For the last week I’ve been working a lot on a new project of mine: a blog providing commentary on the changing face of the modern music business. I’m calling it Tunelog, which will be at tunelog.net once I’m ready to launch.
I have a few reasons for doing this right now. I’ve enjoyed keeping this blog, but at the end of the day, the stuff I write on zekeweeks.com is for myself, and it’s a nice bonus if anyone else cares to read it. It’s mostly personal stuff that’s a bit more thought-out than a quick Twitter or Facebook posting. And for every two things I post, I’ve got a mostly-finished rant sitting as an unpublished draft that I ended up rereading and thinking, “well that’s great, I guess I worked that thought out in writing and came to a better understanding of it, but I don’t want that drivel being seen by anyone.” But when I get more focused on writing focused material that would be presentable to others, I remember how much I’ve missed writing for an audience. (It’s one of the things I gave up in going after a Business Administration major.)
So I’m going like crazy after this syndicated blog deal. It’s amazing just how simple it is to produce content online these days, and the social Internet is making it even more effortless to access a loyal and interested audience. I have professional experience with WordPress and have the know-how that unintentionally comes with being a Facebook and Twitter user, so that helps me personally, but I really can’t believe how the barriers to building a brand from scratch have fallen in such a profound way.
I’m learning a lot as I go: unlike this personal blog, I’d actually like to gain some serious readership and make a bit of ad revenue from it. So I’m doing a lot of thinking about the right strategies to employ for such a business venture: search engine optimization (SEO), marketing through social bookmarking sites, and active participation in related online communities. There is something to be said about using these things effectively, but at the end of the day, publishing high-quality content that people actually want to read is what will make or break me.
I’m going in with an extremely minimal investment in the site beyond my own human resources. I’m intentionally telling my web app developer side to take a back seat to my side that likes to actually produce written content. I imagine that I will have spent less than 20 hours on technical site setup before it launches. I figure that even if Tunelog fails to gather an audience, I’ll be spending a good amount of my free time doing professional writing on a topic I enjoy writing about, and I’ll have developed several different kinds of professional skills and a portfolio site in the process.
My to-do list of pre-launch tasks is getting smaller by the day, and I’m looking forward to taking it public. I have two big strategy things left that I still need to think a lot about, even after the initial launch:
- I need to properly gauge the target audience’s attention span. I don’t want to be regurgitating other news blogs, but rather offering insightful commentary. The question is about how to effectively do that amidst today’s “too long, didn’t read” mentality. I have to figure how independent artists and other interested parties want to consume content.
- I need to polish off my writing skills to present stuff professionally without sacrificing the unique voice that I want to associate with my personal brand. I’ll probably tackle a few of my journalism nerd friends and try to tap their brains for ideas on how to do this.
So that’s it for now… I’m really excited about all the work I’m doing on this site now, and you can be sure to hear more about it as Tunelog comes closer to launching!