10 Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Music Business Articles

Efficiency-3Are you using using your time efficiently? With so many music business blogs crowding the internet, it's important to know how to separate reliable sources from those with less credibility, and be able to get the most out of the material being read 


Guest Post by Bobby Borg of BobbyBorg.com

You surf the web from one music business blog to the next scrolling through a variety of tips and articles. But just how productive are you being? Find out by reading these 10 helpful tips. 

1. Choose Trusted Sources: Seek out quality blogs where you can be assured that experienced authors and editors are striving to release well-written, objective information that is not manipulated only to promote their own cause. You might look at the qualifications and experience level of the writers as well as the number of years the host has been in business.

2. Read Thoroughly: According to an article by Jakob Neilsen posted by Neilsen Norman Group, people rarely read Web pages word-by-word; instead, they scan pages, picking out individual words and sentences. While this might be suitable for articles written in a specific style, I have personally found it to be detrimental to some of my students, who often misinterpret key points. To truly benefit from blog posts and from the time you invest online, read the articles from beginning to the end, consider the tone of the author, and evaluate objectively what the article is really all about.

Eatons_War_Bonds_Rally_1943_Audience3. Consider The Intended Audience: While it never hurts to review practical sound advice, spend your valuable time reading articles that are really intended for you. Pay attention to the title of an article, the target audience of the blog, and the opening paragraph of an article. While this might seem like common sense, I've observed that sense isn't always so common. I'm always blown away when someone comments on an article with "great advice, but it’s pretty basic,” when the article is titled "Ten Tips For Musicians Starting Their First Band." Hello!

4. Seek To Learn: Assuming that you value your time and energy and you have a positive outlook on life, always strive to take-away something useful from each and every blog article that you read. The music industry is very complex—and as history has shown us time and time again—there are more methods to achieving success than just the ones that you believe in and have executed successfully. Keep an open mind and you’re likely to pick up a few new skills!

5. Follow The Article's Links: Good articles usually have one or two links where you can obtain further information on a specific point. While you can't spend all day online, be sure to click on at least one or two of the links so that you can verify the information you are reading and get a deeper understanding of the topics. You'll be glad you did.

6. Comment Critically: Reflecting on a blog post and offering your own opinion helps to strengthen what you’ve learned, but just be sure to express it critically and offer something of value for all to further benefit. Writing critically involves two steps: First show that you understand what the author is saying, and then express your own argument. Be sure to refer specifically to the text to which you are referring, back-up what you have to say with links to trusted articles and journals, and leave your real name and email for those who might like to further converse on the matter. To read more about writing critically, check out this white paper from the University of Washington.

7. Give Back Rather Than Hijack: While on the topic of posting comments, let’s discuss hijacking—the process of stealing the spotlight away from certain blog posts to sell your own services or agenda. Some marketers say that this is a fair-game (albeit aggressive) method of marketing, but did you know that you can utilize blogs to get more marketing bang for your time and energy? That’s right! You can write your own articles, be seen as a thought leader, and own your own audience. Many of the blogs that you read (like this very one) are usually looking for guest bloggers just like you. Seriously! So why not just contribute your own articles and be the star? Show us how smart you are and how wonderful your service is. To read more on the dark art of hijacking, click here.

Internet-Troll8. Quit Trolling and Wasting Your Time: Sadly, the Web is loaded with angry people who
hunt the Internet looking for any chance they can get to lash out and vomit their bitterness on others, and they usually do this while hiding behind goofy user names like Jack Hoff or InternnetHater666. If this is you, why not put all that energy and fire you have into doing something more productive like "fixing" the music industry and all you hate about it. Maybe you can use the various blog articles you read as inspiration to publish your own book or innovate a solution to all the problems of the world. Seriously! You can do it! We're all rooting for you and you’ll use your precious time on this earth more productively and make the Web a more enjoyable place for all. For more information on why people troll, see this article published by Psychology Today. 

9.  Use What You Learn: Reading all of the blog articles and tip columns in the world won’t do anything for you if you don’t put the information to good use. Information is only as good as your desire to execute it. Don’t wait for tomorrow to do what you can do today. Roll up your sleeves and get to work on doing a few of the cool things that you’ve read in the last week.

10. Show Appreciation: Finally, to help you get the most out of blog articles and tips on the web, why not start by thanking the authors and letting them know you appreciate their time and effort? The average blog article can take anywhere from one to three hours to write, and yet it generates zero compensation! Yup, that's right! Many bloggers work for nothing! Surely, they benefit by strengthening their brands and generating attention to their other services, but I’ve seen great bloggers quit because they failed to see this value. You won’t like everything that you read, but thanking the occasional blogger will certainly incentivize him or her to continue posting the quality, free advice that you need to succeed. So, that’s all folks. Happy reading!

Bobby Borg is the author of Music Marketing For The DIY Musician: Creating and Executing a Plan of Attack On A Low Budget

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  1. Thanks for this post. As a co-owner of an independent label with worldwide distribution, I rarely see articles dealing with how labels such as mine should navigate the current music marketing landscape. I see stories about labels doing “less,” but that’s not a three-dimensional picture. For our part, we sort of fall in between the spectrum: We have a website, we have worldwide distribution, but that does not mean we have nothing more to learn. One topic I’d like to see is how a label in my position is supposed to invest? What should happen after the street date? How do you draw attention to your back catalog? Should a label like mine diversify into other realms (I am frequently asked about licensing/booking agents/management issues? While I understand and appreciate the move toward the artist doing everything themselves, a lot of them still don’t understand how to advance their careers and the proliferation of DIY articles has a tendency to give them option fatigue or leave them paralyzed as to what they need to do and when. Thank you ~Mat

  2. Definitely information overload out there. It wise to pick trusted sources, utilize the advice of pros like yourself, and know when to build s team. Thanks for the comment.

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