Today’s posts is inspired by the recent blog post, “The Elements of an Effective Small Business Website”, of good friend Ken Mueller (Inkling Media).
Every so often it’s necessary to take inventory to see if your website is truly serving its purpose. For musicians a website is more than a place for people to hear your music and its more than a place-holder with those two notorious words – “coming soon”.
Your website is actually an extension of your live performance. It represents you as a person and helps your name and music to travel further than a live show. What things don’t you need? What things is your website desperately in need of?
BIO, MUSIC, CALENDAR
BIO: These are the 3 most important pages on your website. People want to know who you are, what you sound like, and where they can find you. I’ve noticed (through tools like Statcounter), that these are the most trafficked pages on my site. Never fails. Your bio should be well written and more or less a biographical resume. Make sure you clearly tell people what you do and what you have accomplished with an informative approach. Don’t sound obnoxious. Write in the 3rd person (as if someone is talking about you); not in 1st person.
MUSIC: There are far too many music players to choose from. Some people use Bandcamp, some use Soundcloud, and others have audio players that are created specifically for their website. With all the tools available, a music page should be one of the easier things to incorporate into your website.
CALENDAR: Book shows. List shows. Play shows. Give people a reason to hear your stuff live. Put dates on that calendar.
MAKE IT CLEAN
A clean website is a good website. I’m not talking about language (although that doesn’t hurt); I’m talking organization. If your website looks cluttered and confusing, you will lose your audiences. People stay longer and visit more frequently when a website is easy to understand and simply laid out. Don’t use flashy images, excessively bright colors, or cluttered text. I promise you, it will totally backfire!
UPDATE YOUR FANS. THEY ACTUALLY WANT TO KNOW!
Talk! Tell your fans what’s new. Your bio and music pages wont change that often, but you need at least 1 page on your site that is always changing. This would be your “news page.” This is the page that is updated weekly (or every few days) with new information.
- Have a big show coming up this week? Tell your fans.
- Have a sweet picture that someone took at your show? Share it!
- Have updates on forthcoming studio project? Post it!
AND NOW FOR SOME EXAMPLES…
Check out these independent artists’ websites. Get some ideas on layouts. Notice how simple, clean, and easy to understand these sites are.