Rose debug info

Where to follow, listen, watch, and support me





You can also subscribe to this blog by RSS.


On the career of an underground DJ and producer, music industry, and professional growth.

advice series  DJing  production  marketing  releases  podcast  gigs  behind the scenes  tools  and more topics

Follow me on social media

Facebook is my main news hub where I share upcoming releases, gigs, photos, videos, and blogs. Typically, I post 3–5 times a week.

Telegram and Twitter duplicate what I post on Facebook, with occasional extra content.

On Vkontakte, I write in the Russian language for my fans out of from Russia and CIS.

I also upload vlogs and gigs videos on YouTube and share travel photos, selfies, and studio routine on Instagram.

The Guest Mix @ Amplify Sessions

Kev from Amplify Events asked me to do a guest mix, and I delivered this dark, trippy, and pounding mix.

This guest mix is quite special, with a strong theme running through. You know, that feeling when you look at the person dancing next to you, you smile, and then that person smiles you back without saying a word. That moment you realise why you love the music and the club nights like this, and you just lose yourself in this euphoria under the strobe lights and a hard pounding kick. That’s what I had in my mind when mixing it.

To be honest, the tracklist below can’t event reflect everything because there are just so many things going on constantly, sometimes 3-4 tracks playing at the same time, with extra loops, synths; around 30 tracks played in total I guess. It a bit crazy, but I absolutely enjoyed doing this mix.

Let me know what do you think of this mix?

00:00 Kerry Leva, Matt Lange — In Me (Original Mix) mau5trap
05:21 Gregor Tresher, Pig&Dan — Granular (Original Mix) Truesoul
09:23 Ronny Vergara — Emancipation (Original Mix) Elektrax Recordings
12:53 Rick Pier O’Neil — Swim Deep (Original Mix) Bonzai
17:21 Roberto Capuano — Wilford (Original Mix) Drumcode
19:04 Radu Dracul — Came Out Of You (Original Mix) Tronic
23:26 Luminesce, Miika Kuisma — Wave Of Life (Mark Greene Remix) JOOF Recordings
26:34 Timewave — Overdrive (Shaun Mauren Remix) JOOF Recordings
29:14 Wehbba — Framework (Original Mix) Drumcode
31:25 Hermann Hesse — All About Your Mind (Original Mix) Renesanz
35:45 Coyu — Desert Seas (Original Mix) Suara Records
37:41 Trudge — Страсть (Original Mix) 100 Pills Mate
41:03 John 00 Fleming — Tik Tok (Part 2) JOOF Recordings
44:11 A-Brothers — Against Nuclear Power (Original Mix) Elektrax Music
46:21 Cetera — Bacon & Chips (Roby M Rage Remix) JOOF Recordings
51:34 Anne Clark — Our Darkness (Charly Schaller Edit) The Techno’s Children
56:03 Chris Liberator, Dave The Drummer — Twinkle Toes (Original Mix) Hydraulix

Music listening routine

Tell me how you organize the process of listening to music: demos coming to the label and just new releases in different genres. Do you listen on the speakers or on headphones? Do you multitask it with other things (like replying to emails and do social media stuff)? Do people around you complain about the constant “boom-boom”? How do you manage to stay focused on the music to listen to all the tracks thoroughly?

Nikolay Glazyrin

Thanks for asking. I honestly don’t know how it could be helpful to anyone, but I’d be happy to share.

Listening to demo recordings

First let me tell you about the demos. The demos come in an endless stream of about 30 to 100 emails a week to the label. To reply to all of them at once as they appear in the inbox means to be constantly distracted and waste attention, and I try to work in a concentrated way. Moreover, some tracks are so bad, that I can’t listen to them just in the background :-) That’s why for some time I put emails into a special pile and then answer them all at once – it’s more productive that way.

Read about A&R duties

Speaking of email, I use HEY. There you can literally click Reply Later on emails, and then respond to them all at once in  “Focus & Reply” mode. It really helps. HEY is cool in general, maybe I’ll tell you more about it later.

Listening to music

Now about listening to music in general. I have two listening modes, as I call them: passive and active.

Passive mode is when I just listen to music in the background, doing my own thing. I used to listen to Soundcloud, Apple podcasts, radio stations, and YouTube, but now 95% of my background listening happens in Spotify because everything is more convenient and there’s a better chance of finding something good.

Usually, I turn on some suggested playlist in Spotify or a “Song radio” based on a track I like and go about my business in comfort. I don’t concentrate on the music in any special way, which is exactly why I call this kind of listening mode “passive” – something is playing, and that’s fine.

As soon as I notice something cool playing, I press ⌥+space and <3 – this is the system-wide shortcut I made to automatically “like” tracks, i.e. to save them in my collection. And then it’s also broadcast to the Telegram channel. It’s faster than switching between applications and clicking on the tiny “heart” next to the name of the track.

A heart, kind of. Alfred app

The automation is set up with Alfred app and the Spotify Mini Player script. Alfred is cool, maybe someday I’ll tell you about it too.

This way I listen to music for about ten hours a day, so I happen to find quite a lot of interesting stuff. I usually play background music through my speakers.

Of course, not all music suits the background, especially if you need to work thoughtfully: for example, I find it hard to do with hard techno, but I’m fine with progressive house or chillout.

Active mode is when I’m purposefully looking for something: a track with the right tempo and key, a new release from a particular artist or other releases from a particular label. It’s important to hear the details, so I often listen with headphones when I’m actively searching.

I used to use the Beatport Pro desktop app for this, but since the beginning of 2021, it has been discontinued. Now I use the Beatport website, even though it is much slower and more limited than the app, plus old-good Spotify.

I only need to listen to a track for about five seconds to know if it’s a good fit. This is a very highly concentrated listening mode in terms of the amount of new musical information per unit of time, so I can’t listen like that for a long time – two or three hours at the most. It’s important to take breaks, otherwise, my ears get soaked and I might miss something interesting. During the breaks, I either go back to background listening or get away from the computer altogether and switch to something else: running (also with music, of course), eating or sleeping.

Luckily, I don’t cause any trouble for the surrounding people, not anymore :-)

A new studio!

Fellow readers, where and how do you listen to music?

 No comments    89   27 d   A&R   Advice   Productivity   Tools

Goal matters. Understanding why are you making music is important

When people ask me how to start making music, I answer with a counter-question: “Why do you want to do that? What is your goal?”.

The answers vary, but more often than not they can be divided into two groups: to make music “for myself” (just for fun, to show my friends etc) and “for a career” (to turn music into a profession, to make a living on it).

It would seem, what is the difference? Here some dude does something at the computer, press buttons and spin knobs. Why anyone should be bothered with this goal question?

But there is a big difference.

Imagine that you like to cook food. You haven’t had any special training, but you love to eat good food and treat your loved ones. You can make ratatouille, chilli con carne, or pad Thai. Or you can not cook anything if there is no necessary products or you just feel lazy today, and just order a pizza. In this sense, you have complete freedom, and your loved ones are likely to enjoy whatever you cook.

It is quite another story if you are a chef. Before you get a job, you have to learn culinary science, the basics of food chemistry, food processing, stock management, delivery, and much more. While cooking, it’s also important to follow the recipe, keep the yield of the product, and watch the serving, because the restaurant has certain standards and the customers have expectations. About fourteen years ago I was thinking about a career as a chef, so I know a little bit about it.

Well, in music, it’s the same.

Making music “for yourself” means being like a free painter: if you want to write it, you write it, if you don’t want to write it, you don’t write it. If you want to write something super unusual, even if it seems like bullshit to others, no problem, you can always say that it was “the author’s idea”. There are no standards. There is no external deadline. In short, do whatever you want.

On music standards

It’s quite different if you aim to be a professional producer. You need to know the production, sound design, acoustics, arrangements, composition, mixing – and that’s just the basics to make a high-quality track. Then there is more: you need to know the industry, know how to market yourself, bring the music to the audience, negotiate, plan the budget, understand the contracts, organize yourself, play DJ-sets and do many, many more things. After years in my music career, I know a little bit about that.

To summarize, to do something professionally, you have to know more related disciplines, understand the market, and work hard. A lot. And if you generalize even more, for a hobby the process is important, while for a profession the result is important. I think that’s the main difference.

In a hobby it’s the process, in a profession it’s the result

I want to end with an important point: You don’t have to become a professional. Don’t have to build a career. Cooking a meal for loved ones, or making music for yourself is fine. If you enjoy the process, just enjoy it.

 No comments    74   28 d   Advice   Career   Music production

Distributed income

Cancelled gigs and plans, closed clubs and country borders. Thousands of DJs and producers have lost their jobs. Of course, the coronavirus pandemic has affected all areas of our lives, but I would like to talk specifically about the music industry and the income of artists in particular.

Almost all artists strive for a busy touring schedule. And that’s not surprising, since the main income for artists comes from performances. But here’s the problem: if you put all your resources into one single source of income, you become very vulnerable. The artist had ten confirmed performances, and then, boom, they’re gone. The situation with closed clubs and cancelled airlines seems like something from a science fiction area, and yet it’s happening all over the world right now.

It seems that the main lesson for artists should be the saying “don’t put all eggs in one basket” and striving for a distributed income structure. Ideally, there should be three or five sources of income that generate roughly equal shares.

No Yes
Gigs fee — 90% Gigs fee — 30%
Streaming royalties — 10% Streaming royalties — 20%
  Educational products — 20%
  Soundtracks for films and commercials — 10%
  Mastering services — 10%
  Web graphic services — 10%

The structure in the right column is not ideal either and here just for the illustration, but the main thing it provides is an active reserve and the ability to pay the bills, even when the main source of income is lacking, like many artists all over the world sadly experiencing now. For example, months with no gigs (which by the way can happen even without any coronaviruses) is no big deal if other sources of income can generate 70% of your regular income), so you can pay the bills and use this time to focus on other projects.

In my educational talk back in 2017, I advised aspiring producers to have a financial backup and not be in a hurry to quit their day job. The combination of regular work and music is an example of a distributed income structure.

I don’t have a recipe or advice on how to come to a distributed income, but it seems like a good idea to start by understanding the importance of the concept itself. And, of course, this does not apply only to the music industry.

 No comments    61   1 mo   Career   Money   Music industry

Dark Entity is out now

A collaboration with Enlusion

Today my new single is released on Forescape Digital, a collaboration with Enlusion called Dark Entity. It’s a 130 BPM banger, which has already proven itself in my DJ sets. Be sure to read behind the scenes of the creation process if you missed it.

The release also includes the alternative “Heads-down” version and three remixes from the coolest guys: Fuenka, Facade, and Cosmithex.


Rave Podcast 124

April 2021

The April edition of the podcast is already available on Soundcloud, iTunes, YouTube, Spotify and Patreon.

It’s a quite diverse episode, with progressive house, tech house, trance and techno. As a DJ it’s very interesting for me to put together such mixes with a smooth progression and “narration”, I hope it’s also interesting for you to listen to.

And also in this episode premiered an alternative version of my new track, which we made together with Kirill Enlusion, be sure to read about how we made it.


00:00 Planisphere — Spectrazoidesign (Original Mix) Green Martian
04:38 Michael & Levan, Stiven Rivic — The Only Way (Rich Curtis Microwave-Safe Remix) Mistique Music
08:14 Dosem — All Locations (Original Mix) Anjunadeep
11:49 Sasha Carassi — Drop Of Soul (Original Mix) Phobiq
14:37 Tkno — Nameless Point (Original Mix) Selected Records
17:40 Matt Lange — Tempi Disarming (Original Mix) mau5trap
21:12 Jel Ford — Backyard (Original Mix) Drumcode
24:58 Fuenka, Paul Thomas — Yang (Extended Mix) FSOE UV
29:13 Cosmic Boys — Justice (Original Mix) Legend
32:58 Drunken Kong — Dark Moon (Original Mix) Terminal M
37:13 Layton Giordani — System Majority (Original Mix) Drumcode
41:28 Relaunch — Air (Original Mix) Bonzai
45:28 Mat Zo — Petrushka (Extended Mix) Anjunabeats
48:28 Gabriel D’Or & Bordoy — Magnitude (Original Mix) AnalyticTrail
50:43 Spektre, Subfractal — Ram Raid (Sasha Carassi Remix) Respekt Recordings
53:42 Daniel Lesden, Enlusion — Dark Entity (Heads-down Mix) Forescape Digital

Making of Dark Entity

On April 12, Dark Entity will be released — a new track that we’ve made together with Kirill Enlusion. Not only the result is interesting, but also the path we took. With Kirill’s permission, I am sharing the process of creating the track (and even two!) with dozens of iterations, controversial moments, and behind-the-scenes details.

Overview of the project in Ableton. Not quite a “feng shui” look, but the main thing is the result

It all began when on September 23, 2020, I offered Kirill to make a track together. In the best traditions of producer humour, I asked: “Collab, bro?”, which almost made him choke :-)

And this was the first sketch I sent:

Kirill approved it and really felt the melody. Needless to say, there will be nothing left of it at the end. But that’s for later, and for now, we got to work.

I’m figuring out how this lead would look in a sort of Techno’ish environment and sketch out a basic arrangement:

I listen to it again and realize that it’s too “cheesy”, too melodic. I tell Kirill that I want something darker. He agrees and sends me this new lead:

I approve, he continues:

I like the rhythmic elements, but the vibe as a whole isn’t working. I want it to be darker. So I remove almost everything and make a foundation from scratch:

Kirill likes it. That’s it, we stick with this one as the core. On the next step, Kirill is trying different pads and melodies, and also improving the low end along the way:

As I listen to it, I think it’s too melodic. I would have liked the pads more as a texture rather than a melody.

Kirill builds the intro, adds stabs and  changes pads:

Then he continues and adds a breakdown:

And then he adds Sasha’esq arps, BXR-style snares in the drop and put it all together:

By this time, it was the middle of October. At the same time, I was finishing off my new studio, so I was extremely busy. Then the move, the hustle and bustle, and soon enough it turns out to be Winter already!

On December 11, burning with embarrassment of such delay, I return to the track. I listen carefully to the last version and realize that the stabs, the pads and the lead don’t work for me. I like the breakdown, overall, but to me it misses some emotional character, some big moment.

So I decide to keep the core, but almost completely redone the leads and the pads, and remove a lot of things to give the track more “air” — in particular, at the build-up in the first half of the track. I also extend the breakdown and add some unexpected musical moments. Well, and some more little things.

Comparing before and after:

I have to give Kirill a credit that he didn’t tell me to screw off, but he agreed that this was a step in the right direction, even though I had cut out a lot of his past iterations. Let’s keep working!

In the last Kirill’s iteration there was a second breakdown (↑), which I wanted to diversify in some way.

Trying something crazy:

Kirill: “Crazy lead? Hold my beer!”, and sends his version:

Whoa-whoa! We both agree that this was a bit too much. We’re thinking about a breakdown.

Another week goes by. I say that I have a gig coming up, and soon I’ll be able to test the track on the dance floor, which means we need to speed up and finish it faster. I also suggest speeding up the track itself from 128 to 130 BPM. Kirill supports it.

Meanwhile, I keep iterating on the second breakdown, completely reworking the melody and the timbre:

Kirill likes the sound of the timbre but is bothered by a few notes. Changes them, and it gets really better.

We put all the pieces together, fix some things, and send it off for mastering.

The result:

It remains to test the track on the dance floor:

A fragment of my set at Skazka Rave

Great feedback! We leave the track as is and finish the work on it. Done!

Alternate version

March 2, 2021. Just over a month until the release date. We are waiting for the remixers to send the release to the distributor. All of a sudden, I’m writing to Kirill: “Okay, there might be the fifth track in the release, hold on. I have an idea.”

Kirill: «о_О».

Suddenly I get the idea to make an alternative mix of the original, something like a heads-down stripped b-Side version: with no breakdown, no vocal samples, less melodies.

On heads-down tracks in my DJ collection

And I send a rough draft I sketched out at 1 AM:

And two more variations, just in case:

Kirill approves the idea in general, and out of the three options, he prefers the trance bassline. And immediately develops the timeline of almost the whole track:

The next day I soberly evaluate all the options and realize that everything is not quite right. It needs to be darker, more toned-down, and that trance bassline is too perky.

I propose to make the bassline gallop like in psytrance. Kirill says it won’t work that way. I argue.

In the end, I’m doing the alternate version practically from scratch, with a completely different rhythm, galloping bassline and dark atmosphere:

Snob Kirill is satisfied. Yay, we’re moving on.

Kirill takes the initiative and continues:

I like it on the whole, but in some moments I have doubts:

Me: Why did you remove the toms?
Kirill: They were disrupting the rhythm.


Hmm, there really is something wrong. Changing the pattern:

Me: How about this?
Kirill: Yeah, that’s the best way.

Moving on. After the breakdown, I insert the acid line and trying the lead from the second drop, but with a different timbre:

Kirill, meanwhile, is working on the breakdown in an interesting way:

We put all the pieces together, fix some things, and send it off for mastering.

The result:

Kirill, thanks for the awesome work we did!

The release with both versions and remixes by Cosmithex, Facade and Fuenka will be released on April 12 and is already available for pre-order:

New website

A few weeks ago I wrote that I was looking for a developer to help streamline my site, and now I’m happy to tell you what came out of it.

Looking for a developer

Basically, we made the website from scratch. It’s simple, but there’s important work done and a lot of cool stuff:

The meaning

The main thing, of course, is the meaning. I had a simple task: to tell new people clearly and briefly what I do and to whom I can potentially be useful.

Take, for example, music. How do you show a new person what I make and play? Give a link to releases on Beatport or Spotify, and he won’t know about podcasts, sets, mixes, and playlists. You give a link to Soundcloud, and first of all, you won’t find anything there (I have 318 tracks and mixes there, by the way), secondly, there’s nothing about my playlists in Spotify and thirdly, without a text description, it’s not clear anyway. And now I can just show this page on the site.

Or educational projects. Did you know that I was working on creating a training course for DJs, for example? Or that I was doing a master class, and in principle, I’m open to doing more in a similar format? Probably didn’t know. And that, of course, is my fault, because I didn’t have any proper place where I could talk about it. And now there is.

Uniformity and consistency

I used to have a page about my music on Then I made a page with a story about me in general, in this domain and in a different design. Then at different times, I needed to make several more pages, and they all looked different because each page was actually a mini-site with its own styles and layout. Now it’s all properly uniformed.

Also, at the top and bottom of all the pages now a common menu, and the blog became one of its items. Technically, the blog is a separate world, but now it looks a little friendly with the other pages too.

Two languages

Now all the pages are finally available in both Russian and English. I had two domains before, and, but it wasn’t always obvious, and some pages were only in one language. Now it’s more straightforward.

If you want to change the language, there is a toggle in the footer at the bottom right. It works on the blog, too.

Email notifications

You can now subscribe to the site and be notified by email of my new releases, upcoming gigs, podcast episodes, and course news (when available). You don’t have to subscribe to everything at once (although you can), but only to the stuff you’re interested in.

The best part is that it all works automatically. I had a mailing before, but I didn’t do it regularly because it had to be done manually and complicated. Now it’s self-service, with almost no input from me. Maybe someday I’ll tell you how it works “under the hood” on a separate post because it’s very interesting there, too.

Anyway, come by and visit:

Huge thanks to Ivan Ogorelkov for his help. Ivan is the technical director of the web studio and an experienced specialist. He got to the core, understood the problem and offered a solution himself.

I especially liked one moment. Everything was done, filled, bugs were caught, cleaned up; in fact, everything is ready. I said to Ivan: “Well, shall we roll it out?” And he was like, “You know, everything’s fine, but the top menu in the mobile version works like shit [that menu was done by me — note]. Can I make it right?” Well, he did, and ended up redoing the menu completely, even though I hadn’t even asked him to do that. I love that kind of care and enthusiasm.

Invite Ivan to your projects: @ogorelkov.

 No comments    102   1 mo   My websites and blog

How to grow as a DJ after learning the basics

Beginner, advanced, and expert depending on the learned skills

I took a basic DJ course in my hometown, learned how to mix tracks in several ways (bass switch, Echo, Filter, Loop) and understand in general what you need to do with the mixer to make the music play. But after I uploaded a couple of mixes on SoundCloud I have a question – what’s next?

I understand that I have a 100% very compressed understanding of this industry right now, but it’s not clear where to get new knowledge to improve skills and how to grow. Here I mix music in standard ways, but I feel that it’s just a drop in the ocean. I tried to send my mixes to a couple of places where I would like to perform for the first time in front of an audience, they said they will listen and write back but they didn’t.

I really want to grow, but after the basic course, it feels like a huge ocean of information and I just drown in it. If you can help with advice, I would be very grateful.


Nikita, that’s a very good question, thank you. And it’s great that you’re asking it.

“What’s next” – the answer to this question depends primarily on your goals and ambitions. You mentioned that you would like to perform in front of an audience, so I would assume that’s what you want to do. But even here, there may be variations:

For example, a DJ wants to become a resident at a local club to work there every Thursday. Or a DJ wants to become the best DJ in his town, playing in different venues. Or a DJ wants to travel all over the country giving shows. Or a DJ wants to become famous outside his country so that foreign promoters invite him on international tours.

These are all very different goals with different means to achieve them. Note that neither option is better or worse than the other-it’s just that they are different, and some may like one more than the other.

So I can only give general advice: increase your value. This sounds abstract, so let me explain.

In the DJ circles, people like to argue about the right or wrong mixing techniques, coolness of new equipment, ”true spirit” of vinyl, live vs not live sets, fake or not fake. But the truth is that the technical side of DJing is only one aspect of the profession, and not even the most important one. It’s easy to push the buttons, but it’s a real challenge to become and remain in demand.

Vinyl vs sync button

For example, here are some disciplines and skills in which a DJ can grow:

DJing Education of taste, a constant search for new music, work with DJ collection, knowledge of equipment, understanding of the ”phrases”, learning the advanced techniques and gear, harmonic mixing, MIDI mapping
Work on stage Understanding the types of sets and roles of DJs, programming the set with energy levels, switchover with other DJs, switching, “reading” the crowd
Music production Synthesis, processing, composition, notes, rhythms, arrangement, sampling, layering, mixing, sound design
Marketing Spreading awareness about you as a brand through releases, podcasts, radio stations, blogs, vlogs, conferences, magazines, mailing lists, social networks; working with an audience
Negotiations Building relationships with promoters, labels, designers, photographers, and other people in the industry
Economy Understanding of financial models of clubs, events, labels, streaming services
Management The ability to manage projects and yourself, so as not to get bogged down in routine and not to go crazy

The list is by no means complete and only an example, but the main idea here is this: the more skills you master and the deeper you understand each of them, the higher your value as an artist will be.

I emphasize that even knowing all of this doesn’t guarantee success, because the music industry is much more complicated than the typical career ladder on a  “regular job”. But it will definitely give you a better chance than someone who has never in his life been interested in anything but mixing two tracks with each other.

Learn and develop skills to increase your value

I also want to comment further on this part:

“I tried to send my mixes to a couple of places where I would like to perform for the first time in front of an audience, they said they will listen and write back but they didn’t.”

I can understand the promoters who didn’t answer you. Everyone who has ever hosted an event and invited a DJ has understandable fears: what if this DJ has never seen the equipment and will shamefully play with trainwrecks? What if the DJ we invited to warm-up the event will be blasting Beatport’s top 10 hits? What if he burns the hell out or floods the club’s equipment? What if he doesn’t show up at all?

On warm-up DJs

The fact is that despite the seemingly huge competition, there are very few decent DJs. And even if you are a decent one and able to work well, the promoters don’t know about it. Your task is to help calm their fears and tell them why they can trust you.

On decent DJs

For example, pictures from gigs are one way to show a DJ to potential promoters that he has experience and other people trust him.

Hire photographers

But what if there are no gigs? There are options here, too: wait for promoters to invite you; seek out performance opportunities yourself; organize events on your own, even if it’s a private event for friends. These are all separate big topics, so let me know if you’re interested and I’ll try to talk about it someday next time.

I hope this gives you some sort of vector.

 1 comment    112   1 mo   Advice   Career   DJing

Why you should run a blog

And where to start, what to write about, and why you shouldn’t blog on social networks

I enjoy reading the blogs of many various people: marketers, designers, developers, promoters, entrepreneurs, editors, and specialists in other fields. And I noticed that among this list there are very few representatives of the music industry – not news sites and all sorts of groups with memes and articles ripped off from each other, but blogs of specific people who would share their personal experiences.

And I thought: what if someone wants to start a blog, but does not know how? Or someone doubts why they need a blog when they have Instagram?

I want to contribute to the fact that there are more good blogs (and not only in the music industry), so in this post, I will talk about the benefits of blogging, tell you where to start, and try to dispel some doubts.

There are different kinds of blogs
Let me clarify first that the content and purpose of blogs can be different. I distinguish at least two main types: personal and professional blogs.

A personal blog is when the author talks about daily life, posts family photos and reflects on current events. If the author is not a well-known media personality, such a blog is unlikely to be of interest to anyone except a small number of people he or she knows in person.

A professional blog is when the specialist shares the intricacies of his profession, talks about the projects he has done, the problems and their solutions, new skills and useful observations. Such blogs are interesting to read, even if you are not familiar with the author.

Here I talk about the second type of blogs specifically.

Why blogging

When I talk to someone about starting a blog, I often hear a question along the lines of “Who’s going to read me?”. And it’s a reasonable question: If you don’t already have an audience of your own, you’ll probably be the only visitor of your blog. At least for a while. In addition, the Internet already has almost everything.

However, in my opinion, the main benefit of a blog is not that people read you at all. If you write interestingly and for a long period of time, sooner or later you are certain to get an audience that reads you but that’s a nice consequence, kind of a bonus side-effect and not a reason to start writing.

Here are some good reasons to blog:

To systematize your experience. Knowing and understanding something is not the same thing. When you explain something by writing a blog, you understand it much better. That’s exactly what happened to me with the advice series: it would seem that if I’m advising someone something, I’m probably good at it myself, right? But the truth is that I have become good at some things because I explain them to others. Thanks to the blog, the experience is better learned and solidified.

In the advice series, I share my experiences and answer readers’ questions about music production, DJing, performing, marketing, management, and other aspects of the music industry

To improve your skills: writing, language, discipline. It takes practice to become good at something. Being able to write clearly and present your thoughts in a clear, structured way is no exception. And who writes clearly, thinks clearly. Such skills are worth cultivating.

To spread knowledge about yourself and your business. There is an interesting thing with specialists blogs: when you read the behind-the-scenes details of some profession, you inevitably notice that the author clearly knows his stuff, since he understands and talks about all these subtleties. That is how the reputation of an expert is formed. And such a reputation builds trust and opens up new opportunities.

Marketing by sharing by Jason Fried

To save time so you don’t have to explain the same thing over and over again. Imagine that you’ve written a large, comprehensive post about how you do business. And then in a conversation, someone asks you about thфе topic. And now, instead of telling everything all over again, you can kindly offer the person to read about it on your blog, if he or she is interested. For example, I wrote this very post for this exact reason because I had to explain it several times.

To help people. Most of the time you probably won’t even know it. People tend to react more strongly to things they don’t like than to be thankful for things that help them. Nevertheless, rest assured that the knowledge you share will help others learn something new, come to unusual conclusions, or inspire development in their field. Isn’t that great?

These are definitely not all the reasons for blogging, but they’re good enough to get you started.

Run a blog for yourself to systematize experiences, improve skills, and spread knowledge

What to write about

Let’s say you’ve decided to blog. And then you might be confused: “So what is there to write about?”. The thing is, when you know something, all things seem simple and obvious to you, and you’d be like: “Everybody knows that!”

My advice is to write about what you’re doing, and explain why you’re doing it that way:

For example, an engineer does the mastering of the tracks. How does he do it? What kind of equipment does he use? How is gear better than software plug-ins, and is it better? Does stem mastering really worth it? How to prepare tracks for mastering? How much headroom in volume should a producer leave and why? Is it necessary to do a separate mastering for each streaming platform? Is there really a “volume war” and should producers be worried? Can a DJ play tracks with no mastering? Why do we need mastering at all?

It would seem to be an ordinary routine that an engineer faces every day, but there is so much to tell! And so it is with almost all professions. Talk about it, and the blog will become your best portfolio.

Another thing I advise you to do is to define for yourself some topics or categories. For example, on this blog I write about DJing, performing, music, marketing, productivity, professional growth. You don’t have to think of all of such topics ahead of time, but it may be easier for the authors to start writing by identifying a few similar topics in his or her field.

Where to start

First, you need to decide where you want to write: on a third-party service or on your own standalone blog.

Third-party services are so-called blogging platforms: sites on which you sign up and start a blog. Probably the most popular ones are Tumblr, Blogger, Medium.

A standalone blog is a site that runs on your server and under your control. I strongly recommend this option, and I explain why below.

In order to start your own standalone blog, you need three things:

Domain The address where the blog is available. For example,
Hosting The server where the files are stored.
Engine The program which runs the blog.

For some people, these words may seem very frightening, but in fact, buying a domain name and rent hosting is not more difficult than signing up on Medium or purchase anything online. The installation of the engine is somewhat different, but then it depends on what to choose.

Running and maintaining a blog costs some money: a domain name will cost about $10 per year, and hosting is roughly another $20 per year. The engines are usually free. Here are some popular names: WordPress, Drupal, Aegea.

My blog runs on Aegea. The beauty of this engine is that it has none of the typical “admin panels” with complicated user interfaces. Aegea makes blogging as easy as possible, and it’s a pleasure to write in it. It also has everything you need to make it look and work properly right out of the box: automatic typography, search, tags, drafts, a mobile version, a built-in audio player, comments (you can disable them if you don’t need them), and much, much more. By comparison, on WordPress or Drupal you would need a programmer and a designer to do all that, but with, Aegea, you install it and it just works.

The Aegea website visually demonstrates how the engine works

Why not Instagram

Some readers may wonder, “Why bother when social media is around? Why set up and pay for a standalone blog when you can essentially do the same blog on Instagram? Why do all that when you can just as much systematize your experience, improve your skills, and spread the knowledge on a Facebook page? You can blog on social media, right?”

Can you blog on social media – yes, you can. You can do anything, frankly! But that said, there are fundamental disadvantages to social media that are worth keeping in mind.

Anything is possible, but

In my opinion, here are a few major flaws:

You don’t own the content. Everything you write and post on social networks belongs to corporations, not to you. In practice, this means that your years of work can disappear in a flash because the social network closes down (think of MySpace). Or because the service will become hopelessly outdated and no one is interested in it (look at LiveJournal). Or because moderators will find your post inappropriate to their guidelines and block your profile. Choosing social media as your primary platform for publishing your thoughtful posts is not valuing your time and efforts. And all of this is true for third-party blogging platforms as well, which is why I recommend starting your own standalone blog.

Form affects content. Each social network defines a certain format, and you have to adjust the content to fit it. For example, on Twitter, you cannot publish more than 280 characters in one post. On Instagram, you cannot post just text without a picture. Facebook, as experiments suggest, reduces the reach of link posts, so people get creative and publish a picture and leave the link in the comment below it. Or at some point, the author realizes that if he takes a long break between posts, fewer people like them, and when fewer people like the post, the social network algorithms consider this content uninteresting and don’t show it to the rest of the audience, and eventually the race for engagement begins.

You are not in control. If the social network changes its design tomorrow, and not for the better, there is nothing you can do about it because you are not in control. If a social network starts running ads through every post you share, there’s nothing you can do about it because you are not in control. If a social network removes some of its functionality that you’ve been relying on, as you’ve probably guessed, there’s nothing you can do about it because you are not in control. Can you easily find any of your posts from ten years ago? Or edit it? Or structure it in any meaningful way? No, no, and no, because you have no control over anything on social media.

On social media, you don’t own the content and have no control over anything. Relying on social media means not valuing your time and efforts

There’s nothing like that with your blog, and it’s exactly the opposite. You have full access to all texts, images, and files. You are free to decide whether the design of your blog will change or remain exactly the same twenty years from now. You can add or remove features as you need them. You can organize everything the way you want.

“Wait a minute!”, some probably will argue. “But social media has an entire audience! Instagram has one billion monthly active users, and my blog will have one person. So what, are you suggesting that I should just give up about social media altogether?”

Well, it is naive to think that once you create a new Facebook page, a Telegram channel, or an account on, you will immediately have thousands of readers, because, supposedly, these platforms have millions and billions of users. Winning and nurturing the audience is challenging and takes a lot of time no matter where you do it (and if such a task is even needed; and let me remind you that this is not what really matters in a specialists blog).

Personally, I have a lot of concerns about social media, even beyond the above-mentioned flaws. But even so, I am not yet ready to give them up completely. At the same time, nothing stops you from writing good posts on your blog and then sharing them anywhere, including social networks – I, for example, do just that.

Can we drop social media?

Happy blogging!

 No comments    131   1 mo   Career   Marketing   Social media
Earlier Ctrl + ↓
© Daniel Sokolovskiy, 2021
Powered by Aegea