It’s so easy to start a blog these days that sometimes it seems like everyone and their mother has one. So amidst a sea of bloggers in an ocean of blogs, how can you differentiate yours from the rest? Well, the really successful blogs (in other words, the ones that actually get read) all have one thing in common: they have a theme – an underlying thread that weaves through all the posts in that blog, giving it a sense of unity. If your blog is simply a smattering of ramblings on various topics such as why you hate our presidential party, or what your new favorite brand of coconut water is, or all about your weekend trip to Paris – you’re going to have a hard time attracting and maintaining readers. Of course that’s all fine and good if you’re blogging just for your close friends and your Aunt Sadie. But the real key to coming up with a successful blog that attracts readers is to decide who you want your audience to be – and the narrower the better. Once you know that, it will become very clear what you’re going to write about.
I’d like to propose that, within the realm of the arts, there are four main types of themes that a successfully blog usually has (of course there are exceptions to this, but being someone who has looked at a LOT of blogs, I find that most fall into one of these four categories). After reading about these below, my hope is that you’ll know which one will work best for you – and how you can cater it to your own personal style and expertise.
#1: The “Giving Back” Blog
The purpose of this type of blog is just what it says: you feel that you have a lot of good information that other people might find useful, and you’re inclined to share it. Within this theme, your blog posts will above all else strive to education and empower your readers (kind of like this one). You’ll know this blog type is for you if you love the idea of writing articles and tutorials that will aim to help others help themselves.
The Do-It-Yourself Musician’s Blog
“Moving your music forward.”
The Musician’s Way Blog
“Helping you become a successful musician.”
#2: The Listener’s Blog
Within the music community, another great idea for a blog is to provide listeners (music-educated or not) with information about artists and recordings. On a blog like this, you might post concert reviews, CD reviews, and information about upcoming shows and recordings. If you’re going to start a listener’s blog, I would suggest that you narrow your focus as much as you can – for example, make it genre-specific such as being only about jazz, classical, or indie rock music. Another idea would be to make it an area-specific, for example you could write only about Brooklyn-based bands.
The Brooklyn Vegan
“Music, Photos, & News from a Vegan in Brooklyn.”
“We Love Electronic Music.”
#3: The News Blog (aka “The Rant” blog)
This type of blog will aim to provide readers with news on a specific topic within the arts today. Additionally, this blog may lend itself to the author’s thoughts (or rants) on those articles, topics or issues. It’s not uncommon for someone who is running a news-centered blog to collect various news articles from all over the Internet, and then compile them on this more specifically themed blog. What is the advantage of doing this, you might ask? Well, let’s say hypothetically you are someone who’s interested in articles about jazz saxophone education. Needless to say there are probably a lot of articles written every week about jazz saxophone education, but most likely some of them are on jazz sites, some of them are on education sites, some of them are on saxophone sites, and some of them are on general news sites. By compiling articles from various sources – you’re putting everything your readers desire in one place. A news blog would be a good option for someone who is passionate about the current happenings in a specific field – and wouldn’t mind having somewhere to rant about them as well.
Best Saxpohone Website Ever
“Your home for saxophone tips, techniques, interviews, reviews, and news.”
#4: The “A Day in the Life” Blog
This blog theme is the closest one to the all-too-common smattering of ramblings that was mentioned in the first paragraph of this blog post. The “A Day in the Life” blog will provide a glimpse for readers into the daily life of you – but it must be specific to one area of your life, and there must be a theme within this theme. For example, if you are a freelance cartoon artist trying to make it in NYC you could call your blog “Doodlings: One cartoon artist’s attempt to making it in the big apple.” This works within the blog context because this person is writing about his or her life as it relates to both the hardships of living in NYC and trying to make it as a cartoon artist, rather than just life in general.
Diary of an Artist
“An artist’s personal journey: my ideas, my exhibitions, exhibition reviews, tips, thoughts, my artwork and many photos.”
I hope this blog post has giving you some insight into what kind of blog you would enjoy writing for and that readers of one kind or another would enjoy. I sincerely believe that all of us have something to say that others would find helpful or of interest – it’s just a matter of finding what that it for you.