This post by Dave Kusek originally appeared on the Bandzoogle Blog
You’ve probably heard this a thousand times before… as a musician, you need to have a website.
Sure, it’s easy enough to put together a website for your music, but making a REALLY EFFECTIVE website? One that will help you actually engage with your fans and sell more music? That’s a little more difficult.
So I’ve got some easy and quick fixes you can do to take your website from good to GREAT.
To help you make sure your website is a powerful tool that will help you grow your fanbase, connect with your fans, and sell more music, merch, and tickets, Dave Cool from Bandzoogle and I are hosting a free website webinar on Thursday, May 18 at 1PM EST. See the agenda below…
Sign up for free to join us live, or sign up to get the free recorded replay.
But in the meantime, here are some musician website basics and best practices you can start using right now.
Give Each Page a Purpose
I want you to start thinking of your website like a tool - something that will help you promote your music, connect with your fans, unlock opportunities, or sell music and merch.
[The Complete Guide to Selling Your Music Online]
And that means each and every page needs to have a specific purpose - something that you want to accomplish through the content on the page or some action you want your fans to take after viewing the page.
So if you have a gig page, the purpose should be to sell tickets to your upcoming gigs. You should have a gig calendar with buttons to purchase tickets, and possibly an email signup form where you offer some kind of gig-related incentive in exchange for an email address (like early access to tickets, or notifications of secret meetups or events).
In the same way, if you have a press page or EPK, all the information on that page should be 100% focused on getting press coverage or a review. You don’t need an email signup form, a gig calendar, or social media feeds.
[How to easily build an EPK using Bandzoogle’s Preset Page Templates]
As a little exercise, take a look at your own website. For each and every page, ask yourself, “What is the purpose of this page? What am I trying to get my fans to do? What am I trying to accomplish?” If you cannot think of a specific purpose for a page, change it, consolidate it into another page, or just remove it entirely.
Keep Your Navigation Simple
This builds off the previous point, but you really want to keep your website’s navigation as simple and straightforward as possible. The last thing you want is for people to click off your website because they can’t find what they’re looking for.
As a rule of thumb, don’t have more than 8 buttons in your navigation and limit the amount of sub-navigation pages you have if possible.
So instead of having a “Gig” tab with sub-navigation pages for gig calendar, live recordings, book a house concert, and live photos, consolidate to pre-existing pages. Your live recordings can go to your music page, your live photos can go to your media page, and house concerts could become a separate tab if it’s something you want to really focus on.
Focus on Engagement
Once you’ve simplified and streamlined your website, you need to ask yourself, “What will keep my fans coming back again and again?”
For the most part, musicians will keep their website pretty static and maybe update it every few months. That’s definitely a good start, but first and foremost, your website is the place where you will sell music, sell merch, and get fans on your email list, right? And if fans aren’t going back to your website on a regular basis they won’t be exposed to those offers.
So how can you keep your website’s content fresh, dynamic, and interesting? One options is to create a blog where you publish new content on a certain schedule - maybe it’s once a week, or maybe once a month, the key is to find a schedule that works for you.
I know “blogging” sounds kind of silly to a lot of people, but it’s important to remember that a blog doesn’t have to be you just writing about your day diary-style. You can write posts or release videos on whatever topics interest you.
Use your blog to share more insider-access to you and your music. You could easily create a blog post about how you get a certain tone or how you set up your gear, you could do video tutorials of your songs, you could post monthly Q&A’s with questions that you gather from social media, or you could share the behind-the-scenes process of your current project.
As a bonus tip - try giving each blog post a purpose by linking to relevant items on your store, gig page, or email signup form. So if you’re taking fans behind the scenes at your gigs in a blog post, link to your gig page. If you’re talking about the tone from your newest single, link to a place where they can actually purchase it.
Here are a few things you’ll learn during the webinar:
We’re going to tell you exactly what you need to include on your website and WHY (so you don’t miss out on opportunities and sales)
We’ll break down the big website mistakes to avoid (You’d be surprised how many musicians make these mistakes, but we’ll show you EASY ways to fix them!)
Learn the 3 DIFFERENT audiences your website needs to be serving (most musicians only focus on 1)
Enter for a chance to win a LIVE WEBSITE REVIEW! (Yep - a few of you will get live feedback on your website and actionable tips for how you can make it BETTER :)
Plus all your burning website questions answered during the live Q&A
We hope to see you there!
Dave Kusek is the founder of the New Artist Model, an online music business school for independent musicians, performers, recording artists, producers, managers, and songwriters. He is also the founder of Berklee Online, co-author of The Future of Music, and a member of the team who brought MIDI to the market.