We’re living in a digital age. Musicians for many years have been utilizing services such as MySpace and Facebook to promote their music to potential fans from all across the world. Some have been doing this successfully, others not so much. And while Facebook and a few other sites have continued to be effective at promoting yourself if used correctly, other sites such has MySpace have lost their ability to be influential and gain many real fans. And who’s to say which big website will “die” next?
The thing with many websites is they come and go. They can be the biggest thing in the world one minuet (Myspace, Hi5, Face-Pic anyone?) then be practically non existent the next. This leaves people regularly creating new profiles on new sites, and largely starting again from scratch.
How A .com Website Will Benefit You
Let me make this clear from the start; When I say a .com website, I mean a website that isn’t just another page on a social networking site. It doesn’t have to be a .com domain name per say, you may prefer a .net name, or a country specific domain like .co.uk. It’s doesn’t matter too much either way, but as .com’s are widely recognised worldwide, I suggest you go with one of those.
Creating your own website free from any external ‘social networking’ sites is probably the best things a musician could do for their online career. Having your own website (E.g. www.YourName.com) would mean that no matter what other websites come and go, your website will be there the whole time. It’ll always be a place where your fans can connect with you, and if there’s a change to any of your other sites, they can find out at your ‘base’.
Here are some of the benefits:
- Easy To Sell From.While some social networking websites don’t allow you to sell directly from their pages, you’ll have no such problem with your own website. There is software and services that allow you to easily automate the process of selling digital downloads from your site (We’ll be showing you how to do this in our next post, so sign up to our updates to know when this is). The good thing about this is you get to keep 100% of the profit. To sell on other websites (E.G iTunes etc) you need to give up a percentage of your sales. If you make a lot of sales, this can mean you lose out on a significant chunk of money.
- Highly Customisable.With websites such as Facebook and Twitter, there’s only so much you can customise them. This means they won’t always end up looking how you want, or doing what you want. This can be frustrating. With your own .com website however, you can customise as much as you like! Even if you’re not a wizz at web design, there are programs and designs out there to make everything extremely. Nice.
- It’ll Always Be There.No matter what other websites come and go, your site will always be there. A popular website starts to lose it’s ‘cool’ or shuts down? No problem, your fans still know to go to your website for all the latest news. Which leads to the next point:
Good Fan Retention.
Imagine you use a social networking site and all your contacts are on there. If this site was to suddenly shut down for whatever reason (It does happen) or people were to stop checking that site, you haven’t really got any way of contacting your fans any more. And with less fans comes less sales. If your .com website was up and running, it wouldn’t be as much of an issue as you’re still connected to the fans via your main site.
- Differentiation.While websites such as Facebook are still effective, they’re no longer unique. Everyone’s got one, so it’s quite hard to stand out from the crowd (Which is exactly the same thing that happened in Myspace). As not so many musicians have .com websites, you having one full of good content will help you stand out from the crowd.
- Professionalism.As not many musicians have .com websites, you having one will promote a professional image. This’ll make people give you that extra bit of respect, at least initially. You will of course have to keep their interest with good content and audio, otherwise your website’s gone to waste.
So That’s It For Social Networking Sites?
No, not at all! I’m not saying you should ditch all other additional sites and focus strictly on your main site, in fact I’m suggesting quite the opposite. Social networking sites will always be good simply for the fact they can help your material go viral. Having links to your other websites from your main website will allow people to connect and keep in contact with you via their chosen method. The more people connect with you, the more people you can keep updated about what you’re doing. And the more people that know about what you’re doing, the more fans you’ll gain and sales you’ll make.
Having a main .com website is essential for the modern day musician. As digital sales and online promotion become increasingly important to a successful music career, if you don’t have a place to carry out these tasks effectively you’re going to get left behind.
Ready To Build Your Own Music Website?
Update: Want your on music website? Well you can now follow this guide and build your own one! It’s easy to follow and step by step, so give it a try. You will have your own professional looking music website up and running within the hour.
The next post we put up in the Independent Music Advice blog will be a guide showing you how to set up your own website and sell your own digital downloads from it. Keep checking back or subscribe to this site via RSS feed below to check that out.