The modern artiste is always out there throwing links on social media to bring attention to their music. The artistes that get clicks and shares get more and more of them and the ones that don’t struggle to get any attention at all.
Fact has proven that it has little to do with their talent.
I have seen some of the most exceptional artistes struggle to go above 21 soundcloud plays. So many artistes are out there asking me what it really takes to get a blogpost hoping the site visitors will pick up on them and download their music. I know how that feels, resorting to bombarding forum comments with tons of links.
However, blogposts are not really about boosting downloads to me. The real thing it boost is brand image.
Brand Image & Publicity
Like I said blogposts may not actually increase your track downloads by a huge margin. Blogs are simply like the equivalent of the newspaper online. In Thomas Mapfumo’s time there were certainly no download links at the bottom of a Herald post. However appearing in a large number of blogs gives the artiste popularity and because of human “cognitive biases” they will start viewing the artiste differently, depending on the authority of the online publication. The artiste gets no value when talked about by a small blog which is not considered an authority in the niche.
Think about a Zimbabwean artiste whom 3-mob, The African Hip-hop Blog, Support Zim Hip-hop and Mcpotar.Com talk about positively in the space of a month?
The authority of the curators in these sites gives people an information cascade. This is important in silencing those who think otherwise and influencing the undecided fan to move with the tide.
The fan may not download immediately but he will be aware of the artistes existence. I’ve seen people praise artistes they’ve never really listened to just to move with the tide. When you finally ask them which track they love, they go blank.
Can Artistes Win Without Bloggers?
Artistes can be totally successful without depending on blogs to establish a brand image for them. This can be done when the artistes themselves begin to invest in their own websites and platforms, such that the blogs write about them without them asking for it.
Either way the blogs are writing about them but the difference is it’s from a point of respect because these will be unsolicited posts.
You will never see a well branded artiste beg bloggers for a post. The most they can do is send out a press release to all blogs and release according to plan. If the bloggers are late they catch up with the action after the crowd.
That ability to move bloggers is important but it begins with the artiste.
How Can Artistes Maximize on Blogposts
Artistes can use blogposts in the same manner press articles may be used. The articles can be used to convince potential funders that they are worth a shot. It can work as a reference.
The trick is to work on the perceptions and cognitive biases of whoever funders are. So the links should be shared and cited in their actual sites.
Your biggest funders are your fans.
Follow @Mcpotar on twitter and let’s take Zim Hip-hop to the next level.