7 Ways to Fail at Online Music Promotion

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So you want to be a rock star? Cool. Well, there's this thing called the Internet. You see, the Internet is like the giant beanstalk in Puss in Boots. Take the right steps and it'll get you all the way to the top. You might even find a magical goose. Take one wrong turn, however, and down you go tumbling off the giant beanstalk. Don't tumble off the giant beanstalk. But if you're curious about how NOT to promote your music online, please read on.

1. Don't read your target site. Read the site you're pitching? Meh. Waste of time. Takes too long. Computer screen causes cancer. Don't bother. Just blindmail that stuff. Throw randomness at the wall and see what sticks. It's just music, man. It's not like it's something serious, like, you know, your career or something.

2. Don't follow up. OK. We admit, this one's tricky. A follow-up is a quick way to ensure that someone actually read your 10,000 word press release and downloads your 500 bamillijillion MB zip file. On the other hand, pesky follow-ups can be annoying to some. So, either way you're fucked. What to do? What to do? When in doubt, just go with "no follow-up." It's the only way to ensure that you'll never get heard.

3. Spam bloggers on Twitter. Spam-tweeting music bloggers is an effective way to get ignored, blocked or reported as spam. It's exhilarating. You should try it sometime.

4. DO pick fights with music critics. Not all of us get harassed by people eager to offer animal sacrifice at our Delphic temple. So we'll take whatever praise comes our way. Professional musicians, on the other hand, require a different level of effort. It not only matters who's doing the genuflecting, it matters how, where, what time of day and the alignment of Jupiter vis-à-vis Uranus. Anything below satisfactory praise is an excuse for a Twitter rant.

5. Work on mediocre projects. If you only remember one thing from this list, it should be this one: attach your brand to mediocrity. There's no better way to ensure failure. Excellent music will only yield exposure and acclaim. We don't want that now, do we?

6. Be a stranger. The web is a big place. We're all individual parts of a whole. Well, except those of us that aren't. That means: ignore everyone. Ignore everyone and be sure to only post mundane updates about your life and your music.

7. Underestimate the value of validation. You're doing good so far. Who needs validation from some bespectacled music nerd in Superman pajamas? Not you. Toss care to the wind, dive along with arms spread, and let nothing ever ever get in the way of your appointment with the pavement. Hello.

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