If you’re an independent artist out there, that means you’re a doer. You’re a go-getter with an appetite for success. Indie artists are some of the most hard-working people I’ve ever met. But no matter how talented or fierce they are, most of their websites are pretty…um…sad looking.
It takes a TON of time to create a stunning, professional webpage, and most musicians don’t have the money to hire a professional developer to do it for them. Luckily, there are many services out there that give you the power to build it yourself! I built my own blog using WordPress, and I host it through Bluehost.
But how can you get your website to stand out from the rest? Look no further, I got you covered! These are 18 tips for an effective website:
1. Use high quality visuals
People can always tell a crappy picture from a good one. So
make sure you have high resolution photos on your site. Get
someone with a good camera, and have yourself a photo shoot.
You can always surf Pixabay for free high quality photos.
2. Make it mobile responsive
Nothing is more frustrating than a website that doesn’t work
on a phone. Graphics are screwed up, buttons don’t work.
Always make sure to test your site on your phone and ensure
everything works properly!
3. Use attractive fonts
I mean, I’m still not the best at this one yet, but it is very important.
Just like having crappy visuals, people also get turned off then
a stupid font is used. You all know what I mean (yes, I mean you
Sans Seriff). An excellent graphic design tool I use is Canva, where
you can create attractive visuals with great fonts.
4. Incorporate a blog
Alright fine, I might be a little bias, but every good marketer out
there will tell you that having a blog to promote a product (or
music in your case) is a fantastic idea. Local Portland artist Anna
Gilbert does a great job updating her fans via her blog.
5. Be consistent with posting
Lets face it, people get bored easily. There’s so much content out
in the world, people get lost in it, and zone it out. Our mission as
DIY musicians and content creators, is to cut through the noise
and be regular with posting. Give your fans something to look
forward to weekly, whether that be a live video, or a blog post, or
a weekly update from your pet hedgehog!
6. Direct fans to social media
It’s important to always plug your social media profiles as the
first place to find out updates and new information. Try to give
fans a reason to like your Facebook page. Maybe you only do
specific giveaways to your Facebook page, or maybe you have
an exclusive offer to your Twitter followers. Get creative!
7. Shake up the types of content
Lets face it, text can get really boring. (except on my blog posts,
obviously), so you need to make sure you are keeping it fresh, and
posting different types of media. But above all, make sure your
content is engaging and interactive. The post above is from my
Instagram page, which links to one of my previous posts. My readers
engage with the post by clicking on the link!
8. Grow your email list
Lots and lots of indie musicians either don’t have an email list, or
rarely ever utilize it. This is a grave mistake. You can’t just rely on
social media to get all your messages out there. You need to be able
to reach all your dedicated fans simultaneously in a personal
manner, and emails are the way to do that. I personally use Aweber
for my emails, and I love it.
9. Don’t forget SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the way Google ranks pages
in internet searches. The better your SEO, the higher your ranking,
making it easier for your page to be clicked on. Tunecore has a
great article on SEO tips for musicians.
10. Send out a newsletter
Part of growing your email list is sending out a regular newsletter,
whether it be weekly, monthly, it’s up to you. Updating your fans
on your projects and giving them sneak peeks at future perks is
a very valuable thing. This can be a great strategy for helping
turn fans into influencers.
11. Be consistent with branding
I always include my company logo (above) to the end of every
blog post, because I want you to get to know my brand, and
associate it with great content. The same goes for musicians,
you want your fans to recognize your music through a visual
platform. It doesn’t have to be a logo, but maybe it’s the way
you write your band/artist name? The options are endless.
12. Update old content
How would you feel if the last time I updated this post was
1999? You probably wouldn’t trust the information. Neither
would I! It’s important that you are updating things on your
website constantly. If you get new photos, swap out the old
ones. Your fans will get tired of the same old really fast.
13. Put press kit in BOLD
Having a press kit is absolutely mandatory as an indie musician,
and you must display it prominently on your website. When
talent buyers and press reps want to promote you, the first
thing they’ll ask for is your press kit. Make sure it’s accessible
and easy to find on your site!
14. No dead links
“I’m sorry, the page you requested doesn’t exist”. This is
a big problem with lots of web pages, and it can’t be a
problem for you! Make sure when you’re building your
site, that you test every single link and button, making
sure you get to the correct outbound link.
15. Incorporate your Fan Magnet
Your fan magnet is the niche of your personal brand that
attracts fans to you. Find your fan magnet, then use it
to your advantage through your content. Do you have a
knack for great lyrics? Write some for your fans!
16. Feature your merchandise
T-shirts, hats, stickers, pillowcases, whatever it may be,
you should create a merchandise page where fans can
browse your products. Don’t forget to offer CD’s as well!
If you’re looking for physical distribution (CD’s, vinyls,
etc.) CD baby has you covered.
17. Create a contact page
This can be as simple as an email address that fans can
send comments and questions to. Communication is high
priority with fans, so always make sure to return emails
as well as tweets and Facebook messages.
18. Develop traffic funnels
You should always be driving traffic to your page whenever
possible. Link to your site on all of your social media
profiles, and offer an incentive for fans to go on your site
and subscribe to your emails. Always be adding value to
each of your offers.
I know that was a lengthy list, but it’s super important to have a sleek, easy to navigate web page. It could mean the difference between a fan signing up for your email list, or a fan being frustrated at the quality of your site.
I would love to hear some other web page tips for musicians. Post them in the comments for us all to see! Also become a groupie by joining my private Facebook Group, and join a community of indie musicians where we help each other out! Subscribe to my emails and receive your free PDF copy of 5 Ways to Generate More Fans on Social Media!