The First Month

jamgrass_trafficI announced the creation of JamGrass.net on October 25, 2013. Thirteen unique visitors came to the site, all friends and family, to check out a one paragraph announcement, an about page, and an artist page.

The first show I covered for the site was Noam Pikelny, Bryan Sutton, Jesse Cobb, Luke Bella, and Greg Garrison promoting Noam Pikelny’s newest album. I got to catch five more shows, including Peter Rowan, Leftover Salmon, Trampled by Turtles, and The HillBenders. I’ve also had the pleasure of reviewing releases from Larry Keel and Keller Williams, as well as introducing readers to “bluegrass black metal” via WorkGearZine.com and their review of Panopticon’s Kentucky.

I probably invested somewhere between fifty to sixty hours getting the site secured, writing content, and promoting on Facebook and Twitter. The job has been more difficult than I thought:

  • My goal was to post five articles a week so I should have posted 22. I’ve posted 17, though most of my misses were in the first couple of weeks.
  • I thought it would be much easier to secure interviews with the artists and expected this to be the big traffic driver. Thus far only 1 of 5 have agreed to participate and that ended up not working out.
  • Although the content is being read, the Amazon associate referral links aren’t getting much action.
  • Finding the time to work on other revenue generating ideas would require skipping content or cutting something else out of my life, which isn’t really an option.
  • I haven’t been able to generate a news feed. I’m mostly just using re-tweets from Twitter to pass along news-worthy items.
  • I’ve earned about $0.0001 cents per hour. I could live large in some countries but I’m pretty sure it is difficult to find bluegrass in those places.

 

Despite the challenges, I’ve had a good time doing it and in some ways it has been easier than I thought:

  • The site had 467 unique visitors from eight countries, 46 states, and 241 cities.
  • The first referral fee from the Amazon associate program posted. Someone bought “Ain’t No Trouble to Me” from The HillBenders.
  • I’ve been turned on to some music I was not previously familiar with and invested myself pretty deeply into music from the artists covered.
  • Although I haven’t been able to conduct any interviews, I’ve met several of the artists and have found them all to be remarkably friendly.
  • More surprisingly, the bands’ management and publicity agents have been extremely supportive and friendly, particularly Dreamspider Publicity.
  • The best part of all, I know some folks have been turned on to music they otherwise might not have heard about.

I definitely plan to keep the site going. The next 30-days will probably feature less show reviews as lots of the fall tours are winding down and I have other commitments that will make me miss a few shows I’m really interested in. That being said, I’m sitting on a review of Todd Sheaffer from Smith’s Olde Bar and will be catching Dave Rawling’s Machine in Athens this evening. In addition, I plan to review more albums and incorporate some site changes to get the ball rolling for advertising opportunities. More than anything, I’m looking forward to finding just listening to music and the creative process of writing. It has been a good outlet during a difficult time.

I hope you keep reading and visiting the site! Let me know if you have any recommendations.

2 thoughts on “The First Month

  1. Heather

    A month is both a long time and a short time. It seems long when you’re first starting, but it’s quite short to have generated much of a following outside friends and family. If you are going to cut back for whatever reason, maybe consider a specific release date for posts so that you’re predictable to readers. But keep at it! It’s nice reading about something you’re obviously so passionate about. Others will find their way here eventually :)

    Reply

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