There’s something that’s so magical about the music you love, and lately, you’ve thought that you want to write about it. Whether it’s the dreamy, ethereal sounds of bands like The Cranberries, or the punky sound of indie bands you discover every week at your favorite indie music bar, there’s something so appealing about having a career where it’s your job to listen to them. And write about them, and help other people discover how great they are. That’s why you want to break into the music journalism business.
The fact is, even though people keeping saying that “print is dead,” it’s a great time to start making a name for yourself as music journalist out there. Because so many people are getting their information online these days, breaking into the music journalism business is all about getting your journalism online and being good at it. And here’s how.
Start a music journalism blog
One of the best things about being a writer is that it’s writing itself that helps you build your career. Even though you won’t get recognition for what you write in the very beginning, as you slowly gather pieces for your portfolio, you’ll have fun while getting better. That’s why the first step in breaking into this business is starting a blog. Think about what you’re most passionate about when it comes to music, and create a niche topic for your blog.
For example, if you’re in an artsy city that’s popular among tourists, you can start visiting all your favorite music venues and writing about the gigs you listen to there. Music lovers both in your city and visiting from outside of it will start reading your posts and sharing them. At a certain point, someone will notice. Venues might ask you to start interviewing bands and posting on their website. A local magazine might ask you to cover an upcoming music festival. As long as you’re writing regularly, two to three times a week, people who love music just like you do will start to take notice.
There’s a reason why companies with blogs receive 97 percent more links to their website, and that’s because blogging is one of the best ways to get people to notice you. We know you love writing, and you’re probably already good at it, but it’s worth reviewing how to balance good writing with the best SEO practices so that you get more traffic.
Make connections in person
Even though a blog is a great way to show how much you love music, and a necessary step in your career, nothing beats seeing bands live and making connections with venues. By simply chatting with musicians at the end of a show, they might invite you to come on tour and interview them for those months. You might even meet another music journalist who might have heard about an opening at their publication. Even though Americans are spending more than ten hours a day looking at their screens, music changes things. There’s nothing like live music, after all.
Getting an internship is another way to make connections in the industry. One of the great things about having a blog already is that you can send a link to it when you’re applying, showing off your writing skills. And if your blog has gotten you a few writing gigs as a freelancer, you can show those off on the website, too. Whether someone’s working to drop ship to businesses, or as a writer, having a place to show off their skills online is hugely important.
Be active on social media
But just because you’re going out and making connections in person, it never hurts to make them online, either. Considering that magazines like Rolling Stone and Pitchfork have a strong online presence, you’re bound to make connections online you can benefit from. Create social media profiles on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, where you’re bound to get people interested in the writing you produce about the music you love.
Instagram, especially, is taking off right now: 15 million registered businesses use Instagram business profiles, and your music writing business should be one of them. Music is best listened to, but cool images of bands playing on a Friday night–as well as Instagram stories where you can post short videos of the music you’re writing about–will inevitably get the attention of readers, editors, and bands.
By using these strategies, you can start breaking into the music journalism business. Why have you decided to break into this business, and which of these strategies do you plan to use?