Starting a blog from scratch is easy enough, but how do you attract readers? Guest blogging is a great way to hone your craft and find an audience.
This is guest blogging in action by our friend Ben Sword, head coach at Music Marketing Classroom.
If you’ve ever dabbled in the wonderful world of online music marketing, chances are you set up a musician blog at some point. After playing with the fonts and colors for seven hours (or was that just me?), you got to work eagerly bashing away at the keyboard week after week until finally that sinking feeling hit you like a sucker punch from Grandma… "Hot dang… Nobody is reading my shizzle!"
Kinda feels like playing the best show of your life with only the bar staff watching! Not Cool. But why the radio silence? Well, I spent three months talking to every smart and successful blogger I could find in an effort to try and CRACK THE CODE for my latest book (see below), but you want to know the magical formula right now, so here goes…
To run a world-class musician blog, you need to build a big, enthusiastic audience that sucks up your every word like I drink an Oreo milkshake, and the only way there is HARD WORK.
That ain’t a very sexy thing for me to tell you, and the question remains: can you really use blogging as your path to speedy music promotion on your way to full-time musician status? The answer to that question, my Interwebby friend, is 100% YES, and a well-thought-out guest blogging strategy will get you there faster.
Guest blogging? What the…?
The big music marketing strategy here is that rather than spending four hundred years posting on your own site trying to build an audience, you first find relevant blog and websites that have already amassed a audience and become a valued content provider for them.
So WELL DONE because you just got a promotion, and your new job title is "Creator of Super-Awesome Interesting Stuff to be Posted Wherever There is a Crowd."
I believe epic stuff should be the focus for any kind of sensible online and social media marketing. In fact, it’s not really about using a blog at all — or a YouTube channel or Twitter feed — it’s about your commitment to consistently producing inspiring and share-worthy articles, videos, and music that will put you on the yellow brick road to a thriving audience.
Just to be clear, this strategy is NOT about using other sites JUST for their crowd like some fan sucking leech; it’s about asking yourself how you can become a trusted and valued content producer to those websites and their followers. If you can produce content that a popular blog is interested in, you can be sure you can sustain your own site. Once you have a crowd of interested people collected on an email list from your guest posting exploits, you’re can focus on your own website, blog site, and email marketing, because now you have an audience invested and waiting on the content you are producing.
So that’s the snazzy intro in the can, but I made you the following video and action-plan to help you get to work.
Your Action Plan
1. Pick a topic that gets you all hot under the collar, then read the top three articles you find in a Google search on that topic for inspiration.
2. Set a timer for 25 minutes and write down everything you can think of based on your chosen topic. Don’t stop writing or edit anything yet.
3. Leave it overnight and go bake a cake or something, then come back the next day to craft your masterpiece and make it ready for posting.
4. Make it easy for your promo partners by setting up the code in your own blog first so they can post instantly.
5. Don’t forget to link back to a page on your site where you can collect new email subscribers by offering them something killer.
7. If you hear nothing, follow up with a friendly reminder.
8. Use the feedback you get to improve your pitch and then rinse and repeat the process until you’ve gotten all the hits you can from the content you created.
If right now you’re pumped and feel confident that guest blogging is going to be totally badass for you, then I suggest you commit to it as your main music promotion method for at least three months and focus (six days a week if possible). Only then will you have a proper indication of your success. Remember the words of Bruce Lee: "I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times. And Ben Sword is totally AWESOME!"
OK, I made up the last bit, but you get the idea.
A few more goodies
When you’re on a guest blogging mission, it’s all about "how much coolness can I put in my posts"… so with that in mind I decided to make you another video packed with all the little details you’re going to need to get started with your promotion.
Whoa, you made it, thanks for sticking with me! You’ll remember that right at the start of this post I mentioned a book I’ve been working on to seek out smart bloggers and grill them for advice. Well you can download a full free copy of that now!
Once you’re done with this lesson, I’d love you to leave me a comment and let me know how you plan to use guest blogging in your marketing plan, or what you’ve been doing to build a buzz around your music recently.
Ben Sword is the founder of the Music Marketing Classroom, whose mission is to empower musicians to create a sustainable income, even with a modest music career, and teaches a simple four-step marketing philosophy to achieve that goal. Learn more at MusicMarketingClassroom.com.
Music genre word cloud via ShutterStock.com.
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