Exposing 7 Scams In 7 Days: Day Four, Fake Press Coverage

When you hear a 10 for 1 deal advertised by someone who’s supposedly in the music business. Run! We’ve legit seen individuals saying they got 10 blog placements at the price of one and all you have to do is e-mail them! Or send a private message. Very similar to the fake Spotify placements in finding the victims. This article will show you why one should NEVER deal with someone who makes GUARANTEES. Saying an artist is paying for 10 blog placements is a guarantee, thus a scam.

3. What does fake blog coverage entail?

Photo by Victoria Priessnitz

Usually scam blogs don’t write ANY original content. They just copy/paste and publish your poorly written press release along with other thousands of desperate and uneducated upcoming artists. They do that on 10 websites that THEY own (the seller 9 times out of 10 is also the owner), and you end up with one press release copy/pasted across 10 websites. What does that do for you career exactly? Nothing. You’re not growing in readership because no one reads these cloned blogs; you’re not getting any real feedback because these people don’t write anything; you’re not meeting any new valuable artists as these fake blogs have no selection criteria and accept everything from everyone; you won’t even be able to say on your website or LinkedIn profile that you got press articles out there about your music and brand because yet again… It is not an article. It is a copy/pasted PRESS RELEASE. A press release is NOT a press article about you. At the upper level, scam blogs copy/paste articles from Pitchfork and just change the name of the song, the artist, and for a moment you actually thought someone bothered to dissect your music like that.

2. What questions should I ask to avoid fake blog placement?

Photo by Simone Secci

1. Are you going to write an original piece or you will repost my press release? You want an original article on you and your music. Copy/pasted press releases are a scam as they offer no value to you or your future.

2. Who is the writer that’ll be in charge of my article? You want an exact first name and last name of the person that will cover your music and you want to check they exist, that they are indeed affiliated with the website, and that they know of your existence. Editors and writers are in constant touch with each other. So if someone is promising you blog coverage but the writer never heard of you while he/she is supposed to write an entire review on you, your seller is lying to you. We know, many yous but you need to hear them all!

3. For how long has your blog been around? The longer the timeline, the more trustworthy the platform is. The music market standard says a year of consistency is enough to credit a website as legit. So remember this the next time you are about to pay for press placement.

4. What notable artists have you covered in the past? Every self-respecting media publication will want sooner or later to cover people who are influential and have the power of conviction. If no such artist exists in the blog’s history, be very, very, very careful.

5. Have you been cited in any news outlets? If they say no or most likely don’t even understand your question, you’re dealing with scammers. Blogs and websites that are valuable get public recognition on other blogs and websites in return. News outlets are per thumb rule the most reliable sources. So if the news mentioned these people or platform, they’re very likely legit. Just make sure they were not named in a scam documentary! 😀

6. Will this be a positive, a neutral, or an unfiltered article? You want to know what to expect. There are 3 types of music press styles: 1. people who write favorably about music they like – positive style 2. people who are keen on criticizing and hold nothing back on pointing out all shortcomings of an established or an upcoming act – unfiltered, critic style 3. people who just state what happens on a record without trying to influence the reader’s opinion – neutral. Number 1 and 2 are prevalent while number 3 doesn’t usually have much of a market recognition or readership because in this business you want to either be loved or hated. Neutrality never birthed any stars.

7. Where will the article be published? We’ve seen for example writers from Spin Magazine use their affiliation with the company to dupe new artists into thinking they will be featured in the very Spin Magazine while they get published on their personal blogs or much smaller, clone-style blogs that seem to be focused on volume and not quality. Ask for the exact link where your review/interview will be published.

8. For how long it will remain published on your website? As fake websites, blogs, and magazines work with a huge volume of desperate artists, their allocated host memory gets filled up really fast so if you’re lucky, they might keep your article a year. Others however, take it down as soon as 2 months.

9. How do you choose who to write about? You want to hear a clear, definite selection criteria for how they pick their subjects. If they can’t give you a concise answer, they’re full of it and you’re about to be scammed.

1. How to find legit blogs to write about me?

Photo by Usman Yousaf

Google! and word of mouth! If you are an artist, you a hundred percent know some other artist that’s happy with his blog feature or interview. Reach out to the author and inquire on the possibility of you getting featured on the same platform. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Go where people leave happy.

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