So, you’re a musician and you’re trying so hard to establish your online presence. The first thing you probably think of is getting out there more of sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
So, you asked the question: ‘Do I really need a website as a modern musician?’
Yes, as an artist, band, or musician, you DO need your own website!
Here’s the problem…social media isn’t enough. Especially if you are (or aspire to be) a professional musician, artist, or band.
Why? Because you don’t own any of those platforms and we’ll get to that.
Social media is important, but having your own piece of real estate on the internet is even more important.
In this post, we’re going to show you what you need to establish a true online presence. It’s easier than you might think.
But if you don’t want to build a website, we’ll also discuss doing it yourself versus outsourcing and the things you may want to consider when building your brand.
Why Social Media Isn’t Enough for Serious Musicians
Everyone is on social media, right? So shouldn’t you be able to just share your new song that you just released on Facebook or Twitter and suddenly have millions of likes, hearts, and follows?
Well, that would be nice. But it doesn’t quite work like that. In fact, it’s not even close.
Social media platforms are great to post content on and to engage with your fans. And you can go as far as saying that it’s necessary to be on some of the major social platforms.
You do need social proof and places like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are the first places many will look for you. And if you’re not there, then in their mind you’re not legit. I mean, even your grandparents have profiles, right?
Problem with Social Media
But here’s the problem with being solely reliant on social media…
You do not own those platforms.
They do. And on top of that the organic reach on these platforms extremely weak compared to the number of ‘followers’ you have. In other words, expect to pay-to-play by running ads if you want traction.
There’s also the risk of the platform shutting down, which seems unlikely yet not impossible. And some have even been banned from certain social media platforms.
Don’t Get Overwhelmed
Whereas we do recommend that you build a social media following, we prefer to only choose 2-3 platforms on focus on those rather than trying to be everywhere.
Do some research and find out the major platforms your fans are on. More than likely, Facebook will one of them.
Just don’t try to ‘boil the ocean’ by being everywhere. You’ll be overwhelmed and create a part-time job for yourself, which will take away from what you really need to be doing…and that’s working on your music!
Other Platforms You Do Not Own
As a band or recording artist, you may also be connected to other platforms you do not own that aren’t necessarily social media. Sometimes artists rely too heavily on these.
Some of them are…
- CD Baby
You can read Ari’s take on these services here: CD Baby, Tunecore, DistroKid, AWAL, Ditto…Who is the Best Digital Distribution Company for Music
These are services where independent musicians and artists release their songs and albums. And they release them on all of the major digital music services like Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, etc.
Like social media, we’re not saying don’t use these services. Just don’t rely on them as your main platform as an artist. Again, you have limited control over these platforms.
***We actually recommend going this route with releasing your digital music as an independent artist. Most of these services also collect your royalties and payments from streaming and digital album sales for you for minimal fees.
Just make sure you do your own research to find out which one suits you best.
Benefits of Having Your Own Website as a Musician, Artist, or Band
As we said in the beginning, you need your own website if you’re serious about your music. Think of this is your own piece of real estate on the internet.
It’s yours. You own the domain. You own the content. And you have complete control over what happens.
Now, you may be thinking ‘Ken, Jason, I have no clue how to build a website or where to even start!’
There are two ways you can do this if you’ve never built a website…
- Learn how! Watch some YouTube videos on ‘how to build a WordPress website’ and you’ll be amazed at how easy it is
- Hire a web designer. You can find one on sites like Upwork or Fiverr, or chances are you know someone, or know someone that knows someone who you can hire.
We actually recommend that you learn how to do this yourself. It’s really not that difficult. This gives you even more control over your site, design, and content.
The other benefit is you don’t have to wait for your designer if you need a change or update made on your site. You can just it right then.
Where to Start on Your Website
The idea of building or even having a website can seem overwhelming with everything else you have going on in your music business. But hang in here with us.
Let’s talk about some basics and where you need to start:
- Use WordPress. It’s the most widely used website platform and grants you the most design control.
- Find a reputable hosting company (and typically you can get your domain name through these companies) like WPX
- Find an easy-to-use WordPress theme and page editor like Thrive Themes – they also have tons of helpful how-to’ guides and tutorials
- Focus on just 3 pages to start: Home page, About page, and Discography page (we also recommend a blog post page, and we’ll get more into that below)
Now, let’s dig a little deeper into the pages…
- Home Page – This needs to be eye-catching but also simple and easy to navigate. You can start with your latest release or video at the top, or whatever you’re currently highlighting right now for your music.
- About Page – Here is where you’re going to let your fans know more about you, your music background, and also where to contact you.
- Discography Page – If you already have more than one album release, you’ll want to give your fans a specific place to go to find your music library and links to where they can listen.
- Blog Posts – We also recommend that you blog, even if it’s just once a month (preferably more frequently than that). This is a great way to add content to your website. Search engines will pick up well-written and engaging posts, and that’s free traffic coming into your website (aka potential new fans!)
**You can also include a built-in music player on your home and discography pages. iTunes and Spotify both have a code you can copy and embed onto your web page, which is pretty cool.
Examples of ‘Good’ Band Websites
It’s also a great idea to study websites of bands and artists that are in the genre of your music when you’re building your own website. Here are some examples below…
Amon Amarth website: https://www.amonamarth.com/
Nightwish website: https://nightwish.com/
Mastodon website: https://www.mastodonrocks.com/
Behemoth website: https://behemoth.pl/
Megadeth website: https://megadeth.com/
Take a look at their layout and imagery. Spend some time going through their links.
The types of things you should be looking for are:
- Is the site easy to navigate?
- Is it fast or taking a long time to load?
- Do I know exactly what the band is all about as soon as I pull up the site?
- Is it easy to find where to listen to their music?
Also, notice how they promote things like their albums, merch, and tour dates. This will give you some awesome ideas for your own site.
Lastly, have fun with the process of creating your artist or band website! Again, if you run into snags along the way, there are endless tutorials on YouTube to help you.
Watch the LIVE Episode on Why You Need a Website
Interestingly enough, this topic was the Metal Mastermind’s very first YouTube Live episode. You can watch the entire video below (there are some really awesome tips we provide as well as feedback from our viewers).
And if you have questions, just leave us a comment on the video (and make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel!)
We hope this post helped you! If so, please considering sharing it.
Ken & Jason