Blogging about something you call a passion has pitfalls as well as positives. On the plus side, it means you get to write about something you really dig, understand and want to learn more about. On the downside, it can mean you become so entrenched in topic it feels like you are wading through treacle.
I have a lot of time and respect for people who pour hours into creating, maintaining and managing music blogs. I’ve been lucky enough to write for some exceptionally talented people who love what they do and want others to be a part of it.
There are, to me, three types of music blogger:
Passionistas – they do it for themselves, and if they’re lucky enough that somebody should read their stuff it’s a bonus
Enthusiasts – they love music, want to be read and find themselves contributing to several different blogs and websites (I’d consider myself among this group incidentally)
Careerists – the music is good, but it’s just a stepping stone to that all important first journalistic job
Whatever category you loosely fit into, the one thing you need as a music blogger, is time.
It is, except in very rare circumstances, a position where you listen to as much music and go to as many gigs as possible, fitting the activity around your other priorities – work, family, friends etc
This means that as much forward planning as can be concocted is vital if you are to make as much of the opportunity afforded to you by plucky PRs (and editors) as you can.
Editors, by and large, stick with this. They know what it takes to fit in the music around lifestyle as they’ve already been there and done it.
The PR, with a review opportunity doesn’t necessarily take the aforementioned factors into account. A review expected two days before a single release, is not in most cases feasible. A last minute attempt to entice you to a gig which kicks off in three hours is folly.
As a music blogger I want time, patience and an acceptance that I’m not at the beck and call of a PR just because the artist they reckon is going to be ‘the next big thing’ hasn’t managed to attract the likes of the NME or Mojo. It smacks of desperation.
I want my editor to give me two weeks advance notice as a minimum so I can plan to fit the gig/review into my routine or existing plans. I want to like the music i’m going to hear (if I don’t already) and an antagonistic approach will not help this to happen.
The formula for keeping music bloggers is simple: time + space = a fair review
I’d love to know what other music bloggers think: if i’ve missed the point, i’m on the money or somewhere in between, let me know!