If you are reading this article, there’s a decent chance you’ll have come here via the Discover WordPress feature, a mythical, subscriber-and-ego-boosting seal of approval from the people who run WordPress – the web publishing platform that Every Record Tells A Story is written on.
So hello fellow WordPress blogger! By the end of this article, I promise your life will have been enriched, thusly:
- You’ll have found out a little bit about me (that’s the least enriching bit, to be fair)
- There’ll be a little parable about blogging that may come in useful for your own scribblings, and
- You’ll have a party trick with which to impress your friends. Promise.
I’d been waiting a long time. More in hope than expectation, naturally. You can’t expect the Gods of Blog to pass over your doorstep bequeathing their favours without putting in a bit of effort.
And I won’t pretend there weren’t times I became despondent and thought they’d never notice. So if you have yet to see the clouds part for the light to shine on your own blog (I am picturing a Terry Gilliam / Monty Python style cloud parting and a finger pointing downwards here) Don’t Give Up.
I’d been hoping to hear from WordPress ever since I began. How I remember those early days, feeling excited that nineteen people had stumbled across my pages in Just One Week, even if it had been by accident and they couldn’t get away quickly enough.
I began by writing about the music I grew up with, and taping songs off the radio. “Write about what you know” they say.
But when you start writing on WordPress your head is turned by “Freshly Pressed” and “Discover WordPress” articles, apparently read by thousands, and you regard those chosen bloggers with wonder and awe, with their three figure “likes” and legions of engaged, chatty readers who all seem cooler than you, and you wonder how you might join their exalted ranks.
I persevered. I wrote a thing about buying Beatles albums second hand rather than in a big new box set which struck a chord with fellow bloggers. Would WordPress notice?
I hoped that they might spread the word.
“Hey everyone! Here’s a music blog with rubbish jokes and silly ideas!” they would cry.
On reflection, it wouldn’t have been that great a sell…
I tried to provide something useful to readers. Maybe they’d have noticed the one about how to fix skips in your vinyl records?
So I wrote about different artists and their albums, beginning with David Bowie.
I tried a longer style of article. A story of Britpoppers Pulp was one such potted history.
*Sigh* again: no blessing came from above.
I appeared on TV for a BBC documentary, and on the radio (not to show off too much but I might as well get it in there…) to little WordPress avail.
Perhaps the new music was off putting. So I also wrote about old music.
I wrote about different genres. Perhaps WordPress liked heavy rock?
Maybe the format would be of interest. Vinyl?
But then WordPress perhaps had little time for vinyl. I wrote about CDs.
Hang on, they’re a technology company. It’s all Streaming…
As Bono might have put it, I Still Hadn’t Found What They Were Looking For.
And then last week, after not having written anything for a couple of weeks whilst I took a holiday, I received an email.
From a chap called Ben, at WordPress. I pictured him sitting on a cloud, stroking his beard.
“I liked your site’s non-parochial approach to music writing” he wrote, “and the eclectic mix of genres and artists you showcase.”
For good measure, he added, “I’m sure many other readers will enjoy browsing your archives and discovering new music to listen to.”
(That’s a hint…)
So it transpired, in stumbling from one thing to the next trying different ideas and styles to see what I could entertain people with, the blog accidentally became what Discover WordPress was looking for: an eclectic, jumbled mix of genres, tunes and rubbish jokes. They definitely wanted rubbish jokes. Ben might not have mentioned it explicitly, but I can read between the lines…and as Mick Jagger might have put it, “you can’t always get what you want, but if you throw enough spaghetti at the wall, sometimes it’ll stick…”
So bear that in mind as you write your next blog post…
Anyway, I’m sure you are busy, and probably have to get back to doing whatever it was that you were doing before this latest bout of procrastination, so to prevent you walking away thinking “there’s ten minutes of my life I’ll never get back again” here’s that party trick: an instructive video of how to impress your friends by playing a record with nothing more than a five pound note, assuming they are the kind of friends who would be impressed by that sort of thing. And, frankly, if they’re not then perhaps you should ask yourself whether they are really “friends”.
So, from me, the record-playing-five-pound-note-guy, thanks for dropping by.
What do you have to look forward to if you decide to press that “Follow” button? Well, aside from rubbish jokes, over the coming weeks and months on the blog, I’ll be looking at Record-of-the-Month clubs and asking “Why?” and “What’s with the matching cocktail recipe?” plus live reviews of Ty Segall and Car Seat Headrest if you like that sort of thing, and a look at forthcoming publication “Why Vinyl Matters”. Plus whatever enters my head in the meantime…
Now then, back to that thing you should be doing…
As Liam Gallagher might have put it, “As you were…”