by Jhanne Jasmine more than 2 years ago

Photo attribution: Larry Loos

This blogpost is created for those who may not be sure yet if they need an artist/band website, and what content it should contain. For those of you that already know all of this, why don't you read our article about using your online presence to drive ticket sales?

Do musicians need an artist/band website?

With all the different social networks – is it really critical for musicians to have their own website?

Yes. We believe so. Here's why.

It's the only platform that's not owned by a corporate entity. The importance of social networks for musicians goes undisputed, but at the end of the day, all the platforms are in essence a giant corporation. All of the big ones (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) frequently change their algorithms, layout, and even their look and feel. It can be frustrating building up a loyal audience on a specific platform, and through no control of your own, have something suddenly change. For example Facebook's algorithm constant changes means it's harder for you to reach your following when you post a new YouTube video or announce your tour. However if the audience is loyal to you, and not the platform – this won't be a problem.

We recommend using the social platforms to drive traffic and engagement – but ultimately direct fans back to YOU.

You don't have to know code or design.

There are a bunch of platforms that let you create your website easily. It really is about the content. To make it really straight forward, we created a checklist with the bare essentials.

Absolute minimum:

1. Your music

2. Tour dates, announcements and gig information
(include "not currently touring" if applicable)

3. Your videos

4. At least a handful of good band photos

5. Your social links (minimum Facebook, Twitter & YouTube – these accounts you should have anyway)

6. A 'prompt' to sign up for your mailing list

7. About artist/band or bio section

8. Contact, booking and management information

Moving up the ladder, include:

9. Band news / blog

10. Your lyrics (if they're not available elsewhere)

11. Cool quotes from publicity you've received

For professional musicians, add the following:

12. Merch

13. Social content from the artist/band

14. Social content from fans

15. Photo gallery

Why it's good for any band/artist to have a website

It's the main point of reference for the following three critical groups:

1) Your following

Your following may search for a particular social link and/or other information. If they can’t find it on social media or by search engine, it's likely they'll go straight to your website to find what they're looking for.

Anyone who comes across you and is interested in finding out more is likely to visit your website for additional information. As the general public engages on more social networks, individuals might have a preference for which platforms to follow their favourite artists on. Some might only subscribe to ‘let me know when this artist is in town’ whereas others will want everything on their Facebook feed.

'Search' on most social networks is pretty decent – but not all of them. It’s good to have all your social links accessible in one place. It's unlikely you'll be able to secure your same handle (your artist name) for every social network with which you engage – and that can make it challenging for those searching for you.

2) The media

Bloggers/reporters/journalists work under strict deadlines. They might not have the time to contact you (especially if you're on tour) and if that's the case, they'll likely search your website for bio/about info or even a quote.

What’s more important, when you score any media coverage (good work!) you may or may not have the luxury of being contacted by the blogger/reporter/journalist. When they're on strict deadlines, they often don’t have time to verify or heavily research the content they are producing (we are not saying this is good or bad, it just is).

By having a narrative in place on your website already, the writers can easily find content to include in their coverage of you (quotes are fantastic for this!). This let's you control what's being said about you (at least up to a point).

3) Professional connections – think venues/booking agents/etc.

Venues in particular need to promote their weekly/monthly schedule. That can be a lot of artists to research. They'll head directly to the band website to find the relevant information.

A website is a central point of professional reference. It is the go-to place for everything about artists and their music by the press and booking agents in particular. It can make all the difference for these professionals if the information and media can be found easily or not.

Photo attributions:

for Michelle Phan: from video "☼ Summer Sunset Glow + Bonfire Party Ideas"
Minimum musician: Jenni C
Medium musician, edited – made b/w: chiesADIbeinasco
Professional musician: Allan Wan
Following: susieq3c
Media: Stanley Cabigas
Venue: eyeliam

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