If you’re passionate about music, then you’ve probably thought about starting a music blog before. Maybe you love going to gigs, and hearing live music, or maybe you’re one of those people who stays up late reading articles on Pitchfork, discovering new bands with the help of your favorite connoisseurs. Whatever it is that gets you excited about music, you know that you want to spread the word about your favorite bands and get people as excited as you are. Having a music blog is the best way of doing this–and if you do it well, you can easily transform it into a successful business, too.
Being a successful music blogger is all about getting started–and once you get started, understanding your audience and building them up over time. If you’re ready to start that music blog and make it successful, here’s how.
Understand your audience
Depending on what kind of music you’re covering, your readers will want to read blog posts of different lengths and styles, and with a tone they can connect to. For example, if you’re mostly going to see EDM artists, you’ll want to describe not only the music, but also the people who attend the gig, and what the vibe of the venue is like. Most of the people who listen to EDM, after all, love clubbing both because of the music and the experience. And don’t forget that many listeners are young, so you’ll want to use their kind of language.
Just imagine: for folk music fans, it’s going to be different, focusing more on the lyrics of new songs and interviews with the singer-songwriters. So you want to put yourself in your readers’ shoes before you start writing. Create buyer personas for the different people you think will visit your blog often. Additionally, use analytics tools to help you out; these will help you understand which blog posts are the most successful, and which social media outlets to share them on.
Considering that using personas can drive a 111 percent increase in open email rate, you can see why it’s so important every time you write up a new post.
Write well, often, and use SEO
It may seem obvious, but being a good blogger is in large part about writing well. You need to set the stage for your readers and bring them into the story. You need to make them feel like they’re right there next to you in the mosh pit, listening and banging their heads to the same songs. SEO–which we’ll get to in a moment–is important, but not as important as being a good writer in the first place.
If you’re better at listening to music and interviewing rock stars than you are at writing, read your favorite music bloggers online to see if you can imitate their style. Learn about grammar and style for free online, by taking a blogging certification course. And post often, at least three times a week, so that you’ll get regular readers who check back in regularly for new content. (Obviously, you don’t have to go to gigs three times a week if that’s too much, but you can still review a favorite musician’s new album that came out, for example.)
Once you’ve mastered the art of writing, you need to master the art of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This means writing your blog posts and structuring your website in such a way that you’ll get more hits whenever someone looks up a topic related to your website. There’s the basic, like figuring out what keywords to use and how to optimize images, but there are lots of hacks out there that you’ll improve with over time. To learn more about how to best work on your SEO practices, check out these tips from Forbes. And don’t forget about Local SEO, either: 46 percent of all Google searches are local, so include information about the bars and concert halls as much as you can so that you’ll show up when someone looks up “live music near me.”
Use social media to get readers–and make connections
Once you understand your audience and you’ve started posting great content, it’s time to start connecting. And nowhere is this easier than over social media. Getting more Instagram followers will automatically translate into getting more readers, and they’ll quickly spread the words to their friends, doubling your efforts! The same go for platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube (especially with those great videos you’re sharing of the bands you love playing!). Additionally, you can make more connections in the blogging and music industries, following bands you meet, venues you get recognized in, and other writers just like yourself! Just think about it: 79 percent of Americans use Facebook, and this is only one platform out of many.
Once you’ve started following these steps, your music blog will start gaining traction, and you can make money from commissioned work and advertisements. What other strategies do you think would help get you readers and become more successful?