An Independent Hip Hopper’s Guide To Mutual Back Scratching

I’ve been meaning to get into writing editorials for some time now, they are one of the last unique things blogs have to offer. I have been hesitant to do so, however, because I know they won’t really garner any attention. As it is now, my posts only get as much traction as the artist I speak on gives it. I used to write for OK-Tho. There, I had more of an audience. I left, however, because if I was going to write for free I wanted to have complete ownership of the content. So, now I have complete control of a platform where I can ramble on about whatever songs I want to, but no one who is really listening.

That said, the blog has seen a certain degree of success thus far. I attribute this success to the artists I have highlighted. Well, most of the artists. Some I’ve written on merely tweet the article once and move on. While I cannot fault them for their approach to self-promotion, I do find it misguided. As a blog with under 1,000 followers, and damn near zero daily users, if you don’t share the article on all your social media platforms, no one will ever read it.

Now this is obviously detrimental to me, the writer, as I have essentially wasted my time writing something that only I, the artist, and sometimes my brother, will ever read. But, more importantly, it is detrimental to you. Or, perhaps not detrimental but definitely a missed opportunity. This is a squandering mainly because people take artists with placements more seriously, regardless of the size of the publication. In reality, most of your fans will never even check the blog’s page to vet it, they will just see the article you share and assume its a reputable source effectively increasing your clout.

But the approval of Nomadic Bloggers does more than persuade your fans, it legitimizes you in the eyes of larger publications. If our blog took the time to feature your music, it is understood as something worth featuring. This means, should they see it, other publications will flock to feature your music. As more flock, more blogs feel the need to cover your music, if for no other reason than the fear of missing out.

A second way not sharing an article written about you harms you more than you think is that the lack of reciprocated support will more than likely lead that publication to skip over your next release. Now this may sound shady, but really it’s not. Most hip hop journalists do this for free. It’s a hobby, something they take time away from more profitable endeavors to do. That said, they really don’t owe the artists anything. All the articles they write are more or less favors. In return, we don’t ask for much, just that you share what we put time and energy into making.

We promote you, you promote us. If you can’t do that, something that only stands to benefit us both, then why would we go through the trouble of writing about your next work? What will we get in return? Now this argument falls apart when you introduce those publications which charge for posts. They are irrelevant in this discussion, less publication and more racket, but that’s a whole other editorial.

I would like to end by thanking the artist who is responsible for our most read article, 88 Vibes. The article I wrote about his song “Know” has about 27 times more hits than our average article. It even dwarfs the hits for our front page.

I attribute this to two things, one of which is easily emulated. Firstly, these numbers are the result of the devoted and engaged fan base he has built. I believe he has such a base because he so closely ties his musical and personal lives. As Joe Hova preaches, this allows him to capitalize on his friend’s capacity to serve as his core fans. But this fan base would never have seen it if he didn’t share it on both his artist and personal Facebook pages. What’s more, while this is likely not responsible for many of the views, he went through the effort of making a Twitter page so he could share the article on that platform as well. The top it all off, he followed Nomadic Bloggers on all the social media outlets he frequents.

When I saw how he handled the article, how genuinely he supported the support I offered him, I felt grateful. So much so that I felt it only fair to put some money into promoting his article. While the views gained were not nearly as significant as the organic ones he created, they were not nothing. And they came from those who had never heard of him, potentially expanding his fan base beyond just his friends.

In conclusion, you get what you give. And since in this case the giving is largely self-serving, it would be foolish not to give liberally.

Ian Lunn

"Little things are big things to mice"