All that I have learned has come the hard way. My ego has scars you cannot see. I have wanted to be a writer since I was a child. I wanted to publish a book to prove to my naysayers that I could write. I had a lot of negative influences. I have grown up around many people that put limits on everything they thought I could do. I am trying to share with you now everything that I have learned. We limit ourselves more than any body else does. And what is worse is the number of people that wait and wait till everything is perfect before they start anything. Don’t do it.
It’s called a paralysis of analysis and its very common.
I overheard a conversation about blogs and websites and I had to jump in. It started with the affirmation that one guy “didn’t need a website right now, he has a Facebook page and a Soundcloud account”. I shook my head and continued on until they saw me and asked for my opinion as a guy that has been online for awhile.
I said you need your own little island in the great Sargasso Sea of the Internet. The sooner you claim it the better. Time waits for no one. Oh, and about Facebook… that is rented space that belongs to Mr. Zuckerberg. You get little credit for what you post there. And as for Soundcloud. You are putting your creations on something as permanent as My Space.
I saw one of the guys’ eyebrows raise. The other folded his arms and focused on my words.
I suggest you first get a domain name. Take a few minutes and put some effort behind your choice too. You want to be found not be cute. You want to market yourself not make it hard for someone to find your site, service and business.
And next you want a website. I suggest a paid for WordPress blog if you can afford it. there are sometimes package deals you can get that may include the domain registration for free (for one year) if you bundle it. If less than $100 is too much and free is more your speed you can try the free WordPress blog or Googles’ blogger. Both can be used temporarily until you get your plan together. Afterwards you can export your post to the self-hosted (paid) WordPress site. The differences between the paid and the free are:
- Unlimited templates and customization, plug-ins you can use, and purchase to make your site unique
- The site will have your URL versus YOURNAME / wordpress. Com
You can always forward your domain to mask the wordpress.com or the blogger.com site you create and you should after you get the hang of it all but don’t stay there.
I used blogger a couple of times because it was a great platform to get in the habit of writing and hyping what you do.
Why they said almost in unison. We are musicians. I make “beats” and audio tracks, why do I need a blog?
I tried to explain that Google is basically software that keeps track of content, relativity, frequency of use. It is a search engine that ranks the traffic to and from particular sites. They both understood that you want to rank high in google if you want to be successful. Which means to be found. Google tracks words more effectively than Mp3’s or graphics ( I think) so blogging gives your site more bread crumbs for others to find you. If you can get them to comment on your post or share it, it helps your standings. The likes and shares you get on Facebook, help Facebook more than you. And if Facebook policy changed toward your industry or you personally, you’d be evicted and lose all your content.
But I don’t like to write, one said. And what do I write about? From what I know, the best practices for Google is for post to be at least 1600 words. Something that would take 7 minutes to read. This is a big number I know but the good news is that people don’t like to read that much. You have to just find what works for you and be consistent. There are people like Seth Godin that break the rules all the time and just post daily “whatever”. I know it’s the content that matters most. If you create a media file of your latest masterpiece. I would suggest a blog post explaining what it is, why you did it and what it may be used for. Then I would include it in the post and add a picture of something that best represents it visually. Sometimes the best picture is you by your equipment looking as if you are explaining or performing the piece.
If I were looking for audio for my podcast and searched for free, royalty free music that I could use that would sound great in transitions or as a theme for a story I was telling I would search Google for it. Those words I use in Google are the KEYWORDS you want to have in your post or tags.
If you told an entertaining story or connected with me in some way, I may be apt to share the post with a friend and boom there you go. Your goal is to build three things.
(1) A presence
(2) A reputation
(3) A Community
People prefer to buy from those they love, like or trust. Even if you don’t want anyone to purchase from you right now, you are always selling. Establishing your online presence should be gradual. Don’t wait till you get everything perfect. It never will be. Be consistent with your post and allow your first few members in your community to help you by telling you what is working and what is not. The first few people that follow you can be your brand ambassadors. They will let you know what you should do. They can be quite helpful finding your niche and your community. There is a group of people out here that can’t wait for you and what you have to offer. I doubt if you have met them yet. They think you are the bees knees, or the cats’ meow. They love your stuff but you haven’t connected with them yet. There is a tribe waiting for you to lead them.
“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.”
― Eckhart Tolle
Scars are proof. They are ugly but mean you went through something. Learn from what gave you the scars and it can benefit you. And if you need help, just ask. I love this stuff.