Is blogging really a Hip-Hop thing to do? Well, kinda. Though it’s still an area of online marketing that Hip-Hop as a community has still taken a little time adjusting too. From a journalistic standpoint, the more high profile news resources and magazines such as Hip-Hop DX, XXL, GlobalGrind, Vibe and Source have all adapted well in launching their moves online and integrating both their website and social activity. It’s about taking that back yard mentality and applying it on a bigger court.
There is HUGE opportunity for Hip-Hop artist’s to make use of this medium as both an artistic and marketing tool. Better yet, it gives an artist a platform for exposure before anyone has even heard their music. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an unsigned artist looking for a way to start building your following online, or a more established artist with label support, looking to launch a new promotion channel. Blogging can be vital in retaining loyal fans, gaining potential new ones and most importantly, creatively attracting hype in areas where your peers aren’t. Kanye West was one of the early Hip-Hop blogging adopters, taking to his blog for everything from high profile rants to video releases. This eventually led to GOOD Fridays. We, like many others, were hyped every Friday to hear exactly what Yeezy was dropping. This was a whole new way of seeding out music and is a great example of just how a blog can be utilised to further extend influence, reach and more importantly, give people a reason to keep coming back to YOUR site. So, we’re going to break it down and list a few more reasons as to how blogs benefit Hip-Hop artists:
Give Fans A Greater Insight
Fans always have, and always will like getting as involved in an artist’s music as they can. As a fan it’s all about feeling like you can relate to an artist and that you’re a part of the movement. This is something that Hip-Hop as a community has always been a leader in. If an artist in Hip-Hop ever achieves success, that’s not only a success for that artist, it’s a success for his brothers, sisters, city and state.
Blogging allows fans a much greater insight into the daily lives of their favourite up and coming or established artists, in a more in depth way than say Twitter or Facebook. The best thing is, for an artist they can still control what they blog about, so a blog doesn’t have to be too intrusive. Blogging about wider issues and activities is also a great way of getting fans engaged with your opinions, so that when it comes to dropping that bar in one of your songs, the guys who have been following your blogs will get the references. They’ll then spread the news and maybe even refer back to your blog posts, giving you even greater reach and exposure.
A Good Resource For Journalists
When it comes to music journalists, it’s all about giving them the FACTS. You want everything you read about you to be consistent, particularly if you’re a new artist. The best way to do this is to give journalists a huge resource of information to tap into via your blog. Not only will they have plenty to go away and write about, but you’ll ensure that whatever they write about will have come directly from YOU. Blogging also means that journalists have a huge amount of information from which to derive interesting and compelling article and interview features. Be sure to include your blog/site link in every single email you send!
Speaking Your Mind
This really follows on from the point above, a blog can be a great PR resource. We all know about Hip-Hop beef and rumour sites. In fact, it’s one of the most out there industries or genres when it comes to COMPLETE fabrications. You can use your blog to tackle any PR issues and make official statements, with everyone knowing that the statement came from you, because it’s on your site! Then all the other news sites and sources will be able to take this information and there’ll be greater accuracy in the way in which your response is recorded.
An example would be the confusing embroilment over the last week between Havoc and Prodigy of Mobb Deep. A somewhat vague statement was released to multiple online news sources, but fans were really seeking a central resource for confirmation:
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) Benefits
Blogging also has huge SEO benefits and is a great indicator to Google that your site is frequently updated with content. If this content is regularly shared online (through social media) it can help to further extend your reach and in Google’s eyes, can help bring some authority and value to your site. Keep this going over a long period of time, increasing Google’s crawling of your website to ensure that all your blog posts and subsequent site information is getting indexed. If you have frequently published high quality content, you’re ensuring that you increase your visibility in search and can then attract news visitors to your site who might not even necessarily know about you.
If the above makes NO sense to you, we’ll put it this way. After Jay-Z released his third, and fourth number one albums, people automatically became hyped and expected that same level of quality on his fifth, sixth and seventh etc. Because of the standard he set himself on the first two albums, people kept coming back and those who might not have been with him for the early part of the journey, certainly ended up eventually joining the ride and maybe copped his latter albums. Back then, it was word of mouth, TV exposure and magazine exposure. Now, the Internet adds a whole other dimension, you just have to ensure you’re offering something of value so that users, and search engines consider it important.
Creating A Central Resource
This actually flips back to the benefits of a blog for PR purposes. Your blog can host everything from official competitions, music releases, videos, statements, launches… ANYTHING. It’s better to launch something that is branded and of value to you via your site and not a third party. Why? Because you want people to see what else you have going on! You can still seed all of the above via different Hip-Hop sites and news sources, but you want to ensure that the main hub of piece of content is hosted on your own blog. Aside from the obvious benefits of getting floods of new and returning visitors to your site, it can again have search engine optimisation benefits as people link to your site as the original source of information. Also it’s great for fans to know they can come to your blog and see the official release for a video. As much as fans we love all the various hip-hop news news sites, it can get damn annoying having to switch between these sites, or clicking through endless tribute videos on YouTube. Let fans know that if they want something 100, they come to your blog to find it!
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