10 Common Misconceptions About Hip Hop Blogs
10. Blogs do not care about comments or views
Music bloggers care about what they post more than you think. Bloggers need to drive in traffic. Most of the popular blogs participate in Pay Per Click programs which always bloggers to monetize off the traffic.
Comments on the other hand breed interaction. Now I know that a lot of listeners will just listen to the music and refrain from leaving a comment. Bigger blogs thrive on the interaction in the comment section.
9. Blogs do not charge artists for posts
I know for a fact that this is false. There are a lot of blogs that charge artists for a post. Of course I do not agree with this practice yet it will not change the fact that it happens. I have submitted music to blogs/sites before and a site wanted me to pay $75 for a post. Of course I did not respond to that blog, remember that your following will dictate interest. If you have a following then your chances of being posted increases.
8. Blogging is not based on politics
Blogging is indeed based on politics, it is not based solely on talent anymore. Now there are exceptions to this rule. Remember that visibility + talent + online buzz equates to more people checking for you. Word of mouth also makes it easier for blogs to take notice of your talent. If you use twitter make sure you use hashtags to promote your music.
7. Sometimes Blogs do not promote your material because it is too good
This misconception ties into number 8. Talent alone will not get you posted. I have a lot of talented friends that make good music yet they haven't figured out the blogging world. The key is to aim low and work your way up. Start with the smaller blogs and work your way up. The key is establishing and maintaining relationships. Do something exclusive for a particular site (i.e. record an exclusive freestyle for them, a video drop, etc).
6. Blogs do not value the artist's following, brand, etc when they post material
In order to sustain an audience, blogs have to post material that will generate views. Bloggers will research the artist and check if they have a Facebook, Youtube, or Twitter following. Now these numbers can be skewed. The key is word of mouth advertising, I usually type in the artist name in Google and see what pops up. I usually check for content that was posted the past few days.
I also research and check for past interviews, reviews, and more. This usually happens when I am exposed to an artist for the first time.
5. There is unity amongst the blogging community
There is more competition than unity within the blogging community. Each and every blog struggles to gravitate an audience with hopes that they will check out the material. You have your top-tier blogs (2DopeBoyz, Okayplayer, Dj Booth, Kevin Nottingham, Nahright, Killer Hip-Hop, The Smoking Section, Sphere Of Hip-Hop, Rapzilla, DaSouth, Hip Hop DX, Word is Bond, etc) and all the other blogs fight for views.
I know that I can not compete with those blogs, yet I do offer uniqueness and the vision changes on a weekly basis. Blogging is more than just posting an image and a sentence. Blogging to me, revolves around sharing one's interests with the world. It would be easy to post "popular content" yet that does not embody my position in life.
4. Blogs present original material. Copy and paste does not occur
Okay this misconception is difficult because most of the bigger blogs post original or exclusive content because that exclusivity drives traffic. This misconception is directed towards blogs that copy and paste the content in attempts to generate more traffic. Some of these bloggers do not even change the description. If you are going to copy and paste then make sure you cite the original cite. Blogging plagiarism needs to STOP.
3. Blogs do not show favoritism
Like I stated earlier, blogs post people that generate views, fuel interactivity, and sometimes controversy. Bloggers tend to deal with people that they have relationships with. Record label personnel, promotion companies or individuals, publicists, etc get the nod over artist submissions. Why does this happen? This happens due to sustained relationships and guaranteed results.
2. Blogs post everything they receive
A lot of blogs receive tons of submissions and unfortunately some good or great content will be overlooked. How does this happen? The sheer quantity of submissions add up and staff have to weed through the submissions. Now imagine yourself listening to 50 submissions and only 5 songs stand out. The ratio is very low. The previous listening experience may affect future listening sessions.
I also believe that some blogs are honestly overwhelmed. Remember that your top-tier blogs usually have staff that screen the content. I take this in consideration when I submit music to sites. At the end of the day we are human.
1. Blogs sign rappers
Bloggers do NOT sign rappers, they play a pivotal role in the viral presence of artists though. Coverage on the bigger sites automatically promotes the artist to superstar status (haha). Especially if your project is sponsored by the bigger blogs. I believe that sponsorship from a blog (regardless of size) can be a good thing because of the potential reach. Think of your music as a startup business and in order to increase your visibility one needs to align with an established business. That is why I love Dj Booth, 2DopeBoyz, and Kevin Nottingham sponsored projects.
Being posted by Blogs is great yet we have to remember that we need to advertise and promote and let our fans know that a site believes in our material enough to post it.
For further education, you can check out 5 Tips for Getting More Blog Coverage.
This post examines a plethora of hip-hop blogs that are guaranteed to post your music.