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[ARTIST ADVICE] Getting Featured On A Music Blog: Tips For Success

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Years ago, all you needed was a good magazine review and your album would sell like hotcakes. In fact, the review didn’t even really need to be good; the only thing that was important was the size of the magazine’s circulation. However, times have changed, and most people don’t even see magazine reviews anymore. All the information they need is on the Internet, which means that music blogs are becoming increasingly more popular. Stereogum and Pitchfork are two of the current big ones, and they can help a new artist get a following fairly quickly. It isn’t always easy to get featured on one of the big blogs, though, but smaller blogs can be instrumental to a beginner’s success.

How do you connect with a blogger? The truth is, you have to go about the process in the right way if you want to be a success. The following five tips are crucial in helping you get the attention of a blogger.

1. Study The Blog: Before you do anything else, you need to look through a blog you are interested in to learn as much about it as possible. When you contact the blogger, you need to be familiar with the site and showcase that you have that knowledge.

2. Comment: As you are looking through the blog, comment on posts that you find interesting. Don’t say anything about the fact that you are a musician yet; you simply want to provide interesting commentary so that your name looks familiar to the blogger.

3. Reach Out: After you spend time looking through the site and commenting, and you think the blogger has had time to recognize your name, you can contact him or her and talk a little about yourself. The blogger should be more willing to listen to you if he has seen you making valuable contributions on his site.

4. Ask A Question: Bloggers get a lot of emails, and they simply don’t have time to make personal contact with everyone. Increase your chances by asking the blogger a question about your music. This may inspire him to get back in touch with you, particularly if he knows you are a regular on his site. You can follow up as well, if you don’t hear anything at first.

5. Give Information: Don’t try to “sell” the blogger on your work. Just talk about what you are doing and why you are doing it. Hopefully this advice helps you. It comes from a blogger that often hears from others in the industry, so it is valuable information.

6. Engage in Social Media: If you’re starting a music blog, then sort out your social media. Set up some accounts, add some followers and some likes to them and then start placing your content on them regularly at the right times and watch as they grow.

These tips will help you create and grow a good music blog that will give you and your tastes exposure.

[WRITTEN BY GUEST AUTHOR]

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[Artist Advice] 5 TEDTalk Seminars to Benefit You And Your Career

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If you haven’t heard about TEDTalk here’s some homework for you. TedTalk is a company that brings speakers to seminars all over. Giving life lessons, upcoming technology, research, and social interactions. I felt I came across a couple of TEDTalk’s that can relate to a hip-hop musician/entrepreneur. Why not generate a list of my five picks for TEDTalk videos that can benefit you and your career.

Hip-Hop’s Seat At The Table || Brad Franklin


Hip-hop may be the most influential genre in popular music but its artists are not always seen as community leaders in other contexts. Brad Franklin explains his idea that the creators of hip-hop are vital representatives of the culture they reflect, which has become mainstream.

Brad “Kamikaze” Franklin is a Hip Hop artist, entrepreneur, writer and activist. Kaz’s extensive career spans several mediums, including music, TV, and radio. He is one-half of the critically acclaimed hip-hop duo Crooked Lettaz with David Banner. He’s also garnered much success as a solo artist with 5 releases though his own company, OurGlass Media Group. Those albums sold nearly 20,000 copies independently and led to extensive tours of both the Czech Republic and Ghana, West Africa. OurGlass is a full service Public Relations/Marketing/Entertainment Consulting Firm with a recording label, management company, film production company, concert promotions, and property management arms. Currently, Kaz is the marketing specialist for the City of Jackson, Department of Human & Cultural Services. He also writes columns for both the Clarion Ledger & Jackson Free Press. But his greatest achievement is being a loving husband and proud father of 3.

Keep Your Goals To Yourself || Derek Sivers


After hitting on a brilliant new life plan, our first instinct is to tell someone — but Derek Sivers says its better to keep goals secret. He presents research stretching as far back as the 1920s to show why people who talk about their ambitions may be less likely to achieve them.

Why Videos Go Viral || Kevin Allocca


Kevin Allocca is YouTube’s trends manager, and he has deep thoughts about silly web video. In this talk from TEDYouth, he shares the 4 reasons a video goes viral. (This is the first talk posted from an amazing TEDYouth event. Many others will come on line next month as part of our TED-Ed launch. We can’t wait …)

How Winning in Hip-Hop Led To Winning in Business & Life || Glenn Bolton


In this short but entertaining talk, Glenn Bolton, aka Professor Daddy-O, shares the secret to his success in the highly competitive music industry that is relevant to anyone from any industry.

Glenn “Daddy-O” Bolton is one of the most influential voices in hip-hop. Hailed by the industry as the “Quincy Jones of rap,” Bolton founded groundbreaking hip-hop group Stetsasonic, whose success inspired the alternative hip-hop genre. He later joined the executive ranks at Universal Records, where he was charged with talent discovery and development.

Bolton has worked with heavyweights Mary J. Blige, B52s, Queen Latifah, and Red Hot Chili Peppers, among others. Other notable projects include the And 1 mixtape, MTV’s Rip The Runway and the movies Dangerous Minds, CB4, Lean On Me, and Straight Outta Brooklyn, where he served as talent and Music Supervisor. His career has been chronicled Icons of Hip Hop: An Encyclopedia of the Movement, Music, and Culture, and Rhythm and Blues, Rap, and Hip-Hop.

Bolton lives in Atlanta and most recently served as a curator for the official Smithsonian Hip-Hop Anthology. He has an album out currently on iTunes entitled #everybodybutkrs. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.

The Transformative Power of Hip-Hop || Professor Lyrical


In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized

This concludes my five top Hip-Hop related TedTalk seminar segments I feel that any upcoming hip-hop artist or entrepreneur can learn a thing or two from it. I find these seminars to be very insightful. If you come across any other TedTalk’s you’ll like to add to this list, by all means contact me via Twitter @NikkiSiixx. Would love to share those videos!

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[GIG] Fun Socks Is Looking To Sponsor An Artist

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FUN SOCKS, was created by Two Australian brothers who live in Sydney with an ambitious dream to become the words largest seller of unisex socks that are soft, colorful and comfortable. Their socks are made from combined cotton which had a premium thread count and are designed for the artistic individual.

Currently, FUN SOCKS is now looking for Artists who have >100,000 followers on either Instagram, Twitter or Facebook who they can sponsor for 12 months. They want to choose sometime really soon!!
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The sponsorship will include:
– Free Socks for 12 months
– A collaborative sock pack custom designed for the artist “Fun Socks X Artist”
– Artist used on marketing material

Email info@funsocks.me if interested in applying for this sponsorship gig brought to you by Fun Socks.
Let em’ know NikkiSiixx sent ya!

INSTAGRAM || SHOPIFY

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Website Recommendation: CoPromote

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I’m back with another website recommendation that I find helpful to anyone who’s looking to promote themselves. This time I’m bringing you a secret weapon of mine that I’ve kept to myself for the last 5 months and I’m ready to share since I know it works! CoPromote is a co-marketing platform that helps generate boost for their posts such as on Twitter, Tumblr, Vine, and even Youtube. They have a community of over 800,000 members that relate to categories like music, gaming, blogging, brands, filmmaking, and so much more.
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Luckily, this platform is free but are limited to the features you can use. But first I have to explain how easy and accessible CoPromote is. You can access it on their site CoPromote.com or on your mobile device through their CoPromote app. You are able to boost one thing at a time and you’re able to keep tabs on how the tweet/post/blog/video is doing with their analytics. You get to know who is exactly sharing your content, how engaged is it, and helps to improve with what’s really bringing traffic.

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Since using CoPromote for the last 5 months, I find it to be extremely helpful and anyone who is trying to get more exposure on your content either with blogging or music. It works. Before I would get probably 2-3 RTs but when I boost a tweet I now get an average of 20 RTs and even some new followers. Also, helping to bringing new traffic to my Twitter account, My Website, and even my Youtube Channel.

But I know by making your account Pro you can really take advantage of the CoPromote platform and reach to almost close to 1,500,000 additional reach. They have different packages and what I find to be useful is the unlimited boosts. Meaning I can have over 12 tweets being RT, Liked, and Shared. Because currently I’m using the free account which only allows 1 Boost at a time. Check out their packages and prices below:
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I’ve been able to find some pretty dope Gaming Youtube Channels. I found them by using CoPromote’s Youtube Feature. Say I find a video I like and I want to feature. It adds a clickable link to my videos on my channel. When someone watches my video a pop up of the video comes out on the bottom left corner. I choose which videos would be more relevant to my viewers. You can also boost a youtube video and get yours featured on other youtube channels.

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I seriously reinforce for you guys to check out CoPromote! If you’re an artist trying to get more exposure this is the best way to boost your content from tweets and your music videos! Best way for things to get around is word of mouth and CoPromote makes it easy. If you have a budget for promotion I highly suggest you go Pro in order to really push your content the right way. Try it out for free if money is tight, but don’t miss your chance.

P.S Follow CoPromote because sometimes they post discount codes for their GoPro Packages, Be on the lookout: 👀

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Starving Artist Suggestions No. 2: The Curse of Being Gifted

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There is a behavior that some of us independent artists exhibit – I call it the “I Don’t Wanna” syndrome. I’ve been this guy before. You know this moralistic viewpoint; it’s the artist that proudly proclaims that he could make “a million” trap beats or that she could write “a thousand” pop songs, but — to put it simply — they “don’t wanna”.

Voldemort-spell-avada-kedavra-harry-potter-14771461-500-335So please, tell me again why you make music? Is music something you do strictly for stress relief – is it a cathartic means to blow off steam? Do you spend hours crafting and perfecting the music you make just so that you can later listen to the sound recordings of yourself or of your productions?

Or do you make the music with aspirations of intriguing the listener; of leaving the listener inspired, awe struck and engaged; with dancing visions in your mind’s eye of a crowd-filled room, participants engorged with the most intensive of energies – the lips of each attendee raucously spilling forth every one of your painstakingly-crafted lyrics right down to the last drop?

pigeonThe reason I ask is because, as artists, we can sometimes find ourselves pigeonholed into creating the music that we specifically value, or into producing the type of stuff that we want to hear – and there is nothing inherently wrong with that – but I must ask: if you’re focus is creating the music that you want to hear, then why do you have aspirations of releasing it for others’ consumption?

I mean, music is a gift – and I understand that your music can undoubtedly be one of your most personal and unrequited gifts to the world – but the question still begs to be answered: when you give someone that thoughtful gift – deep down from the bottom of your heart – do you give them the type of gift that YOU like; even if it isn’t the type of gift that THEY would?

bob-marley-quoteBob Marley once said, “Live for yourself and you will live in vain. Live for others, and you will live again.” That is some serious food for your thought and nourishment for your soul. See you next post!

Previous Blogs:
Starving Artist Suggestions No. 1: Please Stop Seeking The Advice Of Profits

#StarvingArtistSuggestions
The “Starving Artist Suggestions” is a blog designed to give hard-working independent musicians and independent music executives insightful, honest and frank information that will make positive differences in their careers. @Legasey

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Website Recommendation: SCSuperFans.com

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Hey guys, I wanted to share with you a site that helps and specializes in authentic Soundcloud promotion by SCSUPERFANS.COM. I find them to be the most credited when it comes to driving real traffic to artists pages. You can see, SCSUPERFANS.COM have over 250+ positive reviews and a 99% positive feedback rating… proof that their service are exceptional. They have two ways of generating listens by their blog network and using CPV Advertising. By using these sources, your soundcloud accounts are not being viewed from spam bot accounts. And we all know about these spam accounts according to our discussion I had with Koalition when I was on the Knights of The Turntable “The Indie Rapper’s Guide of The Universe”. If you’re an artist that’s looking for ways to expose your music, here’s a way SCSUPERFANS.COM can help.

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Starving Artist Suggestions No.1: Please Stop Seeking The Advice of Profits

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Dear Starving Artist,

Please stop listening to the digital distribution sites and musicians’ blogs that try to convince you that it makes sense to “keep all of your rights” or “keep more of your percentage” of revenue. It is a marketing ploy.

Because while you are not only keeping more of your “percentage of revenue”, you’re also keeping more of the percentage of the tasks and burdens that are inherent to the process of growing a business – and undervaluing or underestimating the time and monetary costs of these types of burdens is an action that can stifle your business and your career in a long-term and/or terminal way.

You’ll never see a McDonald’s franchise owner working the register so that she can “keep more of her percentage” of profits. Keeping 100% of ten sales is not a better proposition than keeping 10% of a hundred sales. “Going it alone” is a surefire way to stagnate your progress. Money will come and money will go. Now is not the time to concentrate on your profits; now is the time to concentrate on growing your business. You can pay a team’s salary, but you can’t buy teamwork.images-1

#StarvingArtistSuggestions
The “Starving Artist Suggestions” is a blog designed to give hard-working independent musicians and independent music executives insightful, honest and frank information that will make positive differences in their careers. @Legasey

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Artist Advice: What To Do After Getting Feature On A Blog/Website

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After the mission of submitting your content to numerous amounts of sources, now its time to play the waiting game. Waiting for that special feature. When that moment finally arrives it’s now to put in work. For an indie artist you just can’t expect that one feature to make you a superstar over night. It’s all about how many people can get aware of the content.

finn-yellingFor my site, NikkiSiixx.com. When an artist gets featured you automatically receive 1 week of promotion via my twitter accounts. Daily mention of the article and the artist twitter link. I’m blasting the post in order for more people to take noticed.

That same promo approach should be done on the artist behalf as well. Say if the artist, his team, and any fans that want to help push your content. The more people that talk about it the better. Build awareness for your content, and this goes for anything related to upcoming releases. Here are a couple of tips to promote your feature on a website or blog, even including mine:

1- Get TWEETDECK! They have a special feature to help pre-schedule tweets. I use this to help the continuous promotion of a tweet for a week without having to physically tweet it myself. I highly recommend you get it and have your team as well! and this will be able to setup daily tweets for

– WEBSITE and CONTENT Links
– Features on anywhere they feature you
– RT’s or Screenshots of Feedback Given from fans or colleagues

2- How to promote the featured article on twitter:



-You know what these links are creating? They’re building the awareness that site actually featured you. This gives the listeners a good reference to why they should listen to you. And you’re building more awareness for the site that feature you. When sites notice a certain artist brings traffic, they’re going to want to keep building more with you.

3- How to promote via Instagram:

@idioticoddity is a unique artist that mixes hip-hop, pop, and rock within his genre. This presents a wide arrange of sounds that Idiotic Oddity adapted to quickly. You may think is a bit out of the norm, but who is normal nowadays? Oddity’s also does his own vocals, making an appearance on his hooks/chorus. Really catchy! Wanting me to press replay. Idiotic Oddity released his self titled EP Idiotic Oddity. I find this to be a great introduction to who Oddity is as an artist. The refreshing production and melodies reminded me of one of my favorite Indie Electronic Duos The Limousines. With a dancy 80’s synth and 90’s influenced pop. But Idiotic Oddity provides a hip-hop flow to his verses. Idiotic Oddity EP is a five track project, here’s what I thought about my favorite tracks off of it. Read the rest via NikkiSiixx.com || #review #nikkisiixx #nikkisiixxentllc #music #hiphop #pop #rock #spotify #listen #idioticoddity

A photo posted by NikkiSiixx ENT Consulting, LLC (@nikkisiixx) on


What I also recommend when posting it on instagram.

-TAG The Blog, The Writer, and anyone else who had involvement with the content.
-Hashtag keywords relevant to the post and anything regarding your campaign.
-LINK the article to your Instagram link on your bio! Fastest way to get instagram users to view the content. Have this up and promote it for a week straight.

what_should_i_write_by_vanillycake-d5dfp99_zps07a557a64- If you have a website that has a press section (this section will have every link that has ever mentioned you). I find this to showcase to anyone who wants to see how many features without having to do a complete Google search. Its right there ready for the viewer to peek and look at your references.

5- Create your own custom images for post by viewing my article Top 6 Apps for Music Artists. I recommend some pretty dope apps to give you the presence you need online.

6- Don’t just retweet one time the link from the blog. Think about it, they probably took from 2 hours to couple of days to get the post ready and review the content genuinely. Well, I know for sure that’s what my contributors and myself do for all the posts. When you show real love it’s only expected 10x more. Also, when other sites see you pushing the content they made for you. They’ll expect the same push for what they’ll write for you. That’s when sites will become aware that you support the sites.

7- I recommend to push article features for more than a month, twice a day (AM+PM). Reason why when tweeting at different times of the day, is because when someone sleeps another is awake, and vice versa. This doubles your chances in reaching different people than always the same people at the same time everyday.

Those were couple of tips I recommend for Artist to do after getting featured on my site or any other site. When you’re an indie artist, your fans will only know when they see you mention it. If your fan doesn’t follow my site and you don’t mention it. How can they support and promote you when they didn’t find out from the artist themselves?

Feel feel to comment below or send me a tweet via @NikkiSiixx

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The Epidemic of A Copy and Paste Blog

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Lately, it’s just getting out of control. Since I am a music blogger I receive a large amount of submissions on a daily basis. This is extremely overwhelming to read and listen to them all. But for some reason sites find it to be much easier to copy and paste these submissions, just to get the post in. This is called plagiarism:
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Makes me wonder if they even listen to the content and if they even have their own set of opinions. This isn’t just sites that are unknown, but alarmingly its the major hip-hop sites as well.

The process for an artist to get the content to the masses, is trying to reach these outlets to get exposure from the music fans. Makes sense right? It should. But how would an artist or publicist feel that the site copy and paste (word for word) and didn’t contribute any opinion to the content.

son-you-were-copy-and-pastedPersonally, I’ve been in the position in submitting content for an artist. I was in a hurry and I used what I had written on my site as the description and even provided the link to my article. When it got featured on 15 different sites and it was copy and paste. Word for word, even my personal opinion on the artist was used as if that’s what they felt about the artist.

What I could have done was put these sites on blasts for plagiarizing my work. But what will happen to the artist feature? Knowing how these sites work they could either delete the post entirely or they’ll just reference back to the original post from my site. How would the artist I’m working with feel about his post being removed because of my actions on defending my own words. The artist received Google Alerts and when he reads every feature, he couldn’t believe it was word for word.

This hasn’t happened just to me, I discovered on the Knights of The Turntables #44 discussion I was on via TheKoalition.com. Joe from Joehovasmf.com he brought up in our discussion that one time when he was submitting content for an artist, he wrote a beautiful write up, and noticed every single site he submitted the content was COPY & PASTE. He feels it must be that he’s write up was too good or the site was that lazy enough to not write their own opinion.
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I had to research a bit more, and I was able to ask a few questions to @MattWhitlockPM who has been submitting artist content to me over the passed four years.

NIKKISIIXX: When it comes to submitting the artist content to sites, do you see sites copy & paste what you sent?
MATTWHITLOCKPM: Well when I email blast to the generic sites, like 80% copy/paste. But that’s just for blasts. If I’m doing full pr/marketing for the guys I manage, Notoriety – I’m personalizing each email before sending and also asking for original write ups. with those, I usually have great results but thats expected, to me at least. Generic blasts gets generic results. Its more of a booster, you have to have relationships and be personable when running an actual campaign.
NIKKISIIXX: How do you feel about the sites that copy & paste?
MATTWHITLOCKPM: It used to really irritate me because I was a writer myself for many years. I just didn’t get why you would become a “writer” and not want to write, lol. Then I started to realize that it’s the same with any other line of work, some people just want the title. I stopped caring about those sites/people and re-routed that attention to the sites that cared to write actual posts. Those are the ones you want relationships with. The copy/pasters are just for the email blast list. Which is also why email blasts are cheap and marketing packages are expensive – building relationships is expensive.

From what we got from @MattWhitLockPM is that in order to get organic features from blogs you either need to know someone or know someone who knows these people to reach out to these blogs and asked them personally to take the time to actually write their own posts. He has a whopping 80% of sites (by generic email blasts approach) that copy word for word. That is an alarming rate.

I personally think having an overwhelming amount of submissions shouldn’t excuse a site to just go to the copy and paste route. I see it as a lazy route. If you’re going to blog or promote an artist, it should be done with honesty and with your own damn opinion. If I can do authentic write ups I think the other bloggers/writers/journalist should be able to do the same.

*PS – For the sites that do authentic write ups nothing but love and approval from me! I know how it is, I do run a site and I can fit in your shoes. Ya’ll deserve a trophy foreal!*

What do you think? Leave a comment below or send me a tweet via @NikkiSiixx.

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NikkiSiixx on The Indie Rapper’s Guide to the Universe | Knights of the Turntable #44 via The Koalition

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n239284651846_1969Check it out ya’ll I was on this weeks Knights of The Turntable where we go in on The Indie Rapper’s Guide To The Universe! Welcome to episode #44 of the definitive Hip Hop podcast, Knights of the Turntable. The landscape of Hip Hop has evolved in such a way that independent artists can be successful and build solid careers, but not without a few rules along the way. Hip Hop and geek culture cultivator NikkiSiixx, who’s celebrating the 5 year anniversary of her site, joins the show with @JoeHovasMF @richbaileyjr @The_CSJR. To share stories and suggestions for those trying to gain exposure and building positive networks. Additionally, here are some of the stand out indie artists we mention during the show:
Art Morera || Kirby Maurier || SABA || Pope Adrian Bless || G.I. Magus || Adam Reverie || D Gut

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Culture Shock: Miami’s Indie Scene Looses Venue Support

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For the last two years Miami’s Indie Scene has taken a toll on where or when a local hip-hop showcase will happen. One of the biggest concert venues GRAND CENTRAL in downtown Miami has announced they’ll be closing their doors on September 26. And before a mass amount of supportive venues have shut down as well: The Stage Miami, LMNT, Club Eve, The Nest, The Goose Lounge, and the list goes on and on. We may call this a local entertainment recession right now.
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Here’s a bit more information on me and my experience with Miami’s Indie Scene. I’ve coordinated events in Miami and West Palm Beach areas since 2011-2014. With my accounted history I’ve coordinated about 50+ shows that were artist showcases, networking events, artist listening events, beat competitions, open mics, anniversary parties, The Walking Dead Viewing Party called iScream Sundays, and even a yearly event called Blogfest. I would say I was a lucky promoter guaranteeing venues at no cost because of the quality of the show I was providing. The bar will make their money off drinks and I’ll cover the events expenses with what I made off the door. As the years passed the harder it was to get a show booked, venues I previously worked with wanted to start charging me $1,500 to book a show on a Wednesday night, they would never give me weekends considering my crowds supported me more on the weekends. Also my budget wouldn’t allow me to cover these expenses which made it even harder to book shows.

IMG_0061For the last two months I’ve partnered up with PropsAndBonds who’ve coordinate monthly events within the Miami Scene and also coordinating Vice City Cypher’s Saturday Mic Live at Catalyst. From January-August I was living in California, I came to visit and was hoping to coordinate my sites 5 Year Anniversary show. I asked for their help and we’ve came up short. Every venue PropsAndBonds met with said they would love too but can’t since they’re going to be closing down due to higher rent costs within the Wynwood community. Which startles me because this is where the new Miami reached out to and helped grow from what it was. No one would have set foot in this area 10 years ago but now it’s the talk of the town. But will it still be considering now venues are no longer interested in working with the hip-hop community. Even though it’s been difficult we’re still working hard to make this event happen and give an amazing show with the best hip-hop artist we know.

The harder it is for a promoter to book shows will make it even harder for an upcoming artist to get some time on stage or be able to present a live show in-front of a real audience. As you see as artist you need to come up with creative ways to get your performance out there. There’s an artist who I know that goes out of his way and performs live on the street with a mic connected to a speaker. He’s name is Stide Prince and he calls these pop-up performances The FUCK YOUR VENUE TOUR. But there are issues with doing these type of shows you need a permit from the City of Miami. Or they will shut you down.

A video posted by Aristide Junior (@stideprince) on


I feel that we all need to come together in working to getting more shows coordinated and get more possibilities for the independent artists to perfect their craft. If you have any ideas or know any venues that will be interested in working with me contact me via Twitter at NikkiSiixx.

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Survey: Lines That You Can’t Stand

linesyoucantstand

I asked via my twitter account NikkiSixx an open question that I really wanted to hear my viewers opinion.



Has there been a time when you listen to a song, but you expected more from it? Say a line was just too simple to come up with or they shouldn’t have used it at all. If you’re an artist or songwriter you should check out what the audience is saying. You don’t want to land on lines that make you urk. Lines I can’t stand our I’ll take your girl. Its like no you’re not and why would any guy want to hear you think you can take his girlfriend. Below are a couple of tweets from my followers and LINES THAT YOU CAN’T STAND.


Feel free to comment and let us know which lines you can’t stand, we’ll might add it to this post if it’s not mentioned above. Don’t forget to mention NikkiSiixx to be able to view the tweet.

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Artist Advice: Avoid Being Just Another Soundcloud Rapper

Artist Advice Avoid Being Just Another Soundcloud Rapper SM

NIKKISIIXX: This time around I had artist SM to bring his point of view for this week’s Artist Advice Article. SM is also a new contributor here at NikkiSiixx.com. SM’s topic of choice was AVOID BEING JUST ANOTHER SOUNDCLOUD RAPPER. Take it away SM –

Inside_Recording_Booth2So can we all agree that damn near everybody and their uncle can rap and that all of them with access to a computer are most likely recording a mixtape as I write this? OK, now that we agree on that let me give you an example of a scenario that plays out much too often. Let’s skip pass the small talk and fast-forward to the day the rapper’s project is actually here. This is the day all of their friends and family receive that “Check out my music” text or email. The day complete strangers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram get hit like an Uzi with the rapper’s music link. Often times begging us to check it out or my favorite line, “Click on the link in bio.” The music is uploaded. The cover art is uploaded. While everything seems ripe and ready for the rapper to catapult to stardom (in his or her mind), the Soundcloud numbers are saying, “Don’t quit your day job!” And from that point on, all this rapper seems to do is promote his or her project on Soundcloud. Why stop there? Why let your career stall and lose momentum? I’m going to tell you a few ways you can avoid being just another Soundcloud rapper.

Let’s be clear, Soundcloud is a great platform for artist; however, it takes a lot more than that to be successful. For instance, shooting a music video is a very important part of promoting your project. Per day, 1.5 million views on YouTube are for music videos alone. Artists are now getting signed off the buzz and number of views from their YouTube Channel. Songstuff has a great article online you should check out called “Tips For Making a Music Video”. People want to see you, so get in on this action immediately.

social-media-dataAlso, you need to hire a reputable publicist or music promotion company to help get your project out there. Your occasional tweets, posts, and status updates are not enough. Put your project in the hands of people with experience and you will see much better results. To learn more about the benefits and what to look for in a Publicist, check out David Robert’s article “9 Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring A Publicist“. Another thing I suggest is getting your project out there offline. That means getting off your ass and off your computer or off your mobile device and actually network with other human beings face to face. Press up physical copies of your project and give them to DJ’s, you know the drill. Let’s not pretend like we don’t know how to operate without the Internet. Of course there are more ways and ideas you can use, I’m just scratching the surface. If you have any ideas feel free to leave a comment below and we’ll take a look. Ultimately, it’s all on you the artist to make good music and get it out there.

SM is an Author and Artist from NYC currently residing in Atlanta, GA. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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Artist Advice: The Importance of Gaining 10 New Fans than 100 New Followers

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In this week’s Artist Advice Article: I selected suggestion by @mrsassone with “Why making a genuine connection with 10 new fans is better than 100 new followers”. Thanks Frank for the comment. Here’s what I have to say about gaining a genuine connection is better than 100 random followers.

I know it may seem having 100 new followers is the next best thing in expanding you’re social media presence but in reality it’s not. Gaining 10 New Fans is the move in gaining true support from people who really do love your music. Who are willing to pay to see you perform live at a show and even purchase an official merchandise item(s). These are the people who will share your music to their friends, co-workers, allies, by word of mouth, tweet, or post. Sometimes getting a referral from a person you know, “Hey man, you should check out this upcoming artist. He’s pretty dope and you gotta listen” can really motivate the new listener to you.

There’s many ways to earn a fans appreciation, one way is by giving them access to you without having them hold your house key. Like providing exclusives on music before it’s release or Skype/Google Hangout a Fan-Only Listening Session while you’re at the recording studio. Giving them intimacy like they’re right there with you. Makes them feel closer to you as a person, not just an artist.

Becoming More Interactive helps tremendously. Not just posting random thoughts, but more on what you do on a daily basis. Let’s say you’re going to eat at Applebees and you post a pic on Instagram. In the caption of the photo: You explain what’s happening, why your there, and ask a question. (What is your favorite meal from Applebees? or What’s the best drink to get from the bar?). The world feels the need to add their own input so why not start there. By asking a question this starts a debate and you get to know what your fans like.

FullSizeRenderOnce they start posting their answers. Your job is to respond to each and every one of those comments. Also, check out if there following you, you should follow them back. That always makes a fans day! When they see the person they look up to acknowledging them. It’s an overwhelming feeling. It’s like one day I posted a pic on Instagram regarding a movie James Franco directed. I captioned the photo my commentary and moments later I get 2 notifications, James Franco liked the photo and started following me on Instagram. I will always remember that moment where I’m like James Franco is following me?!!! [screams]

DON’T FORGET Hashtags!!! Hashtags is a way for someone can come across you’re post if you use the right keyword. For example, above scenario you can put #Applebees #whatsfordinner #restaurant #musician #YourName and anything else you see fit. I noticed for me when I do post with hashtags my likes are doubled. I like to use about 10 or more hashtags for the post.

2zio2v4As the great Praverb said in his article on 100 Ways for Musicians to Gain 100 True Fans: “The ideas revolve around the basic concept of friendship. In order to gain friends and sustain them you have to show them that you care about them. This includes being an effective listener, suppressing your ego, being thoughtful, offering your time, respecting their opinions and more“. His article is a breakdown of how you can gain fans, going over 100 ways to do it. I won’t go into detail on it but you can view his article (I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT). #RIPPraverb

I understand it’s all a numbers game, but when you have 10,000 followers and not one shows up to your show. You will be considered a lie. Why? Because how do you have such a huge online presence but when in comes to real life… they don’t show up. Building friendships with your fans can help generate a positive support system. In the end your real fans will be there after Instagram/Twitter has to clear out bots and spam accounts. Which will leave you with 100 to even 1000 less followers than before. This concludes this week’s Artist Advice Article. Good luck and just be you! Anything you’ll like to add to this article please comment on the comment section below.

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Artist Advice: How To Approach A Producer With Or Without A Budget

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For this article, I asked my Instagram followers for ideas for the next artist advice column on my site. What would they like for me to write about. I based my topic off their suggestions regarding promotions, blogs, anything related to music. This week I chose – @illtalbeats with his comment: “Do an article on how rappers should approach producers for beats (Especially for artists that don’t have a budget) lol” || Thanks illtalbeats this is the perfect topic! Here’s what I have to say about approaching producers with or without a budget. 

I know for an up and coming artist it can get really pricey in order to put a really solid project together. From the cost to purchasing a beat, to paying an engineer to mix and master it, hiring a graphic designer to create the cover art work, acquiring the licensing, trademarking and copyright. Placing your first order on printing physical cd’s, which need packaging sleeves or cases (plus the graphic designer to create the overall look). Creating and stocking up on merchandise, and then online promotional campaigns you get from official websites that support you’re kind of music. Phew! Remain Calm.

Key is to be able to manage your finances to the best of you’re capabilities. If you need to save, you save. But first things first… when it comes to creating any music content you need to find the heart to you’re song. This is where the producer plays a huge part. Because if the producer is a talented individual, who is capable of multiple genres or a new sound you’ve been searching for. Then your song comes to life, with a heartbeat to the music.

Lately, I find the best ways to find a producer is through Soundcloud.com, Twitter, and even Instagram. On Soundcloud, beat makers upload their beats and even instrumentals they’ve been working on. In hopes to finding an artist who will be interested in collaborating on something new. Networking is key when it comes to building new relationships. Comment, Share, and Like what you hear. Showing support goes a long way, especially when you’re really feeling the music.

Best ways to search for producers are through hashtags! Here’s where the producer who puts #Producers #FreeBeats #HipHop #Music while appear before your eyes. Don’t forget to follow them and become a familiar face. Once that, obtain their contact info; usually an email address, phone number, or straight through a direct message. Let em’ know how you’re interested in working together and how can it be possible? Here’s where it comes to whether or not your wallet comes into play.

Producers work in many different ways when it comes to selling their beats. They can set a price for the track, lease the beat, or accept royalties off any sells/plays. When a producer sets a rate for a beat, you have to understand and respect it. You can either pay in full or even make payments in order to own the music, rightfully. I’ve heard producers leasing beats for a certain amount of time. But this might be helpful for an artist who might not be completely sure if music is the right path for them. But hey! Reader, right now if you’re an artist who knows for sure what they want and their going to work as hard as possible to make it happen… Continue to read Right? Cool!

So, next option is accepting royalties. Royalties occur when you’re content is registered with BMI, ASCAP, or SESAC. For example, BMI has connects with licensed holders who use/play your music; such as radio stations, television stations, clubs, and restaurants. These license holders maintain a monitoring system that provides licensing fees in order to get you paid. 50% of a song is credited to the songwriter and the remaining 50% is left to the publisher.

Once you’ve selected the beat, picked which type of purchase choice, then it’s time to make a payment. When making a transaction, make sure the producer sends you an invoice for exactly what you agreed upon. This will guarantee this service or ownership of the beat you wanted to purchase. You also have to take into consideration any fees that may take place such as Paypal. You should pay to make the difference so the producer fully gets the amount he/she asked for. 

Say, you don’t have a budget. You’re an independent artist and all funds goes towards maintaining your life and your living situation. This is where networking and friendships come into play. I would say search for a producer who’s starting just like yourself and you feel a common base in music and interests. Proclaiming how you really want to work with them on a small scale when it comes to collaborating on music. You two can select a certain amount of beats and then you come with the verses, and then a project is born. A free project, this will help promote both parties. With heavy online promotion, you’re definitely guarantee to gain more fans this way. Now the producers followers, friends, associates become familiar with you as an artist as well.

Also, during the recording process you should have the producer present. Build together on the sound the project will have and hook them up with their favorite goodies as well during the session. Drinks, Snacks, Coffee, and even some funny smokes. Positive Vibes = Amazing Music. After working together.. when you’re in works on any future project, they might possibly hook you up with free beats.

FREE BEATS?? Yeah, it’s possible. When you network and play your cards right. But don’t forget to give credit to the guy who created the song that inspired the lyrics to the best song you’ve ever written. It takes from hours till days and even months to get a beat sounding the way it does. Take into consideration, they deserve the credit too. Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 2.52.50 PM I’ve received music submissions from the artist himself and he did not give credit and not even mention the producer at all. How rude is that? The producer should always get mentioned on anything related to the track/project promotion, getting tagged in every photo of the cover art, and getting notified when the track gets featured on a popular website. This also will benefit the artist because now you have an extra individual who will help promote it because they are involved. This concludes my take on how artist should handle approaching producers on purchasing their beats and even sometimes working without a budget. Any comments or suggestions, provide them below.

NikkiSiixx: Top 6 Apps for Music Artists

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856c0e00f9d2d6c8f455a3eac65ee3a6This comes to every aspect of your career and where you want to take it. But first things first… make sure your music is ready to go. Mixed & Mastered as always. Then when it comes to creating a digital campaign to promote either your single, mixtape, or even your album. It’s gotta look top notch! I found a few key apps on my iPhone, and there’s a chance a few of things are actually available on Android. I put together a list of my TOP 6 Apps for Artist to make a great first impression via social media.

Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 8.57.41 PM[1] INSTASIZE : Easiest way to post your entire photo onto any social media outlet. You take the perfect photo on the night when you’re performing in front of a live crowd. Once you get to uploading it to Instagram, you notice half the image is cropped off. You can’t cut off the crowd or yourself to fit them all in. Here comes INSTASIZE to save your day. You simply upload your photo, and it instantly aligns it into the perfect size to fit on Instagram. But better yet you can change the background into any color or a dope design they have listed. And you can even add texts. You can make a collage, add filters and layers to give it an amazing effect. This is a great way to include everyone in the photo, with a nice background, and text like “A Night To Remember”. What a great memory to share with you’re fans. Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 9.17.07 PM

Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 8.57.56 PM[2] INSTAQUOTE :  Create captivating text images for your campaign announcing release dates, tour dates, or even a dope song lyric from your current single. They have so many backgrounds, fonts, font colors, and different ways to style the message. I personally love this app, because I’m able to make motivational quotes look stunning, countdowns to events, or any inquires I want my followers to be aware of. Great way to spread the message amongst you’re followers.

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Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 9.00.44 PM[3] PICPLAYPOST : This has to be the ultimate app for presenting multiple clips together. From images to actual video you can have even music play all at the same time. This is definitely worth the purchase. I’ve been able to present posts, recaps, and anything else you’d like to share. I would recommend this for an artist to use their cover art, video clip of a music video or live performance recap, and a professional photo. I wouldn’t recommend to have audio with a video has its own audio. Best thing about this app you can adjust how long you want the visual to play for and adjust the audio from an added song or for the video’s. If you notice on my Instagram [ @NikkiSiixx ] I have a bunch of these. Get some ideas and create your own unique way to present yourself to the world.

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Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 9.08.11 PM[4] Ringtone MAKER : Nothings more dope then giving you’re fans free stuff. I think this a great marketing method. Create your own free custom ringtone of your single that you’re pushing. Create an image with INSTAQUOTE stating you must follow my instagram and twitter account and share this image on your Instagram account, gets a free ringtone. Think about it; You just got free promotion with that repost for the free ringtone. Once you have them retweet or repost the image you will need an email address to send them the ringtone. Guess what you just earned a fan and someone who can be added to your email newsletter for future updates.

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Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 11.20.01 PM[5] REPOST : This is a great way to repost an image instead of screen shooting, then crop, then upload, and re-write a caption or try to remember everything its supposed to say. This eliminates that unnecessary stressful process of reposting. REPOST presents a super easy way to share images or videos from Instagram and still giving credit to the original owner of the image. Great way to repost images from fans. Say: when you meet a fan, they take a photo with you, and this way they are able to prove they were able to meet you and able to keep that memory of you. What a better way to please the fan by reposting it on your Instagram account. I feel this will make them a bigger fan since you acknowledge them enough to share that experience on your own social media account.

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Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 9.02.09 PM[6] SOUNDCLOUD : This can make it easier to share your music to your social media sites and able to communicate with people who like/love your music. I know so many music lovers who use sound cloud as a source in discovering new music from new artists. Key thing to do with is TAG everything that’s relevant to the track you’re posting. Anyone who searches that keyword will be lead to you. So choose you’re words wisely. Also, this can be a new way you can come across producers, rappers, singers, and of course music lovers.

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I find these apps to be very helpful when it comes for upcoming artists to present themselves through social media properly. This easy to use apps ranging from being absolutely free to costing the most 2.99. If $2.99 is too much to ask for to invest in yourself, than you must be in the wrong industry. When you’re an upcoming artist you have to put your blood, sweat, and tears into you’re work. Investing in yourself will bring you growth. To buying your own studio equipment or pay hourly to rent out a studio space to record your music. Don’t forget to check out these apps via iTunes and Google Play. Hope these apps help you in gaining a better online presence.

As the great Earl Ptrick McNease tweeted:

NikkiSiixx Do’s and Dont’s: Submissions 101

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From a bloggers perspective, submitting music should be something simple and easy to do. But sometimes the artist, manager, promotional agent, and friends don’t promote the content accurately and appropriately. I know the whole key is to have as many people listen to the content. But if they’re doing it with a wrong approach, it will lead your music to fall on deaf ears. If you don’t want this to happen you should definitely check out below my Do’s and Dont’s in SUBMISSIONS 101.

DO: Usually the way a blog or website wants to receive submissions from the public is through they’re email. Review the site you want to submit. Make sure the site is relevant to the artists and that the site features other artists in the same genre. This guarantees that there are people who would like similar music and will take a listen.

DONT: Submit your content to a site that literally has nothing to do with the genre or topic. I’ve received submissions for country and religious genres. Obviously these submissions won’t make it on to a Underground Hip-Hop site, but I see that they’re just trying to spread the word, so they can get any feature. It’s also a waste of time submitting to sites that there’s no way the music will be on there.

DO: The sites have a list of details of what they need from you the submitter to properly review the content. My site offers this here: nikkisiixx.com/submissions. I basically broke down what I need from you from any category I have listed on my site. From music-video submissions, project reviews, event coverage, or inquiry about anything else. I’ve visited other sites and I’ve seen what they’ve requested. It’s plain out simple. But unfortunately submissions don’t come out right.

DONT: HALF-ASS details you can provide about the artist! Lacking a bio, discography, producer credits, photos, and even social media links. Should get the submitter a slap on the wrist for not including these valuable details that a blogger would need to generate the best post about you. I’ve received emails saying “yo… check out my music. youtube link . pz” Really? Yes Really?! How can I take this person seriously when they’re not taking themselves seriously. There is no way this content will get posted anywhere. You’re lack of information will lead to no exposure.

DO: It’s always good to try and touch base with the site prior to submitting you’re content. At least the site is aware of the incoming email. You can let them know when you’ve already sent it. And maybe a week after submitting to follow-up with the status.

DONT: Contact the site/writer on a daily basis on the status of the post. By you’re constant harassing this will lead them to have a bad taste in their mouth about the representation and the actually artists. When this happens usually the writer will not not have a positive outlook on writing this post since of the constant reminder. Us bloggers don’t need this. We have more on our plate then what you can expect. Especially it’s a site in supporting Underground Hip-Hop Artists from all over. If you haven’t notice there’s thousands of you.

DO: Create an excel sheet and generate a list of music bloggers. This will need name of the site, link, email, contact name, twitter, date sent, reviewed, follow-up 1, follow-up 2, Notes. These columns will help out because all the information you need will be right there. Fast way to view status on submissions, if you have this as up to date as possible.

DONT: Discredit sites for not posting you’re content. By showcasing this negativity in public this can cause a backlash of other blogger sites to not support the artists. I know at times it may seem no one is supporting you but you got to have a bit more patience. Especially when we’re overwhelmed with submissions. I have to mention this more than once because it’s a lot!

This should cover the basics of SUBMISSIONS 101. Be genuine! Providing more information is always better than to have less. The more you give the more we have to work with.

If you have any questions feel free to HASHTAG #ASKNIKKI101 and mention me @NikkiSiixx. I’ll be happy to help out with any questions. & please don’t let these question be about posting your content. That would clearly mean you didn’t read my article above.

NikkiSiixx Do’s and Dont’s: How To Promote Your Music Through Social Media Outlets

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Social Media has taken the internet by storm, it’s not the same as 10 years ago. Social Media outlets are websites that offer ways to interact with others, they might be friends or family and possibly with people you’ve never met.. The most popular out of these social outlets are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN, and the list goes on and on. I would like to go over the proper way to use Twitter and Facebook since these are the media outlets I use the most. I consider these more like guidelines.

TWITTER:

DO:
[x] When promoting your music via Twitter do it best on your timeline. This will reach out to you’re followers, if they like what they see they’ll click the link because they are interested.

[x] When someone asks for more links to your music, send it through a DM. (DM – Direct Message) You’re followers don’t need to see you blasting your own music to others.

[x] HASTAG # RELEVANT TOPICS! Obviously genre, location of artist, and key words related to your song or content.

[x] Overload you’re timeline with content. This will bring you people who are interested.

DON’T:
[x] Spam everyone with a link to your track saying LIKE AND SHARE — First off… how can you LIKE a tweet? You’re in the wrong outlet. Especially when you spam everyone with the same tweet it gets ridiculous. When we’re using Twitter we don’t listen when we receive these type of tweets.

[x] DON’T DM with links to your music, especially when the person didn’t inquire to hear your music in the first place. This is when you can actually lose a potential fan or get reported as SPAM.

[x] DON’T EVER ALTER tweets to give you the benefit of the doubt.

[x] Say if you’re waiting on a blogger/brand to get back to you on a submission or an inquiry. Don’t tweet them publicly, this will put them on the spot on why they haven’t gotten back to you. You must understand by doing this, this will reduce you’re chances with them even working with you. Best way is either through a DM or an email. I find email is more private and you’ll have more space to talk about the situation.

FACEBOOK:

DO:
[x] Best way to promote your music via Facebook is to have a Artist Fan Page. This way any personal stuff doesn’t get shown to your fans.

[x] Promote – New Music x Projects x Collaborations x Photos x Music Video x Event Recaps of your performance x Any upcoming shows you have.

[x] Follow Facebook Guidelines! Such as posting photos of drugs you’re using or any type of nudity. Facebook does not play when it comes to these offenses. They’ve been reports of police departments going through pages and finding people posting them using illegal drugs. You just gave yourself away. There’s no need to promote it!

DON’T:
[x] Copy and paste the same promotion to everyone that’s a friend of yours. Either on a wall post or through a message. I find this to be inconsistent. When sometimes everyone is a friend of a friend and see you left them the same comment. Where’s the exclusivity? Why should I listen? Do I have time to listen? All these questions pop off when people get these notifications.

[x] You’re content on other people’s walls. Who gives you the right? I know it may seem like a great idea at first. But what if the person doesn’t like you pushing your music on their wall or doesn’t like your music at all. You wouldn’t like another artists to do the same on your page.

[x] Tag People on photos of your cover art. Unless they had something to do with it. If they made the cover art, produced the track, was featured on it. These should be the reasons why you’re being tagged in the first place. When I see images I’m tagged in that I have nothing to do with I just remove my tag.

I hope you were able to use some of my pointers in properly promoting you’re content via social media outlets. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact me via Twitter @NikkiSiixx