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Step – 4 Some Other Considerations

Written by Admin on March 13, 2008 – 7:21 am -

Do Not Use MySpace.com as your Website

MySpace is an unbelievable music-marketing tool and a great starting point, but it’s only a starting point. If you just have a MySpace page you will not be taken seriously as a professional band.

Your Website should have more information than can fit on just one page. Use MySpace to make friends and drive traffic to your web site.

Obey the “8 second rule”

If your web pages do not load within 8 seconds, most visitors get frustrated, and move on to other pages or sites.

Think about how long you wait for a page to load. Count the next time, I bet it’s not more than 5 or 6 seconds and that’s if you really want to see what’s on the page.

Use SPELL CHECK

Sure, you’re excited to share with the world your each and every musical endeavor. It is the very reason why you continue to browse through this report. Everyone is guilty of disregarding the use of SPELL CHECK from time to time, but it is an integral factor that mustn’t be overlooked! It doesn’t stop at spell checking either. Proof read the content of your web pages to make sure that you don’t miss the little things. I am guilty of this a lot. For example, using “You” instead of “Your.” Little things like this can be very damaging and will display a grossly low level of professionalism to your current and potential customers. Your Website is your band’s novel. It mustn’t include grammatical errors or the improper use of the English language. It is absolutely preposterous!

Web Counters

No more web counters! Stop putting those little mileage-readout type thing’s on your sites. They were cool in 1996, but they are stupid and can be quite embarrassing too. Almost every single web host company provides detailed visitor information that you can use.

CONCLUSION

Creating a great looking, easy to navigate Website is a necessity for any musician who is serious about making money with their music. It is a responsibility that every artist and band must commit to now! There is more competition now then ever before, but it is also a very exciting time for determined and dedicated musicians to make a lasting impression with their music.

If you ever have any problems building your Website the right way, please feel free to send me an e-mail any time to lee@porkpiepublicity.com. I would be more than happy to help.

REMEMBER: YOU MUST CREATE REASONS FOR YOUR FANS TO RE-VISIT YOUR SITE!


Posted in Web Site Design | 1 Comment »

Step 3 – What Shouldn’t my website include?

Written by Admin on March 12, 2008 – 9:51 am -

BAD COLOR CHOICES

Black is probably the worst color to use as a background for text, but it looks really cool and we’re METAL! Save it…There’s a reason newspapers and books use white backgrounds with black lettering!

Having a dark background behind your text makes your pages hard to read PERIOD! I have trouble reading white text on a black background and I’m definitely not alone and don’t even think about red text!

Dark text on a light colored background will insure that everyone can read your pages with ease.

Uncommon Fonts

There are only a few safe web fonts that all visitors can see: Arial, Arial Black, Comic Sans, Courier, Courier New, Georgia, Impact, Times New Roman, Trebuchet MS and Verdana. This means you’re probably the only one that can see the cool spray paint font you just used. Also, choose a font size that is at least 10pt.

Make it something that you can easily read yourself.

Flash Intros

No, no, no!!! Although they may be cool to look at once, Flash Intros get really old if you have to see them every time that you visit that particular site. Plus, most people don’t have a broad bandwidth and can’t even enjoy the flash because it takes so damn long to load! The same can be said for Java Applets and Animations.

Don’t do it! You’ll loose current visitors and potential fans!

A little flash header or side accent is ok, but NEVER use flash for your navigation. I cannot stand when a go to a site just to look at some recent pictures, or to listen to a song from a band and have to wait for the navigation to load. I just leave and forget about the damn band!

Flash also makes it impossible for the search engines (such as Google and Yahoo) to find your Website because they just see the code for the flash movie instead of actual text.

Entry / Splash Pages

Like flash intro pages, Entry pages are equally as counter-productive. An entry page is a huge Band Photo which takes 3 minutes to load only to cleverly offer you to “click here to enter.” Most visitors will leave before it loads and as a result, will never have the ability to enter your site to learn about how great of a band you are. I know I most certainly leave when I see one of these monstrosities loading! It’s almost frightening!

Entries are for buildings, not Websites.

Automatic Music Players

You know when the music starts as soon as the page opens. Remember you never know where a visitor of you web site is located when they access your sight. They might be at work, or it may be 1am in the morning while the kids are sleeping. Having music screaming from the computer is usually frowned upon and quite terrifying. I know there are a few bands that are going to get a bill from me for new boxers.

Seriously, let your visitors decided when to listen to your music. Trust me, they will!

Step 4 “Some Other Considerations” tomorrow!!


Posted in Web Site Design | 1 Comment »

Step 2 – What should my website include?

Written by Admin on March 11, 2008 – 6:41 am -

While you’re considering what to put on your site, browse the web and see what other bands (Major and Indies) have done. You will then discover what most people often discover themselves: almost all band web sites are awful!

Now its time for you to discover a few things which will most definitely make your band’s web site a success!

Homepage / News

Your homepage should include a brief Welcome message that explains who your band is, what type of music you play and where you’re from followed by the Latest News and Band Happenings. You will want to include upcoming shows, CD releases, Radio Interviews, etc. in blog-like entries. This keeps things fresh and up-to-date. Fans always like to know the latest and this is a way to inform them right off the bat.

Band Bio

The first paragraph should stand out in some way with a clear description of who you are and what kind of music you make. Also, include other bands that you sound like (Don’t skip this one!) I know, I know, you are so original that your band sounds like nothing I ever heard before! Well, I’ve never heard monkeys farting. Does your band sound like monkeys farting? If you do, great, tell me, I’d love to listen to your clips to hear what it sounds like.

Next, move on immediately to explain what you are current efforts include (a new CD, an upcoming tour, whatever).

Then, summarize your background by highlighting significant facts and achievements.

Lastly, you want to wrap it up with a reminder about your current activities and/or your upcoming events once again.

Band’s Mailing List

This should be on every page, but instead of asking to ”Join Our Mailing List” you might want to use “Join Our Club.” Something that makes people feel part of a special group. You should include a link that explains to the subscriber things like:

  • What to expect once they join
  • How often they will be receiving messages
  • What the benefits are
  • What information is included

***Also, think about adding a Privacy Message stating that you will not share their e- mail address.

There are several paid and unpaid mailing list services out there. Two great companies are iContact.com, which is a paid service and Bravenet.com, which is an unpaid service.

Contact / Booking Information

You would be shocked at how many sites out there forget to include an email link for visitors to use to contact you.

Your contact information (especially email) should be on every page of your Website. You should also have a page devoted entirely to your contact information. Your contact info is your:

  • Email address
  • Phone numbers
  • Booking information number
  • Street address and/or P.O. Box number

***You never know when someone important will want to contact you! Don’t make these people search your whole entire site simply to locate an email address.

Tour Dates / Performance Schedule

Most genres of music require an act to play live. So be sure to play out live as often as possible and keep your performance sections on your websites updated constantly. Nothing is more of a turn off to industry reps than visiting a site where the performance schedule lists gigs that are months or weeks old. It is a sure sign that you are not busy, unprofessional and perhaps have even broken up or called it quits. You may include some notable past gigs to spark interest.

Be sure to include:

  • Show Dates
  • Show Times (Doors and Your Set)
  • Venue Names
  • Addresses
  • Phone Numbers
  • Website Addresses
  • Ticket Prices
  • Directions
  • Drink Specials

Your Music

The issue of full songs or samples is up to you, but you must have some way for visitors to listen to your music. I would suggest a dedicated Music or Media page as opposed to a Music Player. Also, include the lyrics to the songs that can be downloaded, if not to all of your songs.

Merchandise

Clearly and Directly design this section of your site to steer your fans and customers to HOW they can buy your products. Be sure to include past, present and even future releases you have for sale.

It can be as simple as directing them to an downloadable Order Form, linking them to online retailers like www.cdbaby.com, or whoever you have established an online sales connection with. If you have your own secure server all the better, in fact mixing up all of the above would be the best way to serve the diverse buying habits of your fans. Restricting them to only one choice is not an ineffective e-commerce marketing decision.

Photos

Create a Photo Gallery of live shows, professional photos, photos of you and your band in the studio, etc…Make sure you get tons of crowd shots and shots of individual people in the audience at every show. People love to look at themselves and it gives them all the more reason to re-visit your Website.

The problem with photo galleries are the load times because of improper picture resizing. Instead of one page with 10 massive pictures, create thumbnail pages where the pictures can be 100 pixels x 75 pixels, then create links to larger pictures usually 600 pixels x 450 pixels. This will allow the page to load faster and visitors can see all the pictures and choose which ones they’d like to see larger.

Links

Adding links to other websites that your band is featured on gives your visitors room to breathe, so to speak. Your links page should have every Website that you can be found on. Preferably the link will go to that page that you are on. Plus, exchanging links with other Websites increases your link popularity and raises your ranking in the search engines.

Some other pages to make life easier for the Press and Promoters:

Press Section

This page should be designed with the Media and Press in mind and include everything one can use for articles and reviews about the band. You can include:

  • Band Bios
  • Press Releases
  • Contact information for interviews
  • One Sheets
  • Logos
  • Images (at least 300dpi)

***Files should be in HTML, PDF, and WORD formats so the writer can simply copy and paste your information into their articles.

Promoter Section

This page should be extremely organized and clear! You may want to include:

  • Press Kits
  • One Sheets
  • Quotes
  • Posters
  • Logos for use in Ads
  • A Stage Plot and Input List for all of the clubs to use once you have gotten booked

Step 3 “What Shouldn’t my website include?” tomorrow!!


Posted in Web Site Design | 2 Comments »

Step 1 – Before you Build

Written by Admin on March 10, 2008 – 12:08 pm -

Before you start to think about what you want on your Website, you will need TWO VERY IMPORTANT COMPONENTS in place:

1. A Domain Name/URL
2. Web Hosting

What is a Domain Name/URL?

What is a Domain Name/URL?

A Domain Name or URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is the address of your Website, for instance, independentmusicroundtable.com. Your Domain Name acts as the text name corresponding to the numeric IP address of a computer on the Internet, usually the web server your Website is hosted on. A domain name must be unique and should be the name of your band. If your band’s name is already taken, try adding “band” or “music” to the end.

In order to get a domain, you must register a domain of your own. Many Web Hosting plans will supply this service for you.

Take the time and get a unique Domain Name. Don’t send people to a Pure Volume or MySpace web page. You need your own Website which should include several pages. Your material is too valuable to be crammed into one elongated web page.

What is Web Hosting?

Basically, Web Hosting is a service that provides storage for your Website with a high-speed Internet connection. Your web content is then accessible from anywhere in the world. Renting space on a web server is much like renting an apartment, however for a nominal fee. This monthly fee provides to you a certain amount of space on a web server depending on your particular needs.

There are four main ways of hosting a Website:

1. Shared Hosting
2. Dedicated Hosting
3. Co-location
4. Doing it yourself

***The most fitting and inexpensive way is Shared Hosting.

As a band, your choice should allow a very high limit when it comes to the amount of data that can be transferred every month because your average visitor will download or stream music on your website.

My highest recommendation is 1and1.com. I personally host numerous sites with 1and1.com and have had little or no problems. They offer plans for as low as $3.99 a month which includes your Domain Name and 600 e-mail accounts.

Step 2 “What should my website include?” tomorrow!!


Posted in Web Site Design | 1 Comment »

4 Easy Steps to Creating a Great Artist Web Site

Written by Admin on March 10, 2008 – 12:07 pm -

INTRODUCTION

You need a Website!

It’s that simple. If you work in any type of business today (yes, your band is a business), your Website is literally a 24/7 representative to a worldwide audience.

Your Website should be an informative tool that is easy to navigate through. A professionally designed Website provides to industry professionals, information they are looking for, while offering plenty of entertainment to fans which will encourage them to continue visiting your site.

This series of blog posts illustrates 4 Steps to Creating a Great Artist Website as well as some common mistakes that plague them.

Step 1 – Before you Build
Step 2 – What should my website include?
Step 3 What Shouldn’t my website include?
Step 4 Some Other Considerations


Posted in Web Site Design | No Comments »

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