6 Tips for Becoming a Successful Music Blogger
Being a music blogger is much like being a musician. You’re looking to become well known and perfect your image to reach fame. All too often, people make some classic mistakes when they try to enter the music business, like not investing enough in their career or trying too hard.
If you’re an artist who loves to share your passion for music, blogging might be just the thing for you. It offers an opportunity to share knowledge, show off skills, and possible even get picked up by the big performers.
The popular music blogs Pitchfork, Consequence of Sound, Tiny Mix Tapes, and Resident Advisor didn’t get to be among the top music blogs in the nation without attention to detail and a strong focus on their craft.
If you want to be a music blogger, you’ll need to walk a certain path. Stay calm and focused, and use some tried-and-true methods to head for the top.
1. Brush Up on Knowledge and Gain Experience
Just because you have a profound love of music doesn’t mean you’re ready to blog about it. First, you’ll want to build your knowledge foundation.
How familiar are you with the music blogging world? Do you already follow some of the top music blogs regularly to get an idea of what’s out there and works successfully?
In addition, you can use some real experience in the industry. It might be smart to pursue an internship of some kind, whether with a radio station or a record label. Learn more about how the music industry works and use that knowledge to bring a solid perspective to the blogosphere.
If you don’t already, you might also learn to play an instrument. Knowing how to read music and having experience on the learning path will be useful for understanding the way music is born and how it’s produced.
You can connect better with readers on an expert level after you’ve experienced what they’re going through.
2. Define Your Niche
No music blog can be successful without a niche. Finding a niche means you have to hone in on a specific facet of the industry and make it the focus of all your blog posts — or nearly all of them.
In the music industry, you could blog about singers, guitarists, record labels, screamo, or any other aspect you favor. Blogs that wander through music in general rarely attain top results in searches and readership.
“If you insist on starting a music blog, have an angle. A niche,” says Austin Ray, blogger and Internet marketing expert. “Find something weird or outsider-y that you know a lot about and then flaunt that knowledge. Be the authority on a subject, be it Norwegian black metal, Mormon polka, South Dakota’s garage-rock scene, whatever. If you’re going to write about the same indie rock bands that every other blog is covering, what’s the point?”
3. Target an Audience
The same way that launching a blog without a niche is a recipe for disaster, so is writing without having defined your target audience. Every blogger, no matter what his or her topic may be, needs to target a specific audience while writing.
You’ll build traffic based on reader engagement, social followers, and ad engagement, and if you don’t have a specific audience in mind, you’ll have a much harder time hitting the mark. To define your target audience, study the followers of blogs that do the sort of thing you aim to do.
Surf their social media pages and comments section to get an idea of the demographics and personalities. Once you get this target audience in mind, you can better generate posts and topics that match their needs.
4. Add Personality
A huge part of targeting a specific audience is unleashing some personality in your prose. This could set your blog apart from the hundreds of other music bloggers in your niche.
If you’ve got it, that will engage and inspire your readers as long as you make it a consistent priority. When he discusses the concept of adding personality into your blog, Akshay Hallur of Go Blogging Tips says:
“Just a conversational approach may not be enough. Most of the bloggers have now adopted a conversational style of blogging. You gotta stand out. You need to add a personal flavor to your blog content in the form of personal stories, experiences, and updates. While discussing a topic in your post, just think if there are any of your stories, experiences about the topic.”
This thought process should give you ideas for how to infuse your unique perspective in every post.
5. Make Your Blog Design Compelling
A well-designed blog is worthwhile in any niche, but especially so in music. Music fans also tend to love artwork, and an ugly site will sink your credibility a few notches in their eyes.
It’s easy to install a blogging template, but that’s likely to be either fairly plain and non-descript or cheap and flashy. Worse, the chances are there will be dozens of other bloggers using the exact same template.
That’s the risk when you install a free template with very few features for customization. It’s dimly possible to happen across a great free design with open customization, but more likely you’re going to have to pay for a compelling site design that will do what you need.
These themes can be purchased for less than $100, but you’ll get your money’s worth in quality content and a compelling layout that will attract readers.
6. Learn to Write Like a Blogger
Last but definitely not least is learning to write the way a blogger writes. Love of the music is not enough to make you a successful blogger.
If you want followers, you have to learn how to write well, using good sentence structure and posting few grammatical errors. But writing like a blogger is also different from composing a formal essay or other content you may have generated in school. It requires personality and informal, but grammatically correct structure.
When he responded to a question about how to write excellent blog content, Leo Babauta of Zen Habits stated, “It’s actually very simple in concept, but takes a lot of practice to perfect.”
If you’re aiming for A-list success in your blog content, learning the rules and getting expert advice is helpful, but ultimately, it’ll still take practice, practice, and more practice. If you can keep this in mind, you’ll develop the skills necessary to write a top-notch blog.