can’t keep up with it all. You are not an exception, nor are you the answer to our prayers.

On the other hand, remember when you learned how to write persuasively in school? Now is the time to use that skill. The best thing you can do is present your music and your story in a way that will appeal to the outlet, keep it short, don’t follow up more than once or twice, and always remember that there’s a real live person on the receiving end of your pitch, whether they listen to your music or not. Treat them as such.

Pitching your music to bloggers is truly an art, but with a little practice, and if you follow these five simple rules, you’ll avoid a lot of frustration along the way.

Erica D’Aurora is a senior publicist with Muddy Paw PR. She finds her greatest joy in helping artists achieve their dreams.

Rebecca5 Things Not To Do When Pitching Your Music To Bloggers

20 comments

Join the conversation
  • Shkelqim Bejko - March 10, 2021 reply

    Thank you so much 💕, for new 🎵🎶, I appreciate it, thanks 👍😊 All people for this genre musical…

  • O'Neill & Jones - March 10, 2021 reply

    Thank you for the informative blog post, we are just starting to research releasing our music and this is very helpful 🙂
    – O’Neill & Jones xx

    Erica D'Aurora - March 25, 2021 reply

    Hi O’Neill & Jones! I’m so glad you found the post helpful 🙂 Thank you for reading!

  • O'Neill & Jones - March 10, 2021 reply

    Thank you for the informative blog post, we are just starting to research releasing our music and this is very helpful 🙂
    – O’Neill & Jones xx

  • Jeff Bauer - March 10, 2021 reply

    Great suggestions that I will use going forwards. Thanks for taking the time to educate the uneducated.
    Cheers.

    Erica D'Aurora - March 25, 2021 reply

    Glad you found it helpful!

  • Octavio Sera - March 10, 2021 reply

    This is a great article.
    Thank you.

  • Kat - March 10, 2021 reply

    Thank you ! That was really helpful 😁

  • Keith Miller - March 10, 2021 reply

    It’s a complete waist of time!

  • MAJIC - March 10, 2021 reply

    F*#% these arrogant bloggers. They need us, our music, much more than we need them.

  • Paul Boffa - March 11, 2021 reply

    Erica,
    At the risk of generalizing, there’s a ton of poor writing out there in the music industry. Your article is a rare gem being both super useful and very well written. THANK YOU

    Erica D'Aurora - March 25, 2021 reply

    Hi Paul! Thank you so much for your kind words. I really appreciate that and I’m so happy you found my suggestions helpful.

  • s28 - March 11, 2021 reply

    Something about the tone of this article really irritates me, considering that it’s actually more difficult to make music than to blog about it.

  • Abrown - March 12, 2021 reply

    Good👌

  • Staffan - March 12, 2021 reply

    You’re saying that there still are music blogs that don’t charge you to listen to your music?

    Erica D'Aurora - March 25, 2021 reply

    I assure you there are!

  • Lee Osborne - March 12, 2021 reply

    Wow, thank you so much for all of that information. I myself am trying to get my music heard with absolutely no idea as how I should go about it. This has definitely given me an idea as to what to to not sabotage all I’ve done this far. Thank you so much.

    Erica D'Aurora - March 25, 2021 reply

    Hi Lee! I know it can be incredibly overwhelming to figure out how to get your music out there, and I hope these tips help you moving forward 🙂

  • Chuck Sadosky - March 12, 2021 reply

    Thank you Erica; sometimes good rules are not meant to be broken.

  • Dario Western - March 17, 2021 reply

    Thank you for the advice, Erica. Well written, and the don’ts are quite reasonable.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *