Make a Name for Yourself – Creative Branding for Music Blogs
A little less than a decade ago, while social media was still in its early days, the internet seemed to be flooded with fine tunes. Even before the word “blog” was firstly introduced to the online community, music enthusiasts from all over the world have started putting all of their passion into discovering, collecting and promoting fresh new sounds. The era of independent music bloggers is now indisputably over, and however nostalgic that makes us, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
In their stead, some new kids on the block are starting to dominate the music industry without being afraid to voice their opinions. As a result, the influential music blogs of today are staying firm on top of the news, delivering a delightful and fully curated music experience and, most importantly, providing original content with brandable domain names.
Catch a Wave
As one of the architects of independent music blogging, Pigeons and Planes’ Jacob Moore discusses the inevitable end of music blogs as we once knew them. His article, as the author claims, was supposed to be named “Why You Shouldn’t Start a Music Blog in 2015”. The change of heart, he continues, came with the realization that, perhaps, there is the next big wave coming in our direction. Published in 2015, the article has been proven right the following year. Established by Pitchfork, the Consequence of Sound and Tiny Mix Tapes, just to name the few, the music blogging scene is again a resonant force.
If passionate about discovering, sharing and discussing new music, 2016 is your year to hop on the bandwagon. The only thing left to consider is how to stay on top.
Find Your Own Singing Voice
As always in the blogging world, the competition is fierce. As a consequence, the rules are changing with each passing day, and the strategies for staying afloat are more elaborate than ever. A music blogger or not – you’ll need to get familiar with the niche, and, more or less, follow the same steps as everyone else. For some time now, fashion, travel and food bloggers are its inviolable rulers. Your inner artist may not be particularly interested in the lessons these influencers have to share with their fellow bloggers, yet their following shows that they must be doing something right.
Each success story has a narrative of its own, but what all of them have in common comes down to one crucial point – the art of standing out from the crowd. And, since you already have a niche of interest and a topic you’re knowledgeable and passionate about, your path is pretty much paved. Your main focus for the time being should be brandability. The sooner you find your own fresh approach, uniqueness of expression and original content, the sooner the audience will be interested in what you have to say. But, even before you publish your first post, your blogging persona should be already established. Only when presented with an attractive name and a logo to follow up, the brand of your music blog can reach its full potential.
Get Creative, Play with Words
However insignificant it may seem, a brand name is more important than you think – it plays the crucial role of introducing a new blog to the already overcrowded scene. When presented with a multitude of choices they know nothing about, readers will most surely pick the one with the most alluring name. A cleverly chosen name should thus entice your potential readers, and convince them to take a pick.
In the entertainment niche, spoonerisms, puns and other witty wordplays never fail to make a name stick out. But there are other things to consider as well. As much as creativity usually seals the deal, try not to get too ambitious – however clever your name idea might sound to you, it may actually be too elaborate and abstract for your audience to get excited about it. Instead, try abbreviating the name. Shorter and easily spelled ones are usually more likely to draw attention and stick around. Furthermore, the name should always be relatable if not directly connected with your topic, than with your chosen niche. In a nutshell, a brandable blog name is a catchy amalgam of the general topic explored and the unique way in which you approach the theme.
Kindle the Inspiration
Whichever the niche, the rules are pretty much the same – the blog with the most stickable, unique and representative name promptly becomes the cream of the crop. With the music being your general topic, you’ll have a couple of sound-related concepts to consider. Here are some ideas to start with.
- Pitches and Frequencies
When thinking of music blog names, you can always stay in the safe zone and play with the words like pitch (Pitchfork), sound (Consequence of Sound and Sounds & Fury), stereo (Stereogum), music (Music for Robots) or noise (NoiseAddicts). If clever enough, such a name will certainly get you noticed.
- Genre Advocates
Pinpointing your blog’s focus and declaring your passion for a specific genre within a single phrase can get insanely creative. The blogs to follow for inspiration are PopMatters, Popdose, Metal Injection, Indie Shuffle and Rap Radar.
- Enticing Hints
In case your blog is not dedicated to any particular genre, but on the variety of sounds instead, your chances for coming up with a quirky name are even greater. In order to intrigue, allow yourself just a bit of vagueness – with a name like Tiny Mix Tapes, Drowned in Sound, 2DopeBoyz, Hypetrak or wire to the air, your blog will certainly attract a great number of visitors keen to explore it.
- Music to Play in the Dark
Unfortunately, the music industry is all about hyper production now, but on the upside, the vast selection of different tunes allows us to browse our music according to the setting and atmosphere. If your intention is to deliver suggestions and playlists made for a specific mood, than names like Dancing Astronaut, Fake Shore Drive, Largehearted Boy, The Curious Brain, Unreality Music, So Much Silence and Mountain Poets Display can make a fair choice.
- Staying In Town
If discovering emerging bands and artists within your local music scene is the chief purpose of your blog, the possibilities for a representable name are inexhaustible. Blogs like Chicago-based Local Loop, The Sound of Local, I Heart Local Music, Locusic and Indie Moines are all equally successful, partially thanks to their clever names.
When in doubt, learn from the best. Influential music blogs have been dominating the scene for a while now, and there’s plenty to choose from. With a bit of creativity and a lot of research, making a name for yourself is not so hard of a feat.