How to Create a Wikipedia Page for Your Band/Music

June 14, 2011{ 62 Comments }

wiki How to Create a Wikipedia Page for Your Band/MusicGetting a Wikipedia page approved for your music project can be tricky. It can also be great for building credibility and gaining exposure for your music.

Because of the sheer number of relatively unknown independent artists out there, Wikipedia has become very strict in its guidelines for accepting artist pages. Wikipedia editors are composed of volunteers from around the world and they all interpret Wikipedia’s guidelines a little differently, so, mileage may vary. But, if you follow the tips below and pay close attention to Wikipedia posting guidelines, you definitely have a fighting chance.

Admittedly, there’s not much sense in adding band pages for acts that are only going to be around for a few months. If your band is young and without a big news story to bolster your wiki-appeal, it might be better to hold off until you’ve put out a few albums and gained some media coverage.

On the other hand, If you are an established musician that has had some notable press, you may very well be able to score your own Wikipedia page.

Here are some basic guidelines and tips for getting a musician page approved on Wikipedia. Keep in mind that every artist’s situation is different, and individual results will vary widely.

5 Tips For Getting a Musician or Band Page Approved on Wikipedia

1. Be Balanced. It’s important to remember that Wikipedia is not meant to be a promotional vehicle and if you treat it that way, your article will most likely be deleted. Wikipedia is a reference text. You can’t say “Band X is the best folk band in Denver.” You might instead say “Band X is widely regarded as an important contributor to the Denver folk scene.”

2. Be Notable. Wikipedia is very big on this. If an article is not deemed notable or important then it will be “speedily deleted” per their Criteria for speedy deletion. Has your band ever done anything notable?’ What are you known for? What do your critics say? Make sure it’s in the article. Also see Wikipedia’s explanation of notability.

3.  Don’t Write it Yourself. This is one of the first things that will get your article axed. Wikipedia wants unbiased articles. That means if you or your bass player or your manager or record label guy writes the article, it will probably get deleted. Instead, Ask your friends and fans if they contribute to Wikipedia. A regular Wikipedia contributor will have a much better chance of publishing an article that doesn’t get taken down.

4. Be thorough. Make sure that whoever pens your entry has all the details they need. Include dates, members, lineup changes, awards, a discography, etc. Imagine you’re reading an article about your music a hundred years from now. What would still be of interest?

5. Include references. Find everything and anything that references your band online. If you’ve been written about in well-known newspapers, magazines and blogs – this will help greatly. Make sure you use these references in your article.

Wikipedia’s music page guidelines for the English Wikipedia can be found here

References:
How to get your band on Wikipedia

Have you tried submitting to Wikipedia? What was your experience? Do you have any tips? Let us know in the comments below.

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  • http://twitter.com/behyped Marko Polo

    I've always found the Wikipedia thing strange, what dignifies a notable artist? What level of notoriety in the public realm? A couple of local newspaper articles I'm guessing doesn't cover it. A record deal? I wonder if that's the clincher. A few 'under the radar' artists I've worked with have created Wikipages for themselves only to be slightly depressed when they get told they don't qualify for one. I wouldn't want that moderator job at wiki…

    • http://members.cdbaby.com CD Baby Admin

      It is hard to define what notable is. I'm sure it's hard for the moderators as well. Especially if 1 in 4 submissions is for an artist page (like they claim).

      I would hope though, that they have an appreciation for those who make efforts to follow their guidelines. I'm sure they get tons of unedited self-promotional drivel.

      Chris B

      • Wikipedian

        As a Wikipedia editor who does deal with new pages, I can say that this article is a refreshing breath of fresh air. I've seen a fair number of "How to fool the Wikipedia editors" articles, and… well we read them too, they don't work. This article offers sound advice.

        I've never seen the 1 in 4 statistic quoted above, I don't know if it is true. In fact I think it probably isn't. As far as quickly deleted articles go, I've seen more articles that go something like "Jenny Doe is 13 and likes ponies, her brother Max eats worms and is gross!" than I have seen articles on bands that never make it past MySpace.

        One final point, tied in with the third tip… please don't ask your mother to write an article on you for you. Those can get very weird. Case in point: "[name withheld] is a drummer in the Huston area. He plays for [name withheld], an anarchist metal band. He cultivates his image though poor hygene, especially dental hygene." Yes, that was a real submission.

        • http://members.cdbaby.com CD Baby Admin

          Wow. [name withheld] sounds kind of gross! THanks for sharing your perspective as a Wikipedia editor.

        • Azure Fields

          I have six gospel albums out and 6 SafeTV Purely Music TV Shows out. My last album was done in Nashville and I had well known Opry musicians play the instrumentation for my vocals. How do I get my gospel ministry on Wikipedia – would you write it up for me? My site is azurefields.com and I’m on CDBaby.

    • http://tommorris.org/ Tom Morris

      Knowing what qualifies on Wikipedia in terms of music is actually pretty easy – see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:MUSIC

      A band or artist is bascially considered notable if they have had a record in the charts, had a gold-selling record, won a Grammy or equivalent, been played in rotation on a major radio station, had two albums out with a major label or "has become one of the most prominent representatives of a notable style or the most prominent of the local scene of a city".

      That gets the majority of it.

      As for the "moderator job": that's everyone's job! The stuff that gets deleted quickly on Wikipedia is usually deleted because it is so obscure that it is obviously unnotable – a bunch of kids crashing around in their garage, someone who thinks he's the next Jay-Z because he's got a MySpace account etc. Or it doesn't even attempt to show notability.

      The next step up is if it asserts some notability, but there isn't enough: then it isn't decided simply by the "moderator", it is decided by anyone who wants to participate in the discussion. It's like a courtroom – something goes up for deletion and there's a week where people can present arguments. At the end of the week, an uninvolved user comes in, weighs up the debate and decides whether to keep or delete it. It isn't a vote, it's a discussion.

      On the musical side, one thing that I see quite often is you'll have a popular band. Then the band will break up and the bass player or drummer or whoever will go play with an independent band, and people try and then sort of use the fact that the guy played in the popular band to justify the notability of the new band. Of course, history might teach us that sometimes that works out great – if Wikipedia were around in the early 90s, we probably would have said "oh, the drummer from Nirvana is gonna front a band? Yeah, like *that* is gonna be notable…" ;-)

  • Rob

    They are also very strict about "original research" i.e. something for which there is no public record elsewhere. And they require citations. These can be from your local paper or a website, so although they are strict they don't necessarily have high standards.

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  • Jazzman

    One of the first things that make the New Page Patrollers reach for the delete button is seeing YouTube, MySpace, FaceBook, and any blogs in the list of references. The next thing is "…up and coming."

  • http://members.cdbaby.com CD Baby Admin

    Thanks for the tips!

  • Azure Fields

    I have six gospel albums out and 6 SafeTV Purely Music TV Shows out. My last album was done in Nashville and I had well known Opry musicians play the instrumentation for my vocals. How do I get my gospel ministry on Wikipedia – would you write it up for me? My site is azurefields.com and I'm on CDBaby.

  • http://www.ianedwards.net Noreply

    I think if you're going to make it onto Wikipedia then it will more than likely happen without you having any action on it – hardcore fans for bands etc are more than likely to do these kind of things. Whatever you do though, take the above advise and don't try creating your own wikipedia page…it just won't work! :-)

    Ian
    http://www.facebook.com/ianedwardsmusic

  • http://www.ianedwards.net Noreply

    I think if you're going to make it onto Wikipedia then it will more than likely happen without you having any action on it – hardcore fans for bands etc are more than likely to do these kind of things. Whatever you do though, take the above advise and don't try creating your own wikipedia page…it just won't work! :-)

    Ian
    http://www.facebook.com/ianedwardsmusic

  • http://www.ianedwards.net Noreply

    I think if you're going to make it onto Wikipedia then it will more than likely happen without you having any action on it – hardcore fans for bands etc are more than likely to do these kind of things. Whatever you do though, take the above advise and don't try creating your own wikipedia page…it just won't work! :-)

    Ian
    http://www.facebook.com/ianedwardsmusic

  • Musician

    Even with article on newspaper the page is refused. I really avoid as the PEST Wikipedia for that reasons. There is not any uniformity in the rules and their interpretation. It's just a jungle.
    Let's say one thing sure: your gruop MUST be VERY famous in order to get the approval with WikiPedia. STOP. All the remaining things are only "words to the wind".

    • http://members.cdbaby.com CD Baby Admin

      You do not have to be VERY famous. Friends of mine are in bands with legitimate Wikipedia pages, and they’re not famous. They’ve done some notable things, though, and worked with notable people. So that may be the vital criteria.

    • http://members.cdbaby.com CD Baby Admin

      You do not have to be VERY famous. Friends of mine are in bands with legitimate Wikipedia pages, and they’re not famous. They’ve done some notable things, though, and worked with notable people. So that may be the vital criteria.

    • http://members.cdbaby.com CD Baby Admin

      You do not have to be VERY famous. Friends of mine are in bands with legitimate Wikipedia pages, and they're not famous. They've done some notable things, though, and worked with notable people. So that may be the vital criteria.

      • Nuke

        Actually, you do have to be VERY famous to be on wikipedia. I have been rejected for this very same reason and the WP editor used as an example of "famous enough" to be in wikipedia bands like Killswitch Engage, which is a VERY famous band, or at the very least, not a band who needs to put out its cds through cdbaby. Lets face it: Musicians who put out their cds through cdbaby aren´t "famous enough" to be in wikipedia thus deeming this article well intented but otherwise useless.

        • http://members.cdbaby.com CD Baby Admin

          I guess it'd help to define "famous." But from my perspective, I know of many bands who have legit Wikipedia pages who are not even full-time career musicians. They're in bands that have some notable achievements, whether it be a decent song placement, or some kind of status as a regional darling, or perhaps they opened for someone higher-profile on a tour. But they've all got day jobs, AND Wikipedia pages. In my book, they're not even a little famous. Though I do think they should be.

        • http://destroyideas.blogspot.com destroyideas

          You don't have to be VERY famous. Like Gregory Alan Isakov. He's not well known outside of Colorado, but he has an entry. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregory_Alan_Isakov

          You just have to have something in a published source. DOn't focus so much on the Wikipedia page, focus on getting notoriety, but once you have some of that, it's a good idea to have a Wikipedia page. Usually when I'm looking for fast information on a band, Wikipedia is a great place to start. Added to the fact that Wikipedia is usually in the top 5 for Google results.

  • Robert Wendel

    Having gone through this with a Wiki editor, I can tell you what is written above is pure gold! I would place more emphasis on #%: Reference, reference, reference!!! The more you can "prove" what you say, the better, be it an outside link or especially links to other Wiki articles. Feel free to check my Wiki page to see what I mean. My self-written page has now passed all their tests thanks to the help of the Wiki editor who first flagged me for deletion, then turned out to become a very good cyber friend.

    Robert Wendel

    • http://members.cdbaby.com CD Baby Admin

      Robert, glad it worked out for you in the end.

    • http://members.cdbaby.com CD Baby Admin

      Robert, glad it worked out for you in the end.

    • http://members.cdbaby.com CD Baby Admin

      Robert, glad it worked out for you in the end.

  • Robert Wendel

    Having gone through this with a Wiki editor, I can tell you what is written above is pure gold! I would place more emphasis on #%: Reference, reference, reference!!! The more you can “prove” what you say, the better, be it an outside link or especially links to other Wiki articles. Feel free to check my Wiki page to see what I mean. My self-written page has now passed all their tests thanks to the help of the Wiki editor who first flagged me for deletion, then turned out to become a very good cyber friend.

    Robert Wendel

  • JohnyBoy

    Seriously? By the time a band has two albums out on a major label, a gold record, won a grammy… they will not be sitting around reading a DIY article on wikipedia. The record company has people who do this for them. Their management has people who do this for them. Good luck all independent artists, you just go ahead and make your wiki page. See how long it takes for your wiki to be deleted. Useless.

    • http://members.cdbaby.com CD Baby Admin

      If it is done well, with proper references/citations, AND has some notability, they're not as apt to delete. Again, I have some friends in bands with Wikipedia pages and they have not won Grammy's, been signed to a major, or appeared on the cover of People magazine.

    • http://www.jerricoandkic.com Jerricod

      Been there…done that…My group had someone post a wiki article for us and it was deleted in 2 days. Too many rules…

  • JohnyBoy

    Seriously? By the time a band has two albums out on a major label, a gold record, won a grammy… they will not be sitting around reading a DIY article on wikipedia. The record company has people who do this for them. Their management has people who do this for them. Good luck all independent artists, you just go ahead and make your wiki page. See how long it takes for your wiki to be deleted. Useless.

    • http://members.cdbaby.com CD Baby Admin

      If it is done well, with proper references/citations, AND has some notability, they’re not as apt to delete. Again, I have some friends in bands with Wikipedia pages and they have not won Grammy’s, been signed to a major, or appeared on the cover of People magazine.

    • http://members.cdbaby.com CD Baby Admin

      If it is done well, with proper references/citations, AND has some notability, they’re not as apt to delete. Again, I have some friends in bands with Wikipedia pages and they have not won Grammy’s, been signed to a major, or appeared on the cover of People magazine.

  • JohnyBoy

    Seriously? By the time a band has two albums out on a major label, a gold record, won a grammy… they will not be sitting around reading a DIY article on wikipedia. The record company has people who do this for them. Their management has people who do this for them. Good luck all independent artists, you just go ahead and make your wiki page. See how long it takes for your wiki to be deleted. Useless.

  • http://members.cdbaby.com CD Baby Admin

    One could just as easily ask "why shouldn't they?" But I get your point. Endless information can appear unmanageable.

  • miserycreek

    My band had considerable regional success, never received less than 4 star reviews for our three releases, were reviewed across the US, almost every country in Europe, and in Japan, and were signed to a notable Italian independent record label with several award winning acts on its roster. A fan in Kansas City emailed us that she had submitted a wiki for us and sent us the copy – she had her facts in order and wasn't gushing with praise or anything. I looked at it less than an hour later and it had been tagged for deletion unless someone could make a case for it remaining. The woman who wrote the wiki wrote a very reasonable defense of the wiki and our relevance. It was gone the next day.

    Good luck.

  • http://www.facebook.com/themis.koutras Themis Koutras

    Hi C D baby is a grate way to get recognize and earn money for the work we do look me up under THEMIS KOUTRAS (IN C D baby web) see my sights also at http://songcastmusic.com/profiles/themistoklis http://www.youtube.com/user/themistokliification http://www.artofthecross.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/fontainsm Fontain's Muse

    Thanks, we have been around since 1999 and still going strong. We do need to take it to the next step. I was just looking into this. I will put this advice to the test. Thanks again!

    • http://members.cdbaby.com CD Baby Admin

      Thanks Fontain!

    • http://members.cdbaby.com CD Baby Admin

      You betcha!

  • http://www.facebook.com/fontainsm Fontain's Muse

    Also, I read JohnyBoy's comments and I sort of agree for bands who have managers etc. But we have been around for a long time and we are on the precipice and could use a little shot in the arm. We have done everything ourselves and whatever direction or idea is given, I will always try. As it is, if you google fontainsmuse you will get pages of stuff. Seeing it all on a world credible community page makes it a little more substantial than a random collection of articles that the viewer could chose to click on or get lost looking at solar water fountains or even the other band with the name MUSE could be very distracting. I also benefit from the similar names, it works both ways in my case we have had our name since 1998 and it is my legal name, that is another issue. As for the "already famous" Suppose you have some tracks on an independent film, you probably are not famous, but this qualifies as notable. Write a jingle or two, it may open up some doors to notable yet not famous.

    For us hopefully, this will lead to fontainsmuse getting wiki-leaked that is my real goal! ;-).

    • http://members.cdbaby.com CD Baby Admin

      That'll be the next article: "How to get your band wiki-leaked"

  • http://members.cdbaby.com CD Baby Admin

    I think that 'notable' implies at least "some" media coverage.

  • http://members.cdbaby.com CD Baby Admin

    Thanks for sharing the info.

  • http://destroyideas.blogspot.com destroyideas

    If the dry cleaner is notable for something, they deserve a page.

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  • http://members.cdbaby.com CD Baby Admin

    Cool. Thanks for sharing this.

  • Vic Stathopoulos

    I would like someone to create a wikipedia on my music and web mastering one day, but how can 2 separate topics be done? I have been web mastering since late 90's and I have been doing music too. Both are very different. It is only know where I have started to combine music and video and use it as extra bonus material for my websites.

  • Em

    Upon checking into what makes a band notable, I found this page, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Notability… very interesting.

    Plus, it seems that my friends the Blue Riddim Band, were, according to this Wikipedia notability requirements page, notable and unjustly deleted.

    I wish there was some way to get their page back up at least to get it corrected to standards….

    Oh, well….

  • Clankenstein

    Sorry but I think trying to get yourself a Wikipedia page in this way is conniving, disgustingly desperate, and crass. Play good music, if people like it, someone else will write a page on Wikipedia. Use your own website for your personal promotion.

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  • Guest

    Really?? The Blue Riddim Band got deleted? I've seen them in concert a number of times! I'd definitely call them "noteworthy"!

  • http://members.cdbaby.com CD Baby Admin

    According to Spotify's site (http://www.spotify.com/us/work-with-us/labels-and-artists/), they also get biographical info from AMG (the place that provides artist and album information to iTunes). To find out how to get your music and bio in the All Music Guide, check out http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/2011/06/submitting-

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  • Seansocco

    If yr a crust/grind band "of note" you should be able to cite interviews in zines like Profane Existence. If you don't have print zines to reference, you should at least have some interview in e-zines to cite. Wikipedia doesn't like citing blogs, but the line between a blog and and zine is pretty fine sometimes. If you don't have any of these things, that's where you should be putting your efforts, not into wikipedia.

  • http://twitter.com/BylliCrayone Bylli Crayone

    My wikipedia page was deleted. wtf

  • Latoya

    it is good informtion

  • http://www.facebook.com/jakechadwell Jacob Chadwell

    Wikipedia is a waste of time. The only bands that are on Wikipedia and the ones that don't need the advertising aspect of it anyway.

  • http://twitter.com/Ricksta80107016 Rickstar

    I'm glad I've come across this article again, I read it aroud 6 months ago. Some of the comments on here are simply wikipedia editors scaring people away from uploading articles, in a way this is probably a good thing.

    As CD Baby mentions, with proper references you can upload an article. However the rules and regulations for musician articles on Wikipedia is OTT. We decided to go with a company called http://www.wizardsofwiki.com, they seem to have it nailed what can and can't be uploaded in relation to musicians. This saved us so much time. A friends band who we toured with, spent days researching and attempting to upload an article. Would really recommend contacting these guys for help for any notable musician.

  • Radha Kizhakkematom MalayalamW

    GUESS,IF YOU ARE A WRITER,HOW YOU ADD DETAILS TO WIKIPEDIA?

  • http://www.mybloggingmoney.com/ Kinan Khan

    yes I think its easy but you must now about copyright
    http://www.mybloggingmoney.com