I recently got this email from a reader:
I’ve stumbled upon your website and really enjoyed the articles on getting into the creative zone and connecting with other musicians. I always love these insider tips and think many fellow musicians (I’m a drummer) should think in these terms about their careers.
I've got this idea of creating a resource/site to help drummers who struggle with practicing effectively, but also with stage fright, anxiety and nervousness. Mental barriers are often overlooked and I thought why not talk about this instead of just technique?
Considering your experience online, I was wondering what you thought about this idea?
Would love any feedback or pointers :)
Thank you for writing! You’re already way ahead of your musical peers just by reading any industry blogs of any kind, so kudos to you! Yes, I think you should start a blog. I think every musician should have a space online where they have to hash out what they believe about music, and share what they know with others.
Here are 6 things to think about when starting a music blog:
6. Keep it simple.
I post blog three times a week, but I only spend about two hours once a week writing. I then schedule out my blog posts for the week. By keeping blogging grouped all on one day, it makes it easier for me to stay consistent.
Don’t bite off too much in a blog- if you do, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to keep regularly posting.
5. Post regularly.
Write something at least once a week on your blog. Without regular updates, your audience will eventually lose interest no matter how compelling your content is. I post three times a week, but every blogger is different. Mix it up, find your rhythm, then stick to it.
4. Be in it for the long term.
Just like a music career, it takes time to build a decent blog readership. It took me a little over two years to break the 1,000 reader mark, and it might take you even longer. Four years in, I just cracked 80,000 blog hits a year, and I believe it’ll take many more years of consistent blogging to push it up to 200,000+.
Don’t get discouraged when the numbers aren’t there. If you’re writing compelling content, it’ll come eventually.
3. Focus on a tiny niche.
As crazy as this sounds, drummers in general are too big a niche for you to target effectively. Yes, what you say may be applicable to all drummers, but you’ll want to focus at least some of your content on a specific topic where you can be the expert.
My area of expertise is Apple’s live performance software Mainstage. I post every week about this topic, and focus the vast majority of my time on helping worship keyboardists use Mainstage. If I were a drummer, I might focus on something like Ableton Live for drummers, or a specific genre like modern worship drumming.
2. Be controversial, not arrogant.
Many people write in an aggressive style when they’re talking about a topic they intimately know, which can come off as arrogance. Make sure that you stay humble, while still writing the hard truths in your blog. If you’re ruthlessly truthful, you’ll automatically be controversial.
1. Focus on giving.
The best thing about a blog is that it gives you the chance to give back. Share as much as you can, and don’t ask for anything in return (especially at first). When you do ask for something back (I have a whole online store now), don’t ever force or promote your stuff too heavily on your readers. Keep all your interactions about helping, giving, and sharing, and the money will naturally follow. Good luck!