I know that this will sound like music to your ears:
There is good money in music blogging.
And the figures tell the full story.
According to this report, the industry generated a staggering US$19.1 billion as revenue.
Then, and perhaps more importantly for you, online music services have been growing at a blistering pace with streaming services reportedly having attracted an impressive 255 million users.
In short, you’re looking at an industry that has had millions upon millions of fans shelling out billions of their hard earned cash just to access music online.
Can you see how huge this is?
That means you’re not playing a guessing game.
And that there’s going to be massive demand for your content.
Assuming that, you will finally take action and start a music blog.
Now, like other types of blogs, there could be ferocious competition out there and so you need to play your cards right.
And that’s where this blog post comes in.
Read on to learn how you can start a music blog that tops the charts.
Let’s clear with the basics first..
Before going far, you need to tackle these basic but super essential tasks..
1. Niche down
Since the music niche is too broad (and hyper competitive), its best that you go for the low-hanging fruits first.
This requires that you niche down, at least for a start.
You will, hence, undertake intensive research and single out what the current leading music blogs have left out.
And it can be a lot.
There are tons of others so take your sweet time and note every of their particulars.
Obviously, you don’t want to imitate your competition but you will rather use the bits and pieces of the information you learn to identify a market gap.
You should have answered some of these questions by the time you’re through:
- What artists will be your core focus?
- What will be your main genre?
- Who will be your target traffic?
Here are some super niched down music blog ideas you can consider:
| Top level|
|Local music scene||You can blog on local artists, music venues, or concentrate on reviewing local music|
|Music education||You narrow down to very specific how-to’s. For instance, for learn an instrument blog, you might specialize in unexplored instruments like acoustic guitars for beginners. Also consider online singing lessons (If you can deliver!) and tips (for example, on how to sing falsetto) etc.|
|Music genres||You may choose one from classical, R&B, country, rap, dance, pop, or other music genres. Then, delve deeper. For example, if its rap, you can cover west coast rap music topics etc.|
|Others||You may run a blog on music history, interviews, quizzes, top-ten lists, music directors, comparisons, music videos, charity events etc.|
Note that I have barely scratched the surface!
Next, we will see how to draw up terrific plans for your newly-found promising sub-niche.
2. Set goals and set your vision
Your blog vision is your destination, the goals your roadmap.
And this is super important…..
Even musicians themselves rarely make it to the top without first creating a vision.
Maybe you want to become the biggest music review site specializing in classic country music. Or probably you see yourself as the greatest source of guitar lessons for hobbyists.
Or even you want to have a website from where people can buy music related merchandise like concert tickets and music production software.
Whatever you dream, establish a vision.
To do this, simply answer the question of what you see your blog becoming years down the road.
This will subsequently help you set clear-cut smart goals to help you succeed in less time.
Here are examples of effective music blog goals…
Long term goals:
- Make $10,000 per month from my music blog.
- Have 2 million unique blog visitors per day.
- Attract 5,000 Twitter followers.
- Build a 15,000 subscriber strong email List.
- Publish 5 music related eBooks.
- Have 10,000 Facebook fans.
Year 1 goals:
- Publish 1 blog post per day.
- Submit your music website to various blog directories/carnivals.
- Have 100000 unique visitors by the end of the first year.
- Start 2 social media pages/channels.
The baby steps you make per month will take you to your yearly goals. For example, if you’re planning to release your 120 pages eBook by the end of the year, try to write 10 pages per month.
Again, the tasks you complete every week enable you to reach your monthly ambitions.
For instance, you might submit your website to two blog directories each week.
In the end, your ability to visualize, co-ordinate, and develop a coherent vision, accompanied by long term targets and strategies will help your blog stand out from the crowd.
We will now look at some of the technical basics, step by step.
But before we do this, let me clear the air on one issue that has many new bloggers worried: the question of skills.
The thing with blogging is that you don’t require any special knowhow or talents to become a star.
As you will confirm with time, using WordPress is very straightforward as is pretty much everything else.
Well, I was very terrified when creating my debut blog so I very much understand your fears.
That being said, having a great taste in your music genre(s) and some writing skills will stand you in good stead.
Lastly, keeping your ears to the ground might help you become trusted as an industry insider because of being the first to break the latest music news.
Back to my action plan…
1. Brand it
By now it’s clear that you could be headed for something big.
Can you thus make it distinguishable?
This is where your blog name comes in.
It doesn’t have to be fancy or magical…just something that will ring a bell with your audience.
Check this step by step guide on how to create a powerful brand name for your music blog.
2. Buy a domain name
As you might have noted in the above mentioned guide, your domain name comes next. In summary, this is your online address and it directs your traffic to where your website is.
Domain names are pretty affordable.
3. Buy a web hosting plan
You web host is your internet home.
In short, a host is a server computer where you’ll be uploading your awesome blog content for your audience’s consumption.
There are many web hosting companies out there and selecting one can be intimidating.
Luckily, I have compiled an in-depth review of the best webhosting companies to save your time.
Read it here.
Anyways, if you trust me I would just advise you to choose Bluehost for which I also have a complete tutorial on how to set it up.
4. Install word press
Because it remains the easiest to use content management system (CMS), most of the giant music websites are built on word press.
And so download and install it on your hosting account.
5. Add an ideal theme
A theme directly influences your users’ experience and your music blog’s overall appearance.
Consequently, research the countless music blog themes and add one that best presents your brand’s image.
Moreover, there are also dozens of plug-ins that help make your website look stunning on top of enhancing its functionality.
Add them too.
6. Launch your blog
Now it’s time for the rubber to meet the road…
Start writing your reviews, conducting interviews, etc. and posting them.
And follow the rest of the steps as written in your execution plans.
How to monetize your music blog
The smell of money makes it even more melodious.
And the best bit?
You have numerous options when it comes to monetizing your blog.
Take a look:
1. Register for affiliate marketing programs
In affiliate marketing, you’re paid a commission each time a user purchases something from your link (to the products of the companies you’re affiliating to).
You can try the following music-related affiliate marketing programs (they’re among the best in the entire industry):
- Singorama (70% commission)
- Virtual Sheet Music (30% commission)
- zZounds (pays as much as $125-300 on a single sale plus colossal bonuses)
- Sam Ash (7 -10% commission)
- Musician’s Friend ( 6% commission)
- Guitar Center ( 6% commission)
2. Start an online shop
You again don’t any special expertise to set up your own online shop.
Here you can be selling physical as well as digital goods including music (your own or from fellow musicians).
In addition, you can market music-related software and unique items like branded t-shirts and mugs.
3. Enroll for Ad Networks
It’s very easy to make cash from Ad networks like Google AdSense.
But you want to have a significant audience to generate descent cash.
You’re usually given a share of the ad money paid by an advertiser each time a visitor clicks a link to the sponsor’s website.
4. Sell your own Ad space
You can create advertising slots in your blog and sell this space to companies and other brands, instead of relying on middlemen such as Adsense.
The pay is way better though it takes more effort.
Personally I start be contacting businesses in my niche (once I accumulate good traffic numbers) and giving them offers.
And it works 90% of the time.
5. Paid Subscriptions
This is another strategy that might take more effort to implement, but one of the most rewarding if you have a big fan base.
Your work is to create immensely helpful premium content and then making it available exclusively to paying subscribers.
These could be beneficial articles, special reports on the music industry, unique videos sharing success tips, and more.
6. Sponsored content
You can as well invite reputable music brands such as record labels to pay for sponsored posts – marketing their products/services.
Other potential goodies
Besides the cash, your music blog can bring in other bonuses like:
- A chance to attend live events, music festivals, and live performances without paying a penny for a later review on your blog
- Access to free concert tickets, pre-releases, and new songs for free.
- Becoming an influencer and building a reputable personal brand
- “Owning” a community of engaged music fans with whom you share your interests.
Can you know see why I am reiterating that a music blog can be a supremely rewarding experience for you?.
How to popularize your music blog
If you don’t market it, nobody will.
In fact, a blogger with average content but awesome marketing skills has a higher chance of succeeding than you in spite of your having top-notch content if you ignore marketing.
Here are some approaches you can adopt..
- SEO (Search engine optimization) – You have to make yourself visible to search engines like Google by optimizing your pages and content. The list of the actions you can take here is long and sometimes it might be advisable to hire a SEO expert for advice.
- Gold standard content– Your blog posts, vlogs, and other content should be game changing.
- Shout out loud– Tell everyone who cares about your blog. For example you can visit various music forums, social media groups, and even well patronized music subreddits and blow your own trumpet.
- Network- Develop relationships with influential bloggers in your niche and people who matter in the music scene will help you get known. Plus, it can open doors to lucrative collaboration opportunities.
Here now are some of the most important lessons I picked when running a successful music blog a couple of years back.
- Start gradually: It could be unwise to just drop everything at once when starting. After all, your bills will still be waiting so you can start it as a side hustle. And don’t quit your job until its generating a reasonable income lest you face the music.
- Treat your blog as a business: There are things you can’t ignore if you want to live off your music blog in the future. For example, always prepare the financials (or hire someone to do it) to see if you’re making a profit/loss. Also, always make sure you use written documentation like contracts when entering into agreements with third parties. And, of course, be ready to invest in your blog.
- Maintain focus: Even though it may not be smooth sailing all through, try to keep your eyes on the ball by following your content plan and executing other strategies to the last detail.
- Keep learning and improving: To truly standout, never stop improving. Learn and implement the latest music blogging trends, SEO hacks, content strategies, etc.
- Believe: Success can take time and gallons upon gallons of sweat and it’s not easy if you’re not patient. Always maintain your faith and work hard.
- Be different: The quickest way to cultivate your own tribe is to adopt a unique voice (that resonates with them). Plus, trying the untried.
- Add new income streams: The biggest lesson to me in my blogging career has been to keep seeking out and incorporating fresh revenue streams into my blog.
Having read about how to start a music blog and concluding that you’re cut out for it, it’s time to implement stuff.
Just to recap, the key steps are niching down, writing down your vision, and following the action plan.
Also, apply the rest of my advice.