Now regarded as an actual job instead of just a hobby, blogging can have a lot of advantages when it comes to getting your music some serious exposure, but the blogging game has changed a lot over the past year - here we look at how to launch a successful blog in 2019.
Guest post by Frank Hamilton
Blogging is now seen as an actual job rather than just a hobby, and while most musicians are currently focusing on growing their fanbase on Soundcloud, you must not forget that a music blog has many advantages when it comes to getting exposure and increasing your audience.
Here's a guide for every beginner blogger on how to start a successful musician blog in 2019.
- Take a Look Around
The first thing you must do is take a good look around. This is somewhat like doing research as you will be taking notes in the process, so grab a notepad and a pen. Your aim is to find music blogs that you like or that are successful.
The point is not to find only the ones you enjoy the most. In fact, pay close attention even to those that are dedicated to the genre of music you don't like but are still successful in their niche. You are looking for inspiration for your own blog (and no, this does not involve copying what others have).
See if these blogs are global or not and how long they have been around. Write down what you like and what you don't like about these blogs - you will use these notes later for brainstorming. Pay close attention to the kind of features the authors provide on their blogs. Along with articles, they may have podcasts, apps, various interactive features, shared online playlists, mixed tame streaming, and so on.
- Select a Genre & Define the Goals
The thing to keep in mind when selecting a genre and defining your goals is whether or not you will be focusing on the topics other music blogs cover or you will be filling a void that has not been covered before.
For example, if you will be focusing on popular musicians, this will mean that you will get into a highly competitive environment and it will be much harder to rank higher in search results. However, if you find your own unique approach to discussing these musicians, you will be able to rise higher in popularity.
When choosing a genre, consider such questions:
- Will I be focusing on local artists, on global independent artists, or on both?
- What is my genre of interest?
- Who is my target audience?
- Is my goal to celebrate music I enjoy or to critique music I don't enjoy?
- What will I do to make my blog unique, if I am focusing on popular musicians?
- Decide What You Will Blog About
It used to be as simple as posting a review about a new song or album by your favorite artist, but not anymore. In order to be appealing to your target audience, you will need to post something more than just music reviews.
Your blog must be a resource for your readers. You want them to be coming back. You must have a stream of both repeat and new traffic, which is why you must write about industry hot topics and create evergreen content.
Some things that you can write about in your blog include:
- Interviews with local or touring bands and musicians, and local or traveling industry professionals
- Music history
- Fun facts about artists and their creations
- News posts about the latest buzz
- Comparison of your genre around the globe
- Find Inspiration
Being creative is essential to making your blog function properly. Quality over quantity - this must be your motto. Always make sure that you are producing original, engaging content that will pull your readers in.
In order to find inspiration, check other music blogs and make lists with ideas that come to your mind at completely different times of the day. There will be moments when you are stuck and have no idea what to write about. This is when you can make top 10s or simply write articles related to the current time of the year (e.g. "Creepy Songs To Listen To On Halloween", "Ageless Christmas Songs To Set The Mood", "Top 10 Artists That Won A Grammy", etc.)
- Set up a Schedule
While you always want your readers to get only the most high-quality content you can produce, you must not forget about posting regularly and being consistent. Only then will you be able to get a steady stream of traffic and grow your audience.
Set up a schedule for when you post what. Make sure that you have different types of posts scheduled throughout the week with reviews thrown in. Try to aim for 3 to 5 posts per week at first, but you can switch to 2 to 4 afterward once you have established yourself.
- Promote Yourself
You must start promoting yourself and spreading the word about your blog as soon as possible. This is not a matter of if - this is a matter of when. Nobody will know about you unless you tell everyone about yourself.
In order to get interviews for your blog, reach out to industry leaders and local brands, connect with other musicians on social media and live events, and so on. This will help you build a follower base and get the word out about your brand new music blog.
Establishing relationships in the music industry is crucial to becoming successful. Connections might be all you have but they will be the thing that gets you somewhere. If you constantly show up at your local music joints, you might get your info through to one of the industry leaders at some point. Moreover, if your blog focuses on smaller artists, it will be easier for you to get interviews, free music, press releases, and so on.
- Build a Team
Once you are established and know what you are doing, you might notice that you are getting tired of your blog. Having it as a full-time gig might make you burn out, so it is important to have a backup.
Build a team of dedicated people just like you. It's great if they are musicians too, so you will be able to connect better. They must be passionate about the same genre you like and willing to contribute to your blog and grow it together.
If you are ever feeling down, these people will be your support and will help you keep going even when it all seems to be in vain. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you must never give up, even when you will be all alone and your blog will be still unknown. It will be difficult, but nobody promised you the road to success to be easy.
All in all, musician blogs are really not that hard to keep. Once you decide to take on this challenge and create a successful music blog, the most difficult part will be behind. Keep on blogging and you will be on your way to success.
Frank Hamilton has been working as a translator at translation service TheWordPoint. He also loves traveling and speaks Spanish, French, German and English. In his free time, he works as a SMM specialist in music festivals.