You know when you’re mindlessly scrolling Facebook and suddenly, an article catches your eye? The headline feels like it was written for you and so, curiously, you click it.
You start reading and before you know it, you’re totally immersed. The more into it you get, the more you find yourself thinking “I could have written this!” because what the author is describing is something that is so close to home, so relatable, and so poignantly said that you can’t help but feel an instant kinship.
So, you get to the bottom, where the author bio is and you see who’s written it. Instantly, you look them up. Because suddenly, you want to know everything about them. If they know what you’re going through this well, you want to find out more. They must really get you. They understand.
So you follow them on all the social channels, maybe you even sign up for their newsletter and boom! You’re in their world.
This is the power of a guest blog.
In a world where we are constantly thrown an overwhelming amount of information, guest blogs are one of the few ways we can still truly grab the reader’s attention in a new and captivating way. While other features like interviews or reviews are still incredibly valuable, the guest blog is different for one simple reason: it lets the reader in on your personality in a completely new and unmatchable way.
It shows who you are in a way that allows the reader to connect. And, when someone connects to what you’re saying, you’ve just made yourself a new fan.
But, how do you find these guest blog opportunities and what do you do once you have them?
Brainstorm a few topics
The first thing you want to do is figure out what you’re going to talk about. When you start pitching, you want to be able to send them 2-3 topic ideas that will for sure resonate with their audience—it’s fine to take suggestions for topics if they offer them, but you want them to be able to say “yes” to featuring you in as few steps as possible. If you force them to brainstorm topics for you, even by saying something like “I’d love to write a guest blog on whatever you think will resonate with your audience”—it might seem like you’re being helpful but in truth, it’s just making more work for them.
Get hyper clear on what your topics will be by thinking about your brand—that is the message you put into the world through your music, live show, and online presence.
For instance, are a lot of your songs about mental health and overcoming obstacles? Then perhaps your guest blog topics could be around overcoming your anxiety, or how mindfulness has helped not only your personal life but your music.
I suggest focusing on topics that aren’t actually directly related to your music, in order to reach a wider audience. Try to remember that a lot of the people reading your blog will just be getting to know you for the first time, so if you talk only about your music, it won’t resonate in the same way as if you talk about something a bit more universal that people can latch onto.
Use your network
Once you have your topics, it’s time to start looking for outlets. One of the best ways is to look to other bands in your scene that have done guest blogs, and see where they’ve been featured (even better if you can get an intro!) But, to be honest, a lot of growing music blogs do take guest blogs, so by simply finding those (through hype machine, submithub, word of mouth) is a great place to start.
And don’t be afraid to ask around! If you know other bands who have done guest blogs, ask them for their recommendations and if they’re willing, an introduction to the outlet. Post on social media and ask what everyone’s favorite music blog is or their favorite blog for (whatever your guest blog subject is). Get recommendations everywhere you can, and put them to use.
Think outside the box
Don’t just stick to music blogs. In fact, I encourage you to find blogs outside the industry who are focused on the area of your topics. This gets you in front of a totally new audience—one that’s already automatically interested in what you have to say.
For instance, if your blogs are around anxiety, find mental health and anxiety specific blogs. I once worked with an artist who had a huge passion for cooking and eating healthy, so we found a bunch of cooking and healthy living blogs and had her submit recipes and guest blogs. You can (and should) get creative with it.
This is honestly one of the best ways to grow your fan base and appeal to a totally new audience, all while simultaneously giving your existing fans a peek behind the scenes of who you are. It’s a powerful introduction to who you are, and your fans will thank you for it.
Try these blogs
To get you started, here are a couple of my personal favorites. Most accept multiple genres, but make sure you double check that they take yours.
Musical Notes Global (this one is especially good for international artists!)
Indie Band Guru (True lovers of the indie artist, these guys are great for all genres)
Nü Sound (great for pop-punk, indie rock, and heavier genres)
Music Existence (Brilliant for the indie artist—accepts a multitude of genres, especially those in the rock realm)
The Other Side Reviews (great for most genres!)
Black is the New AP Style (great for all genres especially rock/heavier genres)
Black Serpent Press (tons of variety here!)
Sonicbids! We accept guest blog entries here.
How do I get in touch?
Oh, and if you're wondering how to get in touch, it's simple. Most will have a contact on their website either under "Contact" or "About Us" with more Info—just be sure you check each site, as guidelines will vary.
Happy guest blogging!
Angela Mastrogiacomo is the founder and CEO of Muddy Paw PR, where her artists have seen placements on Alternative Press, Noisey, Substream, Spotify and more as well as the THRIVE Mentorship program—an online community that provides indie artists with affordable year-round mentoring from music industry experts, and much more. She loves baked goods, a good book, and hanging with her dog Sawyer.