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The 10 Hip Hop Blog & Site Commandments

Mike Trampe Of HipHopDX, Maad Management & Get Your Buzz Up breaks down the 10 Commandments of being an artist nowadays and how to submit to Blogs & Sites; Biggie Style!  We have our own set of rules here on KN on how to submit your music to the site, but Mike more or less covers it in the following 10 Commandments…

The 10 “Hip Hop” Blog & Site Commandments

“I been in this game for years, it made me a man,
It’s rules to this shit, I wrote me a plan,
A few good tips for you to get,
Your content online, not thrown into spam”

These are in no specific order, use them, as you would like. They do not have to be used from 1-10.

Rule # Uno: Always send your best work, make sure it is recorded properly, mixed down right and sounding crisp. Nothing more online personalities hate is when someone sends material and says, “This isn’t even my best track”, then why did you send it?

Rule # 2: Build sincere relationships. Treat hip hop relationships like the girl/guy your in love with. You would put in time and work for that person right? Not just expect some the first night you meet. Be sincere when building your relationships, ask them how their day is, don’t always seem like your trying to jam product down their throat.

Rule # 3: Be respectful. Approach peoples how you would want to be approached. Saying “Yo fam, you need to post my music” probably wont get you anywhere. Respect, Respect, Respect!

Rule # 4: When emailing content make sure you send a hi-res picture, one song that is attached and a file share link (ex. Limelinx, sendspace, etc…). If we do not know who you are why would we want to hear a whole mixtape of you? Gain us as fans by sending over individual songs that we can check out, make it easy for us to listen by just clicking play in our emails. We do not want to have to go to a secondary site to listen. If we like it and want to post we have the D/L link as well as a hi-res picture. You can also send website and social media links. My best advice is to have them in your email signature. If we want to check out more on the artist, its there for us to do that.

Rule # 5: When sending emails, try to send individual emails to each blog/site. If you do want to send a “mass” email make sure you use an email company, but if you are sending on your own make sure you BCC everyone! There is nothing more that people hate then when someone sends an email to 200 people showing everyone’s email address. BCC, BCC, BCC!

Rule # 6: Build a fan base. I tell people this all the time, have the sites come looking for you! Do shows, press up merchandise, do meet & greets, perform anywhere you can (even if its not paid), do features with artists, utilize all the online tools and build fan bases outside of your city and overseas. There are tons of tools online for you to use, social media programs to help you build your network. Build that support system, its very important!

Rule # 7: Build your brand and team. Make sure you have people around you with the same common goals. Have weekly or monthly conference calls or meetings. Make sure everyone is on the same page. You do not want to have your manager say one thing while your saying another. Try and add a good graphic designer, videographer, web designer and photographer to your team. Visuals are very important nowadays, and it reflects your music. Setup your own site/blog. Post people’s music you like, that the general public likes, as well as yours, it’s a great way to pull traffic in. Make sure your social media and website are “uniformed”. Ex. HipHopDx.Com, Twitter.Com/HipHopDx, Facebook.Com/HipHopDx. Make it easy for your fans to find you. You don’t want a website that says www.doperapper.com, a twitter that says twitter.com/hotrapper and a facebook that says facebook.com/flyrapper J

Rule # 8: Do your research and be organized! Make sure you know whom you’re contacting. Do a little research on each blog/site and person you are reaching out too. There is nothing wrong with knowing the history of the person or their site/blog. Make a spreadsheet with their name, email, site/blog, brief history (how long its been around, traffic, etc…) You can look up a sites traffic at www.alexa.com. Being organized can really benefit you down the road!

Rule # 9: Have patience. Don’t bombard people with numerous emails, tweets and messages. If you have done the majority of stuff listed in this “plan”, you have a high chance of getting a return email/message. If you do not hear anything back still, wait a week or two and politely follow up. If you still do not get a response, mark it down in your spreadsheet and move on to the next site/blog. This doesn’t mean you give up on that site/blog; you just don’t keep hounding them about the same track. You can send them something again down the road, and follow this same process.

Rule # 10: The work doesn’t stop when you get a post! Congratulations, you got your song posted on the worlds largest hip-hop website. So what’s next? Most sites/blogs that do not sell products make their money off of advertisement space. The more people that come to a site/blog, the more traffic they get, the more traffic they get the more ad money they receive. With this information, an artist should know that once they get a song, video or news piece posted they need to push traffic to that site/blog that posted it. Utilize your team that you built, friends, and family to help push those links. You’re not only helping yourself but you are helping that site/blog. They will recognize that and will take note. It is a great way to build a better relationship with them.

Thanks for breaking it down Mike!

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About Kevin

Owner - Kevin is the owner and founder of KevinNottingham.com. Originally from Virginia Beach, VA he now resides in South Florida. In addition to this site he runs HiPNOTT Records, a small independent Hip Hop label and is an Executive Producer of the documentary film DEMOS: An Independent Artist's Guide To Success. Other than music, he is a techie by trade and holds a Bachelor's degree in Information Technology.
  • http://twitter.com/PtheWyse Praverb the Wyse

    Awesome post and everything that was mentioned is true and should be followed…

  • Phil

    Excellent.

  • Psymunbeats

    i think it’d be weird to include “how is yr day” in the e-mail. sounds kinda fake to me. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/micvicious Mike Trampe

    Im not saying you have to say “How was your day” and im not saying that we get hit up by email all the time.  People hit us up on twitter, like “yo listen to this, or yo u need to post this shit”.  When other artists have built with us over the months/years.  Yo how you doing, whats going on with you, what you been up too, etc…..I was using “how was your day” as an example to show what a common questions/interest would be to build with someone.  Its common sense but people still dont seem to get it, they are more focused on “making it over night” then they are putting in work over time.  Damn shame.  Thanks for reading and your comment.

  • http://kevinnottingham.com Kevin Nottingham

    You make a valid point though. Artists should treat us blogs like they would if they met us on the street. If an artist walked up on me on the street and just said, “yo you need to listen to this shit” (which I get all the time on twitter), best believe he’d get hurt lol. It’s all about respect and presenting yourself correctly. I’m a businessman.. I don’t respond to ignorance.

  • Psymunbeats

    i feel you. i just have the idea that you guys are too busy to tell me what’s new with you. like if i were to include “what’s new with KN?,” you’d just be annoyed, because i know you’re hella busy, and i wouldn’t expect you to have time to answer a question like that haha. i see what yr are saying tho.

  • FlamesYall

    Great commandments Kev… The reason I have stayed with you guys, daily, for the last 3 years (give or take) is due to the respectful nature of the KevNott brand and culture. You’ve hit a great balance.

  • http://www.facebook.com/micvicious Mike Trampe

    I get your point and i guess my best advice to everyone is dont take all my advice word for word, tweak it for your own personality.  I dont want someone hitting me up everyday like “hey hows your day, heres my music”, next day, “hey whats up how are you, heres my music”.  My point of that example is to show artists how important relationships are in this industry.  I have a few artists that i talk too a few times a week and they only send me music once a month.  They may just hit me on twitter and see whats new, what im getting into, if there is anything they can help with, etc…..Then maybe they hit me with some music down the road.  It all depends on the person and how you approach the situation.  If you approach me with your hand out and expect something from me then see ya later!  I want to be treated like any other human does, with respect.  A music career doesnt happen over night, so artists need to learn how to build long term relationships in this game, but most people dont have the patience. Its not for the weak.

  • http://twitter.com/MoonChildMusic MoonChild Music

    great advice here

  • Marcus Scott

    Thanks for the important and resourceful info KN. Will def stay on top of the game with you as a trusted guide so yeah I’m In!!

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  • Drko177

    New York Streets (Official Video) Jay-R & Ace Gutta Prod. & Dir. by Uptowns Phinest http://youtu.be/puCrxIeCOYY?hd=1

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    HAD TO DO WHAT I HAD TO DO,  New hip-hop release by NewCharles Entertainment
    recording artist Johnnie Newkirk Jr @ http://www.newcharlesentertainment.com Will be released on Itunes on Dec 16, 2011. This track is receiving rave reviews from fans and  industry insiders!

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    RISING STAR !!! Amazin Jackson NEW MIXTAPE 
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