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2020 is almost here.

What will you be doing to stay current? Will you be making any changes to your approach?

In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, I share some of the challenges facing Music Entrepreneur HQ, and what we’re going to be doing to stay ahead of the game.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:34 – The importance of content
  • 01:41 – Things are about to change at Music Entrepreneur HQ
  • 02:34 – Content marketing is turning a corner
  • 03:07 – Keeping a balance between creating new content and optimizing old content
  • 03:37 – Adapting to changes in SEO and tech
  • 04:25 – Futureproofing your business
  • 05:06 – Media-rich content
  • 05:41 – A summary of changes
  • 05:51 – Repurposing and curating content
  • 06:35 – Creating more media-rich content
  • 07:00 – Keeping the winners, cutting the losers
  • 07:49 – Experimentation
  • 10:40 – How will you be adapting in 2020?

Transcription:

Although content is something I’m constantly thinking about, it doesn’t dominate the conversation here on the podcast.

The reason I consider it important is because practically everything we do at Music Entrepreneur HQ revolves around content.

Much of our marketing is achieved through content – advertising, social media, email marketing and so on.

Products are essentially the best parts of our free content refined and boiled down into their key components.

So, as I’ve mentioned before, it makes a lot of sense for me to dedicate most of my productive time to writing.

And, the main reason I don’t talk about content all the time is because there are much juicier, more important topics to cover:

Music streaming, live performance, merchandise, social media and more.

So, my content process, which is something that has been honed through much trail and error, is mostly for me to know and for you to find out.

Unless, of course, you’re interested in learning about what’s going on behind the scenes. Be sure to request an episode about our content marketing strategy if that’s the case.

Anyway, the reason I wanted to talk about content today is because things are about to change at Music Entrepreneur HQ.

This is certainly of some interest to you, since your questions and requests have driven a lot of the content that has been created to this point.

Here’s what’s interesting:

I’m becoming present to the fact that between the 800 some odd blog posts and podcast episodes on the website, as well as the various books and products we’ve got, we’ve answered the most common questions on the topic of the music business.

This doesn’t mean I don’t have more to talk about, nor does it mean there isn’t room for innovation.

In many ways, I’ve tried to remain at the forefront of innovation at Music Entrepreneur HQ, while being realistic about the new platforms and apps that come along, because frankly those tend to come and go while the fundamentals of marketing remain the same.

What’s important to know is that content marketing as a whole is turning a corner and it’s time to start thinking differently about it.

Content marketing as a whole is turning a corner and it’s time to start thinking differently about it. Click To Tweet

It’s funny, because looking back, I was beginning to talk about all these changes and how we were planning to deal with them in episode 107 of the podcast.

As I was contemplating these changes over a year ago, I think I was afraid of doing anything drastic because what I was doing was working.

But at this point, Music Entrepreneur HQ’s organic traffic has taken a dive a couple of times, the most recent occurrence being about a month ago.

One of the most important lessons that has come through this is that it’s challenging to keep one eye on the future while keeping another eye on the things you’ve worked on leading up to that point.

A meaningful balance must be struck between the two.

What I mean by that as a publisher you need to keep creating new, up-to-date, innovative content while subjecting your archives of content to audit, review and optimization, especially if it’s falling desperately out of date.

You must keep creating new, up-to-date, innovative content while subjecting your archives of old content to audit, review and optimization. Click To Tweet

So, as I look ahead, I think content curation and repurposing are going to become key to the survival and longevity of this business.

This is underscored by some other fundamental changes in tech, including the emergence of AI.

I think it will still be a while before AI is building websites and writing content for us, but those days are coming.

The question, then, is what’s going to happen to content?

I believe the same old listicles and how-to guides are going to have limited effectiveness. At some point, it’s going to become a complete waste of time to work on them.

It’s a bit of a harrowing thought as someone whose livelihood for the last seven to eight years has been building traffic and sales generating content for various businesses, but this well could dry up.

I don’t expect this to happen overnight, but if I want to futureproof my endeavors, I need to keep these things in view.

Content curation and repurposing will prove especially worthwhile in coping with these changes, and I’m even planning to make some of my paid content available for free.

This should also buy me some time to work on various unfinished projects in my life, which will likely form the foundation of the new content I create.

So far as futureproofing is concerned, I’m glad that I spent time building our presence on iTunes, Amazon, YouTube and other popular platforms, as media-rich content is only going to increase in importance in the years to come, and it can reduce single-source dependency too.

The podcast has proven an important source of traffic for us, and the listenership is starting to grow again after remaining stagnant for a couple of years.

And, yes, Music Entrepreneur HQ does have a YouTube channel and we have been uploading some content there, even if it hasn’t been regular.

A lot of you have been telling me to create video content and I think video’s time has finally come in full force.

Video’s time has finally come in full force. Click To Tweet

People are spending less time reading than ever, and although I think there will come a time when we remember how important it is to read, for the time being, video is going to become crucial to a business’ success.

I’ve been talking somewhat fluidly between points, so I’ll take a moment to summarize specifically what’s going on and what we’re planning to do moving forward.

#1: I’m going to be spending more time repurposing and curating content.

This isn’t necessarily going to happen in a noticeable way at first.

I have several podcast interviews in the can, and these will be rolling out as usual.

But because most common questions have been answered through the many pages of content available on the website, it’s going to prove worthwhile to organize these answers and make them easier to find and access.

To that end, I may be creating video and podcast content on all the subjects already covered, especially if these answers are only available in written form.

I will also be turning some of my paid content into free content, and you can expect to find it through the podcast as well as our YouTube channel.

#2: I’m going to be putting more effort into media-rich content, including video.

This goes hand in hand with the last point, but it bears repeating.

Organic traffic will come and go, and though it is our biggest source of traffic, single-source dependency is problematic.

It’s time to create more video content and distribute it across various social media platforms so that we continue to get in front of the audience that wants the content.

#3: I’m going to be spending more time analyzing what’s working.

This ties in with the points already mentioned as well as the points I’m about to share.

The key is that it’s easy to spend a lot of time on things that may never lead anywhere.

With over 800 pages of content and about three years of data, I now have a good sample to analyze.

I can easily see which posts have driven the most engagement.

I can see which videos got the most views, which podcast episodes got the most listens and which emails got opened most.

I can see which products have driven the most sales and revenue.

This is the same advice I’ve given to many, and it’s the same thing I need to apply to my business:

Keep the winners, cut the losers.

By focusing on the topics and content types that have yielded the most meaningful results, I can increase my effectiveness.

#4: I’m going to be experimenting more.

This is only something I’ve been hinting at throughout this podcast episode, but it is an important point and the one that has the greatest bearing on your experience of Music Entrepreneur HQ.

Music Entrepreneur HQ has its roots in some of the work personal development author and blogger Steve Pavlina has been doing throughout the years.

One of the things Pavlina did, and still does after all these years, is run 30-day challenges and blog about his results.

At this point in my life, 30 days isn’t enough to measure or finish much of anything, so I’m thinking about trying 90-day, 180-day or even 365-day challenges.

Earlier, I alluded to “unfinished business”, and this is the area I want to tackle through these challenges.

We’re human, and that being the case, we go through life leaving things incomplete.

I don’t know if you can ever get to the point where you feel like you’re complete with everything.

The key is to recognize where you’re incomplete, and once you’ve identified what areas need addressing, begin taking action towards completion.

I think one of the most useful things I can do at this point – both for myself and for you, the listener – is to experiment with my strategies, document the process and report on the results.

That allows me to share what worked and what didn’t, and you get to learn from it too.

Although I already have proof that what I teach works, content like this would allow me to demonstrate in more vivid detail.

This is a lot like what I was doing with Medium last year.

I’m still publishing content to Medium by the way – just not in the capacity I was when I first got started with that side project.

So far it has only amounted to cents and not dollars, but if there’s any major movement, I will let you know.

I may get back to that in full force at some point, but for the time being there are more important unfinished items to tackle, including:

  • The Music Entrepreneur Code. This is at the top of the list of things I want to complete.
  • Flashes of Elation. The book that I’ve been talking about for several years but have yet to publish.
  • Back on Solid Ground. The title of what was supposed to be my second solo album. I wrote all the material in 2008, but things went awry with the recording process, leaving this project incomplete.
  • The Power of Your Subconscious Mind. If you didn’t know, the most popular blog post on this website is a book review. I spent many years not knowing what to do with that. But it’s time for me to steer into the skid instead of trying to avoid it, because I see opportunities I never saw before.

Prioritization is going to prove especially important as I get to work on these projects, which is why I’m thinking I will break them up into 90-day experiments.

Again, while I would love to say I’m going to be launching a new experiment every 90 days, it may not work out that way, if only because it takes time to complete anything, and everything deserves a fair shake.

But that’s where I’m looking to take things content wise. These are the ways in which we will be adapting in 2020.

So, I hope you enjoyed this podcast episode and got something for yourself too.

Did you have any “aha” moments listening to this episode?

Are there any action steps you’re now thinking about taking?

Did you recognize any areas in your life that are incomplete?

What actions will you be taking to create completion?

I look forward to answering your comments in the show notes.

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David Andrew Wiebe

Founder & CEO at The Music Entrepreneur HQ
Musician, serial entrepreneur, digital nomad and bestselling author. Wiebe has built an extensive career in songwriting, live performance, recording, production work, session playing and music instruction. He helps musicians like you unlock your full potential. If you'd like to be notified whenever the blog is updated, click here to subscribe.
David Andrew Wiebe

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