Reading time 10-11 mins
Do you want to get to the next level?
Will having a website get you there?
Eh, probably not.
What it will do though is increase your chances of getting your foot in the door.
If you want to be recognised, you gotta go above and beyond to stand out from the competition.
Cos let's face it, there's a lot of musicians out there trying to break through the noise.
The thing is, if you want to be taken seriously, you got to start treating your music as a business.
And what do businesses have? You guessed it! Websites.
Every musician needs A website too.
It's as much a gateway to your music as it is a window to the store of a company.
It shows whoever's checking you out, that you're a professional outfit, that can be relied upon when called upon (Extra brownie points when applying for festivals).
So with no further Apu (Sorry I couldn't help myself),
Here are my 7 reasons every musician needs a website.
1 - Total Control
Social media can be a powerful tool to put it lightly. There are nearly 3.5 billion active users worldwide - We Are Social Digital Report 2019
Facebook alone has over 2 billion. So much potential to grow your fanbase right?
Well, at least through paid ads, anyway.
If you're trying to reach your audience organically, it's getting a lot harder to do so. These days only around (1-6%) of your followers will see your posts.
That's an extremely low number when you think about it.
Does this mean you should give up on social media altogether?
No, of course not. Social media sites are here to stay, but what about the companies that run them?
A Place for Friends?
Myspace was the biggest Social Media Platform on the planet from around 2003 to about 2008. That is until Facebook took over and MySpace started its decline into obscurity.
Professional and local musicians alike invested a lot of time into the doomed platform. When it fell all their followers, song plays and comments fell with it.
It's a valuable lesson that teaches us not to be relying on third-party services and platforms, that can go out of fashion or business in the morning.
No Rights To Your Own Material
This is a big reason why every musician should have a website.
Most social media sites have terms & conditions we must agree to when signing up. One which I can honestly say, rarely read, but so often should.
For a lot of the time, we are waiving our rights to our content and material as soon as we post it up.
For instance, remember Richard Prince? The Instagram artist that sold users of the site's personal photos in a gallery for €90,000 each, without their permission.
That went down a treat. Should have thrown them a few quid at least, no?
That's one reason why every musician needs a website.
Website Builders for Musicians
Website Builders Have Their Pros & Cons
As in, you could sign up to a website builder in the morning and have a fully functional, professional-looking website ready to publish by early afternoon.
However, like the Social Media Platforms, you're only renting the space. You don't own the site.
With the Wix free plan, it only entitles you to a subdomain. As in yourwebsite.wix.com.
With that, there are restrictions on how much you can personalise your theme amongst other things.
You got to go with the premium plan to unlock many of the features you would associate with a professional website.
In saying that, the likes of WiX and Squarespace offer some great technology.
They'll even build the website for you!
Yes, all you have to do is answer a few questions on what you're going to be using your site for, and hey presto, you have a new website for your music with little or no effort at all.
Nonetheless, if you're in it for the long run and you want the full rights to your site, WordPress.org is the safest bet.
It's the perfect platform for musicians to build a unique website that best represents them.
With fantastic plugins like Beaver Builder and Elementor, you can drag & drop your way to a stunning new website with ease.
What is WordPress and How Does it Work?
You're Looking at it
The blog you're reading is built on WordPress.org. It is an open-source platform. Everyone from Jay Z to Arcade Fire has a WordPress.org site.
It's Free to Set up
You just pay to host your site. With the number of themes and page builders at your disposal, you can personalise your site any way you like.
You have complete freedom to upload raunchy photos, or use profanity, and not have your account temporarily suspended for vulgarity.
WordPress is powering 26% of the web. There is almost 600 million WordPress related search results on Google.
Sex gives you 1,670,000,000 results.
Not too shabby huh?!
Check out these 21 Amazing WordPress facts for more https://digital.com/blog/wordpress-stats/
2 - You Can Monetize Your Bands Site
How do you ask?
1. Google Adsense
Google Adsense allows you to place an add on your website.
As well as that, Google does most of the work for you. You just download the WordPress plugin and choose what kind of ad you want to place on your website. Ie. (text, image, video, etc.)
You then adjust the size and location of your ad and you're good to go. Sounds good right?!
Turn your website into an e-commerce store. Sell branded merch straight from your website to capitalise from the profit.
3. Accept donations
If you have a loyal fan base, you can accept one-off donations from them. Paypal has a button you can add to your page. It might not be much but every little helps, right?!
To this end, It might even cover some costs of paying for web hosting.
3 - Brand Image
A brand exists in the mind of the customers - LucidPress.
People should know who you are and what you're about by your brand image alone.
Your image conveys the style of music you're playing, and what you're about. You need to be the full package, and a website is great for getting your image across.
Make it an extension of who you are. This way the user can get an idea of your character and personality. Some bands have nailed their brand image.
For instance, The White Stripes
Having a consistent brand across all channels is key.
You instantly associate the colours red, white & black with The White Stripes.
From their stage design to their cover art to their online presence, and even the clothes they were. They're instantly recognisable and their website is an extension of that.
4 - A Central Hub
“Websites promote you 24/7: No employee will do that.”
What can I do with a website, that I can't do with Social Media?
- You can track your progress, your ticket sales and traffic through your website's analytics.
- Auto schedule posts and email.
- Design it any way you like.
- Create an online store.
- Tailor your comments, tags, hashtags, handles, or emojis for each social network, without ever leaving WordPress. (Blog2Social)
But it doesn't end there
Besides, having your own site as a performer means you can create landing pages for your Facebook or Google ads.
This means when someone clicks on your add you can direct them straight to a checkout where you can sell them merch, tickets to upcoming events and much more.
5 - Mailing List
Welcome emails are incredibly effective:
On average, 320% more revenue is attributed to them on a per email basis than other promotional emails - Wordstream.
Email marketing is a great way to reach your audience and boost sales. It is a direct line to your followers.
It's Low In Cost
Yes while your promotions and design might set you back a few quid, the overall costs are still extremely low.
Gives You Credibility
With a newsletter, you can provide promotional offers that will engage your customers. Add links to your latest blog or new release.
As well as that, you can provide images of your merch and latest cover art, and in turn, promote your brand image and therefore increase your credibility.
With a website, your open for business 24hrs a day. You can set up automated emails to say thank you when people sign up to your mailing list or purchase a product.
That way, the wheel is constantly turning. A good enough reason as any, every band requires a website.
With something as simple as a contact form or email sign up, you can gather emails and start putting together a mailing list. Although, I would advise to go that one step further.
As in, give them a reason to sign up. Tell them about all the great offers they'll get on merch, or be the first to know about pop up gigs if they do.
Also, explain to them how frequent your emails will be. You don't want to be bombarding your fans with emails to the point where they unsubscribe.
It's all about building a relationship with them.
In saying that, you don't want to propose straight away either. Maybe invite them out for dinner first and go from there. You're buying 😉
6 - SEO
Search Engine Optimisation makes your site more visible to search engines. Also, it makes it easier for users to find you, by searching for the keywords relative to your page.
In short, every musician needs a website and with good SEO, people will be able to find your website.
SEO can be quite complex and take a while to get the hang of, but do not fear. For, there's a wonderful WordPress plugin called Yoast SEO to the rescue.
It guides you through the process of SEO and lets you know when something needs to be done and how to do it.
With a 5 star rating and over 5 million active users, it's one of the top plugins in WordPress.
Looks like I need more transition words.
There's a saying out there in the marketing world...
Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first - Wendy Piersall
In other words, have your website user-friendly foremost.
With that in mind, here are a few things you can do to help your website reach a greater audience...
1. Create Great Content
Content is may not be king anymore, but that doesn't mean it's not important to have great content.
If your content is weak and doesn't live up to the user's expectation, people won't hang around.
If people keep jumping from your bands' site or page as soon as they go on it, Google will start to notice, and before you know it, you'll start to drop down the rankings at a rapid rate into the online abyss.
2. Create a Catchy Headline
According to Copyblogger, 8 out of 10 searchers will read headline copy before clicking a post, but only 2 out of 10 will actually read the post. neilpatel.com
Just look at the emphasis newspapers put on theirs. It's the first thing people will see. If you want to get them clicks, You got to stand out from the crowd.
3. Meta Description Optimisation
The meta description is the 160 character summary under your header.
It's your second chance woo the user into clicking your page over someone else's.
A good optimised meta description with some key phrases will give the user a more detailed view of what your page is about.
Furthermore, have your key phrase in your meta description. I.e 'Every musician needs a website'.
4. User Experience (UX)
It's all about creating a nice clean easy to navigate site for the user. As a result, If people have a good experience using your site, or engaging with your content they're more likely to return.
5. Link Building
Links are the best way to move quickly to pages on the internet. Google loves links. In turn, the more links that lead back to your bands' website the better it is for your ranking.
In short, every musician needs a website but every website needs links. It's a huge Google ranking factor.
6. Keyword Optimisation
Your chosen keyword(s) will help people find your page when searching for certain words phrases on Google.
They define what your topic is about.
Instead of trying to rank for the Keyword 'Band Website' on your site, try to be more detailed, like 'Every Musician Needs A Website' and use that phrase throughout your content where necessary.
Don't overuse it by stuffing the keywords you want to rank for in every sentence though. Google doesn't like that.
Anywhere between 3 and 10 works keywords per post, depending on the content. Just make sure not to disrupt the flow of the piece.
It's all about the flow.
7 -Marketing Insights & Analytics
Analysing your data can give you invaluable insights into your next move.
Analytics is another important reason musicians need a website.
Without analytics, you might not know that you have more plays in Hamburg than you do in Munich. Furthermore, you could potentially miss out on a packed out venue for your upcoming tour.
With analytics, you can narrow in on your target audience.
Find out what demographic is visiting your website the most and who's playing your tracks and where.
This way, when you run ads, you'll be reaching the right people, and in turn giving yourself a better chance of making a conversion.
A conversion could be a visit to your website, a sale of a product or email signup. It's the completion of a goal.
This is a screenshot of Google Analytics with data from its Google Merchandise Store
You can easily add Google Analytics to your WordPress site, through the Monster Insights Plugin.
As you can see from the screenshot, you can analyse all sorts of data.
Such as, which regions you get the most traffic from, to what device they used to get to your site. You can even track how they behaved when they got there,
In addition, you can find out what pages your fans visited the most, what times they visited and how long they spent on them.
Google Analytics is a powerful tool, that every musician with a website should have in their toolbox.
Hopefully, after this post, you will see why every musician needs a website, and how it can benefit you in the long term.
By running ads you can make some money to help you with your next project, or cover the cost of site hosting.
You can let your loyal fans know directly through your email of your next project and analyse the data afterwards.
You can even see which demographics are purchasing.
So the next time you're selling something, you can build a lookalike audience and run targeted ads to fans who are more likely to buy.
If you want to succeed in the music business you have to treat your music like a business and a website is a good place to start.
Do You Agree With My 7 Reasons Every Musicians Needs A Website?
If there’s anything you think I left out you might want me to cover in the future, please leave a comment in the section below.
Moreover, if any musicians have created a website recently I'd love to hear from you. How much of a difference (if any) a website has made for you?
Did you find this blog helpful? If so, feel free to share, maybe some of your friends will too.
Keep on Rockin'.
Badgrammrbaz - Always supporting the main act.
If you liked this post, you might also like How to Build A Website for Your Band