How to Start a Music Blog
Over the last decade, music blogging has been evolving as much as the music industry itself. Noticeably, consumers are looking at music differently and it is evident on the internet more than any other platform.
Many music fans are looking to the internet for the latest news on their favourite musicians. Fans are also getting lazier and lazier. They want to see “DJ X photographed sun bathing after releasing Mixtape XY. Download the mixtape here:” Everyone wants a one stop shop! There’s no better way to provide music and music related news than a music blog.
Just three years ago, starting a music blog would have been a daunting task. Today, you can start a music blog as easy as registering for a social media account. I am here to help you get your music blog started. I have divided this tutorial into three parts; Part One is for the fast learners; part two is a video tutorial for the slow learners like me and part three is for all of us, one big happy family. So let’s cut the chase…
How to start your own Music Blog in 3 Simple Steps
I promised to teach you how to have your music blog up and running in no time. So brace yourself and get your tapes ready, stardom is calling…
1. Choose and Buy Your Domain – This is the most important aspect of your music blog. A domain name or web address is the link to your music blog. Very often than not, your blog will be referred by the domain name. Thus, you should be very careful when choosing your domain name. Make it short, easy to remember and with either a “.com” or “.net” prefix (they are the most popular). An example of a good domain name can be something like www.jazzbeats.com. In other related Good news, you can get a free domain name just by buying a hosting package from BlueHost! What’s that? Relax, it is next…
2. Sign Up for Hosting – A Web host is a remote server where your website resides. Everything that is contained in your website is stored by the web host. I don’t need to emphasize the importance of a reliable web host since it is in black and white already. I always recommend Bluehost for hosting because:
a. It is so easy to use
b. Signing up takes just moments, and they let you register your domain on their site as well.
c. If you purchase a hosting package, you get a free domain!
d. Their service is also very affordable so you don’t need to invest much at all to get your music blog started.
e. They offer excellent 24/7 customer support if needed.
Call me Santa Claus, will you? [Disclosure] BlueHost gives me a small commission for my referral and it doesn’t add anything to your cost. This helps me continue to provide lots of free information for bloggers.
3. Install WordPress – now get your champagne out, you are just one step away from owning a music blog. The last step is to install WordPress. WordPress is the wizardly that will make your website look like a real masterpiece in the eyes of your visitors. Installing WordPress on BlueHost is a simple one click affair (I told you to call me Santa). Later in this guide I will tell you all about the WordPress features you will need.
I tried my best to keep it as simple as possible. But I know there are some people who get things better when they are demonstrated rather than when they are dictated. This in mind, I’ve created a simple video that will walk you through each of these steps so you can see how it is done yourself. Watch this video, and then follow the link, which will bring you to BlueHost where you can purchase your domain and hosting.
Tips for the Music Blogger
I can only imagine how you are feeling now that you have your music blog live. Well, you have now done all the boring part of owning a music blog. Now let’s add some fun and some visitors to your newly created website. I have a few tips that will ensure your blog is fun for visitors.
- Stand Apart from the Rest
Many have come, many have seen but how many have conquered? There are thousands, if not millions, of blogs out there. Do you want to copy them or do you want to be the unique music blog? If you want to land visitors, you must do what others are not doing. Identify the market niche and exploit it.
- Pump out Creative Juices
Gone are the days when the music blogs were embedded songs and videos with a one-line description. If you want to create a music blog where you will have embedded music videos, then you will be the first and last person to visit your blog. I suggest that you have a six month master plan right from the word go.
- Spread out on Social Media
Social media and blogging go hand in hand. To maximize your potential and drive traffic to your website, you need Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Facebook and others. Engage with people who share your interests and make sure they check out your blog site.
- Network with other Music Bloggers
The tides are high and the sea is rough. You cannot survive on your own. You need to be an active blogger in the music blogging community and engage with other likeminded bloggers. Start with guest blogging, do some interviews, consult widely, never turn down joint ventures and so on.
Top Free & Paid WordPress Themes for Music Blogs
A theme is the second most important aspect of your music blog (obviously after the domain name). Luckily enough, there are thousands of WordPress themes at your disposal and I have compiled a list of the top five themes both free and premium.
- In Da Club – This theme is one of the best free music WordPress theme for an individual singer or a band, however, this is somehow complex but very impressive and have a great layout. You can use the custom widgets, feedback form, video supporting and slider while customizing.
- MusicSpace – MusicSpace is a beautiful free WordPress theme for personal web pages. This is a complex wordpress theme with lots of useful features like custom widgets, feedback form, slider, video supporting and many others.
- SoundWavesSE – This is a perfect theme for the musicians who want to share their newly created music online, the unique and fresh layout of this theme will be always right for the musicians as well as singers.
This is a sparkling modern theme that will suite musicians, DJs, bands and even choirs. It is built based on Bootstrap 3 to make front-end web development faster and easier. Colibri is fully responsive and comes with mobile-friendly design to improve the accessibility and usability. It also comes with a free SoundCloud integration.
MusicHub is designed and adapted for music, club, party, radio station, bands, events or blogging. It is extremely responsive and resizes its layout smoothly depending on the device. It comes with a free Visual Composer, a drag and drop page builder plugin with frontend and backend editors.
Chords is built based on the latest Bootstrap technology. Chords offers 3 homepage layout options: Chords solo, Chords rock and Chords Radio. And it doesn’t stop there; this theme is 100% WooCommerce compatible, SEO optimized and translation ready.
Recommended WordPress Plugins for Music Blogs
WordPress plugins are bits of software that can be uploaded to extend and expand the functionality of your WordPress site. I have compiled five most powerful plugins that will truly enhance your music blog. In no particular order, they are:
- Last.fm for Artists – This WordPress plugin is designed specifically for bloggers who also have a Last.fm account. It displays, on the sidebar, any upcoming performances or highlighted tracks from Last.fm.
- GigPress – this is best suited for live blogging. The plugin also features RSS feeds, iCalendar integration and the ability to support multiple artists. The full gamut of GigPress’ features is also available from your WordPress backend.
- Blubrry – This is the best podcast plugin on WordPress. With iTunes support, the ability to include multiple podcasts and monetization options, the Blubrry WordPress plugin is designed for serious podcasters with their own established blogs.
- Audio Album – Great plugin to display Audio Albums on your site. You can easily install the plugin and add a short code to the content.
- Grooveshark – This plugin serves two purposes; it lets you insert links for music to be listened to on Grooveshark, and it also features a widget option that lets readers play the music directly from your blog.
Great Music Blogs to Network With and Be Inspired By
Now that you have everything set up it is time to look at the established guys out there. The sole purpose of visiting other music blogs is to get inspiration and ideas for your own blog. By inspiration, I don’t mean copying what the big boys are doing. Remember a good blog should be unique and not a mere copy-paste thing. Here are five well designed and frequently updated music blogs you can look at.
A music blog heavily relies on creativity. If you believe you don’t lack in creativity, you have a higher chance of taking this advice to the next level and building an authority blog on music and reap its benefits. I have a lot to say but I don’t want to take up more of your time. However, I am always there for you in case you get stuck or when you need some inspiration.
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