Last week, DJ Booth featured a fascinating and frightening article on the future of Blogs. In ” Artists, Don’t Pay for Blog Posts. Blog Posts Are Dead“, Nathan Slavik (aka @refinedhype ) wrote a response/reminder based off of a email he received from a artist venting about the idea of paying for blog posts. He spoke on the past powers of blogs and the recent weaknesses that have been seen within them as well. As an artist, blogger, and owner of a web/blogsite (www.chicanschoice.com shameless plug), this article really hit me and I had to have a “mirror moment“. I’ve been on both sides of this game. As an artist, I have spoke with several reps for sites that told me that I would be the next big thing if I paid for placement on their site and I have also been guilty of simply copying and pasting a press release (without even reading for typos) for a daily post without even listening to the song in the past as a blogger. I can say that for Chican’s Choice and Dead End Hip Hop, we haven’t ever charged to be on the site, but that doesn’t change the fact that many others are and artists are willing to do/get taken advantage of for the sake of a buzz. With that said, I’m writing this as somewhat of an open letter to other sites that are out there that may be taking advantage of artists or struggling to find their identity in a ever evolving online industry. Coming up on 10 years of writing/blogging, here are some values and effective ways that I have learned to B.L.O.G.
Balance– We live in a era where information is at the touch of a phone. Many sites have lost their value, because they are simply reposting whatever other sites are posting. It has become a battle from which site can give you QUALITY to which site can give it to you the QUICKEST! As bloggers, we have to think of our posts as “pools“. Posting a song is shallow, but posting a review or interview with that artist begins to get the readers to a “deeper side of the pool“. Great articles pointing out problems and showing solutions also helps the pool. By having balance, you are allowing readers/artist to step out of the kiddie pool and have a adult swim.
Learn– When you are a blogger or running a site, you can’t just expect to know everything. You have to learn new trends, new producers, new artists, new culture, etc. You even need to learn how to read your stats and comments on your posts. This will teach you what your readers like or don’t like about your site/posts. This also helps you give critical feedback to that artist/producer that you may be featuring to help them out. How you learn and pay attention to details will determine your growth as a site.
Offend– Whether you are a Hip Hop, CHH/Gospel, R&B, Country, Pop, Metal or whatever genre that I left out, people consider you to be a tastemaker to them. If you’re a “pay to post” site, you can never truly represent your culture right. You are going to have to tell some of those music submissions no. It may offend them, but if you tell them why you wouldn’t post (bad mixing, lyrics didn’t make sense), they will value you being honest and go back and work harder. If we “offended” more artist in the past, we wouldn’t be having so many “music sucks now” conversations.
Give– As stated earlier, you will get what you give. If you only copy and paste press releases, the artist and readers will soon see. Give your time, effort and feedback to every post or interview that you do. I’ve gained so many relationships over the years with artist, because I GAVE them my all when I posted them. Even if I haven’t posted them in a while, they still follow my work or even shoot me personal emails of exclusive things for my thoughts. This came from giving my all for the artists.
At the end of the day, this may not save the future of blogs, but it could help out a fellow blogger or artist that reads this. Blogs still have power, but if we don’t use it properly,we could lose all credibility. This is how we can blog beyond all the bull. Spread The Soup!