This guest post is by Jamie Northrup of jamienorthrup.com.
A lot of the keys to being a successful musician are the same as being a successful blogger.
Some of the similarities between these two professionals are that both write a lot, both present their work to an audience, and both can choose to do it for the art or for the money—or even both, like I do!
The path to the top
There are currently three ways to become a successful money-making musician:
1. Join a music label or record companyThis is the oldest and most common way to becoming a successful artist. You can either push your demo or get discovered. Either way, you may not have as much control over your destiny, but you usually have some help getting to the top—or as close as possible.
2. Do it yourself
This isn’t the easiest way, but it is probably the most rewarding. You have to work hard, but you get the control over what you do as an artist.
One artist that comes to mind is Master P, who basically sold CDs out of the trunk of his car. He made millions like that, and later founded his own record company. He was worth over $400 million, and was on Forbes richest people under 40 list in the late 1990s.
3. Win a contest
This isn’t new—it’s been around since television has been around with shows like Star Search—but it seems to have exploded in recent years with shows like American Idol, X-Factor, and others.
It’s a great way to become a star and showcase your talent, but it can be hard to even get into the early stages of the competition.
When you look at these options, you can see that attaining blogging success isn’t much different. You can join a “tribe,” do it yourself, or enter blogging contests—but chances are, like me, you fall in the second group of people trying to do it on their own.
Some of the techniques I use to be a successful blogger are similar to the ways DIY musicians gain success.
Think of a song as a blog post, and an album as a blog.
What successful bloggers and musicians share
There are several techniques that work for both musicians and bloggers.
The first is guest posting. The same thing happens in music: guest posting is pretty much the same as one artist featuring another one in one of their songs. It’s a great way for either the musician or the blogger to establish themselves with a new audience, and get their name out there.
The second technique, which is quite similar to the first, is remixing a song. Lil Wayne is famous for doing this on his mixtapes (unreleased or non-mainstream albums). This artist would take popular songs and remake them with his own words. Bloggers do this quite often as well—I actually try and do it once a month. My latest attempt was “remixing” a popular post from Think Traffic.
The final link I like to draw between successful bloggers and successful musicians is that both write about what is hot—the trends. There’s no surprise that when you blog or sing about what’s in the news, you’ll get recognition. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s not, but apparently there is no such thing as bad publicity.
Choosing to blog on your own isn’t the easiest way to earn blogging success, but if you don’t quit, you will succeed—just like self-made musicians.
Do you see any other ways that bloggers are like musicians?