My blog is officially three months old today! I feel I’ve learned so much about what is involved with music blogging and just wanted to share my thoughts on the experience so far.
1. Just get started
I have always loved to write, mainly fiction, but recently I have found it harder to motivate myself to work on my own stories. But I had the itch, the need to put pen to paper so I decided to write about the music I was listening to. Writing about albums just came really easy and natural for me. My first post was a round up of some of my favourite albums from the first few months of 2017. So don’t worry about not being a professional as the great thing about blogging is once you start writing you can get your work published straight away.
2. If no one reads at first, don’t lose heart
After I launched my blog I actually only wrote three posts in my first month. Then I stopped blogging for nearly a month because no one had read my posts, I didn’t have many Twitter followers and I didn’t see how to get any readers.
So what changed? Why didn’t I quit? Well I owe everything to sweet Valerie June. I listened to her all through that month when my blog was silent and one day I realised it didn’t matter who read my blog – I had to write about how that album made me feel, how much I connected with it.
When I published the post on Twitter Valerie retweeted my review and started following me. It felt like a sign. Loads of people came to the blog thanks to the retweet and my new readers even read my old, ignored posts. It proved to me that writing for yourself is the most important thing, once you do that then the readers should follow.
3. There’s a high chance the artist will read your review
So then I reviewed Wrangled by Angaleena Presley and she retweeted me, calling me ‘insightful’, which was awesome. After this I realised that the person most likely to read your review is the artist themselves. That kind of scared me as I didn’t want to this to factor into my review. Still it was nice to know I could communicate with these musicians who I had a connection with as a listener. The internet is so awesome sometimes. But if the artist doesn’t read or share your post that’s totally fine and don’t get jealous if they share other blogs instead of yours!
4. Some posts will get ignored
Not every post will get loads of retweets or readers but write it anyway if it matters to you. I actually think my best writing is this Hurray for the Riff Raff review and it’s one of my least read.
And even worse no one, like ZERO people have read my Girlpool review. Someone PLEASE click it and put it out of its misery.
5. Think about your niche but don’t limit yourself
When I started I thought my niche could be ‘women in music’ but then I realised that I hate pop and dance music, know very little about rap and electronic music either. Most blogging advice is to ‘find your niche’ but I found it hard to stick to one genre of music. I didn’t want to be bored either.
To be honest most of my popular posts are the country/Americana ones but I’m not going to stop covering indie, folk and soul because that’s what I listen to and I love these genres too. One of my favourite things to review has been the mariachi band Flor de Toloache who I discovered on Twitter. So don’t narrow your niche too soon!
6. Design is important, but not worth worrying about at the start
I don’t understand templates or coding or hosting or anything. I have a normal WordPress account, went with a simple layout and made a really basic header image and logo in a cheap app. I know my blog design could be improved and sometimes runs a little slow but my main concern is the writing. I would like to make it look better but that’s for the future. Don’t let your technical deficiencies hold you back from blogging. If anyone has any design feedback/advice that would be greatly received!
7. Connect using social media and other blogs
I read lots of blogs, I mainly lurk but I am trying to comment and like more posts. Twitter is a godsend, I’ve already made so many great connections and gain most traffic that way. Still when an artist or other person shares a post on Facebook my stats get even better, even if my own FB page is pretty useless at the minute.
8. Record labels are important
I’ve had some lovely feedback from Bella Union records about my Holly Macve review and some retweets from others. This week I got contacted directly by a record label for the first time, which made me feel like a real blogger. Remember some artists just don’t like retweeting praise so tag the record company to get promotion as well.
9. Blogging is worthwhile in itself so try not to worry about page views
I try not to get obsessed with the stats, but it’s hard not to. At first I checked mine religiously but now I worry less about my daily views. My most popular post is my Miranda Lambert article and that is still getting read a lot. My aim is to just grow a little in terms of page views and visitors each month.
10. Another day, another album
The best thing about music blogging is that your content is easy. Every week there’s more albums released than you could ever listen to, let alone review. I listen to as many as I can and try to review only what I really like or feel is interesting. I also hope to do more opinion based articles and life lessons like my Bobbie Gentry and the power of Mystery article. I have loads of ideas but new albums are my daily bread and I’m appreciative to all the amazing musicians out there. Without you I’m nothing.
I have enjoyed every minute of music blogging so thanks to everyone for reading. Let me know if you have any advice or feedback for me. ❤️