A year or so ago a client asked me to help a friend who had started managing an artist from a remote island in the Atlantic.
The material was good but it wasn’t at all mainstream – in fact it’s very niche.
The task of getting attention for this artist through any traditional means was going to be difficult.
However, the genre of music did have a name, a following and one internationally acclaimed artist from 20-30 years previously, as well as a handful of other acts that people had heard of.
And there was no website covering the genre.
And a domain name that matched the genre was available.
I advised the manager to build a website all about the genre, to leverage the global interest in the older artist, perhaps even make the defining compilation for the genre and put her new artist on there.
But, the key was to build a web presence that was all about that genre and seamlessly weave her new artist into it. Not in a sly way but because he deserved recognition. And to make that website THE destination for anyone wanting to know about that genre.
We looked at what people were searching for on Google and saw that there was interest and this site / blog would definitely get traffic and readers.
There was a need for this information and this site and this was a massive opportunity to focus attention on the genre and then her new artist.
However, this is not a fast process. But then, building a presence as a DIY musician takes time.
In the end I think the manager ignored the advice and has tried a traditional approach – with no success!
The point is that blogging for musicians doesn’t need to be just about you and your music. Building a site that focuses on something else – your genre, or local scene or some other random connected interest – can really focus people on you.
If that happens and your music is there to be discovered and it’s good, you will get results.
I know people will read this and dismiss it, thinking that it’s nonsense to spend time and effort building something that’s not directly about them and their music. And somehow, it’s not what musicians do, or it’s ‘cheating’.
But they’ll miss the point.
Building interest in your music as a DIY musician is (for 99% of artists) very hard and takes a very long time. These days the artist development that you go through can be done in public on a website as you get to where you’re going. Take fans on that journey with you.
Building a scene (offline works too) around what you do can be part of that process and can build very solid foundations for you and your band, and others in your niche / genre.
It’s not something that everyone should do, but it is worth considering.
This post came about because of this on Hypebot yesterday.
But really read these two articles that it refers back to:
How to blog to expand your audience – This is the one to digest!