Want to learn how to start a music blog? These tips will help.
When I started Two Story Melody, I had little-to-no experience in the world of music blogging. Yeah, I knew how to write (for the most part). I also knew the basics of SEO, thanks to a background at a marketing agency. But I was pretty ignorant about the overlap between those things and the music industry – which set the stage for a bunch of trial and error and some head-against-the-keyboard mistakes.
Don’t worry, though. You don’t have to make rookie music blogging mistakes (even if you’re just getting started), because there’s a whole heap of information available online to help you out. And your work just got even easier, because I’ve scoured the absolute entirety of the world wide web (or at least the first few pages of Google) to bring you the 7 best tips:
- Pick a good host.
- Define your niche.
- Be creative and consistent.
- Drop what’s not working.
- Do interviews.
- Create a team of writers to help out.
- Get the book.
Fair warning: the last tip is a shameless plug. I think it’s a worthwhile thing worthy of being on the list, but I’ll let you be the judge.
So, without further ado: here are 7 tips to starting (and then building) a music blog.
1. Pick a good host.
This one’s from SophisteFunk (“How to Start a Music Blog“), and it’s absolutely true: “good hosting support is key.”
A good host will set you up with a fast, easy-to-manage, and secure site. Plus, they’ll be easily available if you need support, which you probably will at some point. This is the internet we’re talking about, after all – things don’t always go according to plan.
SophisteFunk recommends Bluehost, which is a good option. Personally, my favorite for beginners is Siteground; they’re reliable, have great customer service, and offer good intro offers (like $0.99 for your first three months). Full disclosure, I am an affiliate (because they’re good).
But yeah, overall, hosting is the foundation of any website, so this is a great tip.
2. Define your niche.
This is pretty standard advice, but I’ve grabbed it from Magpress’s “6 Tips for Becoming a Successful Music Blogger“: “No music blog can be successful without a niche. Finding a niche means you have to hone in on a specific facet of the industry and make it the focus of all your blog posts — or nearly all of them.”
That’s truth, folks. Nobody cares about a music blog – but if you blog about Icelandic folk music, fans of Icelandic folk music will care. If you do it well, of course.
3. Be creative and consistent.
Okay, I’ll be honest: I included this one from Outbrain’s “[Beginner – 102] How to Start Your Own Music Blog” article because I think it’s kind of funny. Here’s the quote:
“In case it has to be said, you must be creative to succeed in the world of professional blogging. You must craft engaging blog posts that your visitors want to read. Set specific goals for how many music reviews to add each week, as well as how many blog posts related to your genre you will commit to.”
Yeah, most of that’s not that helpful (obviously you have to be creative, right?). But there is a nugget of real value: consistency is key. Most people underestimate this when they start a blog. But 99% of viral content is the result of consistent hard work finally paying off.
4. Drop what’s not working.
This is from We Are The Guard’s “11 Things to Know Before Starting a Music Blog,” and it’s one of my favorites: basically, be willing to pivot.
“Be prepared to just drop whatever’s not working for your site… if no one is digging a certain type of column or format…don’t be precious about it.”
I love that (and the article as a whole is low-key one of the best resources I’ve found on music blogging – probably because it’s by an actual music blogger as opposed to a listicle-generation-machine). I’d also add that being willing to drop things also means be willing to try new things, too. Don’t get stale, friends.
5. Do interviews.
From Start a Blog 1-2-3’s “8 Music Blog Ideas to Help You Build an Audience and Grow Your Online Presence“: “We all love to connect with the people behind the music.”
Yep. That’s the core of what we do here at Two Story Melody for a reason: we think interviews are valuable. And they’re fun to do, too.
Interviews pretty much automatically upgrade your content from “maybe interesting if written really well” to “definitely interesting because this artist is cool.”
6. Create a team of writers to help out.
This is from Who Is Hosting This’s “How to Produce a Chart-Topping Music Blog,” and it’s a good one: “Create a team of bloggers to help with content.”
Can’t emphasize that enough: Two Story Melody would be in rough shape if it were just me. Having a team of people on board is a) a lot of fun, and b) a really good way to add more content and perspectives to what would otherwise be a pretty monotone site.
All right, we’ve gotten to the shameless plug: starting a music blog’s a lot easier if you’ve got access to the right information. That’s why I wrote this book.
Look, the reality is that there’s a ton of helpful information out there – but it’s all over the place, and the vast majority of it is written by people who are bloggers, yeah, but not music bloggers specifically (which is how you get really generalized advice like “be creative!”).
So, I wrote a book that contains all the information I wish I’d had when I started Two Story Melody:
- How to pick the right niche
- How to build a site that will draw in readers and set you up to build a community
- How to grow to the point that the artists you like are submitting music to you
- How to build a team of contributors who maintain your tone and expand your perspective
- How to monetize your site and make income sustainable
You can get it here.
Hope it helps!
And hope the rest of these tips help, too. I really believe that music blogging is valuable – it adds context to music, gives artists a platform, and is pretty freaking fun.
Here’s to starting a music blog. You’ve got this.