Musicians, Does Your Website Matter?

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Musician Website

An online place you can call “home” 

You probably feel like you have a ton of “sites” online. You’re on Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, and handfuls of other places you barely remember creating an account for. Yep, you’re out there.

And so is everyone else.

Their profiles and feeds look just like yours, because you signed up for the same service, were given the same general design/settings options, and you all follow the same rules and guidelines, because you’re part of a community. And that’s totally cool. Services like that are integral to a musician’s success these days, and they’re absolutely useful and beneficial.

But what these services are NOT is something that is wholly yours, and maybe more importantly, something you’ve taken the time to create, maintain, and take pride in. And that matters. A lot.

Why you need to have your own band website

Ask anyone who writes about music, books bands, or works in the “industry.” Sure, you might not be completely written off if you don’t have your own site, but you’re going to be taken much more seriously if you do, and you’re going to build a bigger email list, see more social traction, and get more gigs. Here’s why:

* Having your own site makes you look professional. It shows that you put in the extra effort and are taking your career (or at least your music) seriously.

* People want a one-stop destination. If I’m checking out a new band, I hit their website first. It’s the easiest way to get a quick overview of what they’re about, where else they’re active (through links to social sites), and to sign up for a mailing list if I’m feeling intrigued enough.

* You are at the center of the experience. Along those same lines, a standalone website is really the only place a band or artist can effectively display their “brand.” Other sites may let you mess around with color schemes and other elements, but your own site is the only place where people can get the full experience of you and your work.

* Your own site gives you total control, meaning you never have to worry about whether or not people are actually seeing your updates, or if they’re getting lost in the shuffle. Anything you post will be right there until you don’t want them to be.

* Social media platforms come and go. While website styles may change, having your own site isn’t going to go out of style. I tried to tell this to the tons of bands who pressed up their CDs a few years back with their Myspace URL on them, but they wouldn’t listen. Think they’re still updating that page? Nah. Think they might still have those CDs for sale? Probably.

What do you think? Do you have your own site? If so, how has it helped you? Don’t have your own site? Why not?  Let us know in the comments!

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  • Michael Maku Ursu

    I’ve got my own site at http://makumusic.com. It’s nice having it, but I feel I need more content, and perhaps a forum too; I think having your own forum on your site is a great and easy way to connect with your fans.

  • Great point. I know a lot of people that use Facebook and Twitter as their homes. Your website should be your operating center.

  • Raymond Coats
  • Music by Proseed

    Having my own site is definitely beneficial. Sometimes I even see more social network “likes” through my website posts than my updates on social networks. I think my fans appreciate the extra effort. I’ve still got work to do to make my site super efficient in terms of generating everything musicians need these days (a growing mailing list, more sharing, revenue through the site, etc).

  • Definitely looks like it. The "tmgartist" part of the URL is a little confusing if you were going to tell someone your web address, but it's definitely a site all about you.

    @ChrisRobley

    • Raymond Coats

      Thanks Christopher! Is there a way that I can drop that .tmgartist part without compromising and make it easier for people to find me still?

  • Like a train station!

    @ChrisRobley

  • Not sure. Are you using a website template platform? You might want to talk to your web designer or your hosting company to see if it's something they can do (change the URL to just YourName.com without messing anything up.)

    @ChrisRobley

  • I believe an independent website is important to a musician. It provides credibility, gives the audience a sense of who you are and provides a way to sell your music. I developed a site using iWeb, which I was able to transition to MacHighway and I use LicenseQuote to sell music to listeners as well as content users. I experiment with all tools that allow me to retain the most control of the product and the revenue.

  • Rob

    Yup I write and produce all of my own music then drop all the songs out on the custom site I built. A DIY all around. Would strongly suggest having your own site. First your site doesnt look like everybody’s else’s site like, You Tube, MySpace, Facebook, etc. Second, price. Its like $3 per month for the space, $8 per year for the url. Additionally, all my audio and video players are free. Simply embed all your You Tube vids into your site pick up mp3 players from Dewplayer all for free. Third, drag and drop. Basically host companies all give you Joomla or a free site builder if you’re not good at it. Yes it takes more time but you dont look like everybody else.

  • MusicMarketingMastery.com

    I think having your own website is also important because it gives you the option to create custom opt-in pages. This is important to build a mailing list. Just as important as having your own opt-in page with a free giveaway is to have your own blog. And again, it’s always better to have your own website and blog than to use 3rd party services like WordPress.com.

  • One of my pet peeves about artists who use Facebook or whatever for their primary platform is that they think they don't NEED their own site. Even the ones who were pretty much abandoned when Myspace lost users in droves. Another pet peeve is the "look me up on Facebook, I don't know the address" line. Screw that. If I have to go out of my way to support you, I'm going to move on.

    • Great comment Allen. It makes you wonder.

      • I wonder (and I’m speaking from first hand experience here) if it’s just that they are so sure they’re going to make it that they’ve already contracted Lead Singer’s Disease.

  • Guy

    I have my own free website http://fizermusic.webs.com/ but I very very seldom get any hits. I don’t know why. I do advertise.

  • One thing that strikes me off the bat is that I'm not sure WHAT the site is upon first visiting. I don't know if it's a band site, a culture blog, a news site, etc. So if you put a picture of yourself at the top with some quick blurb about WHAT y'all do, it'd help draw people in. Maybe take some of the phrases from your about page and work them into a header that makes it clear where people have arrive and what they'll get if they scroll down.

    @ChrisRobley

    • Didymus BenYahweh

      Thanks for the feedback! I will make some changes and see if it works out!

  • Are you active on social media and driving your friends, followers, and fans to your site whenever you post new content?

    @ChrisRobley

    • Guy

      Hi Chris,

      I'm not too sure if you got my last correspondence regarding my site. It also may help others.

      But it's a yes to "Are you active on social media and driving your friends, followers, and fans to your site whenever you post new content?"

      Thanks,

      Guy

      • How about frequency? Are you putting out new songs/videos/blog posts/news announcements often enough that you "stay on peoples' radars?"

        @ChrisRobley

        • Guy

          Hi Chris,
          Regarding frequency, as a non performing singer/songwriter, I only post new material, which is not quite ready for the market right now. But as I said before, no one goes to my site, so they would not know whether I have new or old material.
          Thks for the reply,

          Guy

  • Didymus BenYahweh

    I have a site but don’t see much success coming from having it. Can you give me tips in what may need improvement to increase effectiveness of the site? Thanks! http://www.soekingdom.com

  • As someone who specialises in design for bands and musicians, I would obviously advocate having a website for your music. Social media is NOT a substitute for your site — you never know when these platforms could disappear. Your own website will be unique, completely yours, and will promote a professional and serious image (provided it looks good, of course!) 🙂

  • Absolutely. What happened with MySpace could happen with any of 'em.

    @ChrisRobley

  • Jimmy Flip

    Save your money, use Bandcamp. Your chances of selling more than a few copies are slim to none regardless of how good you are.

  • Jolly Roger

    Well said!

  • Jolly Roger

    Well said!

  • Jolly Roger

    Well said!