3 Proven Ways to Gain the Attention of An Egotistical Music Blogger

No one man should have all that power!

The line above comes courtesy of Kanye West. I love using rap lyrics and applying them to everyday situations.

Do you like doing this?

I decided to use Kanye's line to talk about music bloggers. Music bloggers have a lot of influence because they have essentially replaced Djs.

In the past Djs broke records. Times have changed and Social Media has given POWER to new tastemakers, music bloggers (Djs still break records though).

Before you continue reading this I want to make something clear. I do not think all music bloggers are egotistical. I do believe that we have given some of them too much POWER and well this power leads to an inflated ego.

On the flipside, bloggers are bombarded with email submissions, Twitter mentions, Facebook messages, etc.

Have you ever thought about how much content a blogger has to listen to?

They usually work WITHOUT pay and invest a lot of time into listening to our content yet WE feel entitled.

YOU are not entitled to nothing. The music industry is saturated with artists trying to get on. Everyday new artists pop up and these artists want to be featured on music blogs.

Yes, we, music artists rely on bloggers to help spread our ideas and music bloggers rely on us to bring in traffic.

Why Blog Coverage Benefits Artists

Artists WANT to be featured on music blogs. The bigger the blog, the better! Now, I know that this is not necessarily true but you can't argue with the benefits (i.e., web traffic, SEO and name recognition).

I tell artists all the time to aim low then work their way up to bigger blogs.

Basically start with smaller blogs and build relationships with those bloggers. A lot of artists fail to understand that the music industry is based on relationships.

I even created a hip-hop blog directory because I was tired of submitting to the big blogs and being ignored.

Are you tired of being ignored when you know your content is good?

So am I! Below I have outlined 3 ways YOU can gain the attention of an egotistical music blogger.

1). Become A Part of Their Community

The easiest way to gain the attention of a music blogger is to become a part of their community (Tweet this Quote). Leave comments on their blog, Follow them on Twitter, Like them on Facebook, Subscribe to their YouTube channel. Leave valuable feedback. This will boost your name recogniton and maybe just maybe give you an edge over another artist.

2). Personalizing Your Pitch

Personalize your pitch. Personalize your pitch. Personalize your pitch. In order to stand out among the noise you have to create a personalized message. Effective email subject lines will help you get more blog coverage.

I use this subject line when I pitch music: Music Submission: [Artist Name] - [Title of the Song (produced by. X)]

You can use this approach. Create detailed headlines that tell the recipient what the email is about.

Personalize your pitch to stand out! This is why I preach individualized pitches as opposed to email blasts. Email blasts work when you have built up your brand.

3). Mentioning The Music Blogger

This is the most effective way to gain the attention of a music blogger. Mention them or their blog on Social Media. Share content that you love.

HINT: If they blog about your material then show your gratitude by sharing it with your audience.

Mention the blog or blogger in video content. Maybe you can send them a personalized video message where you introduce yourself and your music submission. If you decide to go this route remember to keep it brief.

The key revolves around mentioning the blog and then utilizing the second tip.

I guarantee that if you take the time to build relationships you will receive more blog coverage.

I can't guarantee that you will be famous or get posted but you might gain an ally in your corner, a supporter that can help spread your music.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. If you find the information valuable please share it and Subscribe to my RSS Feed.

So, how do YOU gain the attention of music bloggers? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Image Credit: Ryan Babb

11 Ways Recording Artists Can Use Twitter To Gain And Retain Followers

Do you use Twitter as a part of your music marketing strategy?

Have you ever thought about ways to increase your Twitter following organically?

Twitter is awesome and easy to use once you figure out how to use it to your advantage.

A lot of Recording Artists use Twitter to spam links all day. This is NOT effective marketing.

Twitter is unique because it is two-way communication. You tweet and you hope to get responses. Once you get responses you should respond to them.

Social Media is easier than we think. Engage with your audience. Take the time to cater to the fans that crave your material.

Honestly a lot of Recording Artists just tweet and tweet and tweet about their album, new song and forget about responding to their fans.

Obscurity will cause artists to engage in spamming because they just want to be heard.

We, as artists, have to work towards enhancing our twitter promotion instead of just tweeting casually.

In this post, I will detail 11 Ways Recording Artists can use Twitter to gain and retain followers.

11 Ways Recording Artists Can Use Twitter To Gain And Retain Followers

1. Tweet your expertise by utilizing hashtags such as #ArtistTip, #MusicMarketing, #PromoTip, #MarketingTip, etc. This is where you can get creative. The recording process is tiring. You probably learned something during the recording process that you can share with other artists (other artists can be your fans!).

2. Establish a hashtag for your album and utilize it in your tweets.

3. Tweet the release of a new album with your followers. Present a Call to Action when you are tweeting your single, album, etc (i.e., Download This, New Music Available, Share This, Buy Now, Please RT, #PleaseRT, Retweet This, Check this Single).

4. Talk to your fans instead of at them.

5. Tweet Instagram links to showcase your personality! SimplyMeasured calls this seamless branding. Seamless branding is a mixture of personal and brand-driven content that allows artists, companies, etc to deviate from selling constantly.

6. Tweet Instagram links that highlight your skill set. This is important. You don't need a DSLR, a Red camera, etc to do this. Use your Smartphone and share your gift with the world. You can even use your webcam if you want. You can also use Vine as well.

7. Tweet media coverage with your following. Just make sure that you spread it out a bit. You can also tweet show flyers.

8. Tweet your lyrics! You can also Tweet motivational quotes, jokes and more.

9. Tweet pictures with your fans!

10. Tweet about a contest!

11. Tweet facts about yourself.

The goal of this post is to help you dominate Twitter. I want to see more artists talking to their audience instead of at their audience.

I want to see your Timeline consist of substance. Share with us why you created your album, share with us the guests on the album, share with us your mindset when you created the album, share with us some of the obstacles that you dealt with.

The key is being transparent and refraining from pitching links all the time. Maximize your Twitter Bio, find your audience on Twitter using Twitter Search, join or start a (Twitter Chat), engage more with your fans by asking questions showing that you are interested in them and just be human.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. If you find the information valuable please share it.

How do YOU use Twitter to speak to your audience? What works for YOU? Please share your techniques in the comments below by clicking here.

5 Reasons Producers Have a YouTube Channel

Do you use YouTube to market your production?

Do you understand the advantages of using YouTube?

YouTube is the largest video hosting service in the world. People from all walks of life use it to discover new music.

Google search is the most used web search service in the world, so it makes sense that YouTube is similarly popular.

Setting up a YouTube channel is free and easy. Integration with Google+ is still baffling, but Google seems to be making some improvements in that area. With YouTube you have access to best of breed analytics, and everyone's favorite - monetization.

Below I have detailed 5 Reasons Producers Have a YouTube Channel.

1) For Technology

Due to the proliferation of high quality cameras, you're holding the best technology in your hands - but make sure you work to get the best possible sound and lighting in your recording situation. While you're editing your audio, keep it at 16 bit/44.1kHz and make sure you understand HD formats and file types.

2) For Subscribers

Subscribers are like a mailing list, but instead of interacting with them via email, you connect with them through videos. Create short 30 second or 1 minute videos updating your subscribers on your current projects and play your music in the background. For additional tips, visit Dj Pain1's YouTube channel.

3) For Feedback

Comments are a valuable feedback channel. They are now tied to Google+ but stopping the spammers is an area Google still struggles with. One way to avoid this is to set your video comments to be approved before they post so that you can accept or reject a load of comments in one sitting (once a week, for example, rather than every time a new comment arrives.)

4) For Live Events

A relatively new YouTube feature is live events. An example of a well executed live event is Kyle Johnson's weekly "Game Audio Hour."

5) For Building Relationships

Creating videos helps you present yourself as an authority and it also gives you the opportunity to display your personality at the same time. When you create videos, let viewers in on your personality. It helps them identify with your music. Do not be afraid to be vulnerable - share your influences and the meaning behind your production. This helps you form a connection with your subscribers.

Thank you for taking time to read this post. Please share this if you find it valuable.

What type of content do YOU upload to YouTube? Please post a link to YOUR BEST YouTube video below!

Steve Banik, professionally known as STACKTRACE, is an American hip hop producer and musician based in Madison, Wisconsin. He is best known for his keyboard harmonies, atmospheric synths and creative uses of sampling. From 2003 – 2006, Steve was based in Nashville where he was the touring keyboard player for several major label artists. Steve is the founder and owner of Stacktrace Music LLC, a music production, engineering and licensing company.

Website: www.stevebanik.com
YouTube: www.youtube.com/wortism
Reverb Nation: www.reverbnation.com/stevebanik
SoundCloud: www.soundcloud.com/ptmp93
Twitter: @realstacktrace

The 16 Best YouTube Channels For Kettlebell Training

My wife was pregnant and gained that dreaded Daddy weight.

My weight shot up 10 pounds, then 20 pounds, then 30 pounds, then 40 pounds. I let myself go day by day. Week by Week. Month by Month went past and I continued to gain weight.

To make things worse my son, Matthew, started walking. The only way I would be able to keep up with him was to get active.

I told my wife that I would start working out again when we moved to Florida.

So we moved and well I was still struggling to maintain my weight. I would constantly glance at the Kettlebells that I bought two years earlier and smirk. Every time I stubbed my toe on those darn kettlebells I was reminded of the grueling workouts that I did in the past.

I used them before in the past and shed 60 pounds two years earlier.

I celebrated my 32nd Birthday on January 7th (in Florida) and well I sluggish, lethargic and out of shape. I told my sister that I would start working out again if she bought a kettlebell (bad idea haha, the next day she bought one).

One day I was online and I stumbled upon a 30 Day Kettlebell Challenge and it changed the way I viewed Kettlebell training.

I decided to give it a go and my sisters joined me. We decided to embark on a Kettlebell journey that revolved around Kettlebell Swings for 30 Days. There are different variations to the Kettlebell Swing. You have two arm swings, one are swings, alternate swings, side swings, double swings, pivot swing and other variations.

We didn't work out for 30 days straight. We usually worked out 3 days straight and then took a rest day or we did 2 days on and 1 rest day.

I also tracked what I ate via MyFitnessPal. The journal helped me to understand where most of my calories were coming from. I learned that I was overeating in the afternoon so I decided to monitor my evening eating routine better.

We did the workout for a month and I lost 16 pounds during the first month. We decided to take it a step further and we will continue to work out. So far I have lost 16 pounds total (I will weigh myself again at the end of February). My goal is to lose 45-60 pounds before July and keep it off.

I decided to share my 16 favorite Kettlebell YouTube channels below. Kettlebell Complexes rock by the way! Steve Cotter and Steve Maxwell are awesome as well.

Bloom to Fit

Dalibor Petrinic

Fitness Blender
Funk Roberts

Killing It With Kettlebells (South Jersey)

Mike Mahler
Mike Stehle

Pat Flynn (Chronicles of Strength)

Rdella Training
Republic of Strength
Rise Above Strength
Ryan Miller
Ryan Shanahan

The TOUGH Spot

If I missed any channels, please add them in the comments section below.

Image Credit: Ron Lohse

Be Water, My Friend (Thank you Bruce Lee)

"Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend."

Bruce Lee was an exceptional human with an awesome outlook on life. I love his passion for life and continued pursuit of excellence in regards to martial arts.

Bruce Lee reminded us to "be water, my friend."

I tried to breakdown what Bruce meant and I think he is referring to having the ability to adapt to any situation. Life is unpredictable and we will deal with life ills and moments of tranquility.

I found a great answer from Conor Neill. Conor Neill suggests that being water refers to a Tao concept called Wu Wei - knowing when to act and when not to act.

Another website that I visited suggested that be like water refers to having faith like flowing water.

The Endless Further expands on this concept suggesting that life requires faith like this. To be like water. There are times when flowing water meets turbulence, but after the rapids, there is a return to a calmer flow.

In another life I would love to have a conversation with Bruce Lee.

What does "be water, my friend" mean to you? I would love to read your response in the comments section below.

PS: The feedback on this post has been phenomenal. Google+ is awesome!

Image Credit: Nuria Piñol

Promote Your Hip-Hop Music with @HipHopGoldenAge for $5

Imagine being able to promote your music on Twitter to a targeted niche. An organic niche.

Well HHGA is currently running a promotion where you can get your music, music blog, clothing line, video, etc posted on for $5 through Fiverr.

I still receive press releases from artists even though my direction has changed.

Most of the time I delete them because I really don't have the time to listen to songs like I used to. Plus like I stated my posting strategy has changed. I tend to post more research driven content now as opposed to singles and videos.

I love music yet the desire to search for the next best song was time consuming.

Check out the words from HHGA below.

I will post any Hip Hop content you provide on my Hip Hop account on Twitter with 180,000+ REAL (organically gained) followers.

HHGA has a highly active community of followers, with thousands of interactions (RTs, mentions etc.) a day. HHGA audience is located 60% in the USA, 20% in the UK and 20% around the rest of the world.

If you provide the link to your YouTube video, SoundCloud account, your mixtape, your website, your image or whatever you want to advertise - I will post it on the HipHopGoldenAge account within 48 hours.

HHGA can not guarantee or predict the number of hits, downloads, likes, etc. you will get - but if you're content is good, you WILL get the exposure you're looking for.

IMPORTANT: Only Real Hip Hop related material will be posted. I reserve the right to respectfully refuse content if I deem it irrelevant or unsuitable for the HHGA audience (posting content that doesn't match the HHGA audience is bad for you and HHGA both.

No spam, no offensive material, no schemes to sell followers, likes etc will be accepted - we're looking to promote REAL HIP HOP only.

Got some good Hip Hop music/content you want to get to a large Hip Hop audience? Hit me up!

I have been following HHGA's Twitter stream for some time now and actually interviewed HHGA back in August 2013. I have also been using Fiverr for some time and it is great.

Check out some of the examples below:

If you are interested in promoting your creative work on @HipHopGoldenAge's Twitter Stream check out the link below.

Post Your Music on HHGA's Twitter Account for $5

The Ultimate Hip-Hop Record Label Directory

Twitter is an awesome place full of unique personalities. You have celebrities that tweet garbage, bloggers that captivate the masses and fake celebrities that think they are bigger than they really are.

There are Twitter streams for practically every niche. Love, motivational quotes, dogs, photography, etc. I tend to gravitate towards music, most specifically hip-hop music.

I put together this list post to show artists the multitude of options that they have. Some artists still want to be signed. Some want to go the independent route. This post is for those research savvy artists out there.

I always preach on my Twitter stream about the importance of DIY (Do It Yourself. Continue to put in work and your efforts will be noticed. Stay true to yourself and what you represent and you will build a movement. An organic movement that will anticipate your releases.

As you progress as an artist you will notice that you will captivate the attention of hip-hop blogs and record label owners.

Below you will find a comprehensive list post of Hip-Hop Record Labels that you should be following on Twitter. You will see some labels that you notice and some that you do not notice. Check out the list post below.

I utilized my Record Labels Twitter List to compile most of this list.

Actual Facts Rec
All Natural Inc.
Amalgam Digital
Asfalt Records

BabyGrande Records
Bad Taste Records
Big Bang Records
BlueBottle Records
Blunted Astronaut Records
Brake Fast Records
Brick Records

Chess Moves Cartel
Coalmine Records
Cold Busted Records
Collision Records
CTF Records
Cult Classic Records

Decon Records
Digi Crates Records
Doomtree Records
Dreamville Records
Duck Down Music
Dusted Wax Kingdom
Dusty Platter
Duzz Down San

Elefant Traks

Fake Four Inc.
FC Music Group
Feelin' Music
Full Ride Music
Funk Volume

Golden Era Records
Gummy Soul Records

HardJazz7 Music
Hiero Imperium
HiPNOTT Records
Humble Beast Records
HW&W Records

IceH2O Records
ILL Adrenaline
Illect Recordings
Infiltrate Music

Jakarta Records
Jamla Records

King Underground

Lamp Mode Recordings
Last Lyricists
Lunatick Records

Man Bites Dog Records
Mello Music Group
Mixed Bag Entertainment
Moleman Records
Mortier Music

Nature Sounds
No Cure Records

Obese Records
Odd Future Records

Pentalty Entertainment
Pit Stop Records


RBC Records
Reach Records
Redefinition Records
Reza Records
Rhymesayers Ent.

Shady Records
Six2Six Records
Solidarity Records
Soulspazm Records
Soundweight Records
Stones Throw Records
Strange Famous Records
Strange Music Inc.
Sub-Bombin Records
Syntax Records

Top Dawg Entertainment
Trendency Records
Tres Records
TWC Records
Ty Nikdy Label

Uncommon Records
Uni-Fi Records
Up Above Records

Vlaminal Entertainment

Weightless Records
World Around Records

Xist Music

Thank you for taking the time to read this list post.

If you find this content valuable Please Share this post via Twitter, Facebook, Google +, email, and other social media sites.

Ira Glass on Creativity...

I stumbled upon an awesome video from Ira Glass that pretty much sums up creativity. Take the chance to read the quote below if you are experiencing a creative lapse.

Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.

As creative people sometimes we fall victim to our mind. Sometimes we fall victim to lofty expectations and this manifests itself as stress.

Sometimes the stress can cause people to quit. I placed the quote above for you, my audience that may be in a creative rut. I challenge you to take the time to watch the typographic interpretation of Ira Glass's famous speech below. I am positive that it will help you.

Please share this video if you can relate to it. Thank you!

THE GAP by Ira Glass from frohlocke on Vimeo.

Image Credit: Life As A Human

9th Wonder interview with NEHip-Hop.com

I was Twitter earlier and I saw this interview on my Twitter Stream and I decided to share it.

9th Wonder is an awesome ambassador of hip-hop culture and his squad, Jamla, is doing great things.

In this interview with NeHip-Hop.com, 9th shares why he approached Statik Selektah to host Jamla's latest project, Jamla is the Squad.

9th also breaks down his favorite beat from the project and how operating Jamla is like building an efficient sports team. Check out the interview below to hear more additional insight from 9th as he talks about Macklemore's Grammy win, Kendrick's text and more.

3 Simple Ways to Turn Your Fans Into Supporters

You love what you do. You have a gift and people are moved when you share it, but here’s the thing...you’re not alone. Thanks to technology, there's a much more level playing field for listeners to discover new music. This means that your fans have options and you are not the only one asking for a few of their discretionary dollars. So how do you turn a fan into a loyal supporter?

Take a look at the word "support". Independent artists tend to utilize the word often when promoting events, music and the like.

sup·port (sə-pôrt′, -pōrt′)
1. To bear the weight of, especially from below.
2. To hold in position so as to keep from falling, sinking, or slipping.
3. To be capable of bearing; withstand: "His flaw'd heart ... too weak the conflict to support" (Shakespeare).
4. To keep from weakening or failing; strengthen: The letter supported him in his grief.
5. To provide for or maintain, by supplying with money or necessities.
6. To furnish corroborating evidence for: New facts supported her story.
7. a. To aid the cause, policy, or interests of: supported her in her election campaign.
b. To argue in favor of; advocate: supported lower taxes.
8. To endure; tolerate: "At supper there was such a conflux of company that I could scarcely support the tumult" (Samuel Johnson).
9. To act in a secondary or subordinate role to (a leading performer).
1. a. The act of supporting.
b. The state of being supported.
2. One that supports.
3. Maintenance, as of a family, with the necessities of life.

When you think about it, that's a huge request...why should your fans feel obligated to do so? I do not profess to have all the answers.  However, as a producer it is important for me to be a fan of artists before working with them, so these tips I offer from my perspective as a fan.

Don't Be a Bot
Promotion is key, but don't forget that your music is a part of you. If people connect with your music, they want to connect with YOU too. Don't use social networks solely to push your shows, music & business ventures on your fans. No one wants to be friends with someone who only reaches out to them when it's to reach into their pockets. It's annoying and a huge distraction from the talent that you are actually trying to share. Take the time to share thoughts, life experiences & interact with people as well...it will get you a lot further.

Say Thank You
Unless you are in the position where you have thousands of actual fans constantly interacting with you, you CANNOT be too busy to say thank you. If someone purchases your product, shares your links or publicly acknowledges your talent, say thank you. That's simply good manners. Whether it's public or confidential, you need to let your fans know that you appreciate their support. There are other things that they could have done with their time and/or money, they didn't have to choose you but they did. When people feel you appreciate them, they are much more willing to support you.

Show the Support You Wish to Receive
Again, thanks to technology leveling the playing field, there are a lot more artists these days. Believe it or not, many of them can be your biggest advocates should you chose to correctly nurture those relationships. Show up every now and then to a show you or your team and/or label mates are NOT on the bill for. Occasionally share the work or events of an independent artist that you enjoy but don't stand to gain a direct benefit from. Let your fans know that you care about more than your own personal gain. This will make people more willing to contribute to your endeavors.

Achickwitbeatz is a female music producer/songwriter who hails from Michigan. Specializing in Hip Hop, R&B and Electronic genres she frequently ventures outside of anticipated norms to create vibes that evoke emotions and head nods. Her production style has earned her international airplay and the chance to work with independent artists throughout the Midwest and east coast regions. |

Image Credit: NY Daily Times



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