If you want to be a professional musician, it’s become an exceptionally smart idea in 2014 to actively maintain a blog. At the very least a Twitter account, but a blog on your personal website is probably a good idea too.
Blogs are an incredible tool for reaching an audience and establishing a connection with them. By having a blog on your personal website, you can not only promote your musical abilities and reveal interesting aspects of yourself that you would otherwise not be able to relate in just performing, you can also interact with your audience as well.
Leave open a comments section, and let people comment on your blogs and ideas. Get to know your readers. Don’t be afraid to be controversial in some of your ideas if you truly believe in them as well, since that will probably attract more people and thus more prospective listeners and fans to your website anyway.
Some music students might think they shouldn’t blog until they have graduated and they are out in the real world. This idea couldn’t be more incorrect!
While you can start building an audience at any age, there are obvious benefits to starting as soon as possible.
So how do you start a blog?
First, I would head on over to wordpress.org. WordPress is super easy to use and very intuitive. I use wordpress for every site I make. I would personally stay away from platforms like Joomla or even worse coding an entire site yourself – the hassle of doing so would take away a great deal of time from your work.
On wordpress.org, check out some “themes,” which are website templates. There are a lot of good free themes on the website. However, if you want to have a really nice, premium, and smart-phone and tablet friendly theme, I recommend checking out some of the professional-grade themes at themeforest. Most of them are affordable even to the ramen noodle budget college kids like I used to be.
Once you do that, you will want to sign up for a hosting account that does “1-click” wordpress installations. A good one that I have used is Bluehost, which is excellent for websites starting up.
Here is a link to Bluehost (note: this is called an affiliate link, and if you purchase, I will receive a small commission that will go towards hosting for the site. If you do purchase through this link, I really appreciate your support!).
At Bluehost, you can buy your domain and your hosting account. What that means is you can not only purchase the URL from Bluehost, but you can also have a place to the put the website.
After that, start blogging away! If I get enough requests I’ll make a video on how to setup a WordPress blog on Bluehost in less than 5 minutes.
5. When Booking Gigs, Call, Never Email. This Is a Funny One…
One of MacGyver’s best qualities is confidence. At the end of the day, we all love him because he is incredibly confident in his ability to execute.
To be a successful musician, confidence is a must. This is difficult for many music students and professionals since many tend to score in the INFP scale of the Briggs-Meyer personality test, which means they are introverts.
I’m not saying introverts can’t be confident, but I am saying that most introverts tend to stay more to themselves and sometimes have difficulty portraying their confidence to the world. I was born an introvert as well and can very well relate to this issue.
Venue owners literally get hundreds of unsolicited emails every single day from musicians who want to perform at their venues. While emailing is ok if that is the only option presented to you, calling demonstrates a drive and confidence that is far beyond any email. It’s a human interaction, a very specific connection that can’t be duplicated with an electronic message. It’s hard to describe the powerful psychology behind establishing the connection of a voice, but trust me, there is nothing like a phone call.
Of course, it is even better to get to know a venue owner yourself by coming to a show and establishing a connection there. However, when this is not possible, calling is the very best option.
And best of all, it’s totally free (except for the phone bill, of course)! Having very good phone conversation skills can contribute a great deal to your resourcefulness as a student musician and beyond.