I received an eloquent email from Tony Boyd a guitarist in The Primary - a folk rock band made up of a group of expats living in and around CheongJu, South Korea. My first cynical thought was, “Uhm.. expats ay, I wonder how long that band’s going to last?” In their email they list their initial goals, which are very typical of an emerging band: to maximise the number of fans downloading their EP. to increase gig attendance. to raise the profile of their band to a local audience. to improve their visability in the search engines.
I don’t want to be sardonic, I’m like that sometimes, or disbelieving of their commitment, instead I would like to show my support by offering up this blog post to them (hope it helps you Tony), but this post is not just for The Primary, anyone with a Website can make it famous in a weekend :)
O.K. let’s get started
Planning And Preperation You are going to need an incentive (a carrot, a hook) or basically something that will motivate your target audience into visiting your website - it needs brainstorming; it’s a good idea to brainstorm with a small group of colleagues (i.e. the band).
- Firstly and obviously, you need a website. The Primary do have a site, but if your band hasn’t already got one, get it sorted out tonight and over the week ahead and start making your new website famous next weekend! I recommend two website hosting providers:
iPower Hosting - “Pro Plan”: $3.95/pm (Sale Price @ time of writing). free domain name. unlimited webspace. unlimited bandwidth - I am an affiliate.
And Easyspace - “Starter Hosting”: £2.25/pm (@ time of writing). free domain name. 500MB webspace. unlimited bandwidth - I am an affiliate.
Both iPowerweb and Easyspace are continually running sales promotions and are very competitive with their pricing and services.
- If you can’t afford to pay and are looking for a free website I heartily recommend WordPress.com; then later if you want to upgrade it’s only $99.00/pa for free domain name or domain mapping. 10GB webspace. unlimited bandwidth. No Ads - of course! VideoPress plugin. Employing a freelancer to design a wordpress site for you is a good idea if you can afford the ’small’ investment. The band PRIMER use Wix.com which is free and typical of a free web hosing provider - easy to use! You can upgrade Wix to “Unlimited”: £7.76/pm (best value @ time of writing). free domain name. 2.5GB webspace. unlimited bandwidth. No Ads. $125 worth of vouchers. SEO pack. Bloody good value.
- Focus On Your Objective “To make your website famous in a weekend.” WTF does that mean - getting a whole load of visitors in one sudden rush then nothing but ignominy? Or maybe it’s not a short term quick fix surge of frenzied traffic, possibly it’s the start of something that’s going to take a lot longer than the weekend! Yeah, that’s it; realistic website promotion is always a multi-disciplined, long-term effort - actually there’s no magic bullet. You’ve still got to set your goal though - perhaps it’s “to get my name out there”? - that’s your name, not mine, haha :p
This Weekend We Are Going To Drive Traffic Your Website :) How’s that? O.K., no distractions then, it’s going to take all weekend.
- Create a plain text file on your computer to Keep Notes [important].
- You are going to need some Online Resouces, so, sign up to:
- MailChimp - a free email marketing and email list manager that allows you to design, send and track HTML email campaigns - Also think about Constant Contact, they’ve a 60-Day free trial offer - brilliant for email marketing.
- Google Alerts - emails sent to you when Google finds new results (i.e. on websites, blogs etc.) that match your search term (i.e. your band’s name, album title and your genre e.g. indie folk rock); so you can monitor the Web and find out what is being said about your band.
- Google Analytics - so you can evaluate your progress. Keep track of your website’s statistics and social analytics.
- Google Adsense - so you can evaluate your progress finacially.
- Google FeedBurner - for spreading the word!
- SiteTrail - find sites you find interesting and compatible with yours and “trail” them. Then see an aggregated news stream of all the sites you’re trailing - interesting and helpful!
- WordPress.com - get a free blog (even if you can host one yourself on your own website).
- If you’re not, you should be on, so sign up to (before you sign up you should visit namecheckr the social username availability checker):
- Read: The Most Frequently Found Website Promotion Mistakes
- BTW, keep up-to-date with the latest Band Promotion Ideas Subscribe to the Band Promotion Blog
Bon nuit mon ami
Morning :) Today is all about getting ready for the big push on Sunday.
Just to get it out of the way and because I know your thinking it, the fastest way to make your website famous is to generate lots of incoming links from important and busy websites that are related to your website’s subject matter, i.e. the indie folk rock scene.
However, we’re not going to spend all weekend building links. We are going to: create the right environment that will satisfy your target audience. then point your potential fan towards your website. Your visitors will keep returning and become fans if they are continually entertained (so it’s an ongoing thing). Your hit count will improve with the quality and quantity of Content, in combination with the quality and quantity of Incoming Links, and Time - it’s not all going to happen overnight!
Mornin’. No chatter. Let’s get goin’.
- Write a 500 words article about the style of your music to put on to your website’s blog (if you’ve only got a wordpress.com one, post it there). Blogging regularly will really get you thinking about your subject and enable you to talk extensively about your music - share generally.
- Write a 300 words blog post (for wordpress.com) showcasing the brilliance of your fans, include photographs. A great way to get fans involved with your band and get them talking - share on FaceBook.
- Ping when you post - WordPress supports automatic pingbacks (a type of linkback method) where all links in a published article are pinged when the article is published. It’s an easy way to reach out to other blogs when you post.
- Add your band’s blog to local search – for more inf. see: Google+ Local Help - if you really want to target local traffic.
- Find a band’s blog that is enthusiastic and compatible with your band’s lifestyle and genre. Join in, support their community and share generally. Don’t spam them, it’s all about the community, not you. I would say this is the most time consuming task this weekend.
- Using Twitter Search, search for genre related bands. Follow and or engage in conversation. Make a note of their ID: @BandPromotion. You can search Twitter by using Google (folk rock band Twitter via Google) for some interesting results.
- Follow other bands followers (that’s why you made a note of their ID, so you can come back to this one) - I think that it’s important to only follow people who have the same high Twitter standards and code of behavior that you do. Firstly that means, a full and expressive profile, for instance: no lazy egg head twitter avatars, a real avatar is a must. a username that’s identifiable. they ’should’ (but it’s definitely not essential) live in or around the same location as you, don’t forget, only local people will come to your gigs. a bio (and tweeting record) that gives an indication of their approval for your genre. a link to a real website or better still a blog (local music bloggers are a prize catch). Don’t be tempted to go down the, ‘Follow.Unfollow.Repeat’ road.
- Tweet ONE link to your “new” website, announcing your changes. Then get back into conversation with people asking them about their interests.
- I assume each member of the band has a Twitter account? Well plus one for the band, in The Primary’s case, that’s 6 Twitter accounts! Using the pre-prepared tweets, interact with each other and get into conversation, drawing in other bands use #hashtags. Do this activity throughout the day.
- DON’T SEND UNSOLICITED EMAILS - NEVER SPAM
- Create a short 4 line signature for the bottom of each email you send - include: Your name. band’s name. phone number. URL. email address. a 40 character strapline. Add it to your email client or by using your email list and marketing manager dashboard. Make it look attractive
- Email your superfans, friends and family (on your mailing list) to join you on all your main social networking platforms, and ask them to evangelise via: Email, FB Likes, Retweets, Tagging, Commenting and Sharing. Provide them with interesting material so they can talk about your band, lifestyle and genre.
- Email 20 ‘local’ websites that fit-in with your genre and lifestyle; ask to swap links - they could be local charities, record shops, cafes, pubs, clubs, venues…
- Create a simple plain text (or nearly plain) newsletter using MailChimp (or the like). Announce your updated website and talk about your blog posts. Tell them about your incentive (that hook you brainstormed).
- Got a newsworthy event for Press Release worth publishing? It will boost your popularity and web traffic for a limited time only, but it could be very well worth it! I recommend (UK) PRWeb’s Basic Press Release Package at about £40. They say, “The basic package allows you to attach your website, provide contact information so those interested can find out more about your business, and chose two regional targets so you can focus in on your market.”
- Referencing the link directory you made yesterday, contact and link. For linking also think networking and for networking think conversations. So that’s, get into deep and meaningful conversation with all those new people - and don’t forget to hook up with them on their favourite social media network.
That’s it - Good Night. If you’ve got any specific questions, please feel free to ask and I’ll do my best for you. GOOD LUCK Tony :)
Written by Ian Robson
Unsigned Band Promotion help musicians and artists to get their websites noticed by fans, search engines and the music industry in half the time they could do it on their own. Find UBP on Google+ and Twitter. Ian has been working on website promotion techniques since 1994.