How to Build a Blog in Any Niche, Experiences of Gregory Ciotti from Sophistefunk.com

Do you ever feel hard to build blog ? Or start to think that you have chosen the wrong topic?

I am always believe that every blogs have the same opportunity to grow big, no matter what the niche is.

This time, Gregory Ciotti, the founder of Sophistefunk ( a blog about music ) has taught me the basic rules of running a  business from a blog.

The rules are step by step guidance so that before you start to monetize your blog you should consider to have a plan and build your audiences at the first stage. Even though it’s about music, but in general I have found that the key success for a blog lies down on the bloggers themselves.Here are those basic rules that I have learned from him:

– Never start without a plan
– Build your own fan base or audiences
– Make your own style of content marketing
– After having a good network then you can start to monetize

I have the understanding above from an online blog interview with Gregory Ciotti. So, here is the interview on how he develop sophistefunk, feel free to enjoy it.

1. Do you mind to share how do you finally end up deciding to create Sophistefunk?

It was simple serendipity really: I had always enjoyed electronic music, and I found that I was going to a ton of different sites/sources to get the fix on the kind of music I liked (I don’t like dance/party music as much, I’m into the mellow stuff, but no blog was covering it!), so I figured I should be the one to run the blog about it.

It took off quickly from there, and is one of the main reasons why I always recommend dominating a “sub-niche” in an already popular broad niche, there is likely a way for you to take over when a gap is present, as there was when I created Sophistefunk for electronic music listeners who were tired of the same old “dubstep” sound.

2. How did having a blog in place help you accomplish your business goals?

Building an audience before building the product is the “leanest” that a business can get, which is why I love blogging/content marketing.

It allows you to build a prospective list of buyers before you even have the product ready to go, you just have to create a fanbase around free content and then figure out what they want to buy.

This is much less risky (although you do risk “wasting” time) then putting a ton of money upfront into a product and then looking for an audience.

3. I know you have more than one blog so far (SparringMind and Sophistefunk), how do you manage all your blog?

Scheduling!

Seriously, schedule when you will do everything, don’t ever start a day without having a plan of what you’re going to do.

I like to define my tasks for the next day the night before, that way, when I wake up in the morning, I can just get started whenever, I don’t have to begin my morning figuring out what to do or what NEEDS to be done.

Also, you need to be relentless in cutting out activities that waste your time, I’m looking at YOU social media addicts! 😉

4. What is your plan with Sophistefunk, do you mind to share it?

My plan right now is audience growth, and that’s it.

I have plans for future revenue, but that’s under wraps right now unfortunately, but it does involve selling some products.

5. What do you think about blog promotion? How about you, what have you done to promote Sophistefunk?

I really think the best promotion comes natural.

With Sophistefunk, this came through me connecting with musicians.

Whenever I would feature a new or moderately popular musician, I would go out of my way to let them know (I only post about once a day, which is low for a music blog, but I give each post more attention when it comes to promotion).

Small-time musicians who got featured would almost ALWAYS share the post, and I found out that that was the best promotion strategy available to me for Sophistefunk (or at least that I could act on at the moment).

I avoided things like guest blogging because it’s hard to get a guest post on another music blog: the posts are short and filled with music, they typically don’t need guest authors.

So, I really built Sophistefunk by building relationships with musicians, and that all happened through email, which is why I refer to email as the “real king of social networking.”

6. Are  there challenges you ever have in developing your blog? And how do you overcome those challenges?

For me, when I was a beginner especially, technical challenges are always the biggest issue.

It’s the very reason I created my post on blog design and other posts that deal with the backend (such as my post on speeding up WordPress) because I know those technical issues can be a real pain for people who just want to write.

Luckily, I’ve gotten to know good designers (and have come much more competent myself), so those types of problems are minimal now.

I would advise that every blogger learn a little Photoshop & HTML, however.

7. How do you exactly monetize Sophistefunk? Do you mind to share?

I used to monetize through promotional posts AND ads, now I just do promotional posts.

That’s because I have bigger plans for monetization and I’d rather just build the audience for the moment.

8. Do you think blog in the music niche should have different treatment than any other niche to grow big ?

No, not really.

The important thing is to stand out in some positive way.

Luckily, for Sophistefunk, that was easy.

I’ve focused on a unique sound in the electronic genre, plus I’m always posting “thought provoking” articles and artist interviews, and I’m heading to audio/video interviews with musicians soon, something that very few music blogs do.

9. Based on your experience, what could make people fail to survive a blog in the music niche?

In ANY niche, the biggest thing that makes people fail is:

1.) Not dominating a smaller genre first
2.) Not actively marketing their content (ie, just posting and hoping for the best)

Tweeting your articles on your own account is NOT marketing your posts.

Sending out a few personal emails, collaborating with other bloggers/artists, and generally being in your email client 24/7 (just kidding, but seriously, email lots of people!) are key to getting your name out there.

I’m not saying spam people, and I’m not saying you should NEVER use social media.

My point is that you need to be building relationships, not just pimping out your own content all the time.

10. Do you have any recommended strategies for developing a blog in the music niche?

Dominate a genre with smart marketing tactics that nobody is completely dominating yet.

You know what I would love to see?

A blog on blues music.

There isn’t a big one I can think of, it’s those types of topics that take off.

You’d have your first guaranteed reader, in me! 😉

Gregory Ciotti is not just a founder of Sophistefunk he can also teach you how to grow your blog the smart way with psychology plus content marketing from SparringMind.

Read other interview :
Interview with Mavis Nong : How to Sell Your Content in Social Media
Interview with Matt Smith : The Myth of Blog Comments
Interview with John Paul Aguiar : How to Make Money Online
Interview with Kristi Hines : How to Really Earn from Click Bank
Interview with Jaime Tardy: How to Establish Legitimate Online Presence
Interview with Lola Lobato : How to Build Profitable Online Entrepreneurship

So, what do you think of this interview? Why don’t you share it so other can also benefit? Don’t forget to share your experience in build your own blog by leaving comments below 🙂

2 Comments

  1. Syaiful April 23, 2012
  2. Pingback: Influential ColorsNotOrdinaryBlogger Mei 14, 2012
  3. Felicia Juni 5, 2012
  4. Pingback: Which Blog Niche Is More Profitable? April 9, 2014

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