Since we started in 2013, one of our most popular reads has been our Style of Sound 100 guide which offers readers a glimspe into the best music blogs in the world.
Over time, we’ve refined the methods we’ve used to define ‘the best’, and we thought we’d share with you some of our thoughs about what exactly maked a great music blog that gets read – and shared.
If you’re looking for a list of what we consider the Top 20 music blogs for 2016, just scroll down to the end of this article.
Five Characteristics of the Best Music Blogs
- Fresh Content: Having reviewed 1000s of music blogs, the one factor that makes the best music blogs stand out is fresh content. Readers look up to music blogs to find new music inspiration in their lives, and are attracted to music sites which offer a non-stop stream of music suggestions which have been carefully curated.
- Frequency: The best music blogs publish frequently, and when I say frequently, I mean 10-20 times a day in order to attract the optimum number of readers. Looking at the top music blogs/sites which dominate the industry, there are very few one-man-band blogs in the list, which makes sense, since you need a team of people to publish at the 10-20 music article mark.
- Staying Power: There are very few music blogs at the top of the list which have been started in the last five years. To build up ones readership and reputation, a site must publish articles for several years before it starts catching on with music fans in a big way. In other words, a site must pay its dues before it gets popular. An exception to this rule is Vice who created Thump and Noisey who were quickly able to build huge readerships off the popularity of Vice.
- Design: Good design matters, even in music. If a music site looks bad, one automatically assumes that the writing must be bad too. This isn’t true in all cases (there are still a handful of good music writers who have their blogs published on Blogger.com) but people expect a music blog to look modern and dare we say it – professional.
- Engagement: The most important aspect of the best music blogs in the world is engagement. Music blogs whose readers regularly share their content are thriving since social shares are in a sense, digital word-of-mouth suggestions which show someon’s trust in an article or music recommendation.What do we mean by sharing? We mean that readers share articles on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, etc. In our Top 100 influential Music Publications in the World guide, we measure the number of content shares every music site’s articles receive over 6-months. We then compare this number with other sites to determine the Top 100 sites whose content gets shared.