Websites for musicians or bands are great for online promotion. Nowadays you almost aren’t deemed professional in the online world without one. The best thing about having a band website is that you have total control over the whole site (as apposed to a Twitter page or Facebook fan page). You can have everything important on your website like your music, bio, upcoming shows, videos, merch for sale, etc. If website creation is a brand new thing to you, here are some essential tools you need to get your band/solo artist website up and running.
Domain Name – The domain name is the link your visitors are going to type (or click if you’ve been promoting it 😉 ) to go to your website. Preferably the domain name you are looking for is www.YourBandName.com but sometimes that name will already be taken by somebody else. Some other suggestions would be www.YourBandName.net or www.YourBandNameMusic.com. You could also use .us if you are American or .ca if you are Canadian.
Hosting – You are going to need to host your site on a server to make you site available to the public. Quality hosting sites can cost anywhere from $15$-30/month. If you get a domain name and hosting at the same time from the same company you usually get a deal.
Building Your Site – Do any of you have any programming skills? Are you familiar with HTML? CSS? If not, your band is going to have to figure out whether you are going to build your site yourselves or hire someone to do it. If you hire someone to do it be prepared to pay anywhere from $300 – $800, depending on how complicated you want your site. Although it may seem expensive, it would be well worth doing, especially if none of you have much programming experience. If you promote your site right and get some merch and songs available for download then you will make your money back and then some.
Meta Tags And SEO – If you don’t know about meta tags then, you are going to want to go to www.W3Schools.com and read up about what they are all about. Within your meta tags is where you include your sites description and keywords. Your sites description is what people see when your site comes up in the search engines and should include your keywords in it. Your keywords are words that are relevant to your site and what it’s about. If your band name is Pogo and your a rock band from L.A. then, some good keywords would be Pogo band, L.A. rock band, or rock band Pogo. A good description of your site would be: Visit Pogo the rock band from L.A.. Check Pogo out for tour dates, pics and up to date info on their rock music. Using keywords that you use a lot in your content will increase your bands ranking in the search engines which will increase your chance of getting some extra free traffic.
Selling Your Merch On Your Site – Selling merch on your bands website is a great way to make extra cash. It is also a great way to get your name out there. If you are going to get shirts, you are going to want nothing less than great quality. Nobody is going to want to buy (or more importantly wear) something that looks tacky and cheap. Don’t just think of shirts and CDs, also try and think of unique merchandise ideas that will get the attention of your fans.
Mailing List – A mailing list is important on your site so you can gain subscribers and keep them up to date on everything your band is doing. It just makes contacting people a lot easier than if you had to do it individually. Plus keeping people informed about upcoming shows or new merch for sale will bring more people to your shows and bring more money in your pocket.