Posted tagged ‘blogs’

Where Do I Start? How Do I Get Album Reviews?

September 22, 2010

Tim Ruff

THE ARTIST: Tim Ruff (Pittsburgh, PA)
THE QUESTION: Would you be able to set me in the right direction for getting album reviews? Whether they be with online mags or papers?

THE ANSWER: Searching for online magazines and publications is harder than most people think. For starters there are millions out there! Where do you start and how do you know this starting point is the way to go.  How do you make sure your time and effort is spent wisely…after all, you could spend hours pitching magazine upon magazine and come up with zip. Here are some ideas on how to make the job a little bit easier.

1. Mimic: Determine what genre you best fit into and google a similarly styled artist who has been around the block a few times.  For example, Tim, your tunes are easy listening.  Your stuff could easily share a shelf with independent artist Denison Whitmer.  He’s got a pretty decent resume, but it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to think you could get into some of the same magazines and blogs as he has.  Google his name and you’re sure to come across articles that have been written about him. Contact the administrators/editors of those websites and ask them to considering reviewing your music.

This has been the most helpful routine for me…and will give you a great starting point. You’re basically letting someone else lead you in the right direction…and you’ll know that the magazine is interested in your genre because they cover other artists with a similar vibe.

2. Blogs: These days blogs are very credible sources for reviews. Nothing like hearing an every day listener’s opinion on your album. There’s something more genuine about it.  So do a search for blogs and consider starting in your city.  Use key words “music blog” + “Pittsburgh” (or whatever city you’re in).  You’ll be surprised to find that there are probably a handful of avenues to pursue.

Ok so…some/most blogs don’t have the kind of readership that an “official” online magazine would have BUT its a trade off. Its’ll be easier to get reviewed, and you’ll have direct access to the writer (instead of having to go through a head editor).   Its also alot less stressful 🙂

3. Work around a specific event(s)…It’s often hard to convince media to review your album if its been out for a while. Writers are always looking for what’s new and fresh. If your CD isn’t brand new, try working around a specific event. College gigs are great for this. Playing at So-and-So University? Contact So-and-So’s student paper and ask them to consider interviewing you or doing an article in anticipation for the show. Things like this are really great b/c student papers are easier to work with and who wouldn’t want some student fans?

Do the same with local papers…but pick your poison. Make sure you’re hitting them up about a worthy cause or event. They get so many submission and you don’t want to be that artist who spams them about every single show you play. Hit them up about the big events…and pitch it well.

4. Check out these related posts…especially this first one. It’ll give you tips on how to write the perfect pitch.

How to Score Reviews of Your CD

Mimic the Artists You Respect

Persistent, Not Pushy

What’s Wrong With this Message?

Creating Content – Giving People Something to Talk About #1

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Vlogs are the New Blog

March 29, 2010

Vlog is the new blog ya’ll!  A few months back I wrote an article for Inkling Media talking about why video blogs are such a great way to build your fanbase. Well, now is the time to step up. Grassrootsy is featuring your video blogs. If you’ve got something good, send it on over or tweet us a link to your video.

Thing thing about vlogs…

1. Its a way to attach a face to your name. Fans want to communicate with the artist they love. They want a real idea of who you are. Videos accomplish something standard written blogs can’t.

2. Vlogs are easy. We all talk faster than we type (i think). Say what you have to say and post it. Just communicate with your fans and invite them to join you in the adventure of pursuing your music.

3. Vlogs can often be more creative than the written word. They don’t have to be anything complicated, high-maintenance, or over-produced, but they can be).

That said, here are two  vlogs from independent artist Jeremy Johnson and J.D. Green. I also thought I’d stick in one of my own at the bottom.


Jeremy Johnson


J.D. Green


Joy Ike

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Blogs are still BIG!

October 15, 2009
Hiram Ring

Hiram Ring

They don’t seem as popular anymore. But blogs aren’t dead…at least not yet!  In the past few weeks I’ve found myself reading more blogs and have also had a few conversations with people hoping to start blogs in order to better-connect with their fans. So here are some thoughts on what gives a blog a good name and consistent readership.


Remind people that you’re human
I’m finding that the more someone blogs about every-day things, the more interested I am in themwho they are. Maybe you feel the same way. Maybe you don’t.  There’s nothing worse than someone pretending that they’re more interesting than they actually are.  If you’re music career isn’t all that glamorous, don’t drum it up to be something extra special. Blog about funny things that happened on the way to your gig…or blog about random things that readers might find interesting. 

It all really comes down to how much you want people to know about YOU. I’ve noticed that Derek Sivers, the music marketing “guru”, has begun to blog more regularly about non-music related ideas. Last week he sent out a blog post (http://sivers.org/inlove) about what it means to “like” someone, “love” someone, and be “in love” with someone.  I’m sure some people were a bit annoyed by this post (including myself), but regardless of its relevance, Sivers engaged his audience in a non-music related conversation.  The post earned over 1200 comments from readers.

Try a Vlog or Plog (made Plog up)
Because the attention span of the average web surfer is getting shorter and shorter (don’t know how to prove this, but it’s a floating statistic), find ways to stimulate your web visitors interest.  Try video blogs (vlogs) or picture blogs (plogs).  There’s nothing better than accompanying your words with videos.   Most readers will not read your blog from start to finish. So put in a short video to help break things up, or to appeal to those who don’t want to read.  Good friend, Hiram Ring, does this and it seems to be working. Check out his blog.

Make Sure Your Blog Isn’t Just One Huge Advertisement
Yes, a blog is one of many ways to build faithful supporters and people interested in who you are as a musician and person. BUT, if you’re not genuine and only use your platform as a way to proselytize, you fans won’t hang around for very long.

TCPR recently posted some excellent tips for maintaining a blog.  Go check it out.  And remember: anything with quality will thrive with consistency and hard work.  If you’re putting a little effort into your blog, people will continue to visit, and maybe even subscribe.

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