You will need to roll your sleeves up for this one because this is going to take some serious research.
1. Search For Artists With A Similar Style: It is important to first establish your style and genre of music. Then, Google a similarly styled artist who is well known. For example, if you are a country artist, you might want to Google Kacey Musgraves or Chase Rice. You will find that they have articles or reviews in several publications that review or report on music. Look on through the publication to see if they publish features of new and emerging country artists. If so, send them a polished article or information that will help them to possibly publish a review on you. You will need to email about 10-20 publications before you get a bite, so don’t give up!
2. Pitch Yourself!: Content is KING. Be specific, and keep it simple. Let the publisher know exactly who you are and what you want. Be clear about what you are asking for; a feature of your recent work on their website, a review on a music video, hit single, interview, etc. Publications are always looking for fresh new content, so you are bound to find an opportunity if you just keep pitching yourself consistently without being too pushy or seeming overly anxious.
Things to include in your email to the publisher:
- Clear Subject Line: It’s the first thing they see. Make it count!
- Intro paragraph: Express that you have knowledge of the editor, coordinator, or other personnel that works for the publication. This shows you did your research. Acknowledge their recent work; a little flattery won’t hurt! Always be honest though. Don’t ever claim to know someone personally if you’ve never met them or communicated with them.
- Describe your music: This is the most important portion of your email. Compare yourself to a few other artists to give them a clear vision of what you are all about. Add links to where they can hear your music and see your website. Don’t hesitate to brag on yourself a little bit. If you have opened for well-known artists, or toured with big-named bands, or have had reviews in major publications, add it to your email! This will help you to get your foot in the door. No famous person is known for their humility; go all out! Don’t be conceited, just be confident. You are pitching yourself!
- The Correct Email Address: Before you press send, make sure you have the correct email address! This can be tricky as some publications purposely hide their contact information to limit incoming requests. Others just don’t make contact information easy to find on their websites without intention. Do some digging and make sure your emails are going to the right place.
- Things NOT to Do: Don’t attach MP3s, PDF files, or any other forms of attachments. Editors don’t have time to download information that they will likely not use. Give them links to your social media, articles written about you in other online publications, streaming sites, and your website. Don’t try to tell them your whole life story. They don’t want to hear how you started from the bottom and how got to where you are now. Be professional and straight to the point as they are most likely getting a massive number of pitches in their inbox every day. They don’t have time to read your memoir.
Overall, getting into online publications takes a little bit of guts and a whole lot of determination. Make sure you have a story worth telling and let the editors decide if they want to share your story with their readers. It’s pretty much a numbers game, so the more you pitch, the higher the chances that you will see your story being told in reputable online publications such as Billboard, Rolling Stone, and Music Industry Weekly.