My blog is six months old today! I wrote about my first three months of blogging so I thought I’d update you on my experiences since then.
1) Writing a blog is the best hobby I’ve ever had. I love spending my time listening to music, writing, interacting with other fans and bloggers. It really is an amazing community. However this summer was tougher than I expected, as there were less new releases that really grabbed me. I also felt like I was back at square one, fighting to get every reader. And my Twitter followers kept going backwards which was frustrating. So I have slowed down a little since then but it suits me. There’s no point writing about stuff you don’t care about just to produce content. I only want to write about music I genuinely enjoy.
2) Sometimes you get lucky. When Miranda Lambert walked off stage without playing an encore I didn’t expect the drama to unfold online afterwards. Therefore my live review gained a crazy amount of readers. It was really interesting to engage with these fans who are my target blog audience in many ways. So what started out as a disappointing end to a gig ended up giving me a good story to write about.
3) Google plays so hard to get. The second bonus of the Miranda Lambert post was that Google finally started noticing I existed and sending me traffic. First on that Miranda post and then on my Lilly Hiatt review and finally over the last week I’ve noticed I’m slowly moving up on the page listing for older reviews. Plus if you put ‘Highway Queens music blog’ into the search you actually get my page now and not some traffic report.
4) I still prefer to find music myself rather than being pitched to. However I am happy to make connections with labels and PR people who have relevant acts they think I might like. It is a little frustrating to get multiple emails from PR people who clearly haven’t read the blog and think I’m interested in pop country. And no I don’t cover male artists, even if they do have a female backing singer.
5) When I first started this blog I had spent a long time thinking about what features to include. I read loads of blogs and the ones I liked the best were album review based and had a singular voice at their heart. In the end I decided that I didn’t want to do any interviews with artists because I prefer listening to music than asking questions. Also doing song previews and exclusives didn’t seem my style either. Plus both those things involved having to make contacts and networking. I like not having to rely on anyone else but myself and my Apple music subscription.
6) Finally I just want to thank everyone who has read the blog and followed me on Twitter – I really appreciate your support. And thank you to all the artists who have made the effort to retweet me or thank me since I started writing: Valerie June, Angaleena Presley, Lindi Ortega, Lizzie No, Tanika Charles, Flor De Toloache, The Unthanks, Rachel Baiman, Amanda Anne Platt & the Honeycutters, Sarah Jane Scouten, Liz Rose, Raye Zaragoza, Nicole Atkins, Siobhan Wilson, Juanita Stein and Karen & the Sorrows. I know not every artist interacts with small time bloggers and that’s fine but when they do it really means a lot.
I’m so looking forward to the next few months as there’s new albums by Margo Price, Phoebe Bridgers and Dori Freeman coming up, plus loads more. I can’t wait to listen and share them with you all💕🎵