If you're reading this, then you're ready to get serious about starting your own music blog. As with everything in life, the best way to set yourself up for success—is to invest time and energy into creating a solid plan of action. Several things have changed in the last few years when it comes to music blogging, so you must ensure that your plan is current. This includes major music labels embracing everything from successful music blogs, promoting their musicians via social media, and encouraging music sharing via YouTube and SoundCloud. As well as multiple new ways to source and listen to music. The following information is designed to help you learn how to start a relevant music blog that will succeed.
The First Step In Starting A Successful Music Blog
The first thing you want to do is to take a look at the most successful music blogs online today. Even if they are not related to the genre of music you most enjoy, you want to see both what they have in common, and what makes the unique. The goal is not to copy a site, but to find inspiration—and gain a general frame of reference.
While researching the most successful music blogs of the moment, pay particular attention to whether they are global, and how long they have been around. Take detailed notes, covering what you do and do not like about the blogs you find—and utilize these notes for brainstorming.
Also consider the avenues they utilize in conjunction with their blog. This includes interactive features, podcasts, apps, mixed tape streaming, and shared online playlists.
Select A Genre, And Define The Goals Of Your Blog
What is essential to keep in mind when selecting the genre and goals of your music blog, is whether or not you are filling a void that other music bloggers do not currently offer. This step is extremely important, because it is where you will define what makes your blog unique. Consider questions such as:
Will you focus on local artists?
Will you focus on global independent artists?
What is your primary genre of interest?
Who is your target audience?
Is your goal to celebrate music you enjoy, or to critique music that you don’t enjoy?
If you are going to focus on popular musicians, what will you do to make your blog unique?
For example, if you opt to select popular musicians (aka highly competitive in both the music blogging industry, and within general web searches) you could make it unique by focusing on “remakes.” You could blog about who has previously recorded, remixed, or used samples of popular songs—then discuss what you like about each. You could also focus on how many other genres (say both pop and country) the song has been recorded, or if the song has been recorded in other countries and languages.
Below are a few successful music blogs, who all have their own unique method of connecting with their audience.
Consider What You Will Blog About
In the early days of music blogging, bloggers needed to do little more than post a song or video, and write a short review—but this is no longer the case. Today the music reviews you post must be passionate and informative—and your blog must have more depth than just a string of reviews.
When starting a music blog you must determine a few topics you will blog about, other than music reviews. This could be any combination of:
Interviews with local bands and musicians
Interviews with touring bands and musicians
Interviews with local or traveling industry professionals
Fun facts about the artists you blog about
Discussions about how your genre is different around the globe
A successful music blog, is a blog that has a steady stream of both new and repeat traffic. You want to brand your blog as a resource for your readers—and give them more reasons to visit your blog than just hearing new music from the artists you review. The ideas above will get you heading in the right direction—but there are many different directions you can take.
Creativity And Consistency Are Essential
In case it has to be said, you must be creative to succeed in the world of professional blogging. You must craft engaging blog posts that your visitors want to read. Set specific goals for how many music reviews to add each week, as well as how many blog posts related to your genre you will commit to.
Aim for 3-5 posts each week while you are just getting started, and maintain 2-4 once you are more established.
While posting with consistency is essential, so is creativity and quality. There will be times where you struggle to find a topic to blog about—so consider current trends, or the time of year. For example, you could write a blog about “Timeless Summer Favorites”, ”Award Winning Artists”, ”One-Hit Wonders”, or a “Great Holiday Song’s You’ve Probably Never Heard.”
Spread The Word
You must begin networking ASAP. If relevant, reach out to local bands and industry leaders for live interviews. Also connect with local and globally celebrated musicians and industry leaders on social media—and at live events. This will help to spread the word that there is a new blog in the music industry, and is essential for building your fans and followers.
Keep in mind that you need to do more than just “friend” or “follow”, but begin to build mutually beneficial relationships. Building connections is essential within all industries, but especially in the music industry. For example, if you become a regular within your local music joints—they are likely to pass along your info to musicians and industry leaders.
If your blog will be featuring local and less mainstream artists, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn how easy it will be for you to gain access to them for podcast interviews, live interviews, free tickets to concerts, free music, free paraphernalia, and even free press releases that can become part of your blog content. As you gain momentum, you will receive the same from major artists, music festivals and events, and major music labels.
As your popularity continues to grow, you won’t have to search as hard for advertising and ways to monetize your site—as the opportunities will start coming to you.
Build A Team
You are sure to love music, or we wouldn’t be discussing how to start a music blog. However, once music blogging becomes your part-time or full-time gig—you run the risk of burning out. If your passion for music begins to fade, your readers will notice. This is why it is essential to build a team, even if it is small. This could be other bloggers, someone you can send to some of the live performances you want covered, and individuals who love the same genre of music, and will help you source new songs and musicians.
The advice above highlights the key ingredients you will need to focus on when starting a music blog. Starting a music blog will also require you to design (or outsource the design) of your blog, research relevant keywords, invest in free and paid online marketing, and create written content to compliment your blog.
Even though audio music is the primary focus of your blog, written content is essential for optimizing your blog—as well as providing your blog visitors with relevant tips, tricks, and advice that will keep them coming back on a regular basis. On top of that, written content is essential for marketing materials—including white papers, press releases, and guest blog posts designed to drive traffic back to your primary music blog.
Music not your thing? Check out these articles on starting a Fashion blog, Travel blog, and Food blog.