How to Pitch a Music Blog: Paste Magazine
Paste Magazine is one of my favorite online music outlets, and possibly one of the most well-known. They cover a wide range of topics such as music, film, and lifestyles. It is a blog that is a combination of pop-culture, and underground. How can you reach Paste to get your music featured? Here are a few tips.
1. Top 10 Best Albums
Paste has a monthly featured called the Top 10 Best Albums where they review the best releases for a certain month. For example, the most recent was called “Top 10 Best Albums of October 2017.” Keep in mind that there are important factors that help maximize the chances of being featured in any blog. We like to call those the “main drivers” of an outlet. Think of these like a checklist of credentials you’ll more than likely need to have before being considered. The “Top 10” feature does have a large mix of genres, but if you get into the core of each journalist’s article, the main factors are bands with some hype or history behind their name. For example, the sophomore release from Julien Baker was featured, as was the newest studio album from Detroit natives Protomartyr. As you can imagine, these names have some weight, so newer bands might not want to funnel all of their attention and energy into this section. Once there’s more buzz behind your name, I would highly recommend reaching out about this feature.
2. Paste Studio Session
Bands who are touring or live in the New York area should look into a Paste Studio Session. This is a live session where a band or solo artist performs a few songs. Again, another great thing is that you don’t have to already be super famous to be featured. If you have the time to make it to NY, I would highly recommend reaching out to try and set something up. The intimate nuance really creates a great atmosphere and some really amazing content that you’ll be able to promote (and use for future pitches!).
3. Themed Playlists
Outside of being a celebrity, another way to get featured in Paste Magazine is through one of their themed playlists. There’s a little bit of a catch on this one, so keep that in mind. Knowing that Paste posts a “10 of the most Progressive Songs in Country Music” playlist is great. Think your band has some progressive country songs too? Even better! Here’s the asterisk. A lot of these playlists do feature more established musicians, and since you won’t know which playlist is going to be posted until it’s already there, some guesswork is involved. To anticipate, I highly recommend trying to think about major holidays or “National” days where your music could have the most impact. Several festive gift-giving seasons are right around the corner, so now would be a great time to send in your holiday themed playlist submissions. For example, if you have a song about Santa bringing a puppy on board for his annual worldwide trip, start sending your pitches well in advance of Christmas. As with everything, it’s important to do your research and make sure that your music is a good fit before reaching out.
4. Daily Dose
If you’re looking for single coverage or reviews, then the “Daily Dose” feature might be a great Paste option to look into. This is a daily column where the Paste staff selects a different song to feature. The genre criteria spans over a lot of different subcategories, leaving a lot of room to work with. Keep in mind that it helps to have some momentum behind your band. Yes, they do cover unknown artists, but the main bulk leans toward those at the next step. If you’re still in the writing, recording, jamming in the garage phase, then you’ll still need a few more musical notches on your belt. But bands who have worked with notable producers, are on tour with other major groups, or already have some buzz in the blog world are great contenders. Reaching out to contributors is a great way to get attention, but if you’re a DIY musician you’ll definitely need to have all of your materials lined up and ready to go.
There is a definite right and wrong way to reach out to press, just like there is a correct way to do any networking activity. As with everything in music, marketing, and promotion, just make sure you take a little extra time to do your research. A little goes a long way and shows the blogs that you’re paying attention to them, just like you’re asking them to pay attention to you. If you’re looking to learn more and align your brand in a professional manner, but don’t necessarily have the cash for a full fledged PR campaign, Green Light Go has a lo-fi DIY option.
Green Light Go: Do your research and give yourself enough time to pitch by starting early!
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