One question that pops up from time to time is, “Do you think artists should have their own website and domain name?” And every time I’m asked, I give the same answer: Hell yeah!
I think the benefits of owning your own band website are abundant, and I will go into some specific benefits in this blog post. But I’d to start off with what I consider the main reason why, as a musician, you should really have your own website.
It’s your home and it’ll stay that way
When you’re creating an online music marketing strategy it’s a really good idea to set an “online home,” or somewhere where you want all of your fans to end up. Maybe your online home is currently your MySpace profile, but I’m going to tell you why that might not be the best idea.
First of all, social networking and musician profile websites like Facebook, Myspace and Reverbnation go through phases of popularity and are not a reliable places to create a sustainable online home on, even Facebook will eventually be over taken by another superior social networking site which will peak and decline and the whole process will be repeated.
My advice is to utilize these websites to the max while they are popular, but don’t get too comfortable there, because chances are that another website will have taken its place in a few years time. Instead, send your fans and any music industry contacts to your own website, where you can own them and get them to do what you want them to do. That’s the future-proof solution.
One reason why a lot of musicians preferred MySpace as their online home is because it allowed anyone with near to no knowledge of coding to quickly set up a reasonably professional looking profile page that they could send their fans or industry prospects to. But that benefit has become increasingly obsolete now that WordPress,Tumblr, and other easy to use website building content management systems have become available.
From a search engine optimisation perspective, it’s a great idea to own your own website because when you build links to a website you are improving its credibility, which Google and other search engines use as a major part in their algorithm to calculate how popular a website is and where it should rank for certain relevant keywords. It is far more valuable to you as the musician to own a website that has a lot of this “link power” rather than giving it all away to MySpace and having to start again on Reverbnation when Myspace crashes – and so on.
Fans go to your website to hear more about you, not to stalk their friends
One problem I have with creating an online home on Facebook fan pages in particular is that your fans probably aren’t on Facebook to find out more about you. They’ve signed on to stalk their friends, and check out pictures of themselves getting wasted at last night’s party, so they’re naturally going to be less receptive to your marketing. Also, When a fan is browsing your fan page, Facebook is working against you by distracting the fan with “helpful suggestions,” links back to their profile, and the information overload that is the news feed.
There are a huge number of other reasons why it is valuable to own your own website, but I hope that the main points I have outlined will convince you to go ahead and set up a dot com for your band if you haven’t already.
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