Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Nine Week Blog Challenge 7: Mailing List

Hello,

This week Ariel (Music Success in Nine Weeks) presented us with some helpful tidbits and morsels:

  • Artists should communicate with their fans regardless of whether they have gigs or upcoming albums. The fans need to be able to get to know the artist. The artist needs to share and be personable, to help the fans engage and stay engaged.
  • Add your friends and family. However, keep in mind that they are your friends and family and continue to build up your fan base.
  • Provide exclusives for your fan base, specials for signing up. Fans love freebies. My concern on this is to ensure that songwriters and musicians get credit and moolah for their services. Keep it licensed.
  • Ariel suggested using a separate "inbox," or what I would refer to as folder or directory, but another idea is to use a separate email address that can be checked with the same email client. Ok, that is the techie side of me speaking ;)
  • Another great idea is to start a text list. I like this idea. However, I do find it very easy to hook up as friends on Facebook on the spot (i.e. at the gig). That way, the fan can "accept" when he or she gets home. However, it would be fun to incorporate the text list with that process.
  • My favorite idea is to list swap with another group. I have often thought that it would be nice to cross-promote for same-night gigs. Why not combine a list promotion in that, inviting fans to join another artist's mailing list?
  • Finally, and probably most important, make time to manage that growing list!

Hmmmm... Some percolating on these ideas.... Black Coffee, anyone?

-Deborah E
Jazz Singer
♫ Scat N Style ♫
deborah.info

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Nine Week Blog Challenge 6: Newsletter

Good evening,

The successes this week include the wonderful experience of the Viper Room gig this week, and the awesome fan support. It was also a reflective week and taking inventory of where I am going, how I see society and the community around me, and wondering where my music fits in the picture.

This was a great foundation on which to add the reading of this week's material in Ariel's Music Success in Nine Weeks book. This chapter was about the fan newsletter.

I used to write a newsletter and column, years ago, on webmaster tips. This was back before there were so many resources online, and especially before there were so many web site builders and tools available. It was certainly during the Web 1.0 period! It was great to feel that I was helping people to make their sites better, and more importantly helping them to feel good about themselves while doing it. It was easy to share because I was sharing my knowledge, yes, but could also give them html code or links to free resources, or basic advice, to help them on their way.

In the case of music, I am actually sharing of myself, who I am, what I think and feel, not just a link to a place to download free html code. Even if I am providing a link to a free download, assuming that is my music, I am sharing of who I am. But, that is the beauty of sharing music, and why I love performing music.

So, while I am typing this in a reflective mood, I am pondering how to incorporate the "outward giving" feeling into the newsletter that I am composing. I would not assume that this is the direction for all music or musicians, but it is the direction that I am pondering for my music. However, lest it sound like pie in the sky, there is a certain aspect that IS business and that requires funding or it is not available to give.

So, thank you Ariel, for the inspiration to start writing again. Without the little kick to move forward, I may be just pondering and occasionally blogging those ponderings, without taking the next step to actually send it out in a newsletter form.

-Deborah E
Jazz Singer
♫ Scat N Style ♫
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Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Nine Week Blog Challenge 5: Blogging

Hello all,

This week spent in Ariel's Music Success in Nine Weeks book (2nd Ed.) was a review of last week (Week 4), as well as this week, on blogging.

First, the successes:
  1. I have transferred all of my links from my private, online directory of links, to delicious.com. Social bookmarking is now becoming "addictive," to use CommonCraft's descriptive term referencing RSS.
  2. I categorized my bulging Google Reader subscriptions into readable buckets (folders).
  3. Read the article on blogging and effect on CD sales @ http://hypebot.typepad.com/hypebot/2008/02/blogs-more-than.html.
  4. Searched related blogs @ http://www.google.blogsearch.com and http://www.technorati.com.
  5. Started my list of 50 sites for my blogroll (see right).
  6. Compiled my list of 10 artists that I sound like and finding blogs that have reviewed these artists.
  7. I have also added my blog to mybloglog.com.

I found out just how valuable that pitch was! While I was going through bookmarks, I was able to review the pitches for ideas for content for the "notes" section of the delicious bookmark. I was thankful for the sites that had pitches. The blogs that did not have pitches (or only had them embedded into graphics), were a little more challenging. I am so glad that I am reading Music Success in Nine Weeks and put my pitch at the top of my blog, easy to copy and paste. Hey! I want people copying and pasting my pitch (complete with web URL)! Better yet, Delicious bookmark it, please ;)

RSS in Plain English talked about Google Reader, as a news reader for RSS. I already have the Google Reader, but I realize I have not been using it as much. Watching this video helped create an excitement to view it every morning. This is also a way to work smart.

One of the things that I noticed in tweets and blogs, was musicians posting their live gigs and their thoughts on life, with no seeming reciprocation to others. I am sure that they do not do this intentionally, but probably because they have not read Ariel's Music Success in Nine Weeks book :) However, it was reassuring to read about the approach to blogging and that the commenting on other bloggers' sites should focus on what they write and not what we promote. I hope to adhere to that gentle, encouraging golden rule. Thanks, Ariel!

-Lady D
Deborah E, Jazz Singer
♫ Scat N Style ♫
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Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Nine Week Blog Challenge 4: Web 2.0

Hello all,

This week's reading in Ariel Hyatt's Music Success in Nine Weeks was chocked-full of helpful information. A lot to digest in one week! Definitely room to continue to nibble on in weeks to come.

Much of the information about Web 2.0 I already knew. Or, wait, do I just think I know? I mean, I spend a lot of time on Facebook and I do periodically visit LinkedIn, and I tweet every other week... Oh, but there is so much more to learn. I also desire to learn how to be responsive, yet responsible (in terms of time). I do not want to drop relationships, but also don't want to spend so much time on the web that the people I see day to day don't get to see me!

That's where Ariel's instruction became very helpful, including the informative, concise information at commoncraft.com. It was also very playful and fun in presentation while learning. The presentation helped tie it all together and I learned things that I had not recognized previously.

One of my favorite videos was Wikis in Plain English.

Also, soon to be added to the successes is visiting the Pod Safe network to make some of my music available to PodCasters.

And, last but not least, Ariel has demonstrated the value to becoming a part of flikr.com.

I used to think, "Yeah, right." Then, there was the "photo rights and legal issues?" Then, finally, "What if I don't look right?" I have learned to let go of my fears, while reviewing the following flickr group sites, suggested by Ariel:

* Band Publicity Photos
* Music Directory
* Girls with Guitars
* Music Makers
* My Love Affair With Music
* Live Music Photography
* Live Music Group

Fearing Flickr, with that zit on your cheek? Don't worry about it! That's why makeup was invented.

-Lady D
Deborah E, Jazz Singer
♫ Scat N Style ♫
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