How do I make my blog stand out?

I knew going into this venture that music blogs rank up there somewhere with cooking magazines and porn websites in terms of market saturation.  Sometimes I feel like there are more music blogs than people reading them, especially music blogs marketed to college kids.  Every time a new Deadmau5 or Kanye West track comes out, it’s a certainty that hundreds of blogs will have an “exclusive” leak of the track and while I like both of those artists, I feel a little guilty posting up music by them because I know that a given reader will have read about and heard that song many times before.  It puts me in a bind because I know that this is the case with much of the music my target audience enjoys.  While I want to post original music that can’t be found in many other places, I know I have to retain my viewers with familiar names.

The best way for my blog to be successful is for it to stand out as a brand.  2Dopeboyz and Nah Right are the blogs for new hip-hop.  Dancing Astronaut is the blog for new electronic music.  The Chuckness is a blog of all genres geared towards college students.

Obviously That Whiiite is closest to the latter.  The only other way I can sell my blog as a brand is to promote it as my “DJ blog”, and while I want to post some DJ mixes, I don’t feel that I’m at the point as a DJ where I can really 1) be taken seriously as a professional and 2) stand out from the thousands of other DJs on the internet.

For now, here are some ways I’m trying to make my blog stand out:

1)  An assortment of writers with personalities.  I think as we all continue to post and get comfortable writing, we can all carve out our online personalities to the point where our behavior as writers will become somewhat predictable – for example, if Sal shits on a shitty trance track, readers can chalk that up to “Sal being Sal.”  I want to continue to recruit writers so that I can cover more genres thoroughly, but also so that there are several voices on the site.  As much as I love my dry remarks, I want them to be the trademark of me as a writer rather than the website as a whole.

2)  Memorable categories and traditions on the site.  The DJ mixes are one thing, but I also want to have different regular features that will draw people back to the site.  Right now, I personally have Thirsty Thursday, which will usually be high-energy house and hip-hop tracks and the self-explanatory Tracks of the Week every Sunday.  Adam had a Samplepedia post that I thought was awesome; I really hope he continues it.  I want to make a few more features that people will enjoy that we post weekly or every two weeks.  Salacious Sound has a few really cool ones.

3)  Funny/memorable writing.  So many blogs are simply lists of music – I want to be more than that.  I want readers to come to my website and know that they’ll get good quality music and a funny and/or thought-provoking analysis of the music.  I’ve been guilty of being a little terse sometimes with my posts.  If we’re posting music that hundreds of blogs are also posting, I want our post to stand out because of the writing in it because that’s the only variable.

4)  Post music other people aren’t posting.  Yes, I do check other blogs and Hype Machine for music.  But I also want to post music from left-field sometimes that doesn’t necessarily fall into the regular genres, which is part of the reason I’m happy I have other writers who aren’t as “blog conscious” as I am.

5)  Post great DJ mixes! I’m always really hesitant to post anything I mix together because I only started mixing recently, but I want to try to post a mix every once in a while 1) to give y’all something different and truly “exclusive” and 2) to promote myself (whoops).  The ones I’ve posted so far are OK, but I want to be much better in six months from now and much better than that in a year from now.

What’s next up?  I want to do a month’s review of That Whiiite in the beginning of January and talk about my expectations going in, the results that came out, and my expectations for the next month.  I also want to do a post soon discussing 1) the decision of what type of music to post and 2) the process of finding music on the internet.  Keep reading!

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