UPDATE: I wrote this in March of 2016, and it quickly became my most popular post. Four years later SubmitHub has over 1100 curators including radio stations, YouTube and Twitch channels, Spotify playlisters, and Instagram influencers. Read about my latest experience, including tips and tricks from SubmitHub’s founder, here.
I hate submitting my music to blogs. Hate hate hate. The process goes something like this:
- Scour Hype Machine for blogs in my genre.
- Comment on said blogs regularly to “develop a personal relationship.”
- Gather relevant email addresses.
- Assemble a compelling pitch for my latest and greatest song.
- New email, copy/paste, send, rinse, repeat.
- Wait in vain for a response.
Hey, I understand. Music bloggers can receive hundreds of submissions per day. There’s no way they can check out that many songs, much less provide feedback. It’s not like they’re getting paid!
But what if they did get paid? Not for exposure. We’re not talking payola here. Just a token amount to compensate them for their time. Say… $0.50? That just might work.
You can submit your song to dozens of blogs (currently 59) for a buck a pop – less if you buy credits in bulk. Bloggers receive $0.50 per submission for their time and consideration.
They have 48 hours to listen to at least 20 seconds of your song, decide whether or not to feature it on their blog, and provide at least 10 words of feedback if they decline. If that criteria isn’t met, your credit is refunded.
Premium vs. Standard Credits
I’ve described the premium submission process, which is what I recommend. But there is another option. If you’ve got more time than money, you can submit to two blogs every four hours for free.
I tried standard credits for my first submission. It was rather unpleasant. Within two hours, both blogs declined, no explanation provided.
If you want to give the free route a shot, you can maximize your odds of success by choosing wisely. Go to their stats page, click to sort by “Response rate (Standard),” and submit to blogs most likely to respond or approve.
Nobody is getting rich listening to songs for $0.50 each. Out of respect for everybody’s time, premium is the way to go.
How to submit your music to blogs
The submission process couldn’t be easier! Choose Premium or Standard credits, then narrow down the candidates by selecting the appropriate filters:
You’re presented with a sortable list of blogs:
Select the ones you want to submit to, provide a little info on your release, and you’re off to the races!
My SubmitHub results, round one
I paid $40 for 50 credits, then promptly submitted to 27 blogs with a high response rate. I included a short bio and noted that the song is from my upcoming album.
The declines started rolling in immediately. This time though, the emails included explanations, ranging from helpful to contradictory to nonsensical. For the most part, the comments from music bloggers were indistinguishable from those from Audiokite listeners. Here’s a representative selection:
Kinda slick piano and singing – reminds me a bit of Ben Folds. But I’m not sure I can dig the vocals enough to blog. Also seems a touch of auto-tune shows up here and there.
Autotune on vocals isn’t sounding strong enough for us. Needs work.
The vocals are cool but I did not enjoy the music and the lyrics.
Vocals have a weird melody with the piano. It clashes at weird places.
The production is amazing, but the vocals on here are definitely for me.
I like where your heads at but the vocals sound waaay to loud/dry/wide all at once hah. Keep on working but consider outsourcing the mixing aspect. It’s hard to focus otherwise.
The production is nice but the melody is very linear.
Interesting melodies here! I like the progression of your piano chords; you are definitely a talented piano player! The trance-like bass is also an interesting addition. Consider altering the lyrics a bit so they don’t follow a clear path along the beat. Right now they don’t really stray from the piano which I think hinders your success in hooking us in via your vocals.
Some thoughtful feedback for sure, but taken as a whole, it doesn’t tell me how to make the song better – other than perhaps revisiting the pitch correction on the vocals.
Out of the 27 blogs that I submitted to, 24 responded. I was refunded 3 credits.
Not bad at all! The response rate, that is. My results, on the other hand, were disheartening.
Only one blogger approved the track for a blog post/review, “ideally within the next week.” He asked for the press release, artwork, and social media links, which I promptly supplied. Nine days later, I’m not seeing the song on his blog.
My SubmitHub results, round two
Undeterred, I invested another $40 in 50 more credits and refined my strategy.
For starters, I read about each blog, rather than just submitting blindly. It isn’t immediately obvious, but you can click on a blog name from the home page to reveal a description, stats, and accepted genres.
This time I didn’t avoid blogs with a low response rate. Why bother? Worst case, you get your credit back.
Initially I planned to pass on the blogs that clearly aren’t a good fit, based on their comments from the last song. Unfortunately for my wallet, my pride got the best of me. I thought I could win them over (I didn’t).
Finally, I tweaked my pitch. Instead of just a short bio, I started off with an offer they couldn’t refuse, or so I thought:
80’s synthpop + EDM + classical piano. All features will be promoted multiple times to my 2.1M Twitter followers.
Followed by a Dropbox link to hi-res photos, the same short bio, and links to social media.
Everything they needed for a feature was at their fingertips!
Out of the 37 blogs that I submitted to, only 24 responded with feedback within 48 hours. I was refunded 13 credits.
But that doesn’t tell the whole story! Two of them didn’t include feedback, and four more without feedback came in after the deadline.
When all was said and done, 30 of the 37 blogs checked out the track, leaving me with 52 credits for future submissions.
This time I received three approvals. Just like last time, one said they were going to post in the next week, but it hasn’t happened yet. One shared my track with their 1,000 Twitter followers, and another reposted it on SoundCloud to 419 followers.
Should you try SubmitHub?
My experience with SubmitHub has been both humbling and enlightening. Clearly my music is not relevant to the vast majority of music blogs in my genre. 😭
For $38.40, I received 44 mini-critiques, two potential blog posts, a tweet, and a repost.
That’s far less than I hoped for or expected, but it reaffirms my focus on pleasing the fans I already have. I’m confident many (most?) of you will have better luck!
If you’re going to submit your music to blogs, SubmitHub is the way to go. It’s cheap, transparent, painless, and fair to both parties.
Give it a shot and share your thoughts and strategies in the comments!
Update: Jason at SubmitHub was kind enough to share this article with the bloggers on the platform. Shortly thereafter, Salacious Sound came through with the promised post on my first song. Would it have happened anyway? Probably!
Don’t forget to read about my latest experience with SubmitHub!