Reading Time: 5 minutes
Written by: Branka Maxim
Online dance music magazines or blogs have become a highly prominent element of the music industry. Countless music fans look to these platforms to stay up-to-date with the latest music and they are considered influencers in the fast-paced world of dance music. These online platforms move at a much faster pace than traditional magazines and as a result, have an advantage over their print counterparts. In fact, online dance music portals have developed into much more than just magazines. They are dominant multi-faceted media outlets that utilize the power of all social media and media networks from Soundcloud, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Spotify, Snapchat and many others. This multi-layered approach to sharing a message creates a consistent and wide-reaching way of getting your music heard and creating and maintaining your artist brand. So what are the factors to consider when choosing this crucial element of music marketing?
Choose blogs relevant to your audience
With the numerous dance music magazines that are online today it’s crucial to understand that although they appear to be covering a myriad of music genres, most of them specialize in a particular genre. These online magazines will aim to obtain a wide-reaching audience through coverage of a wide array of genres but most will favor a particular subgenre. This decision stems from the management and the direction they chose to take with their publication. Many dance music magazines were formed out of a love for dance music but were also highly influenced by the music tastes of its creators. A closer inspection of the magazine will reveal which particular subgenres of dance music they favor and this will reveal a great deal about their audience. Pick the magazine that covers your particular niche of dance music as it guarantees you an audience interested in your productions. This is niche marketing at its finest. Making house music? Publications like We Rave You, Your EDM and EDM Tunes are some of your best options. Is your music more techno-oriented? Resident Advisor, Dancing Astronaut, and Mixmag are the way to go.
Now that you’ve chosen which particular blogs have your particular audience, you are confronted with the problem of how to get your music on blogs. Because every blog is different and they all have different tastes in music, there is no finite formula. There are, however, some basic strategies that you can use when contacting music bloggers.
Establish a relationship with the publication
The number one key to getting your music covered is establishing a relationship with bloggers. This doesn’t mean mass friend requests on social media and cookie-cutter messages asking them to listen to your music. When you pitch your music to a new blog, you firstly want to obtain their contact details in a dignified way. Many of the bloggers will have the contact details on their website so take a closer look to find a way of contacting them. When approaching the blogger – they will want you to talk to them like people – generic press release material isn’t going to cut it. This is something they get spammed with on a daily basis and this will not get their attention. Do your research about the publication and the music they write about, address them by their name in your email, and make your pitch specific to their blog. Start with smaller blogs and work your way up but don’t be intimidated by the size of their following. A well-crafted creative email can sometimes open doors that you never thought would open. Knock on many doors; even it seems to be an intimidating task. Once you have received the attention of the blogger, it is up to you to build on the relationship.
Build and foster the relationship
Building and fostering a relationship depends on giving at least as much as you’re willing to take which will build that much-needed goodwill. Relationships have always given an advantage to certain artists irrespective of the quality of their music. Knowing the right people can really make the biggest difference. After connecting with people focus on fostering real relationships. Add something to the table – share knowledge, give feedback, discuss possibilities and help each other. That’s what will lead to the trust and goodwill that will make the difference at some point. It’s crucial to be in it for the right reasons – be in it for the genuine love of the music – not the fame and the money. Fakeness is a trait that isn’t looked upon favorably in any industry.
Emphasise a mutual benefit for both parties
It’s important to show that you are grateful for the time and efforts of the blogger in writing about and sharing your music. Always find ways to emphasize a mutual benefit – share links to the article via email, social media, and your website. Invite the blogger to events you are playing. Give them first dibs to cover new music. You could even offer them a chance to share an exclusive first look at your new track to their readers or give their readers a free download.
Utilise networking opportunities
Just like any other industry, the music business is all about networking. It’s all about who you know. The higher up the scene you get, the smaller the group that’s truly calling the shots is. It’s about establishing relationships, creating goodwill and adding value. Find a way to use every networking opportunity to your advantage. Attend International Music Summit in Ibiza, Amsterdam Dance Event and Dance Fair in Holland and find a way to connect with music industry people. Volunteer at local events and festivals, get a feel for the industry – this will not only expand your music industry horizons but may even get you those crucial contacts for the future.
Consider marketing budgets
Although often started as a hobby, today’s dance music blogs have exponentially grown in size and as a result are now closer to being classified as a business rather than a pastime. Each dance music magazine is a business that requires a strategy to sustain itself, and as a result, it has become an increasing trend for music coverage to come with a fee. The reality of dance music blogs is that they are often stretched for resources and many of them rely on volunteers. A discussion about a marketing budget with the blog will be a display of understanding and goodwill and will show a gratitude for the time taken for your music to be exposed to the relevant audience. The right attitude in understanding that all time comes at a cost could mean the difference between no coverage and extensive coverage of your music as a result of a great relationship with a blog. Never underestimate the power of human psychology and how much difference a simple appreciation for someone’s effort and time can make.
Use the above strategies to create and foster the relationships with blogs which will prosper over time. Of course, there’s a lot more to music marketing than your blog strategy. You also need to know how to use your website, social media, and email list to reach out to new fans and keep your current fans interested and excited about your music. When combined, all the above elements will help you turn your music into your career.