Does your website pass the press test — or are they passing on you?

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A couple weeks ago I wrote an article about how to create a comprehensive press page on your band’s website.

At the top of that article was this screenshot of a Twitter conversation between music journalists fed up with bands that don’t have a website containing all the pertinent information in a single place:

Why musicians need a press page on their website

Last year I posted an article with Courtney Gallagher of Club Passim (a great listener-friendly venue in the Boston area) where she says: “If you don’t have a website that makes it easy for me, I am going to have to move on to the next artist.”

So what is the press test? What kind of website “makes it easy” for people in the industry?

1. The organization of content allows for easy navigation.

2. The website is up-to-date with the most relevant news, videos, and music releases.

3. It’s a cinch to locate your social links, concert calendar, music player, contact page, and press page.

4. The site gives a visual impression upon first visiting the homepage that the person is in the right place, and that something exciting is happening! (Could be done with a great photo, illustration, logo, press quotes, etc.)

Your hub. Your HQ. A place you can call home.

Bandcamp is great, but it’s not YOUR website. Facebook is great, but it’s not YOUR website. YouTube is great, but it’s not YOUR website. Hell, even an album page on cdbaby.com is not YOUR website. Don’t keep aspects of your web presence so dispersed and then expect someone in the music industry to put the pieces together. Instead, consolidate!

If you’re going to be taken seriously as an artist, you need your own website, and you better have these 10 things in place.

For bonus points (and more gig and press opportunities), you should create a single page on your website that has EVERYTHING a blogger, editor, talent buyer, or promoter might need to make a decision about your music.

If your website doesn’t pass the press test, they’re probably going to pass on you. There are just too many other bands asking for their time (and too many other emails in their inbox) for them to waste another minute having to do additional research on your music career.

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  • Sometimes I find music blogs pass the fail test as well – impossible to find a direct contact or even decipher what their main music focus is.

  • Clear Thinker

    While I absolutely agree a pro or semi-pro band needs their own website, I have to say that I have run across music “journalists” and venue managers that are just incredibly rigid in what they want. I have had people complain that they had to click to get around my site – they wanted everything on one page so they could just scroll. It was too much trouble to click on “music” or “bio” or “videos” for them. I actually set up one page with a little bit of everything on it, and had a venue manager gripe about it being “too much.”

    I’ve had venue managers tell me they would only consider booking me if I had a Sonic Bids account or a Reverbnation account, and they refused to go to my dot com site. I had one guy tell me my bio was too long, and just under a week later a different guy said it was too short! Same bio!

    I guess the point I’m trying make is this: have your OWN dot com site, make sure it’s really easy to see pics & video, hear music, and be contacted. Make your bio concise, list any really cool things you did as a musician, but keep the hyperbole to a minimum. If lots of people point out a short-coming on your site, there might be something that needs attention. If one chowder-head says it’s not to their liking, forget them. You can’t please everyone. I have lost way too much sleep trying to please everyone, and trust me, it is not worth it. I’m now at the point where if someone can’t muster the effort to click the giant red link that says “video” on my site & then complains about it, I figure they are not smart enough or motivated enough for me to want to work with them. Life is better now. 😉

  • Haha. Can’t please everyone, for sure. A valuable life lesson.

    @ChrisRobley

  • Hey i would love your thoughts on my press page i made on my website! i gathered a lot of research from the blogs on what to put there! The only thing i do not have is press quotes. i’m waiting till i release my next single to starting reaching out to press! My Press page: http://tehondi.com/presspage/

    [Side note] – I #follow4follow on Spotify & YouTube! My artist name is Tehondi & I make dope positive rap music! 😀 https://play.spotify.com/artist/1K8giOEUZf2MzUixSXiSFh
    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/Tehondi
    New album “Truth Ain’t Dead” coming soon! @Tehondi