Andrew Dubber over at New Music Strategies has just posted a fantastic blog post – Do I Really Have To Blog?.
His answer (initially, ‘yes of course’ but much longer and in detail) is just about the best list of reasons I’ve ever read for musicians blogging.
I’ll add just one thing to it – a blog is what you do with your fans once they’ve heard of you.
Getting people to visit a website is not that hard. There are a series of mechanisms for generating web traffic, from adding friends on myspace to using stumbleupon, digg, facebook etc to drive people towards your ‘stuff’. But what then? As I’ve sited a number of times, people just don’t spend loads of their time re-visiting a static page to read again about how amazing you are. As David Jennings points out in his excellent book Net, Blogs And Rock ‘n’ Roll, your audiences spend the vast majority of their online time NOT looking at your site. Even to your biggest fans, you are but a small part of their online life. Unless you have some uber-fan-forum that commands hours a day of the time of your ardent followers, you are fighting to increase the fragments of one percent of the time that the vast majority of your audience spend looking at your stuff online.
And that is your blog – you write so there’s a reason for connecting with them. Yes, you’re a musician, so the music is paramount, but to suggest that all you’re sending people to is a page with MP3 and CD sales is woefully short-sighted. That’s not how you use the web, it’s not how you discover music, and it’s not how anybody else does either.
Andrew Dubber writes brilliantly about the connection your blog gives your fans to you, the context behind your musical expression. Here’s an excerpt:
A smart friend of mine once said that the best music in the world is the sound of someone’s insides on the outside (yes, he was an old punk – how did you know?). His point was one about self-expression. That music, at its best, is something we can identify with on a human level. And we tend to like music we can relate to, because it expresses something of ourselves.
And because music is self-expressive, we are more positively inclined towards music by people we know and like – because if we like them, we’re likely to appreciate expressions of their ‘self’.
So by logical extension – removing the curtain, engaging with your audience and actually letting them in on your day to day life will allow people to feel that they are getting to know you (in a ‘managed’ way), and will therefore be increasingly inclined to appreciate your music on that basis.
Now, go and read the whole post (and subscribe to the NMS feed – it’s all good stuff on there) and GET BLOGGING.by