How many forums – how many blogs

Paul HarrisonJust how many blogs should a person have? How many forums should a musician sign up to? All in the interest of promoting a new song?

My stepson, Paul, is trying to get people to listen to his music. He’s only 14 and gets very focussed and obsessed with everything he does. You wouldn’t say he’s very musically-minded, but he wants to make tunes. He’s not interested that they might need mixing properly or mastered to get them sounding good. He just wants to put them on the internet like me. He thought that people would just come across his myspace profile or his page on MP3.com and just his total plays would go up and up without any input or promotion from him.

So, I told him that he should start a blog and tell people all about himself and his music. He could always join a few forums and start swapping reviews and opinions, and start to get people to listen to his music. I even mentioned music competitions. I think he’s taken me a bit literally. He’s looking on the web for almost every music competition that’s listed. He wants to me to put him on every blog site going – especially the ones I’m on. He wants me to sign up to loads of forums and let him copy and paste a “Listen to my music” message so he doesn’t have to write anything new.

Why gets me back to my point. How many blogs does an unsigned musician need to do a bit of self-promotion and to get some new listeners? How many forums do you need to sign up to? Is it ok to sign up and just post a thread saying “here I am”? It made me think that when I first started putting my music on the internet just over 2 years ago, I wanted to post threads on every forum and tell everyone to listen to my tracks, hoping that someone somewhere would hear me and I’d stand out from the crowd.

I’m still on a few of those forums, but don’t post much these days, mainly because I haven’t got time, due to other things like making music. Budding artists like Paul need to stick to getting some decent tunes together and put them on a couple of sites, and spend a few weeks plugging away and posting comments about other people’s tracks, in the hope that someone will listen.

It happened to me. When I go on the old forums, I see the same old names, hoping that someone important will notice them, or they’ll get a good review from someone on Outer Mongolia who’s never heard of them and will never ask the to play live. There’s more to making music than forums and blogs.

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One thought on “How many forums – how many blogs

  1. I think the key is to use forums for more than just sharing music.

    If a musician joins a forum where everyone is posting their latest music, you have to be very good or very lucky to get noticed. Sometimes it helps to comment on other people’s tracks, but I’ve never had much luck with this. Although there are some exceptions, many people are very selfish and will not return the favour. This means a lot of tracks end up with no comments, because where’s the incentive?

    If a musician joins a forum that is not devoted to music production, they need to take the time to become part of the community before posting anything. If I join a message board and post a link to my site in my first post, most people will view it as spam. However, if I take the time to get to know people and make some friends, they will be much more interested in my music. There is always the danger that they won’t like it, but at least they might listen to it this way.

    There are lots and lots of people wanting their tracks to be heard. I’ve found that friends aren’t always the best people to give detailed feedback as they don’t know anything about the technicalities of music, but they are usually much more willing to listen than other musicians. Unless, of course, those musicians take the time to keep in touch, write messages etc.

    I know several musicians who post their tracks and expect everyone just to listen to them, and they’re confused as to why people don’t bother. The fact is that most people do not comment, so it’s hard to tell if people are listening apart from looking at your no of plays. I find comments extremely valuable and so I have started giving freebies to the people who comment the most. They are even helping to shape my next album, as they give comments that cause me to change my tracks.

    Basically, people have to be given a reason to listen and comment. Making friends and giving out free CDs are a good start.

    Anyway, just some thoughts!

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