Cendrine Marrouat, Author, Journalist, Blogger
This is a guest post by Cendrine Marrouat, her bio is at the end of this article.
In this day and age, independent artists rely almost exclusively on Facebook and Twitter to reach global audiences. However, in so doing, they overlook other major platforms. One of them is blogging.
A blog is a great tool that, when used well, will increase public awareness of your work and help you build a loyal group of supporters. Here are five tips to get you started.
Tip #1: Know Your Niche
Let me start by asking you a few questions. Do you know who visits your blog? How old are they? Where do they live? How did they find your blog?
Answering these questions will help you determine who your audience is, and how interested it may be in the genre of music you make or the kind of books you write. This is what we call a “niche.”
To help you with that, use Google Analytics and / or Facebook Insights (for Facebook Fan Page owners). These free services will give you access to important metrics, such as the gender, age, locations, and languages spoken by your visitors.
Tip #2: Make Your Blog Interactive
Interactivity is a prerequisite to attract a loyal audience. An important rule is to allow visitors to access your content and connect with you where it is the most comfortable for them.
Here are three things that you should include on your blog:
- Calls to Action – A call to action is a short sentence that tells visitors what they should do. For example: “Subscribe to our newsletter to get a free eBook“; “Check us out on Facebook”; “Click ‘like’ to access the page”; “Suggest to friends.” Your blog should display at least one call to action on each page / post.
- Blog Subscription – People do not always have time to check blogs for new content. So, make things easier for them. Embed a subscribe form on your blog. Feedburner, for example, is a great service.
A Special Note about Auto Players…
A while ago, I visited the blog of an artist that someone had recommended me to check out. Upon landing on the home page, the loud music made me jump in my chair. As I could not find the player to stop the music, I left and never came back.
Visitors should not have to mute their speakers when landing on your blog. Disable the auto play function of your player to let them decide if they want to listen to your music and watch your videos, or not.
Tip #3: Do Not Overdo Self-Promotion
If you have a blog, you obviously should promote it. Share your articles (and news) on social networks (Facebook, Twitter and Google+), in relevant LinkedIn Groups, and on Scoop.it or Paper.li. You can also join Bloggers, one of the biggest and best communities and directories for bloggers in the world. And why not harness the power of a platform like Pinterest?
With that being said, avoid overdoing self-promotion. Keep it 80 / 20. This rule, also known as the Pareto Principle, states that 80 percent of your outcomes come from 20 percent of your inputs.
What does it mean for you?
- 80 percent of your social media time should be about sharing compelling content from others and engaging followers.
- 20 percent (or less) of the remaining time should be about promoting yourself.
Tip #4: Interact with Your Visitors
Visitors to your blog want to find content that speaks to them. They want to feel that you are paying attention to them.
Ask them questions in your articles. Encourage them to share their thoughts in the comment section.
And do not forget to mention the names of specific supporters and your favorite influencers once in a while.
Tip #5: Remember: It’s about Your Fans, Not You
After releasing six books and a CD, I can tell you one thing: Audiences do not care about artists. The only thing they really care about is if your music or book is entertaining enough. They want art that takes them away from their problems.
People will only buy your products if they can relate to your artistic story (a.k.a. your brand) and take part in it. A blog is the perfect platform for that. Use it to show your expertise, and make your unique voice and helpful side shine.
To build a loyal audience, you must make yourself indispensable, first. The rest will come in due time.
The tips in this article are adapted from Cendrine Marrouat’s The Little Big eBook on Blogging: 40 Traffic Generation Tips. This eBook will be available for purchase on March 6, 2012. For more information, click here.
About Cendrine Marrouat
Cendrine Marrouat is a journalist, reviewer, blogger and author with nine years of experience in the freelance industry. Her articles have appeared in a number of websites and blogs, including Examiner.com and Digital Journal. She is also the founder of Creative Ramblings, a social media blog with a specific focus on entrepreneurs and independent artists.
For more information on Cendrine, visit www.cendrinemarrouat.com. You can also follow her on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.