So, here’s the score. You’re a band – you might be new, or conversely, you might be more established than kingpins like the classic Iron Maiden or next-generation stars like Bring Me The Horizon. Doubtful, but who knows? Basically, it doesn’t matter. Whilst I wouldn’t necessarily say ‘forget the rock press’ (Kerrang, Rock Sound, Metal Hammer, NME and so on), there’s certainly a new form of media emerging that should no longer be ignored. Of course, I’m talking about ‘bedroom’ bloggers.
Before you sneer and debate the concept of ‘silly little girls’ voicing their opinions to nobody in particular on their ‘little blogs’, consider this:
- 71% of people are influenced by blogs and make purchases or other decisions based on recommendations. Purchases can also mean gig tickets, downloads, and merch, no?
- Brands of all sizes and niches are using blogs to advertise their stuff on! Music is so forward thinking, so don’t be left behind.
- Likewise, bloggers come in all different categories – they aren’t ‘silly’ in the slightest and are often very knowledgeable about their passions and can write well.
- Bloggers tend to pride themselves on having a large social following, so working with them can have a ridiculously positive impact on your own engagement and fan base.
- If bloggers start linking to your website, this can have brilliant SEO value, and will truly put you on a Google map of a different persuasion! Want to be found in search terms when people look for certain events, or genres? Thought so.
How does this make a difference to your band, and what can you do?
Well, naturally, if you build up a relationship with bloggers, you can start inviting them to stuff they might think is cool – such as gigs you’re playing, festivals you’re opening and other stuff like your band’s first album launch. Everyone loves a bit of VIP treatment, and they’re much more likely to tell their friends if they’re treated really well and have a good time. Their readers will be somewhat envious, and will want to engage with the band now that they think you’re kind of elusive, but you’ll be inviting people JUST LIKE THEM, in theory, so they’ll think you’re pretty cool and down to earth, as well as rockstars.
There are so many bloggers to look out for, from the now ‘career’ bloggers like Zoe London, to self-confessed alternative music lovers like Amy Valentine, or even newbies like Claire Louise. Then of course you have student blogs where they’re lovingly writing them collectively, or smaller music media for the passionate and aspirational young journalists out there. Lots of them don’t get paid yet, so in return for a space at your next show, they could be giving you untold amounts of worthwhile promotion. People read and are influenced by what they have to say – why should this be any different for musicians if it works for some of the world’s leading companies?
So, instead of using your guest list to impress a few old friends and hangers on, why not start using it productively? You should even get your PR team involved and let them know this is something you’re interested in. If you’re out on your own, start building those relationships now. The return will be so worth it in the long run – word of mouth speaks volumes!