As a hip-hop artist, just making music and putting it out there for the world is not enough anymore. Technology has made it easy for anyone to purchase the basic equipment and become a rapper. Not only has this made promoting your music more difficult, it’s made getting your music featured in hip-hop blogs like HotNewHipHop, Fakeshore Drive, Complex Music, and more – less likely.
Now, don’t worry. It’s not impossible, and for those willing to put in the extra work to stand out, it might be even be labeled as “easy”. A lot of upcoming hip-hop artist are making similar mistakes like using spammy “mass-messaging” techniques. So, I’m going to show you how to stand out from the crowd and get your music featured.
1. Verify The Blog Accepts Music Submissions
- You waste the blog owner / editor’s time and lose respect if they don’t accept submissions. So, if you email him in the future for whatever reason, he might think twice before opening your email again.
- You waste your own time if they don’t accept music submission and when you never get featured to the blog, you still have no idea why.
How to verify
- Look at the blog’s contact page and see if they have any information related to music submissions. Most blogs will have related information on the contact page if they do accept submissions.
- Go to Google and search using this command -> site:[Insert Blog’s URL] “music submission” <- This command will allow you to only search that blog for the phrase “music submission”. If they’ve used that phrase before (which would be likely if they accept submissions, it should pop up”.
- Look at their blog and see if they’ve ever posted any other Hip Hop artist music.
2. Build A Relationship With The Owner/Editor
Building a genuine relationship with the owner or editor will put you ahead of hundreds of unknown names that contact them daily. They’ll want to help you succeed. That’s one reason you should be networking in Hip Hop.
Real success, the kind that exists on multiple levels, is impossible without building great relationships. Real success is impossible unless you treat other people with kindness, regard, and respect. –Source
How to build the relationship:
- Leave comments on their blog post with compliments. Not only do people like compliments, but most Hip Hop blogs don’t get a lot of comments; so, this is a quick and easy way to get their attention over the span of a few weeks. I usually remember those who comment and share my content.
- Send them an occasional email complimenting a recent post or describing how they’ve posted something that’s helped you or inspired you.
- Like, favorite, and retweet their content. Bloggers love to feel loved and supported. By sharing their content, you not only get their attention from your post, but you also get their attention every time someone engages with your shared post. For example, if someone share my content on twitter and then I see a lot of people engaging with their tweet, I start to pay attention to this person more.
3. Only Submit Exclusive, Unreleased Music
You want to only submit exclusive, unreleased music because, this helps the blog look good and get more viewers. The more viewers and attention the blog gets due to your blog post, the happier and more likely it is for the owner / editor to want you back on the site.
Promote The Blog Post
Like I said in the section above, the more your music is viewed, the more likely the blogger will want to promote your music on his site in the future. The more views he get, the bigger his site becomes.
How to promote your featured post:
- Share your post consistently on social media and ask your friends to do the same
- Post about this blog’s feature on your website. (All Hip Hop artist should have a website)
- Send an email out to your email list notifying them of your new music and link to the music submission post.
- Send an email out to Hip Hop blogs that you would like to be featured on in the future. Don’t do this in a spammy way. Just notify them of your new music release, mentioned the blog that exclusively released it and a link to it.
- Depending on your budget, buy paid traffic from StumbleUpon. StumbleUpon is a discovery engine that finds and recommends web content to its users. Advertising your music submission post on StumbleUpon can be as cheap as a few cents per click to viewers who may like your music.
4. Measure The Success
Why measure the success:
You want to measure the success and results from having your song promoted on that blog. This allows you to calculate a “return on investment” (ROI).
To keep things simple, the ROI equation looks like this: Results – Money, Time, & Effort = ROI
A positive ROI is the goal, but there are some situations where a break even, or even negative ROI is OK.
How to measure the success:
- Ask the blog owner to add a link to your website inside of the article. This allows you to track the people who click on your website from the post (You need Google Analytics installed). Don’t have Google Analytics installed? Use a service like bit.ly to create a short link back to your website and ask the owner / editor to use that link instead.
- Use a website like BuzzSumo and enter the URL of the blog post. Buzz Sumo will show you the number of shares that a URL has. This will be useful for monitoring how well your post has done on social media. You can also compare your URL to some of the blog’s popular post to see how you compare.
5. Thank The Hip-Hop Blog / Editor
You want to thank the hip-hop blog for featuring you on the website. This will build respect, show your gratitude, and ultimately help build a long-term relationship with the owner and editors. Remember, people help you become successful, not stats.
How to thank them:
- Thank them privately with a well-written email expressing your gratitude for the opportunity and how you appreciate what they’ve done.
- Thank them publicly on social media.
- Send them a gift if you have an address to their PO box. Most mid-big blogs will have this at the bottom of their website or on the contact page.
Now you know exactly how to get your music on Hip Hop blogs. Getting featured on them will boost your credibility, get your music in front of new potential fans, and build your hip hop career. This is one of the few strategies that can be used throughout the majority of your career. At least until you get so big that blogs post your music solely due to established relationships and the traffic your name brings to their website.