Everyone wants to get the major blog placements. The review on Pitchfork, the news post on Alternative Press, the feature on Stereogum. And while all of those are incredible placements to land, many artists seem to be missing a vital key in what can help build their career: small blogs.
When you think of a band breaking out, odds are you think of something like a licensing placement or a feature on a huge blog or radio station that got them out to the masses and instantly transformed them overnight. But as we know, there’s no such thing as the overnight sensation. Most of the artists landing those larger blog placements or getting radio play are there because they’ve set the foundation and worked hard to secure a steady stream of buzz and press over the years. And guess where a lot of that press, new fans, support, and engagement came from? Yup, small blogs.
So next time you’re getting ready to start outreach for your new single or album, keep in mind these five reasons that small blogs should be at the top of your list.
1. You’re more likely to get in touch with them
The first advantage to a smaller outlet is that you have a better shot at getting in touch with them. While it’s true that even the smallest blogs get hundreds of press releases and pitches per day, odds are they’re checking their email a little more often and more likely to actually read yours and possibly even respond.
Make sure to tailor your pitch to them (IE: use the writer’s name, comment on something they’ve written that you like, etc) and you’re that much more likely to get a response.
2. They have an extremely loyal audience
Most blogs tend to have a distinct voice that makes it their own. It could be in the writing and/or in the features themselves, but it’s this uniqueness that attracts readers to them, and it’s that same uniqueness that gets them to stay, making small blogs a nesting ground of loyal fans hanging on the blog’s every recommendation.
If you get their seal of approval, that recommendation goes a long way in their readers willingness to check you out.
3. They’ll actually share the article
For whatever reason, large blogs just don’t seem to share content in the same way that small blogs do, particularly in relation to their articles on indie artists.
Yet, when you secure a feature on an up and coming blog, they will almost always share that to their fans (multiple times on multiple platforms) which means you’re not just getting in front of the readers who happen to be on the site that day, but you’re getting in front of their entire social media audience, and drastically increasing your visibility.
4. Their features will be more in-depth
One thing I’ve noticed over the last 4 years of being a publicist is that while the big blog placements are great for visibility and bragging rights, their features just don’t seem to pack the same punch that a review or a feature on a smaller outlet does.Of course there are exceptions, but for the most part I’ve found it’s the smaller blogs that take the time to really dive into the artist’s world through detailed descriptions of their music, thought-provoking interview questions, and lengthy, comprehensive articles.
Why is this valuable? For a few reasons. The first being that as an indie artist you want an article that showcases who you are and what your music is all about, so that if people don’t already know who you are, by the end of the article they want to. The second is that having these highly quotable pieces of content to share in your press kit and on social media is simply invaluable.
5. There’s opportunity for long-term growth
Most writers have more than one gig. They may run their own blog on the side while also freelancing for a larger outlet, or they may get their feet wet writing for a small blog, and in a few year’s time gain enough experience to go on to the larger ones. My point being, when you align yourself with a growing blog, it’s a natural fit that allows the two of you to grow together.
It’s unreasonable to think that an emerging band who is just getting their footing should grab the attention of a major player in the blogging world, but to align with a blog who is also just getting started, build that relationship, and perhaps in a few year’s time both be in a position to secure a larger feature—well now that’s just smart networking.
Angela Mastrogiacomo is the founder and CEO of Muddy Paw PR, where her artists have seen placement on Alternative Press, Substream, New Noise, and more. She’s also the owner of music blog Infectious Magazine.