Remember how hard it was to find great new music before blogs and the Internet?
Local music stores could be great, if they stocked the kind of music you liked. And good luck finding anyone in your area who shared your specific musical tastes and interests.
But the web has completely revolutionized the music scene. It’s easier than ever to discover new songs and new artists, and find whole online communities who share your love for any obscure subgenre in existence.
Blogging began as a great way to share your interests with a global audience, and virtually meet other people who shared your taste in music. But since the birth of the blogosphere, it’s become a much more powerful tool than just a public journal.
You know there are plenty of pro bloggers who earn a full-time income from their blogs. Maybe in the early days of the Internet, a small hobby blog would have been a great accomplishment. But now you know you can do so much more.
Is it your dream to build a chart-topping, award-winning music blog? One with a rabid fanbase that comments, shares, and likes every post? One that all the other famous music blogs are linking to?
Blogging about music is a crowded niche, it’s true. There are thousands and thousands of bloggers out there sharing their favorite songs and artists in obscurity, never earning a dime from their work.
But it’s possible to get a return on the time and effort you invest in your music blog — if you know what you’re doing.
Want to learn how to create a successful music blog? It can be a complicated and overwhelming endeavor with plenty of decisions to make, from choosing a blog name, to what software you’ll use for your website, to what kinds of topics you’ll blog about.
If you want a truly successful music blog, start by following the guide below, and you’ll be topping the charts before you know it.
How to Produce a Chart-Topping Music Blog
Music has captured the imagination for as long as time, and today’s blogs can help meet the need for music lovers. Are you ready to start the next big music blog?
Basics of Building a Killer Music Blog
|Find a niche.What kind of music blog is missing or poorly represented?What kind of music are you an expert in?Unique music blog nichesLargehearted Boylargeheartedboy.comMixes music and literatureFree and legal MP3 downloadsBook reviewsMusician and author interviewsCruel Rhythmtumblr.comFeatures curated music selectionsAlmost no textWeird CanadacomProves that Canadians have great musical tastePromotes experimental music and artWhat’s in a name?Once niche has been chosen, start thinking of the blog’s name.It should be short, catchy and memorable.Be creative, use these ideas to create a unique blog name:Make a list of keywords related to the blog then look for synonyms and etymologies of those words.Compound two words (Facebook)Add a prefix or suffix to a word (Friendster)Tweak a word (Travelocity)Blend parts of two words together (Netscape, Microsoft)Make up something completely new and unique (Squidoo, Etsy)Use a phrase (Flickr, StumbleUpon)Misspell a word (Digg, Topix)Make sure no one else has a similar blog name.Check social media networks to make sure the name is available there as well.Use knowem.com to check hundreds of social media sites.Avoid hyphens, they can diminish credibility.They can indicate spam and make it more difficult to earn links.|
|Brainstorm Content Ideas|
|Choosing topicsIdentify needs of readers.QuestionsChallengesInterestsConversations on social mediaFour pillars of contentUseful to readersApproachableScannableUse headings, images, and music clipsSimpleClear writingConversationalBe original.Content needs to be new and original to the blog.Posts might include:New musicNew discoveries of other musiciansStudio session updatesFan engagement and storiesCurated contentAdd your own spin, review, and perspectiveTop 10 lists by:GenreArtistRegionEraMoodActivityExercisingStudyingRelaxingGuest music bloggersGuest musiciansConcert reviewsInstrument how-tos|
|Create the Full Package|
|Build a user-friendly, attractive blog site.Find easy-to-use blog themes in WordPress’s collections or sites like Themes Forest.WordPress themes for music blogs:Sing!Tuned BalloonSoundcheckThemes Forest themes with responsive design capabilities for music blogs:EpromJam SessionFlycaseWhat about hosting?Free hostingMake a free blog quickly at hosts like WordPress.comDomains look like: mycoolblog.wordpress.comPaid hostingYour own domain: mycoolblog.comAdditional bandwidth and storage for music files and photosCustomer supportChoosing a hosting companyA variety of hosts offer their services for less than $5 a month (some as low as $1.99).Before making your decision, do some research.Who do your favorite blogs use?Use WhoIsHostingThis.com to checkRead review for your top choicesWhoIsHostingThis has thousands of reviews from real customers.|
|Dress Up the Blog with Useful Plug-Ins|
|Plug-ins essential for music blogs:StreampadAutomatically plays posted .MP3 files on the current pageAllows for individual files or a list of .MP3 files to become a playlistWPaudio MP3 PlayerPuts .MP3 files into a small MP3 playerCustomizable look without editing the computer codeChords and LyricsCreate chord sheetsEasily create and share for fans to learn musicGigPressEvent planning for fans to know upcoming performancesUsed by bands like Drop Kick Murphys and SilversteinCustomizable with HTML and CSS codeGigs CalendarPublish events calendarIncludes ticketing optionsShow locations with a Google mapHTML5 MP3 Player with Folder Feedburner PlaylistConverts a folder titled “MP3” into an .MP3 playlistIncludes navigation buttonsHTML5 jQuery Audio PlayerCan play a single track or a playlistCan auto playWorks with common browsers and mobile browsersBlubrry PowerPress Podcasting PluginUseful for regular podcast postsIncludes iTunes supportIncludes media player for audio and videoAllows for many audio and video file formats, including YouTube and UstreamEasy Digital DownloadsSell original music in a zip file directly from siteAllows for common payment options, including PayPalIncludes information on payment history, re-downloads, and data exportBe social and create a community where your audience wants to spend time.Disqus Comment SystemModerate comments within the WordPress comment interfaceCommentators can create profiles with photosCreates RSS feeds for blog post commentsTrack where posts are being discussed in social media with BackTypeWP-PollsWebsite poll widgetPost and track multiple questions across siteAsk about genre preferencesVote for new favorite musiciansQuiz music knowledgeFacebook and Twitter ButtonsLink blog site directly with social media profiles to build followersReaders can share posts through their own social mediaShareThisAllow readers to share your music via email and other social media|
|Be a Master Blogger|
|Engage.Post on a schedule: consistent number of posts on consistent days.Network with other music bloggers.Create a team of bloggers to help with great content.Engage with social media to network and build an audience.Consistently engage in conversations with the audience.Maintain journalistic integrity through original and honest content, and give credit when credit is due.Take risks.Find a new angle for content.Try a new approach to audience engagement through social media, blog comments, and product purchases.Be patient.Building a successful blog takes time and effort.|
|Music Blogs and Copyright|
|Work within copyright laws for the music you use.Don’tUse copyrighted music without permissionCopy, share, and/or sell copyrighted musicDoGet permissionCredit does not equal permission to use protected musicEven background music still needs permissionPay royaltiesMake use of Creative Commons.Create and/or share free music and digital content legallyReserves some copyright restrictionsOften allows for non-commercial useLicensesClearly outlines legal uses for each piece of contentHelps ensure creators get creditCreative Commons licenses can also help protect your own contentProtect posts, podcasts, and original musicMusic communities help discover new creative commons musicSoundcloudFree Music ArchiveccMixterTribe of NoiseAirBorneConsider public domain musicMusic, including lyrics, published prior to 1922 is considered public domainCan be used by anyone for freeRecordings of the music are not public domainCreate your own recordings|
orGet a license for royalty-free music recordings
The universal attraction of music plus a well-structured and engaging site might make you one of the biggest music bloggers of tomorrow!