I loved reading the old Woody Guthrie and Johnny Cash new year resolutions that have been making the rounds on Twitter so much that I have decided to write a few of my own. I would definitely steal most of Woody’s including ‘read lots of good books’, ‘love everybody’ and ‘dream good’ but this post will focus on my personal blogging resolutions for 2018.
1. Aim for 100 Reviews
I started the blog in March and managed to write over 80 reviews in 2017 so I’m hoping to reach 100 this year. I’m looking forward to finding new artists to write about as well as hoping some of my old favourites bring out new music too.
2. Attempt Some New Features
Writing an album review blog is really simple because there’s new releases every week which keep you in a routine without having to think too much about coming up with new ‘content’. I do also really like writing features and hope to keep up my posts on the lives of female musicians and classic albums. Specifically I am hoping to choose one artist and listen/review her whole discography across the year. I haven’t decided on who I’m going to choose yet but stay tuned for that. I also would like to try to some more ‘personal’ essays related to music as well.
3. Interview Someone
Back when I was working for a real magazine I didn’t get many opportunities to do Q and As and as a natural introvert I found them quite intimidating when I did. I also don’t like the idea of taking up a musicians’ time with annoying questions they’ve been asked a million times before. However the longer I do the blog the more I release how many great artists aren’t getting enough coverage and since my blog has followers now it might be good to include occasional interviews. While I don’t see these becoming regular features of the site I am hoping to interview someone this year.
4. Cover More British Artists
I have always loved American music and it’s easy for it to dominate the reviews I write because there’s so much great music coming from that huge country. Still I would like to cover more British artists this year, and to be honest my preference is to specifically cover more Scottish artists as I think it’s important to support creativity in my own country.
5. Cover a Wider Range of Artists
Diversity matters to me. I want this to be an inclusive intersectional feminist website which promotes all marginalised groups of women. When I started the blog I seriously considered just writing about Americana artists because that would be a simple ‘niche’ to fit into but I realised instantly how exclusionary and white that genre can be. That’s just not the kind of blog I want to have because that’s not the kind of music listener I am. I do think I could do better in this respect though, we all can, so I hope to keep covering a wider range of artist and genres on the blog this year.
6. Include More Original Photography
Most photography on music blogs are pretty similar looking, using either cover art or stock photographs of the artist. I read a lot of book bloggers and they are so much more creative with photography of books they are reviewing and their collections in general. So I have now got a better camera than my crappy iPhone one and I am going to attempt to include more original photography on the blog and Instagram. There are some really creative gig photographers out there and I would like to improve in this area as well.
7. Commission Original Art
I would love to have a cool blog logo but I’m poor and lack any artistic talent which has meant I have had to rely on cheap apps to help me. I love the way that indie blog ‘Gold Flake Paint’ uses original art in their posts and on their website in general. My friend is a great artist and she has offered to design me a logo and an original header for the site and I am going to try to get that commissioned as soon as possible.
8. Get 1000 Twitter Followers
My aim was to get 500 Twitter followers by Christmas and I actually ended up with 800 so I was delighted by that. It was hard work to start with, trying to figure out how to find followers that weren’t just bots or artists just hoping for a follow back. Also I couldn’t just go on a following spree to get follows back as I need my feed to be mainly music content so I can keep up with news and releases. Eventually I stumbled over a strategy which has helped me find some amazing followers, all of whom are passionate music fans. Simply by engaging with tweets about some of my favourite artists a lot of people followed me instantly. Liking tweets is a really easy and active way of targeting the right people who might like my blog without being too pushy. I’ve also been lucky to get some retweets from people with bigger followings than me so that’s helped me improve my numbers as well. This year I hope to get to 1000 followers and keep engaging with people on the platform as I love talking to music fans across the world.
9. Get 100 followers on Facebook & Instagram
For whatever reason it is much harder to get follows and likes on Instagram and Facebook than Twitter. I don’t have a lot of personal Facebook friends and haven’t promoted my blog among the people I know in real life that much, as most of them don’t like the same music as me, so I have been starting from scratch on that platform. Facebook is brilliant when an artist posts my review to their followers but that has only happened about five times across the whole year so it’s not a reliable way of promoting your page. Instagram is easier because I have original content that I can share on that platform by taking pictures of my record collection, gigs and reposting classic pictures etc. I also want to start doing some ‘stories’ this year, which could be a total disaster but I’m going to try. Facebook will always just be me posting links to the blog really but I know it is a better way for people to see your reviews so I am hoping to increase my followers to 100 at least. So if you want to like and follow me I would appreciate that so much – just click the icons at the bottom of the page.
10. Keep Having Fun
I love writing and blogging. I enjoy the idea that I’m volunteering to help promote artists that I really admire and getting to be creative at the same time. I’m not interested in becoming that much bigger than I already am, as last year when I got lots of new followers and tweets in one day I found it quite stressful and overwhelming. I just want the blog to be big enough to make a difference but small enough so I can still enjoy myself because there’s no point in doing it otherwise.
Here’s to a great 2018 – let me know any of your resolutions for your blog or life in general.
Cool that you’re looking at doing Q&As.
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Some interviews go way beyond the Q&A if you can connect with the artist and show you have a good grasp on their work and general world view. It leads to more interesting questions. Only bummer is the transcribing.
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Yeah as soon as I posted this I started to realise I’m not sure if I can really be bothered – seems like too much work. But you never know I might change my mind!