Music is arguably the language that can speak to every human being in some way. People listen to music every day. As of 2020 music streaming revenue in the US hit $13.4 billion. That’s about 28 times the value 10 years ago. Now there are about 487 million music streamers globally with about 82 million paid subscribers in the US alone.
If your passion is music and if you’re eager to share that passion with the world, a music blog is a perfect medium.
Here are some reasons starting a music blog is a great idea:
- If you’re an artist who creates music, a blog is a great way to promote and publicize your efforts
- If you’re passionate about the industry your blog can be a place to share in-depth analyses, opinions, and breakdowns
- Writing about a subject you are passionate and competent in is a good way to practice and improve your skills as a writer
- It helps establish your credibility as an expert in music and can be your launch pad into the music industry
- A music blog can earn you an income as well. You can make money as you create content about something you love
Hopefully, that’s convinced you, no let’s get into how you can start your own music blog.
Here are a few important terms to keep in mind as you go through this guide:
Blog: A blog is made up of published content on the internet in the form of blog posts.
Content Management System: A Content Management System, CMS for short is the software used to manage the content on your website.
URL: URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator.URLs are the web addresses that point to every page of your site.
Domain Name: This refers to the name of your website and is used to identify your brand. It’s a major part of your blog’s URL.
Hosting: This is a service that stores your website on web servers.
WordPress: WordPress is a popular and trusted open-source content management system (CMS) used by a significant number of sites on the internet.
Step by Step: How to Start a Music Blog
Decide the Focus of Your Music Blog
The focus of your blog defines the broad direction of your content. In other words, the type of content you create. Music is an enormous subject and there are hundreds of blogs dedicated to various aspects of the field. It’s important that you choose a direction and use it as a guide to steer your content. This will also help you find your audience.
Here are some ideas you could consider for the direction of your blog:
- Song analysis – You might explore the deeper meanings of songs, break down the music theory, instrumentation,or composition
- Information – You could provide information, news, and updates on your favorite bands
- Reviews – You could review songs, albums, or artists. You could also rate, rank,or review concert venues and music stadiums
- Tutorials and Tips – If know an instrument you could provide tips, tricks, and tutorials to help your visitors develop their skills with a particular instrument
- News –Yourblog couldprovide news and updates in the music industry. For example, new song releases or up-and-coming artists
These are only some of the potential directions your blog could go. Your area of expertise in the field of music and your passions should help you guide your decision here.
Choose Your Music Niche
Once you’ve decided on the focus of your blog you need to narrow in on your niche. This is where you get even more specific and decide the audience you are going to create content for.
Music is a universal language but that doesn’t mean every piece of music appeals to everyone. That’s the beauty of the art but it also means you cannot please everyone. For example, an audience that appreciates the genre of rock may not find country music as appealing. It’s therefore important to choose a genre to focus your content within.
Here are some of the most popular genres you could consider for your music blog:
- EDM (Electronic Dance Music)
- Soul Music
- Heavy Metal
- Hip Hop
There are many more genres that you could choose too. Once you’ve chosen a genre decide on a niche within that genre that you could add value to.
For example, your blog might focus on “up and coming indie rock artists” or “overlooked and underrated blues musicians of the 20th century”.The more specific your niche, the better. Choose a niche that doesn’t already exist and that allows you to create valuable and interesting content.
Choose Your Blogging Platform
Choosing a blogging platform is the next step to starting your music blog. Choosing a reliable and trustworthy platform is important. Changing your blogging platform in the future can be extremely difficult especially once your site is running and filled with content.So, it’s best to do your research now and avoid unnecessary challenges down the road.
There are both free and premium blogging platforms you could choose.Some of the popular free platforms include Wix and Blogger. Wix also includes premium options. Choosing a free platform might seem like a cost-effective solution. However, if you’re committed to the long haul, a WordPress premium plan is the best choice.
Here are some of the advantages of WordPress over a free blogging platform:
WordPress is the Popular Choice
WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world powering 40% of the sites on the internet. Their plugin directory has over 55,000 plugins and the platform holds a 64% market share for content management systems.
More Features and Monetization Options
Free blogging platforms limit the features you can include and restrict your monetization options. With WordPress you gain access to thousands of plugins and incredible features. The platform is flexible, and the features are easily customizable.
Free blogging platforms also limit the control you have. You may be able to edit the basic layout of your site, but the finer adjustments are rarely in your control with free platforms. As a result, working on a free platform can quickly become frustrating.
WordPress on the other hand gives you complete control of your site.If you need to you can even make changes to the HTML and CSS source code. WordPress allows you to create your site exactly the way you want.
Make Your Site Your Own with WordPress
You can put in all the hard work behind your site but if you use a free platform, that fact is made quickly obvious for your readers. Watermarks and unprofessional URLs are some of the biggest drawbacks with using a free blogging platform.
This may not seem like a glaring problem at first but as your audience grows, watermarks and poor URLs are an unprofessional look that can significantly impact your success.With WordPress there are no watermarks, and you can create URLs of your choice. Your site is completely your own.
Analytics and SEO
Keeping track of your success with analytics and constantly improving with SEO are perhaps two of the biggest contributors for your long-term success.Free blogging platforms have poor analytics. And when it comes to SEO you have to do it all manually.This isn’t the case with WordPress. WordPress has great analytics and SEO options and with their huge library of plugins you can further boost your success.
WordPress is easy to install, use and requires zero coding experience. You are in complete control of your WordPress site meaning you can make minute adjustments to any aspect of any page on your blog. Yes, it is paid but considering it is the most trusted CMS in the world, it’s an investment worth making.
Domain Name Tips
Creating the right domain name is a crucial step as you set up your blog. Your domain name is the most important label for your site, so it must effectively convey your brand. Great domain names can have a considerable impact on your success as a blogger.
Here are some ways to help you create a great domain name:
The Shorter the Better
Think of some of the most popular domain names out there. The common pattern is that they’re usually short. The best domain names are the ones that are easy to remember.
Complex words might make your domain seem smarter, but your visitors might have a hard time recalling it. Keep your domain name to just a few words. Ensure your name is memorable and as concise as it can be.
The Extension Matters
Your domain extension follows your domain name and is most popularly .com or .org among other examples. If your visitors want to want to quickly access your site, they need to remember your domain extension as well. This is especially important as you begin blogging.
It’s a good idea to find .com extensions for your domain, that is after all a popular extension that most people are familiar with. You might also consider .org but stay away from obscure extensions that are not well recognized.
Keep it Broad
Remember, you’re just beginning your blogging journey. Your blog might be very different in a few years or even a few months so don’t let your domain name restrict your success.
Choose a domain name that allows you to explore a variety of topics and themes within your niche. Anticipate your potential growth with a domain name that is relevant to your niche but broad enough for future developments.
Use Your Creativity
Coming up with a short name that conveys your brand effectively requires creativity.Often the exact name you want is taken or the name you want just doesn’t click. It can be a frustrating process, but the only solution is creativity.
Brainstorm ideas and themes, look for different ways you can use words and phrases. You might consider switching and “s” with a “z” for example. You might choose to start each word in your domain name with the same letter, alliteration in domain names is an especially successful tactic. Whatever the challenge you face, there’s usually a creative workaround.
Avoid Symbols, Numbers or Hyphens
Symbols, numbers, and hyphens make your domain name more difficult to remember and share with others. It may seem like a creative idea to include a symbol in your domain name but it’s more likely to confuse your visitors.
Your domain name is extremely important however, it’s not a process that should take you too long. Several bloggers get trapped at this stage of the process, spending months deciding a domain name.
It’s good to be thorough but your blog’s success ultimately depends on the quality of your content. If you’re stuck at this stage, you will never reach your content.Dedicate a few hours to brainstorming a domain name and finalize your options as quickly as you can.
Buy Domain and Hosting
Now that you have some domain name ideas you need to purchase your domain and hosting. Choosing the right hosting provider is a big factor for your long-term success. You want your site to be reliably and securely hosted for a duration that you define. There are several hosting providers to choose from, but a safe, trusted, and recommended choice is Bluehost.
Here is a step-by-step guide to getting started with Bluehost:
Step 1: Visit the Bluehost website
Head over to the Bluehost website here. On this page you will see the shared hosting plans available.
Step 2: Pick Your Hosting Plan
Bluehost has 4 shared hosting plans.
- Basic – $2.95/month
- Plus – $5.45/month
- Choice Plus – $5.45/month
- Pro – $13.95/month
Find a plan that best suits your requirements. Remember you can upgrade at any time so as a beginner, the Basic plan should be more than sufficient. The Basic plan includes 50GB of website space, Unmetered bandwidth, custom themes, and 24/7 customer support.
What’s more, you get a domain completely free for a year regardless of the shared hosting plan you choose.
Step 3: Pick Your Domain
You will then be taken to a page to set up your domain. Here you can create a new domain or use a domain that you already own. If you do not already own a domain, use the tips discussed above to create a great domain for your music blog. You can even choose to skip this step for now and come back to it later.
Step 4: Fill Out the Necessary Information
The following page requires your account information. Fill in the necessary information for example your name, your business name, email, and zip code among other details.
Step 5: Package Information
If you chose a Basic plan you may want to try it out for a year and then upgrade.Alternatively, you may want to stick to your plan for a longer period. At this stage you can choose the duration you want your chosen plan to run for. You can choose from 3 duration options: 12 months, 24 months, and 36 months.
Additionally, on this page you can also select package extras including privacy and security features. For beginners, the package extras are less relevant however if you believe they can add value to your music blog add them to your package.
Step 6: Payment Information
Fill out the necessary payment information to finalize your purchase.
Step 7: Terms and Conditions
The following page lists the terms of service, cancellation policy and privacy notice. Check the boxes to accept these terms and conditions and click “Submit”.
Step 8: Set Up Your Account
At this page you can create your Bluehost account. Set up your account and password here.
Step 9: Pick a Theme for Your Blog
Before you get started, you will be asked to choose a theme for your blog. You can change your theme later so at this step it’s best to choose a free theme and explore premium options once your site is set up.
Step 10: Get Started
Now you’re all done with the set-up. You will be taken to the WordPress admin panel from where you can manage your site.On the left panel you will see all the options you need to get started.
You can add posts to your site, edit layouts, choose designs, and manage your media among other great features. Once you’re ready to publish your site, click the button “Launch your site”.
Choose and Install a Theme for Your Blog
Well-written, quality content is the foundation of your blog but it’s just as important to presentthat quality content in an appealing manner. A great theme does exactly that.Your readers are going to see designs, layouts, colors, fonts, and the overall aesthetic of your blog before they even get to reading your content. In fact, according to a Stanford study46.1% of people visiting a site make judgements on its credibility based on its design.
A good theme puts your audience at ease and helps them feel comfortable on your site.Themes are however an aspect of blogs that many beginners get carried away with.Your theme, colors and fonts should support your content rather than distract from it.
Here are some things you should look for in your themes:
- Clean and professional designs
- Your theme should be fully compatible with mobile devices
- Your theme should not compromise the speed of your site
- Customization features
- A trustworthy and reliable brand
- Positive and authentic reviews
There are thousands of great themes you can explore that are both free and paid. Free themes can work great for you as a beginner. However, as your music blog expands and you require more functionality and features, choosing a premium theme will probably fit your needs better.
Here are some great premium themes that you could consider for your music blog:
MusicForest Music Blog Artist and Online Store
MusicForest is the perfect theme for musicians with online stores, music libraries or singer albums. It includes several modern and professional designs with features including over 35 HTML5 pages, event timer countdowns, event page options, and unlimited color schemes among other great tools and features.And at only $16 it’s one of the more affordable theme options for your music blog.
Kentha – Non-Stop Music WordPress Theme with Ajax
Kentha is a powerful WordPress theme ideal for any type of music blog. Kentha even includes a real time music visualizer. Their energetic design options allow you to create vibrant and lively layouts for your blog.
Musician – Music Band, Blog, Shop, HTML Template
Musician is a simple to use and professional music themed template. It’s perfect for bloggers, DJs, bands, or if you have an online store. Musician also includes useful features such as Soundcloud widget options.
Magazine Tana – News, Music, Movie, Blog, Fashion Template
Magazine Tana is a great theme for any kind of entertainment blog. The theme creates a magazine-like tiled representation of content. It’s exciting and different and could be the perfect theme to help your blog stand apart from the crowd. At just $15 it’s an extremely affordable option too.
Music WordPress is the ultimate music blog theme. It includes everything you’re going to need for your music blog and more. It’s also one of the fastest themes on the market. It includes 8 homepage options, 11 gallery and video layouts, and much more.
If you want to explore more themes you could use for your music blog one of the best places to search through is ThemeForest. ThemeForest has a huge catalogue of professional WordPress themes and templates.
Create the Essential Pages and your Logo
The About Page
The about page gives you an opportunity to express yourself and your personal journey to your readers. Share your passion about music and the reason you started your blog. Readers are more likely to engage with a blog if they learn more about the person behind it.
The about page is the place to give your blog a personal edge.Include ways your audience can find you on social media as well. For example, through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
The Contact Page
The contact page allows your readers to get in direct contact with you. Here you should include information such as your email address, phone number, social profiles, or your physical address.
Remember to keep all the information you include on this page updated and accurate.Including your contact details tells your audience that you are approachable and credible. Moreover, it opens the potential for growth. You can make valuable connections through your contact.
Additionally, you might also want to include other legal pages such as a “Terms and Conditions” page, or a “Disclaimer” Page.
Create A Logo
A logo is a simple representation of your site and brand. It’s usually an icon or combination of initials that is memorable and creative. You may choose to create and design your own logo but there are several great free online logo tools you can use too.
Now it’s time to get to the most exciting part of your blogging journey – creating the content.Creating your first post can be a daunting task but with the right plan and approach getting started is a breeze.
The first thing you need to decide is the category of your post. Blogs are usually organized by category. This makes it easy for your readers to find what they’re looking for and it helps them discover more relevant content.It’s a good idea to think about the various categories you might include in your blog. For example, some categories might look like “Reviews”, “News”, “Tutorials”, or “Concert venues”.
Once you’ve got your categories down, brainstorm the topics that you want to write about. Think back to the focus of your blog and the specific niche that you chose. This will help you short-list ideas and help you plan ahead.
Looking at other blogs in your niche for inspiration could also help in your creative process. However, to be successful as a blogger your content needs to stand out. Make sure you’re adding value to your niche in a unique way.
Blogging is a consistent and continual process.It’s a good idea to set yourself a schedule and stick to it to ensure you publish articles regularly.Research, edit and proofread every article thoroughly. The more effort you put in, the more rewarding the outcomes.
Promote Your Music Blog
As you build traction with your content you need to bring it to your audience. Here are some ways you can promote your music blog:
Friends and Family
Share your blog and your content with your inner circle of friends and family. They’re likely to support you and share your work with their networks. This is an easy first step to reaching a much larger audience.
Social media is the most powerful and effective way to share your blog with a massive audience. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, LinkedIn are all great platforms that can help you promote your music blog.
Share links on your personal profiles, post regularly about new content you create and look for communities in your niche. Music is extremely popular across social media platforms so finding your audience shouldn’t be a challenge. For example, if your content focusses on “Indie Rock Music” you’re probably going to find several Facebook groups dedicated to that niche.
Promoting your blog through social media not only boosts traffic to your site but also benefits your brand. Social media can help establish your name as a credible source of music expertise and information.
Public Forums and Guest Posting
Public forums already have a good audience. If you find a forum in your niche, you instantly reach a relevantaudience.Similarly, if you publish content as guest posts on established music sites in your niche, you also reach a large and interested audience.If your content is appealing, audiences will be eager to discover more on your blog.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
SEO should be a thorough practice with each article you publish. Good SEO helps your site rank better when people search for content in your niche. Make sure your posts are optimized for Google as well as other search engines. Using the relevant keywords, images and including links are some of the SEO practices you should implement.
Dos and Don’ts
DO Keyword Research
Keyword research is an essential aspect of your SEO. It helps you identify the relevant and popular keywords in your niche. Effective keyword research will help you find the words and phrases your audience is searching for and including them in your content goes a long way to help your traffic and ranking.
DO Be Genuine
Creating authentic content helps your audience trust your blog. As a result, they’re more inclined to come back to it. Particularly if you’re writing reviews or sharing opinions, it’s important to be genuine and honest. Music is highly subjective so audiences will appreciate your content even if they do not always agree with it.
DO be Unique
To truly stand out from other bloggers your content must be unique. The music industry is a universe of potential, there is always something new to discuss or something more to be shared.
A single song could have dozens of angles and interpretations to it. Or perhaps there’s an album that deserves more praise. Regardless of what your niche and focus is, remember that your content needs to stand apart from what already exists.
DO Stay Updated
The best way to create unique content is to stay updated. The music industry grows by the day. Whether it’s new artists, albums, or technology, it’s a world that is constantly changing. It’s therefore important to be up to date with the news and latest trends. This keeps your content relevant and fresh.
DON’T Be too Broad
You cannot please everyone, especially when it comes to music.Many beginner music bloggers create content for several genres of music in an attempt to reach a larger audience. These blogs are disorganized and don’t usually last very long.
Being specific makes it easier for you to find an audience.For example, if you choose to focus on “Blues Music from the 1970s” you will probably find a dedicated audience that appreciates that genre. This also means music lovers who favor heavy metal may not find your blog interesting. You cannot please both audiences and you shouldn’t try to.It’s far more effective to narrow in on a niche of music rather than try to cater to everyone.
DON’T Restrict Your Content
Experiment with different types of content. For example, you could consider creating videos or expand the categories you include on your blog. Restricting the type of content you create could become stale over time for your audience, even if you’re consistent.As your blog grows do not be afraid to try out new things.
How to Monetize Your Music Blog
Your music blog can be much more than a hobby. It could become a source of income. Here are some of the best ways to make money through your music blog:
Affiliate marketing is a go-to blog monetization approach. It doesn’t involve too much effort, but the rewards can be huge. Sign up with a trusted affiliate program. Then place their affiliate links in your content. Now, each time a customer makes a purchase through those links, you earn a commission.
On Site Advertising
Reaching out to relevant companies to advertise on your blog is another good way to earn an income.Look for music products that fit with your content and niche and get in touch with companies.This should be an approach you consider once you receive consistent and high traffic numbers.This might involve a longer process than affiliate marketing but with the right advertisers you can earn even more.
If you’re an experienced musician, creating an online course is a great way to earn and share your knowledge.You could build an online course on learning an instrument, learning music theory, or developing musical skills for example.
Online music courses are extremely popular and the majority of music lovers out there have tried to or are interested in learning an instrument. This is a trend you can capitalize on.
Sell On Your Blog
If you create original music, you can use your blog to sell your tracks and albums.If your audiences engage with your content, they’re likely to check out your music too. You could also sell merchandise relevant to your niche through your blog.
If you’re an expert at an instrument, you can offer personal classes to your visitors.A one-on-one experience is often the best way to develop your musical ability. If you have the necessary skills, personal coaching at a rate you set, can be a great source of income.
Music is driven by passion, emotion, and hard work. A music blog can be a platform to share that with the world.What’s better, with the right approach and strategies, you can write about what you love and make an income at the same time.The potential in this industry is enormous. There’s always something new to say and your blog can be part of that voice.