Most artists I meet want press. Does this sound like you? If you’ve just released one of your first singles or EPs, you might have been looking around at all the big-name magazines – but have you ever considered small blogs? If you are a dedicated reader of Pop of Colour, you probably have. But for those who have just arrived, welcome! In this article, I’m giving you five reasons not to look over up-and-coming niche publications while seeking press.
1. They Are Open Minded
Every blog has their own personal brand and style, and they build readers around that. While larger blogs have the pressure from a lot more readers to keep doing what they always do, smaller publications are more prone to experiment with different sounds, styles and acts.
Obviously, I still discourage you from submitting a bubblegum love song to a heavy metal blog, but you get the idea.
2. They Have More Time To Listen
A big review blog I know will only listen to 20 seconds of every song submitted to them. It’s not that they don’t want to hear the intricacies of the bridge, and plot twist in the lyrics on the final chorus, but they simply don’t have the time. If they do like that randomly chosen fraction of a minute, they’ll listen to the whole thing.
Smaller blogs, while still busy, usually receive less coverage requests, and therefore have more time to listen to your entire song or EP. They have the chance to hear the build up, and subtleties that might be missed in 20 seconds.
3. They Write Bigger, More Evergreen Features
A little-known fact outside of music bloggers: interviews aren’t particularly good for our publication, unless we are breaking major celebrity stories consistently.
Sure, the small artist might bring in a few readers (their Facebook friends, their parents), but it’s been shown time and time again, that these readers aren’t particularly interested in anything but this one artist. Very few will stick around to read more, follow our blog on social media, or sign up for our newsletters. It’s not just with me. A large music blog I spoke to about this recently faces this struggle on a huge scale: with every article, old readers leave, new readers come- and their view numbers stay stagnant.
So, what do we do? Provide evergreen value to our current readers in the feature. This is my favourite trick with interviews: walking the line between letting the artist talk about their music, and giving them the microphone as a distinguished guest to teach my readers for their own experiences, which of course will differ from mine.
What this means is that, as smaller blogs without those big celebrity interviews, our features on artists tend to be longer, with more evergreen value placed in them. You will be able to point to this article in your portfolio for a long time.
4. There Are No Gatekeepers
While the word “blog” still has the connotation of being personal and informal, the bigger ones are run like magazines. That means that the person in charge of writing about an artist isn’t always reading the band’s email first. They may have a gatekeeper who not only quality-checks every band, but also decides if they are interesting enough to be worth the writer’s time.
While you’ll still have to be talented and interesting, having one less barrier between you and the writer makes it easier. Another bonus: Smaller blogs don’t have a hierarchy of editors, which means that your interview can be published faster.
5. They Will Remember You
In my opinion, the best thing about getting in on the ground floor, is that you can go up. Striking a close connection with a smaller music blog as a smaller artist means you can grow together, and help each other out along the journey.
All in all, while there’s never anything wrong with submitting yourself to a big publication, up-and-coming blogs have their own charm, and might be a surprisingly good fit for you, as an up-and-coming artist.