October 24, 2013
Welcome to our special series on how to write a great blog post! Every other Thursday, we'll debut a new article that will teach you how to write posts for your blog that will engage and inspire your readers, encourage conversation in comments, and keep them coming back for more. Put your best foot forward and watch your audience grow! Late to the party? Check out the other posts in our series here.
If you're looking for new music recommendations, look no further than the Internet, where everyone has an opinion, a critical ear, and the will to write about it. In terms of topics, music blogs are still a fairly niche genre, much like the music covered in some of them. That doesn't mean you shouldn't get in on the game, though; many people include music posts as part of their regular repertoire nowadays, from fashion bloggers to lifestyle bloggers, food bloggers to mommy bloggers. Music is, after all, the universal language.
If you go to a lot of concerts or just have great taste in (or a love of) music, you might want to consider adding a music post or two to your weekly rotation; after all, bringing new music to the masses or finding out that you share a few favorite bands in common with your readers can be both rewarding and illuminating - you might just find yourself on the receiving end of some great recommendations.
There are a few things to consider when writing a music post (and making it great):
The Topic: Unless you fancy yourself a music critic, stick to writing about things you like versus things you dislike. Telling someone why they should listen to your favorite band's new album is going to be a lot more fun (and easier) than pointing out the flaws in a record you regret buying. Leave the panning to Pitchfork.
The Details: Sure, you could stick to the technical facts when describing a show you saw or an album you liked, but the best music writing tells your readers a story that places them in medias res, allowing them to experience it right along with you. Talk about how the music made you feel. Recount the crush of bodies at the barrier, the stage banter, the thrill of hearing your most favorite song at the encore. Talk about the best song on the album, about the lyrics, about what song was playing the moment you met your girlfriend/boyfriend/best friend/dog. Write about how the music changed your life. Music is passion; don't hold back.
The Photos: Including at least one clear, high resolution photo in your post is a must, and more if you're writing about a live show, if possible. If you only had your cell phone with you at the show, do a Flickr search for a photo of the band performing live (and make sure that it has the appropriate Creative Commons license), and place that at the beginning of your post, including any sentimental cell phone photos further down, if you must. Writing about a specific track or album? Make your post header an image of the album cover.
The Media: Embedding mp3 files from Soundcloud or Spotify gives your readers an even deeper way to relate to what you've written, and it can help increase your post's visibility and discoverability by allowing it to be included in directories like The Hype Machine and Elbo.ws, blog aggregators that allow people to search and browse for music. Embedding videos from YouTube or Vimeo also provides your readers with a richer experience and allows them to hear and see why you love the music.
The Extras: It seems simple enough, but it's smart to include information on where your readers can find the album or track you're writing about, or a band's next stops on their tour schedule. Links to the band's official website, the iTunes store, their webstore or their Bandcamp page gives your readers the next step to take in the new music experience you've brought to them - and it helps support the band, which means more new music for you in the future. Win-win!