3 Tips for improving your music blog in 2018

The new year is almost here, which means right now the music business is largely silent. Industry professionals at all levels tend to lay low in the days between Christmas and New Year’s day, which in turn leaves music writers with little to discuss aside from their picks for the best album, song, new artist, video, etc. of the preceding year. That content is good and expected, but if you really want to make the most of this time you should be putting the majority of your effort and focus into deciding how you will further your work in the new year.

The world of digital music writing has changed immensely over the course of 2017. Dozens of sites went under, leaving writers at every level looking for steady employment, and several sites combined forces because doing so was the only way to stay afloat. The value of digital advertising also fluctuated more than ever, which in turn made it increasingly difficult for sites to cover their costs. 2018 will likely be no different, if not worse, so those hoping to do make it through with their job and sanity intact need to embrace the constant state of change we now exist within and use it to their advantage. Here are three tips to get you started:

Get (more) social

The constant battle to always be producing quality content became even more complicated in 2017 as it seemed every social media platforms was working hard to make their platform the go-to destination for all young people. Snapchat has stories, Instagram has stories, Facebook has stories, and two of those platforms also offer live broadcast options. This, in addition to Twitter, Tumblr, and any other site/platform where fans of music exist.

You will never be able to be everywhere all the time, but if you focus your efforts on maximizing the return from a single platform in the new year your brand is likely to go far. Look at your followers and figure out where you have the most engaged followers. From there, outline weeks or months worth of content that can be created exclusively for that service. Maybe you do artist takeovers, or perhaps you host a weekly talk show. The sky is the limit!

Start a podcast (and if you already have one, keep at it)

The podcast medium garnered a lot of attention in 2017, and it is likely to see even more growth in the new year.

The possibilities with podcasting are seemingly endless; You can record a conversation about a single topic, offer regular news updates, interview people, or simply talk to the world at large — all from the comfort of your home (or anywhere else, for that matter).

Podcasts can be as long or as short as you want, and there is no limit to the number of podcasts you can record. Find a niche that has not yet been filled an fill it with your voice.

Simplicity is an art. Quality > Quantity.

When everything is available with a few clicks and keystrokes the temptation to try and cover all corners of the entertainment world at all times can be great, but for the sake of your health and sanity, you need to resist giving in to such ideas.

There is no way anyone or any one team can cover everything and do a good job. You can cover everything and be pretty mediocre, sure, but being the best at everything just isn’t in the cards.

Find what your audience wants and serve that to them as often and as well as you possibly can.

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.