Filed Under (Hip Hop Blogs) by FuNkwoRm on 23-09-2011
Tagged Under : blogging, Hip Hop Blogs, marketing and promotion
This is the second post in a series that I promised to deliver on the rewards and benefits of blogging. Sorry that it took so long to write this follow up. The first post was titled, 5 Reasons Why You Should Be Blogging. Check it out to get a basic idea of what this series will focus on if you haven’t already.
In this article, I’m going to introduce to you an effective strategy to reach a new audience and set up a solid foundation for you to make your presence on the internet profitable for you. In my almost 3 years of blogging, it’s I strategy that I have rarely seen used. It’s one that has help me add an additional stream of income as a producer, and by using advertising on this blog. I’ll later explain how this works for me.
It’s becoming harder to generate any livable income from music sales alone. And it’s harder to find an audience in this saturated genre of hip hop. I experience this as a producer as well. Some say that all you have to do is have incredible music and all the rest will be taken care off. Well that’s only half true, and I don’t bother making statements like this to artists because most think that their art is incredible. Good music is best when it’s heard by others, and that requires some amount of strategic marketing which can lead to your ability to expose it to more people.
This marketing strategy I’m going to share with you I’ll call, blog theming. Essentially it is creating a blog that has a theme or subject more dominant than your music. I’ll explain how I generate income from this blog by doing this and show you how you can duplicate some of the same success. And this can work for you if you’re an artist, producer, or Dj. There are very few limitations on it’s effectiveness when done right. First, I’m going to share with you my story.
I’m a music producer. I’m in search of artists who may need my services just like some of you may be in search of fans who are interested in buying your music. About six years ago, more news stories were popping up about artists having problems that stemmed from being sued for their use of uncleared music in their mixtapes that they were then trying to sell to make a profit. Even though it was more popular to record over beats made famous by other artists at the time, my feeling was that some artists would also like to have access to sample free beats that they could safely use for the mixtapes without worrying about legal problems.
So I created a beat site called QuickBeats.net. I had a hardrive filled with beats that I was no longer sending out into the marketplace, so instead of just letting them sit there unused, I came up with the idea that others may be interested in leasing them for their projects. And by putting them on a website, I could possibly increase the exposure of my music. This may not seem like such a big deal now but at the time, the internet was not crowded with thousands of beat sites, and the few that were up were very poorly managed and not user friendly.
So the idea was that I’d lease some beats and offer exclusive and custom beats at a higher cost. So I got the site designed the way I wanted, but I had no real idea at the time of how to let people know about it. I paid for some ads, but I didn’t know what the hell I was doing, so I over spent and got minimal results.
ENTER MYSPACE!! MySpace became my “bestest” friend in the whole entire universe. Just sitting there were thousands, if not millions, of independent hip hop artists who were looking for beats. I created a page, did a search for hip hop artists, friended them, and BAM, I’m doin’ bizzness! And business was good…very good. So I would just wash, rinse, and repeat. I accumulated over 86,000 friends without spam tactics or buying followers, and met artists from all over the globe. If you’d like to stop by the MySpace graveyard and see my tombstone you can do so here: MySpace.com/Quickbeats
I’ve been fortunate enough to have always made a living in the music business, and the extra income that my beat site was bringing in, was a great bonus. It didn’t take long for this idea to spread, and before you know it, beat sites were everywhere in just a couple of years. And on top of that, MySpace was quickly turning into a crappy social network. My entire business became dependent on MySpace. I hadn’t effectively created an email list of potential clients, so when MySpace went down the drain, the growth of my beat site suffered along with it. And the exodus from MySpace was swift.
Left without having a effective replacement for MySpace, I needed to find a way to reach artists. I was just discovering the effectiveness of blogging a few years ago, and got excited about the idea of starting one. My first idea was to use it as a portal to bring new artists to my beat site, but I knew that if I only put up a blog that talked about me and my beats, that it would very quickly become boring and uninteresting. So I decided to create a blog about a much broader subject that interested me the most. And that was independent hip hop. It wasn’t long before the rappers that I posted on the blog started promoting it and bringing a bigger audience to it. And without ever doing a post about my beat site, artists who were interested in beats were clicking on my QuickBeats banner that has always been on this blog. Quickbeats still brings me good income without aggressively promoting it on this blog.
Advertising is another good income earner for anyone operating a blog that’s generating traffic. Those who want have businesses or projects pay for advertising banners on this blog, and I use Google adsense, a pay-per-click program run by Google that helps you earn money every time an ad banner is clicked. With this program, you can earn sometimes a .50 cents or more every time someone clicks on a banner placed on your site. And it’s free to join this program. So if you get a 500 visitors a day and half of them click on a 50 cent per click banner you earn $125 per day. Most of this requires more detailed information that I will explain in a follow up post. I’m just giving you a rough idea about the potential of theme blogging.
So how can this work for you? If you have a blog or a website, it’s most likely just a page or blog centered around you and your music. That’s fine but it’s not useful in terms of having new people find you in search engines. In order to find your page, I’d have to know about you already and put your name in the search. What I’m urging you to do from my own example, is to create a blog where your music is not the central theme of the blog. This will help you attract an audience using a different interest and then introduce them to your music. Just make sure that the theme and topic you choose is something that you’re very passionate about.
I’ll give you an example. I was talking to a rapper who had a sneaker fetish. You ever talk to somebody with one? This guy was like and encyclopedia for sneakers. He not only had a large collection, but he could talk for hours about custom footwear, rare releases and a host of other related information about sneakers. Although I didn’t share his passion, his depth of knowledge was really interesting. And I know it’s interesting to many others in the hip hop community. I told him that instead of having a rarely updated website with just his music on it, that he should start a blog focused on his passion for sneakers, attract a community that shares the same passion, and have his music on the blog. I even told him that if it got large enough, people would come to him to advertise on it. Maybe even shoe companies. This happens to me. Businesses want to advertise on this blog, I get offered free tickets to shows, and sometimes I’m able to give away free stuff to my readers like I did with the Ecko watches contest. These opportunities are not available to you when you spend most of your online time solely on social networks. You build no valuable online real estate that way.With this strategy, people who share your passion, find your blog by searching for terms related to it and then discover your music in the process.
Your music, whether it’s on Facebook, YouTube, Spotify or Twitter, will be on a platform that makes it’s fortune from advertising. Why not effectively take some control and create an opportunity that can generate some income from you? Even if you decide to only advertise and promote your own music and merchandise. The independent artist of the future is an entrepreneur and a business. Theming your blog is a great way to meet others who share your interests. You’re interest could be skateboarding, cars, models, even fashion. Whatever it is, there’s most likely a group of hip hop fans that share that interest. If you blog about it, stay consistent, and be entertaining with the subject matter, you’ll discover a brand new way to attract people to you and your music without trying to force them to pay attention. I know that this is not for everybody and that’s fine. There are many roads to success. I can only tell you from my own experience, that blogging this way continues to be rewarding for me on many levels.
I’m working on a free booklet that will teach those who know very little about blogging how to set one up, optimize it, and get started.
Stay on the grind!