Dave Huffman is a musician and author of The Indie Launch Pad blog where he uses the insight he gained as a full-time indie musician to share thoughts and advice for those wanting to enjoy an indie career in music as well. You can also follow him on Twitter: @davemhuffman
There have already been many discussions and tips given on blogging — I’m not planning on covering new ground here. I actually wanted to take a moment to remind you that you could be missing a HUGE opportunity if you only use your blog as a show promotion/project discussion tool.
Don’t get me wrong, I get that your blog is kind of a nice place to give people a behind-the-scenes perspective. That stuff is super cool from time to time.
But why not give your friends and fans access to a different side of you? Do you really want to be the person at the party ALWAYS talking about your band?
Some of the experts say music careers are dying because “Mystique is dead.” I say music careers are dying because no one cares about the lonely rebel dude in the corner anymore…he’s not mysterious to us; we’re jaded to that.
WE WANT ACCESS. We want a deeper connection.
What can you talk about? Well, anything really. I told stories from my personal life and focused on putting a comedic twist to them. Sometimes I told stories from the road. Sometimes I told stories about my dog crapping on my equipment.
Something cool started to happen. My blog became my most visited page on my site.
Then those topics started bleeding into my music. Then into my relationships with fans. Then they became part of the culture of the band. Blog quotes made their way onto t-shirts, stickers, and into the choruses of my songs.
I was growing our band by not focusing on growing the band. In other words, I wasn’t taking my blog as an opportunity to shove my projects down someone’s throat. I was using it as a way to back off a minute — take the general focus away from my band — and directing attention to an area we can all identify with: life.
Now I wasn’t the guy at the party always talking about my band. I had a different side people could identify with. I had more than one thing I could talk about.
Aside from what I listed above, something really amazing starts to happen when you take this approach. Instead of connecting with a wider fan base, you connect on a deeper level with fans you already have. And that translates into a following that will support you through even your darkest hour. Through your worst release. To me, this is ultimately how an indie career is measured. Or any career for that matter.
Still want to promote your upcoming events on your blog? Sure, that’s fine. I still did. But I did it at the very end of the story as a quick bit of info. Kind of a “Hey, by the way if you’re interested…” sort of thing.
Don’t play a lot of shows? That is totally fine these days. In fact, it is a topic for another post, but a band CAN live almost entirely online these days. In this case, a great blog is even more essential in attracting new visitors to your page.
What are some ways you use your blog? I have seen some that hype up the scene, some about fatherhood, some even based around motivational speaking.
Blogging is powerful. A lot of people have built careers, command enormous speaking fees, and landed book deals as a direct result of a great blog. You can do this too. You really can.
Don’t forget — there’s a nice little blog section right there on your Reverbnation page. USE IT.
One last thing: Be patient. A good blog takes a few months to really gain traction. Just be consistent. Post at least once a week. Use photos. Tag appropriately and encourage comments. Comment back.
ENGAGE your readers.