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Monday
Aug162010

Why All Musicians Should Have A .com Website

I’m sure by now you know how useful having an online presence is. Having a website can mean fans have a place to listen to your music and interact with each other. It’ll also give potential fans to hear what you’ve got to offer and buy your music.

One thing that’s surprised me though, is the amount of musicians that don’t have their own .com website. By a .com website, I mean a website where people will type in www.YourMusicianName.com and come across your page. But why is it important to have your own website? What’s wrong with having a Facebook fan page or a Twitter account?

While nothings wrong with having social networking accounts (They can be very useful at obtaining new fans so are recommend) they shouldn’t be used alone. Instead they should be used as tools to drive back traffic to your main site, your .com website. At the end of the day, these websites are owned by other people. Because of this, they can shut down your account any time they feel you’re in violation of their terms of service, whether or not you are. We’ve all heard stories of people building 1000s of ‘friends’ or followers on Facebook / Twitter / Myspace before their account gets deleted, so relying on other people’s websites isn’t ideal. If you had your own website however, you could use other social sites such as Facebook to drive traffic back to your site and get them on your mailing list. Now what ever page gets deleted your fans still know where you are!

Another problem with relying strictly on social media sites is they come and go. Was you one of the people that used only a MySpace page and no .com website? How effective is MySpace at attracting new fans now? While it may have seemed worthwhile at the time, I bet all those hours of adding friends seems a huge waste now as those ‘friends’ are no where to be seen. While a site may seem like the biggest thing since sliced bread while it’s still around, no sites are guaranteed to last forever. As people’s wants and needs change, so will the websites that come and go. While this can also apply to your own website, at least with your website the people who like your music will keep visiting it. It also identifies your loyal fans, the people that regularly visit your website and interact.

There are many reasons why you should have your own website, but these are two of the main ones. If you want your own website and haven’t already got one, check the following guide on how to build your own website. This makes it quick and easy to build your own professional looking website without spending thousands of pounds on a web designer. To your success!

This is a post written by Shaun at Independent Music Advice

Reader Comments (7)

To me the biggest reason to have your own website is most social network sites don't support you doing commerce on them, in fact it's often in their terms. When MySpace made my Paypal buttons stop working, I was a little upset & definitely had a drop in sales.

Another thing about getting your own domain is you do need to watch out for certain things. I have friends that have gone the free host route & when an ad pops up every time I click a link, it doesn't take too long for me to shut the site down. Also some may give you bandwidth or webspace problems. I've had really good luck with Softcom/MyHosting who I've used for about 12 years now.

Agreed Brian, just the fact you can't sell on most social networking sites is a lost opportunity. You need to make it as easy for the customer as possible to purchase your music, if they have to click on to different sites and go through a long drawn out process you're decreasing your chances of a sale.

I also agree about not using free websites, the adds and lack of control (In a similar way to what I mentioned in this article, you don't really OWN the website) means it's not an ideal situation. I recommend JustHost for hosting as they're very cheap and allow you unlimited sites and storage space, but that's all mentioned in my mentioned article: how to build your own website.

August 17 | Registered CommenterShaun Letang

I have mine hosted with wordpress - costs about 10 bucks a year for the .com name. I'm not a huge fan of all their "upgrades", but so far they have a very hands off approach, as far as I'm concerned.

I plan on moving over to having it hosted elsewhere, but for a beginning musician, this is a great way to get started.

August 17 | Unregistered CommenterMark D

Wordpress.com or Wordpress.org Mark? While Wordpress.com is OK if you haven't got a budget, getting separate hosting and getting Wordpress.org has much more options and is safer to use (Don't have the worry of getting deleted if they feel you're in breach of their TOS / you can advertise and make money in any way [Legal] you want). Wordpress.org also allows you to add more features to your website with all their plugins. Check the article for how to set all that up in the linked article anyway, I show you how to get 2 years hosting for a one off fee of under £50 (Cheaper if you buy longer, so it's not that expensive).

But like I said, Wordpress.com is OK if you haven't got a budget.

August 21 | Registered CommenterShaun Letang

Agreed that Wordpress is certainly a great way to go - I think that if a musician is going to have their own website, it should be a blog site. I strongly believe that musicians need to have a home-base that does not rely on the flavor of the times. Meaning, Facebook is great right now, but given a few years, it may be something else. So throwing all of your eggs into the social networking basket could be disastrous down the line. Musicians MUST think long term about their career, their fans and their accessibility. If you create a HUGE following on FB but not elsewhere, you could find your self in serious trouble when the next big thing comes around... just some food for thought.

August 23 | Registered CommenterJonathan Ostrow

Too many good points Jonathan, what you said about putting all your eggs in one basket is exactly what happened to lots of people and MySpace. And as you said, many people found themselves in serious trouble...

August 25 | Registered CommenterShaun Letang

I was thinking this exact same thing a few months ago. All these social networks are great, and there is no doubt it is where 'all the fans are', but it is building a walled garden where everything is encouraged to stay within the social networks sphere of control. I think the future has to be external websites which tie into the major social networks but exist independently.

I have started developing a free website for musicians which attempts to bridge the gap between stand alone websites and the major social networks (SoundCloud, Facebook and Twitter), the idea being a band can use Facebook and Twitter to promote their external band profile page, yet the profile page has a live feed from these social networks embedded into it allowing fans to interact while they are listening to the bands music. It also allows 'Buy Now' links if the band has music for sale on iTunes or Amazon.

It's early days yet, still in development but feel free to check it out and post your comments.

moozi.cc

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