7 reasons to help you understand why Musician Websites are still important and tips on how to create one
All musicians understand the need to have an online presence, but many do not understand the need for dedicated musician websites. They are thinking:
I’m on Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, Vine, Instagram, and a handful of other platforms I barely remember signing up for. I’m also communicating with fans with Snapchat, uploading videos to YouTube, and streaming live concerts via Periscope or Meerkat. Do I really need a web site?
Yes, social media is integral to a musician’s success these days and they can be really overwhelming to master. But relying only on social media is a common mistake a lot of new musicians and bands make.
All these social platforms fail to provide you with what a website does: an online headquarters, a hub for you and your music, a space that you control for the long haul. Did you think that web sites are legacy? Think again! Check around to see how musician websites are not anymore what they used to be. Web design and web technology is evolving, resulting to websites that are very impressive and visual, capable to capture attention and create brand loyalty.
What is the role of Musician websites?
A musician’s website is a place, which sits at the very center of everything the musician does online and is linked to all the other online and social platforms he uses.
If you are a musician, your website becomes your brand, your portfolio and the central connecting point around which all your other presences anchor.
You can think of your web site as the hub in the wheel(s) that enables your musical journey. It is at the center of your online presence and it connects with all your social media, just like the wheel’s hub is connected with spokes to the rim, keeping all the other elements of your online world together.
Benefits of having a musician website
1. Professionalism: Owning your own hub website looks more professional.
2. It’s just easier for fans. A website is the easiest way for fans to get a quick overview of what you as a musician (or band) are all about and where else you are active (through links to social sites).
3. You are at the center of the experience. A standalone website is really the only place where you as a musician (or band) can effectively display your “brand.” Other sites or social media may let you mess around with visuals, such as color schemes or photographs, but your own site is the only place where people can get the full experience of you and your aesthetic at work.
4. Your own site gives you total control. In social media, it is difficult to know if people are actually seeing your updates, or if the information is getting lost in the shuffle. Anything you post on your web site will be right there until you don’t want it to be anymore.
5. Social media platforms come and go – your web site is there to stay. While website styles evolve, having your own site has never gone out of style. Many musicians invested time and effort in MySpace only to lose that connection with fans once the platform fell out of favor. Over the past few years, a similar thing has happened with Facebook among younger music fans. Your website will probably outlast them all.
6. Showcase what you do! Your web site is your portfolio. You can embed your best work, video and audio, to let people see and hear why you are so special.
7. You can build a list of people who love your work: You can build your own mailing list of people who are all interested in your work and ready to buy your new CD when you release it.
Key Attributes of Musician Websites
Simplicity: People want to directly see you perform, they do not want to get lost in long navigation menus and multiple pages. 1-page modern website structures are the best fit.
Own Domain Name: You want your website to come up first when people are looking for you with search engines. This can be achieved with your own domain name and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Brand Creation: Your site needs to support your brand! The colors you choose, your logo, the pictures you use… these things are all incredibly important, and help tell your story. Figure out what story you want to tell, and then keep your brand consistent. Try to make your social accounts match your site colors and style as well.
Mobile Friendly: Lots of people are using smartphones for internet access instead of PCs and Laptops. You must make sure that your web site is “responsive”, i.e. automatically adjusts to the size of the screen, be it a laptop, a tablet or a phone.
Easy to collect email addresses: if you want to build an email list of your fans, why not allow them to download for free one of your performances, e.g. a song, just by giving you their email address?
Traffic Analytics: the capability to analyze your site’s traffic with easy-to-read site analytics is crucial in order to know who visits your site, which pages they access and for how long they stay.
Sections of a Musician Website
Your Performances (with “buy” links): People are so used to streaming nowadays that if your homepage doesn’t have a readily available embedded video (e.g. Youtube or Vimeo), or audio, they may lose interest. A very good idea is to also include links to e-shops (Amazon, iTunes), where they can go to buy your music if they like it.
Bio: Share with your fans your origin and history, who you are, what you love and why you do what you do.
Press Kit: Online magazines, news sites and venue organizers would like to be able to download a press kit, consisting of high res photos and a complete well written biography, usually in PDF.
Tours / Performances: This is the place where your fans can see where you are going to be playing next.
Your Contact Info: Make sure that you have your contact information with an e-mail address or a contact form so people can contact you for online publicity, booking, or just to tell you they like your music
Social Links: Why not display links to your social accounts to let people know how they can follow you online? Also it is best to display your latest social posts, to attract people attention.
Blog: If you have something to say, you can write blog posts that people can comment, discuss and even share.
How can I create a Musician Website?
Once you realize that you need a musician website, you will start thinking about technical competence, right?
Regarding technical competence, if you think that you need to be an expert to create a website, this is not true, as nowadays you can get your website up and running without any technical knowledge.
The first way to do that, is by using a website builder. Website builders can help you create a website for a monthly subscription. Although attractive and seemingly simple, website builders have limitations. The customization capabilities are not vast, and although you can create a website relatively easily, the end-result may not entirely satisfy you. Maintenance of the site can also become a burden.
The second way to get your musician website up and running is to employ a freelancer or a digital media agency like RizosMedia that specializes in web creation and design. An experienced professional may create something special for you, and you can always check his/her references to help ensure that what you have in mind will/can be created.
The major benefit of using a professional is that he will take care of all administration and maintenance tasks for you. This way you will have your website up an running with minimum time and effort, and you will always have someone to consult later on.
Can I Afford It?
Technology is progressing and simplicity is the key. A modern musician website does not need to be large and complex. On the contrary, simpler, one-page websites work best for musicians.
This means that modern, well designed and attractive musician websites can be very affordable, especially with new technologies available to web designers that increase their productivity.
In case you want to try website builders, the monthly subscription cost averages at 20 USD (or EUROS) per month. This of course does not take into account the time and effort required to learn the platform and then set everything up, from domains, to selecting templates, customizing them, setting up email accounts, etc.
Note that free offers from website builders always come with serious restrictions, the most important being that you can not have your own domain. Without your own domain you will not be able to rank high with search engines, therefore your visibility will be low – something to be avoided.
Although website builder prices seem affordable, you will be surprised at how competitive a Digital Media Agency can be in terms of pricing, while at the same time assuming responsibility to take care all the aspects of creating and maintaining your musician website. Prices are now at a fraction of what they used to be, and monthly subscription models are offered too!
Do you want to create your own musician website? Contact us and we will be happy to create something unique for you!