How to get your song on the radio. [Part 2]

Picking up where Part 1 left off, so now what?

Part 1 might have inspired some despair, but after much research and thought into the whole matter, and more discussion with folks on the radio side of things, I’ve come up with a list of ideas to help you out, at least hopefully get a starting point, in your quest for radio airplay.

While mainstream radio will be the biggest challenge, kind of like the end boss in a way, these are other ways to get your songs heard en masse, and to help get that name recognition I spoke of in Part 1.

Drumroll……………… Here’s some ideas:

  1. Streaming Services
    • Spotify
    • Google Music
    • Pandora
  2. College Radio
    • Look up your local college radio stations, almost any state school will have one, and many private schools do too
    • You’ll want to get to know the shows, and find the shows/DJ’s/hosts that you think would best match your sound, and try to get in contact with them
    • Try to play live at as many of these as possible
  3. Internet Radio
    • This can be a vast array of places, but if you don’t know where to start, try typing in something into a search engine like “Top 10 internet radio stations” or if you know you’re genre, type that in there too, “Top 10 rock internet radio stations
      • There will be some overlap, but you can start to home in on where your best bet at finding some new fans will be
  4. Blogs
    • yeah yeah everyone talks about getting blogs to write them up, I’ve found this to be really hard and time consuming, but it’ll pay off, for a series of reasons. I prefer to focus on these blogs. Why? Because getting written up by a blog on that list offers a double whammy of awesomeness.
    • First, you get the exposure from the blog itself, which can be a good stepping stone to getting written up by another blog
    • Second, that site,, is a cool site that aggregates tracks posted by the blogs it tracks, and then creates (in real time) a playlist based on the tracks posted in chronological order. Therefore you get the blog exposure AND the Hype Machine exposure (it gets pretty good traffic). Pretty neat if you ask me.
    • Plus this list of blogs is a great curation of blogs that are making waves
  5. Busking
    • NEVER underestimate busking. This is actually, in my opinion, the single best way to reach new fans. This whole section actually could be it’s own blog, and likely I’ll write one based soon all about busking. In any case, the best example I can give is from a friend of mine, Andrew Gorny. He has been busking for years and years, and each time someone gives him a dollar, he gives them a song download card. I asked him one time, “Andrew, why are you spending so much time busking when you could be playing venues for larger audiences? Wouldn’t that be more effective?” His reply still rings in my head today, he basically said, “Think of it this way Charley, each time someone gives me a dollar, and I give them a song to download. That’s someone who’s genuinely interested in my music at least at some level, also it’s money in my pocket, and if you think of it a different way, I’ve basically turned a real life interaction into an iTunes sale (or something similar). Now if I make $80 in just a few hours, do you know anyone in this town who’s selling 80 tracks on iTunes a day? No? I don’t either.” Again, I was floored at this insight. Like I mentioned earlier, I could actually get into a whole blog article about this thought, but lets cut it off here saying that busking is highly undervalued by most musicians, and I highly highly encourage it. You literally have nothing to lose by going out and doing it.

Ok, while doing all of these things, and getting your name out there, you should be persistent in your goal to getting your song on mainstream radio (if that’s ultimately what you want). Though, I’d be willing to bet by the time you reach a point where that might be an option, you’ll already have so many awesome things going on you might not even care about that anymore.

Let me know what you think about this, or if you have any ideas yourself. I’d love to hear them, and discuss.

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