Why Music Blogs Are Still Relevant
by Tommy Docherty
July 08, 2022
A blog (weblog), by definition, is a regularly updated website or web page, typically run by an individual or small group written in an informal or conversational style. The term ‘blogging’ started in 1997, and to this day, it is a way for aspiring writers to get their foot in the door of a journalism career. It can even be a full-time job and a reliable source of income for many experienced writers. However, many would argue that music blogs aren’t as relevant today due to the immeasurable rise of websites and social media platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. In this article, I will explain why music blogs are just as relevant now as they were when they hit their peak in the mid-2000s.
Blogs VS Social Media
My first big argument towards the relevance of music blogs is that blogs themselves never disappeared, but instead, they’ve just morphed into a different medium. Blogs don’t just have to be a standard paragraph on a website. You can have a blog made up entirely on Instagram, writing whatever you choose to blog about in the caption and always have an accompanying photograph. You can even use hashtags to get your posts seen by more people with similar interests.
However, there’s a massive problem with this. Due to Instagram captions only allowing 2,200 characters per post, the blogger is massively limited, and therefore, so is the reader. Blogs need to be in-depth and should fulfill the reader, which isn’t doable with only a couple thousand characters. Also, many readers will be distracted by the image accompanying the blog rather than the blog writing itself. For this reason, many bloggers will use Instagram as more of a tool than a full-fledged blog, highlighting why blogs are still relevant.
Another way that aspiring writers can reach an audience is through the popular social media app TikTok. On it, a blogger would do away with written work and instead opt to speak for up to 10 minutes about any given topic they like. There are many pros to this method. For one, is that TikTok videos gain hundreds, possibly even thousands, of views from the get-go. I have a TikTok account with just 33 followers, and my second-ever video managed to rake in 3,089 views. That is a lot of people, and if just 1% of my viewership becomes a fan of my work, that’s over 30 people who will now come back to every video I post.
There are, of course, many cons that come with this form of blogging (technically vlogging) as well. The main one is that to get views, you have to learn TikTok’s algorithm. Everything is ruled and governed by that infamous ‘A’ word, and if you’re not lucky enough to be considered worthy of its appraisal, that means no views for you. Essentially, it’s unreliable. With a traditional blog, you can set a scheduled date and time, and nothing will change. No bots to try and please, no changes to be made to try and please a system, just you and your unfiltered work published the way you want.
Blogs can offer a level of influence over an audience that is incomparable anywhere else. If a respected blogger writes an entire article about an artist they think deserves more attention, it can shine a spotlight on them and allow them to make a name for themselves. It can also let audiences know they are well credited, as a written piece of work spanning hundreds, possibly even thousands, of words about their music must make for a compelling listen. Add to this the ability to link the artist’s website to the blog, their latest song/album, and the level of influence increases dramatically. Due to blogs often being a weekly or monthly upload, it creates the opportunity for a series where new talent gets scouted.
Search Engine Visibility is another aspect of social proof. Whenever a blogger updates their website, having just covered an artist’s work, their audience will want to type in their name to find the blog. This in turn, can increase the searches for that artist, bringing new fans to both the blog and the artist. It also boosts their online presence, and we all know how important that is today.
The Immediate Relevance of Blogs
My final point on why music blogs are still relevant is to do with the very fact you’re reading one right now! And so are hundreds of other people!
It proves that even with the rise in popularity of social media, the general public still relies on blogs and finds the format interesting. People also want something to sink their teeth into, which cannot be satisfied with a 60-second YouTube Short or a TikTok.
Imagine you are a musician on the rise. You send your music to some tastemakers who will send back their honest feedback. Would you want the critique to be crammed into a snappy clip on a social media app with minimal advice? Or would you prefer it as a carefully written blog spanning hundreds of words with useful links scattered throughout to help you become a better artist? If you choose the second option, it shows that blogs are still relevant.