Why do I need a website (as a D.I.Y. Rock Star) ?
This post loosely accompanies Gab & Jam, episode 252. Why do I need a website (as a D.I.Y. Rock Star)
Not only is this a follow up to EPK Basics episode, (https://bit.ly/251epkbasicsvid ), but it is a very current topic on the mind of not only up and coming, but veteran D.I.Y. Rock Stars, as well. We will answer the 3 most common questions we hear about websites.
1. Why would I want a website?
Though it sounds like a lot of work, having a home base that showcases your music is foundational to introducing people to you offer. You can brand your pages, so that your artistic voice is evident as soon as a visitor lands there. You can highlight what you want your visitors to see first. You can even have your song playing automatically the moment the page loads, etc. None of this is possible with social media platforms, where you must use the page layout that comes automatically and that only has a few tweaks that you can make. A website brings people into your world AND showcases how awesome your music is in a way that no other place can.
2. Why NOT use Instagram, Facebook, or insert your favorite social media platform?
One of our D.I.Y. Rock Star peers says that she never updates her website, because she uses Instagram to share all that she does. She recently had an issue, where one of her posts was taken down and she was lamenting NOT being able to share a song she was working on. While it’s great that she can reach her 1k followers on Instagram, we suggested that she change her method and begin sharing the MOST important posts on BOTH. Here are some of the MANY reasons why you want to prioritize building out your band’s website OVER what you decide to share on your favorite social media platform:
1. Not yours, can disappear.
Even if you have put up your own original songs and photos, once it is uploaded to their platform, social media companies can take it down, as they see fit. (Check your terms of service, if you don’t believe us. YOU have given the social media company the okay to control what you have uploaded or what you choose to share on their site.)
We don’t begrudge them these rights, but, as artists, we want to be free to share our work as we see fit, so by uploading to our own website, we have much more latitude as to what is allowed. That’s just ONE reason that it’s worth it to have your own website be the preferred destination to send folks who want to know more about you.
Also, there are other social media peers who sometimes become the “content police” and can report your post(s) to the social media company, and not only can your content be taken down, but you can be restricted from posting and from interacting with others, and in the extreme case, you may be booted off the platform altogether! Yikes! You will have MUCH more freedom on your own website, which is why we suggest adding much more of your material—your music, your photos, your rants—on there OVER putting them on social media.
2. MIGHT not approve of your content
These social media companies do not condone of any material that does not “meet community standards,” but what if the primary topics of your band’s music is something, like anxiety or cutting, those types of topics would be stricken off of the platform, so as to not trigger people. However, your intent for talking about it may be to convince listeners that it is NOT a good thing, it will get a flag either way, which COULD result in your band’s page being shut down altogether. If you have a website, you would be able to share more of who you are and what you mean, so that your listeners get the benefit of your message. That’s QUITE a compelling reason to have your own website, where you include all manner of content.
3. Info that you want to showcase gets lost in the sauce
Social media pages—and feeds—as meant to show your latest post FIRST, even if it is NOT the most important item you want visitors to see first. By having a website, where you choose the format and importance of what you want to share first, you can rest assured that if you need folks to see the announcement that you are playing someplace, they will see that BEFORE what you ate for breakfast, for instance. What’s more is that you can change this cover page as often as you would like, so that the needs of your band can be adjusted to meet current priorities.
4. Formatting can bring people into your world with an infinite number of options
This piggybacks off point 3, but by having options about what information to put front and center, when folks arrive on your page, you can offer a customer experience that showcases your band’s most important info (as you see it at the moment), but also that gives visitors a “feel” for your music—and further, that MIGHT even have your music playing as the page loads.
5. Your followers may not see your post
We all know that only a very small percentage of your followers will see your post. In a recent post, Facebook Reach In 2022: How Many People See Your Posts?, here is the estimate on how many folks will actually see your post: “It is said that most pages reach around 6% of their total fans (even less on some occasions).” That means that for our nearly 4k followers on Facebook, only about 216 will see our posts. However, that number goes down, if after a few minutes, no one interacts with the post, then it shares it even less. That’s why being able to get folks to your website—and, hopefully, to get them to sign up for your email list—you’ll be able to communicate with them directly.
–According to Mailchimp marketing statistics, musicians receive an average 21% open rate, which is MUCH better than 6% or less. (And we can attest that this rate has been pretty accurate for us over the course of our email communications.)
The bottom line is that social media posts are just more of a gamble and have a lot less chance of delivering your content. Whereas, getting someone to your website via an email simply yields better results. Period.
6. You can have a solid internet presence
God forbid that your favorite social media gets dissolved—ala, MySpace, Mp3.com, Vines—or changes how it operates—like Facebook, Twitter, etc.—OR is down for however long—like Instagram was that one day—you can be sure that, if folks are interested in your music, they can get to it through your own website. They can still search Google, find you, and walk through your website’s virtual doors for however long you maintain it. That can be like gold when folks are doling out opportunities. Being findable and offering key information about your music can make the difference between being contacted to play the show or be on the playlist and not. So, having a website that you build up and control is critical.
7. You can add and change information as things change
Use the fact that you can change the information as it suits your band’s needs as an opportunity to add tour dates, album releases, press clips, new photos, etc. –Again, highlight WHATEVER info you think benefits you MOST at whatever season you’re in as the cover page for your website.
3. How do I make one? Websites just for musicians, others
We are not sponsored by anyone, so we are hesitant to recommend anyone. If you do a Google search you can easily find companies that make websites that they say are designed to be musician-friendly (like Bandzoogle). However, we use Wix, simply because when we were looking around in 2017/2016, they seemed the easiest to use. You want be able to sell music downloads, insert video links, insert social media links, sell basic merch and concert tickets, house live performance calendar, gather email addresses, allows branded domain.
4. Should I use a free or a paid one?
We suggest that you choose a paid option, so that you can attach your own branded domain (like, www.BloomingPrejippie.com )—but THAT’S another topic for yet another episode.
We suggest that you use social media and your website in tandem; every time you put up an important post on social media, be sure to also add it to your band’s website. This way, you get the benefit of the best of BOTH worlds. You can nurture the people who actually see your posts on social media, but if they want to take the deep dive, you can also pin a post that directs them to your own website. With this method, you don’t have to choose; you just need to update both!
Did you know that along with putting together our next album, we are working on our first book? Here’s the link, if you want to pre-order: https://bit.ly/prejippiebklanding
Check out the episode to hear the full discussion at
Gab & Jam, episode 252. Why do I need a website (as a D.I.Y. Rock Star)
What do YOU think? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic! Talk to us in the comments below.
Here’s what we’re into now:
· Tom Ray’s Art Podcast: https://bit.ly/tomrayspodcast2june2022
· “Sugar Fit” on Darkest Corners of the World Podcast S2 E3 http://bit.ly/sugarfitdarkestpod
· “Flying High” (from “Sugar Fit” album) on Toes in the Sand Playlist http://bit.ly/toesplaylist
· “Sugar Fit” on his Spotify “Indie: Undiscovered But Brilliant: Vol. 3” http://bit.ly/SugarFitonPlaylist2