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Friday, February 17, 2012

Inside EQ: When Music Blogging Became My Business

EQMusic

by Raj Rudolph

Some of you may not know this, but I've been working as a full-time employee for an American based digital webcast company for the last six years - it's true.  EQ is not something that I did full time, it actually started out as a hobby.  Eleven years ago, I was sent to London from Boston to start up the European trading arm for a company which eventually got taken over by Thomson Reuters.  At the time, it was an amazing opportunity for someone my age, I survived the dot com bust and managed to uproot my life and realize the dream of moving to London to something new.  London is and will always be my spiritual home - I love it here!

I started Electroqueer simply as a way of updating my friends in America on the cool European pop music I immersed myself in once I got here.  It was at a time when blogging was at it's infancy and the only form of social network was MySpace and Friendster.  Music blogging was simply nothing more than a way to express myself and being that I'm pretty web savvy, a natural way to contribute to the pop and electronic music community that I adored and loved.

On a trip to Thailand in 2007, I wrote this blog about Darren Hayes and quite literally overnight, tapped into something amazing via his strong fan base and it truly made me realize the power of social networking and blogging.  It was at that point, EQ became "something" more.  I wasn't sure at the time exactly what it was, but there was definitely "something" there and I then became a professional blogger on-the-side who actually got paid to blog.  Albeit not heaps of money from advertising, but nevertheless those mini blog paychecks actually served as my bonues and often became rather handy on weekends when I spent too much dosh at the clubs!

Over these years, music blogging became an obsession.  I won't lie.  From somehow just being your average everyday music fan, suddenly I found myself backstage at arena gigs, sitting in front of some of the biggest names in pop music and popping up on influential tastemaker lists.  It still feels like a dream to this day and balancing what was "becoming" a career in the music industry with my full time day job started to get more than exhausting and taxing on me.  I've seen a lot of music bloggers come and go, but for me, music blogging was so much more than a hobby - it's a way of life.  The question then became to me - how do I make this all work?

Every person I truly admire has one bit of trusty advice and that simply is - Do what you love. 

And let's be serious, being a music blogger is NEVER going to pay my mortgage, but somehow I know in my heart that starting my own business will.  It's a leap of faith that I'm going to have to make if I truly want to be happy and quite honestly - it's scary as all hell.  I keep asking myself, can I afford to this?  What if I don't get any work?  What if I'm a failure?  When will the time be right?...

Well dear readers, that time is now.

From tomorrow I will officially be a "freelancer".  I'm massively excited to say the least.  I've been training my replacement for the day job for the past few weeks and I will continue to work for my old company as a freelancer, but for half the hours at a really good rate - my job has now become my client!  This will allow me to concentrate more on building EQ Music as a company and social business that will encompass all those valuable skills I learned in video producing and digtial project management and incorporate them into EQ Music Blog, EQ Music Tour, EQ Live events and a new music brand called Poptronik that I've been developing with my friends at AZTEC RECORDS. 

This is literally a dream come true for me.  I feel liberated, excited, challenged and most of all balanced - which is something that I've been striving towards for a LONG time.

Photo

What does the future hold?  Well, for starters, not a regular paycheck, that's for sure- but I'm ok with that.  I think for me after spending my whole life working for the man, working for myself is going to be more rewarding and spiritually - it's going to improve my life and outlook on things.  If that's what it takes in getting to do what I truly love - then so be it!  I'm jumping in and not looking back.

EQ Music couldn't be what it is without the help of my amazing friends Mandy Rogers, Javi Lopez and Jordan Meehan who have tirelessly given their time and devotion in helping me build up the business as a brand and for that I am truly grateful - love you pandas!

Why this lenghty gushy blog then?  Well, I really just want to say a huge thank you to each and every one of you who has read and enjoyed EQ these past few years.  Your feedback, support, comments and repeat patronage is immensely appreciated and is allowing me to pursue my dream of making EQ Music be more than just a blog, but rather a passionate digital brand that works to create and help definte the new music industry.  I feel strongly in pushing forward the concepts of a new music industry and marrying that with the powerful internet and social networking age we live in right now. 

This I now know, is my true calling.

And in the true spirit of freelancing, I'm now proud to say that I'm available to hire!  You can always hit me up on [email protected] and it would be really helpful if you could "like" my company on Facebook and please do follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

I love talking about and strategizing the promotion of pop and electronic music and no idea is never achievable in my book.  If I can go from being an every day music fan to having my own niche music company and social business, then anything is possible.  This life is truly an adventure we choose and I'm choosing to dedicate my life to music now - let's get to work!

From the bottom of my heart - Thank you dear EQ readers. 

Through you, my dreams have become possible.

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