Journalism Tips: Don’t be afraid to write about something more than once

Attempting to cover the moment we are in right now is more difficult than most understand. Things are happening on a minute to minute basis across social media, and the demand for a steady stream of content often takes priority over time that would normally be reserved for research and content development.

With the way the industry works today writers are expected to churn out reviews and coverage at a rate never before experienced to an audience that increasingly lacks the time and attention span to consume it. Regardless, the formula for success in music writing remains the same:

To win readers and earn subscribers you need timely, in depth content that is thoughtful and well-prepared. Have a point a view and share it through facts, imagery, and video (whenever possible).

Balancing the demands of your audience with you needs as a creative is one of the more difficult parts of writing. One path to success, which few seem to recognize, is the fact no one ever told us we could only cover something once. If you have more information to share, or if you opinion on something has changed because you have a new understanding of the art, then share it.

All great writing inspires conversations, and the thing about great conversations is that they are rarely one and done. If you meet someone you can converse with over a shared interest you tend to talk about that thing again and again until you find something new to talk about. The same goes for your relationship with readers. They have followed your work because they like the things you like, so why would you hesitate to continue having any one conversation with them? Follow the story, share the experience.

For example:

If you reviewed the new Kendrick Lamar record last week, but this week you find yourself fixated on one track you feel needs further expiration, write about it.

If you have been following the big local band in your area on their rise through the underground whenever they have news, but right now they are just playing shows – cover the shows. Write about the scene and how they influence it. Take us deeper into their world and through doing so make us want to be a part of it ourselves.

If you are feeling passionate about anything then you need to find a way to write about it again and again until you have nothing left to say. When that happens you wait until they do something new or you learn to see things differently and begin all over again.

Furthermore, the more you cover an artist the more likely it is that they and the people who represent them will take notice of your work. This could lead to additional opportunities, not to mention the chance that person or their team shares your work through official channels. 

The sole risk in writing about something more than once is diminishing returns, which only arises in situations where supplementary articles are not as thought out or researched as what came before. Maintain consistency and you can cover anything you want as often as you want. 

In closing: Be thorough and be yourself, always.

James Shotwell is the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. He is also the host of the Inside Music podcast and a ten-year veteran of the music industry. Follow James on Twitter for hot takes on pop culture and photos of his pets.

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.