Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Creating A Band Website: A Complete Checklist | Music Think Tank

This post by Melanie Kealey originally appeared on the Bandzoogle Blog

Is your band or solo career getting to the point that you want to book more shows? You might need an EPK that’s easy for press to grab information from. Or maybe you just want a space on the web to call your own?

Let’s be honest, your specialty is writing music and performing it, not building a website. You sit down, ready to begin, then feel completely lost about where to start.

Does the idea of creating a band website make your eyes glaze over? We’ve made a handy checklist to help you through it. So let’s get started!

▢ Get professional photos

Photos. You must have photos. And they should be better than blurry live shots taken on your friend’s phone. Photos can be used in SO many ways on your website and can make the difference in how you’re perceived. It’s worth the investment.

▢ Choose a template

Pick a simple website template that suits your music. Upload a photo that conveys your band and your sound.

▢ Organize your navigation

Decide which pages you’ll want in your menu. Besides your Homepage, you can add Bio, Music, Shows, Photos, Videos, Press Kit, and Contact. This simple structure will help you figure out what to put on each page.

▢ Create an effective Homepage

As the gateway to your entire website, your Homepage should be organized, and offer a glimpse into the rest of your pages. Things to add include a bit of bio text plus an image, some music, and recent news/upcoming events.

▢ Add a bio

musician bio is incredibly important for several reasons. It’s a way for people interested in your music to learn about it. It’s easy for music venues, bloggers, or press to copy and use. It’s good for your SEO. Make sure you’ve got yours ready!

▢ Upload music to stream and sell

Make sure you have your music files handy. You’ll want to upload your albums to play or sell, commission-free. Add some music to your Homepage, and create a dedicated Music page.

▢ Add an Events calendar

Performing live is the bread and butter for many artists out there. Be sure you add a gig calendar and keep it updated with your shows, where you can even sell tickets for shows commission-free.

▢ Add photos and videos

Videos are super easy to add - just look up your best YouTube clips, and put them into place on your Homepage and EPK page. Next, add a gallery of your professional images on a Photos page. Be sure to add a few hi-resolution images on your EPK page as well.

▢ Create an EPK

Add the preset EPK page option, then fill in the content. For this page you’ll need: a quote, short bio text plus image of you, three press photos, a sample track, and a sample video. Done!

▢ Add an online store to sell merch

Get your CDs, vinyl, t-shirts and more set up in a store. To get this done you’ll just need images of your product (cover art, typically). Then you’ll be ready to start selling merch, commission-free.

▢ Add an email signup to build your mailing list

Add it to your Homepage, and your Contact page. Make sure to collect those emails as a concrete way to reach people with your newsletters.

▢ Customize your design with colors and fonts

Now that your content is in place, pick a few colors that coordinate with your main image. Use  those for your text, buttons, and links. Look at your font choice; make sure the content is easy to read, and the titles stand out. Add section backgrounds to separate content for a sleek, modern look.

▢ Choose a domain name

Your website is pretty well ready to go now. Double check everything above, and then register or add your custom domain name.

▢ Set up custom email

Once your domain name is in place, set up a custom domain name email address. This adds a touch of professionalism (plus you can check it from your phone on the go).

▢ Optimize your website for SEO

Keywords, external links and schema…SEO is another long topic that may not be in the top of most musician’s minds. We’ve got a quick checklist for working though that, too - read it here: SEO Checklist.

And that’s it!

We hope that working through this list of items will help you tackle this website thing head on.  Break it down into manageable tasks, check each one off as you’re done, and you’ll have a beautiful music website to be proud of in no time.

If you’ve got all this down, check out our free guide How to make a website for your music - it goes into more depth about all of these things! We’ve also got a good number of sample band websites you could take a look at for more inspiration.

Melanie Kealey is the Communications Manager at music website platform Bandzoogle. She regularly writes blog posts with helpful website tips for musicians, as well as manages the company’s social media. Melanie is also an artist manager, managing the career of singer-songwriter (and husband) Tyler Kealey.  

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