Launch a music blog, build an audience, and generate an income
by writing about what you love.
Get it for $10.30.Get the Ebook
WHY YOU NEED THIS EBOOK
You don’t. All you need is love. But you already knew that.
You might want this ebook, though, if you’re trying to build a music blog that reaches past the single-person audience of your best friend or your mom.
This book exists to help you do that. I wrote it because, as I worked on Two Story Melody, I found myself wishing a resource like it existed.
Go ahead and google “how to build a music blog” (or “how to start a music blog,” or “set up a music blog,” whatever works for you), and you’ll see what I mean. There’s about a page of appropriately-titled search results, but from what I’ve seen, there’s nothing with too much legitimately-helpful information for people who want to blog about music.
Take this excerpt from Outbrain’s article: “In case it has to be said, you must be creative to succeed in the world of professional blogging. You must craft engaging blog posts that your visitors want to read.”
And then they move on.
Sorry, Outbrain – I’m not sure that did need to be said.
But I don’t want to be too harsh – the rest of their article has some decent stuff. Look, here’s the bottom line: there are a bunch of places to go for tactical blogging advice. There are a ton of places to learn how to be a better writer. And there are a few resources on growing and managing an audience and an internal team.
But from what I’ve seen, there aren’t too many resources that combine all three of those components from a music-blogging perspective.
That’s why this book exists.
Honestly, you don’t need it. But I hope it’s helpful.
WHAT YOU’LL GET:
You’ll get a downloadable / e-readable PDF that includes:
- A step-by-step walk-through on how to launch a site, grow an audience, and monetize a blog.
- Practical tips, tactics, and tools that we use here.
- Insight from years of mistakes, dumb luck, and lessons (plus an inside look at how we run everything).
WHAT ELSE IS INSIDE?
Here’s the table of contents and the introduction. From there, you’ll have to draw your own conclusions.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
An Introduction 3
The Setup Phase 8
Choose the Niche 11
Choose the Platform 14
How to Build Out the Site 19
The Growth Phase 25
Write Consistently 27
How to Write About Music 29
Two Story Melody Style Guide for Contributors 32
How to Get in Touch with Artists 36
Consistently Grow Your Audience 39
How to Grow a Social Following 45
How to Build an Email List 48
The Monetization Phase 52
Should You Charge for Coverage? 54
Ad Networks 57
Ads from Brand Partners 62
Affiliate Networks 67
Products (Merchandise or Other) 69
Feedback Networks (like Submithub) 71
The Two Story Melody System 76
The Tools We Use 81
Final Encouragement 82
Hi. I’m Jon.
In January of 2017, I started a music blog called Two Story Melody.
I’d be lying if I said that, at that moment, I had any specific goals in mind. Actually, I had nothing in mind other than (as I kept telling the artists I interviewed) giving myself an excuse to talk about songwriting and music.
The main reason I started, really, was because I loved music and the art of songwriting, but wasn’t involved in either of those things with any kind of regularity. That sucked. If you love music and aren’t doing it, you know the feeling.
I’d graduated from college with dual degrees in Marketing and Communications, and while my job as a marketing agency was great in a lot of ways, it also had nothing at all to do with music.
It did, though, have a lot to do with the skills and training needed to create and market a website.
So I went for it.
My first interview was with my brother, who’s working on songwriting in Nashville. My second was with one of my good friends. My third was with the friend of a friend.
But from there, I found myself consistently lucking into opportunities to build something bigger. And the more I worked on the site, the more I wanted to.
Today, Two Story Melody is pretty legit (which sounds a little arrogant, I know).
We’ve published 200 in-depth interviews with accomplished and up-and-coming songwriters, and loads of other different forms of content pieces (including reviews, music recommendations, and columns) on top of that. We’ve got a team of 16 writers on three continents. We have two managing editors, not including myself. We get about 40 submissions from artists per day.
And I get to talk to artists I like about something I love: songwriting.
Honestly, I’m really proud of it. But I also know I’ve gotten really lucky. I’ve made good decisions and super dumb calls, but along the way I’ve stumbled into a few things that have let me consistently do what I’m passionate about.
This book exists to help you do the same thing. I want to help you avoid making mistakes that could derail you, and I want to help you turn what you love into what you do.
Here’s what I’m assuming about you:
You love writing about music. If you don’t, then this book probably isn’t for you. In other words, if your purpose for building a music blog is for some kind of gain – to make money, or to get connections, or to meet Gary Vee – then there are other resources out there that are a lot better equipped to help you than this one is. You have to be interested in this because you love it.
You write decently well. This is not a book about how to write. We’ll touch on how to write, of course, but if writing tips are what you’re looking for, this isn’t the best place to find them.
You haven’t launched a blog yet, or you’ve only launched a personal blog that you’re looking to grow. This book isn’t for people who’ve already built up substantial platforms (although it might have some value to add in that scenario).
If, however, you want to build a music blog – build’s the operative word – then this is the book for you. It’s for people who want to get started and grow.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
The setup phase. How to choose your niche or topic, how to choose the platform you’ll use for your website, and how to get the site set up.
The growth phase. How to write well and stay consistent, how to get in contact with cool artists, how to build a team of contributors, and how to start growing an audience across social media and email.
The monetization phase. How to do (or not do) ads, how to get sponsorships, and how to use SubmitHub as a revenue stream – plus the systems we use at Two Story Melody.
If you put the information in here to use, you will be able to:
- Consistently create high-quality blog content to post on a solid website
- Have established artists and PR folks reaching out to you with interview ops, show review ops, and more.
- Make a legitimate income from your steadily-growing platform.
Making this happen takes a lot of effort and time. But if you love writing about music, I honestly believe you can do it.
Here’s how to build a music blog.
WHO’S THE AUTHOR AGAIN?
|JON ANDERSONJon’s the founder of Two Story Melody (a music blog) and Two Story Media (a music PR firm).|
Here are two truths and a lie about him: Jon loves understanding how songs are made. Jon once attempted to swim across the Pacific Ocean, but only made it to Hawaii. Jon was the stunt double for Sandra Bullock in the films Gravity and The Blindside.
STILL WANT TO BUILD A MUSIC BLOG?
Here’s the book again for $10.30.