Do Music Blogs Even Matter?

Tuesday July 10th, 2018 in Blog Posts

For argument's sake, let's say they don't matter

Above is a little poll I ran on Twitter. 8 participants and no one voting for blogs as a way they discover music. Surprising? Not really. Blogs may have been great back before music streaming hit the mainstream, but now they're inconvenient. Streaming platforms like Spotify *already provide* things like Discover Weekly and Release Radar playlists. They're automatic, guaranteed, weekly things.

Blogs can't compete because they are websites, and websites may be overkill. The only thing people really want is an uncomplicated, easy guide to new songs and albums.

Social media and blogging

Some people have already figured out that connecting with people is easiest on social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram.

Take for example SMALL ALBUMS, a music reviewer/blogger. Here is their bio on Instagram: "A micro music blog written by an Ant on Helium reporting abstract RVWS of ALL the killer music".

SMALL ALBUMS has thousands of followers (mostly on Twitter), which is extremely impressive for an independent blog. Their reviews, constrained by the character limits of a Tweet, are short, snappy, specific, and funny. It's no wonder they have such a large following. They can review a ton of music in a short amount of time, they can tag the actual band's account, and people can retweet it to even larger audiences.

Genius, if you ask me.

So why do any kind of formal custom-web-address-based blogging?

What's the point of a blog with its own website?

Well, there is no point. You could argue that Noise Haven could do without its own web address.

But then again, here are some advantages of a website that I can think of. Keep in mind these are in no way requirements for a successful blog:

  1. Clear, chronological organization of posts. A band can save the url where their music was featured and their music will always be at that url.
  2. Aesthetic. With the power of css, color schemes, and font selection, you can customize the way a website looks. However, be careful not to make this your main focus. Delivery of information should be your first priority.
  3. No character limits or image size limits. Ever tried uploading a nice DSLR-quality pic to Instagram and it looks like dog sh** after you post it? Yeah compression is a bummer.
  4. SEO, a.k.a search engine optimization. Google search results matter. This is also a reason why you may want to google the name of your planned blog or website before you buy the domain. There could be a similar sounding business out there already.
  5. A source of pride for musicians. After slaving away at their computer for hours, ear-fatigue making them question whether this song is even good anymore, a place on an internet stranger's web page can feel extremely rewarding. This will only get more true as the internet grows bigger and everything gets more and more easily lost in the noise. Releasing music in this day and age can feel quite discouraging. If you blog and no one reads it, at the least you have provided a musician with something to brag about.

A blogging community

All of this said, I'd like to share something I learned since becoming an ameteur music blogger -

The most important thing about independent blogging is to maintain a sense of community with other blogs. No single blog can hear every new song that gets uploaded to places like Bandcamp, SoundCloud, YouTube, Spotify, etc. But together we can make sure no hidden gems remain buried forever.

For example, here's how you do it:

Strongly agree or disagree with something in this opinion piece? hit me up on Twitter! @NoiseHaven