With the plentitude of services around for building your own website, many indie artists have ditched the old-school approach of paying a website developer and go full DIY. The downside of doing it all by yourself is the lack of experience and knowledge of the current market. Few artists are actually on point with their websites and the vast majority end up with one-page presentations that look like a ready-to-print flyer. And of course, to the rescue we come! Read on to discover 10 crucial must-dos when building your musician website in 2022.
10. Have a clear goal.
Flash News! You can’t build a website only for it to sit there and rot for years. Rotting in digital terms is equal to never being updated, fixed, improved. So before you even commit to a website builder, think what’s your goal for the first year. Is it to drive merch sales? You’ll have to set up the Store section to be right after the Home tab in that case so that you prioritize it over all other Menu options. Or is your first-year goal to convert listeners into hardcore fans? You’ll have to lead with the bio in that instance. Your website’s layout needs to change depending on your goal.
9. Have high-quality photos.
Because Google and because brand. To be more specific, Google ranks higher websites with HD quality and pushes low resolution to the abyss of anonymity. Secondly, your brand is your lifeline. If all you got are blurry selfies, guess what? your music too will be treated like a blurry selfie. Your appearance in today’s world determines the respect you will get for your product. So think very well before uploading unprofessional photos on your official website.
8. Use proper grammar.
Because it will help you with SEO, brand credibility, sponsoring opportunities, and higher fan conversions. Imagine you visited Ed Sheeran’s website and you see grammatical errors in his bio, in his apparel caption, or worse, straight on his homepage. Artists are especially at high risk of making grammatical errors when they run a blog on their website. If you’re not exactly a writer, limit your opinions to your songs, meaning you only speak when you do your job. Otherwise, you risk sounding illiterate and crashing the user experience created thus far via your social media profiles and targeted marketing.
7. Share your story.
You would be stupefied at the number of indie artists we know who don’t feature a Bio section on their official websites. How do you think people will remember you and your music when they don’t know who you are? Just hearing your voice in 2022 won’t cut it. Thanks to reality TV shows that have taken over for more than a decade, the likes of TikTok where people cry during their live streams, and even celebrities sharing nervous breakdowns on camera, people now EXPECT to know the real you and all that comes with you. So let that mouth run and speak candidly on your unique path thus far. Refrain from shooting yourself in the foot with unrequested opinions. All else is fair game.
6. Show your press track record.
The difference between a managed artist and a solo act? The first will have all of his press articles featured on his website 99% of the time. Industry people KNOW how vital peer credibility is. This stamp of approval will make itself clear as daylight for everyone visiting your website via the number and the sources writing about you. Don’t just sit on links with interviews. Use excerpts from them to incentivize visitors to check out your Press section. Not to mention how helpful press is in getting your blue badge!
5. The obvious, duh!
This might sound funny to you but we get tears in our eyes when we visit musician websites and there’s not a damn page dedicated to the music and music alone. You know, as do we, that music videos for example are disproportionately fewer in numbers than song releases. So how can a fan invest more of his time and interest into your craft when you only display the two music videos you’ve put out in 3 years on your website with no playlist/ tracklist of all of your songs? Have a dedicated Music tab on your website. No ifs or buts.
4. Include your active socials.
We kid you not, we’ve once encountered an artist whose website had a dedicated Social Media tab where she displayed 85 links. From the classic behemoths like Facebook and Instagram to the Russian and Japanese versions of these. Who the f*ck has time to go through all of that? No one. Don’t be this artist. Even if your avid fans might go as far as checking out all links individually, we all know it is not humanely possible for you to exist AND be active on 85 social media channels. Just NOT real. That in itself highly discourages fans from following you because 1. probably it’s not the artist managing the profiles 2. we don’t know on which one you post more often to make the follow worthwhile. So feature a maximum of 4 social media links where you engage, reply, post, exist.
3. Collect e-mails.
Why? Because it’s still the only way, besides cellphone numbers, to control the direct connection with your fanbase. Remember when Facebook pages used to show ALL your fans everything you posted? How about when Instagram used to push your content to a lot more followers as well? TikTok now? Do you see the pattern? DO YOU SEE THE PATTERN? These social media hubs only play nice in the beginning to lure in as many users as possible and when you’re hooked, they leave you out cold unless you start paying for the visibility you once had for free. So you better make sure you have an efficient email signup form on your homepage and get to collect that data!
2. Keep your homepage relevant.
If you remember number 10 where we insisted for you to have a goal, this is its tangent must do. Even after you have built your website in such a manner as to aid you in achieving a certain career goal, you have to stay on top of things and continuously update your website. New show coming up? The news has to be on the website along with ticket links. New collaboration just dropped? The music video/ streaming link has to be announced and featured on the homepage. Just won an award even if it’s just local? Talk about it! The more current your website is, the more eyeballs will come to visit it repeatedly because they will have formed the idea that whatever is happening with their favorite artist, they will find out first on the website.
1. Make sure you have a Contact form.
Not the template Contact Us generic stuff. But a clear, concise, to-the-point contact form where businesses and fans alike can reach out to YOU, the artist. Avoid leaving the e-mail in plain sight as spammers will extract it and fill up your inbox. Opt instead for a personalized contact form natively on the website and reroute the messages to your primary e-mail. You’ll thank us later.
Blue Rhymez Entertainment ©2022
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