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July 23, 2013

Championing Unsigned Bands - Get Your Music Reviewed

Filed under: LibreRock Records, Band Promotion — ian @ 6:51 pm

Reviews | LibreRock Records | BETA Version
Reviews on LibreRock Records - BETA Version

Well that says it all really! If you want a track reviewed, sign up to LibreRock Records, upload your tracks, and your music will instantly start getting reviews. Obviously it’s a BETA version, so stay tuned for more information!

July 6, 2013

Championing Unsigned Bands - Releasing It Yourself

Filed under: LibreRock Records, Music Marketing, Band Promotion — ian @ 7:35 pm

Championing Unsigned Bands | Releasing It Yourself

Andrew @dubber, founder of New Music Strategies, academic, author, public speaker, blogger, music reviewer and all round music industry guru, has set up Any And All Records; their mission is to sign up our planet’s entire list of unsigned artists, and beat the word Unsigned to ignominy and extinction! You might think that I’d be affronted as I use the name Unsigned Band Promotion (God knows what Unsigned.com think?), but no, I’m not upset, I’m pleased; many unsigned artists, or maybe I should now say independent artists, Do beleive that being signed to a record label is the panacea to all their problems, and it’s often their only goal.

Of course it’s all about the money. Money. Money. Money - the three reasons bands are so desperate to get signed to a record label. It’s the deal and how much is in the advance that attracts so much attention, it’s a lot like the deluded expectation of making a music video go viral, they’re nothing but pipe dreams for most independent bands.

That clinking, clanking, clunking sound. Is all that makes the world go round. It makes the world go round!

The benefits of getting signed to a major record label are pretty obvious; they mainly revolve around huge investment and music industry expertise, power and influence, especially within the marketing sector, which could easily account for thirty percent of the overall investment. This article Investing in music [ifpi edited link since publication] is well worth a gander. So, giving it a shot is very understandable!

Okay, well, this blog post is meant to be about championing unsigned bands! I’ve been standing up for them and supporting them fervently since 2004; I’m no guru, I’m a website promotion geek and that’s something I’ve been doing since ‘94.

And now for something completely different: Releasing It Yourself…

My mate Matt Early and I have set up LibreRock Records, an open source record label that empowers indie bands to be truly independent and liberated. We’re not about the semantics of Unsigned, we’re about freedom. We will help and support you to release your music yourself, under our name. (I’ve left LibreRock Records)

Here is a list of resources for all of you unsigned bands who want to release your music yourselves and are proud of the title Unsigned (Independent)

  1. Bandcamp - A publishing platform for publishing your music on/ through!
  2. Band Name - World-wide band names registry. Register your band’s name to help protect it.
  3. CDbaby - is one of the most popular websites for selling music.
  4. Couchsurfing - “You have friends all over the world, you just haven’t met them yet.” Handy site for giging bands, discover new friends around the world, rediscover your city and host new friends. It’s a travel community.
  5. CreativeCommons - Copyright Information, make a copyright license. We like: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0
  6. CreateSpace - Self publishing and free distribution for books, CD, DVD. A little like Lulu and Amazon!
  7. Crowdfunder - UK fundraising platform for social and creative projects. “Crowdfunder is a great way to gain a massive fan base and test your idea out on the crowd, thus validating your idea. A fun, easy and fast way of raising money without borrowing from the banks.”
  8. dmoz Open Directory Project - A great place to get a linkback to your website.
  9. feiyr.com - German, European website, sell your music on all download stores worldwide, inc. iTunes. One-time account activation payment due before publishing: 9.90 €, they also take 20% (at time of writing)! So why am I recommending them?
  10. Gig Guide Ltd UK - Gigs, band listings and music information… it’s got the lot!
  11. Gracenote - “Has the largest database of music and video meta-data, powering the world’s hottest entertainment products, apps and services. The numbers say it all. Gracenote is the standard for music and video meta-data, featured in more than a billion devices and entertainment platforms.” That’s what They say folks! You’d better have a gander at: FAQ - Artists, Labels & Publishers!
  12. GS1 UK - “GS1 UK are an independent, not-for-profit organisation working to make UK organisations more efficient by getting everybody speaking the same language when it comes to locating, transporting and trading goods.” Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) we’re talking bar codes for your physicals! See: GS1 UK - music
  13. LondonGigs - Gig Promotion London! I love websites like these, they need supporting, they’re great resources for independent artists, musicians and bands.
  14. LibreRock Records - Open Source Record Label - They (we) strive to empower indie Artists, Musicians, Bands and Songwriters to be truly independent by taking an open source approach. “We assist and support artists who release their music under our name. We share the know-how and the artists get all the Kudos and Revenue.”
  15. lulu.com - Are very good for self publishing resources? Lulu.com lets you publish and sell and print on demand books, eBooks, online music, images, custom calendars and books. Did I mention books?
  16. Music Law Advice - The first ever Independent Music Law site for musicians in the U.K.
  17. musicmoz The Open Music Project - A comprehensive directory of all things music, edited by volunteers, listing music-related reviews, articles, factual information, biographies and websites.
  18. BBC Introducing - Bringing together all of the BBC’s supporters of unsigned music. Upload your music here. All you need to make it! [worth a gander anyway!]
  19. PayPal - Allows you to accept credit cards and handle customer contact like invoices, receipts and returns. They do take a small percentage from each transaction, on the sale of a CD it should be less than £0.50, but there is no minimum or monthly charge. The PayPal shopping cart is very easy to set up and integrate with your website. Sign up now and start accepting credit card payments instantly.
  20. PledgeMusic - “A direct-to-fan platform that provides artists and labels with the tools needed to get fans to engage early. The PledgeMusic direct-to-fan campaign allows fans to pledge without any transfer of money until a specific fund-raising goal is met.” PledgeMusic take 15% (at time of writing).
  21. Pressbox - Free press release distribution service, they also provide a professional copywriting services to targeted audiences globally.
  22. PPL - A performance rights organization. Licenses recorded music played in public and distributes the fees as royalties to its members. Free to join! What’s the difference between PPL and PRS? PPL collects and distributes money on behalf of record companies and performers. PRS for Music collects and distributes money on behalf of songwriters, composers and publishers.
  23. PRS for Music - Three companies exist under the PRS for Music umbrella: Performing Right Society Limited (PRS), Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society Limited (MCPS) and The MCPS-PRS Alliance Limited (the Alliance)! Songwriters, composers and music publishers become members of PRS in order to get paid for the use of their music.
  24. PRWeb - Press release distribution for small businesses (that’s you if you’re in a band). (PRweb charge).
  25. Radar Music Videos - An online network enabling record labels and independent artists to connect with professional, affordable music video directors worldwide. “New music video directors worldwide. Affordable music videos.” Want to make a video, need a director and crew, start here!
  26. Songkick - Allows you to organize and track your favourite bands and track concerts and dates. Get instant tour dates from your music library. Songkick Tourbox allows artists to add their tour dates to a number of websites.
  27. Soundcloud - An almost essential site for indie bands who want to give out and promote their digital music.
  28. Tourdates - A gig listing website for both signed and unsigned bands, side by side, in one place. Tour Support - is a site offering tour support, however, it may be a little juicy for most indie bands!
  29. TuneCore - “Sell your music, not your soul” (good strap line)! Get your music into all the leading digital stores: iTunes, Spotify, eMusic, AmazonMP3, Google Play… fast and easy, and keep all your rights.
  30. Villa Music Rights - A Dutch company that makes it possible for artists, who write their own songs, to make their music available online. Free for home users. Business users, like shops and restaurants, pay a fee, on the basis of licenses in which the composers themselves determine the price and the duration of the license.
  31. Web Presence - Facebook and Twitter - for social networking!
    Tumblr or WordPress - for free a blog that would happily double up as a website. If you’ve got the energy, create several websites, tailored to attract different groups of fans!
    YouTube or Vimeo - for video networking!
  32. Word of Mouth Marketing Association - The official non-profit trade association dedicated to the word of mouth and social media marketing industry. Through best practices, industry education and member value, WOMMA advocates word of mouth as a solution to business challenges and a key component in the creation of Talkable Brands.

Written by Ian Robson
IanUnsigned 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 and Twitter. Ian has been working on website promotion techniques since 1994.

Creative Commons Licence
Championing Unsigned Bands by Unsigned Band Promotion is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

May 27, 2013

10 Super Quick Ways to Get More Website Traffic

Filed under: website promotion, Band Promotion — ian @ 6:32 pm

It seems like ages and is ages since I last wrote about promoting your website, so here are ten super quick ways to get more traffic to your band’s website:

  1. Make sure your site is worth visiting by including some quality content, and if it’s not easy to find, check that your title tag and the description meta tag (both in head) include your most important keywords (the words you want to be found for in the search engines).
  2. Create a basic promotional plan. Simply ask yourself: Who is my target audience? Who can help me spread the word? Where is the best place to go (e.g. social media) to connect with my target audience?
  3. Devise some sort of game, contest or an exciting free gift as a hook to entice your website’s visitors to send you their email address. The hook means more traffic; the email address means more business success - because emailing is a brilliant and trusted way to connect with people and sell your products.
  4. Put your URL on everything - even on your dick if you’ve got one!
  5. Send out a press release of your latest video - just make sure it’s newsworthy or you’ll get slated instead of praised! There’s no such thing as bad publicity - if they don’t include a link to your website, that’s bad publicity!
  6. Give your local newspaper a telephone call and tell them the news that a number of your dearest fans are dying. Dying to get their hands on your new album! No! Only joking! Local newspapers and websites with newsletters are always looking for interesting material.
  7. Get involved with a local charity event, you’ll be surprised how they will bust a gut to promote you too.
  8. One cracking image of a fan could easily attract ten extra visitors from that fan’s recommendation; include images of fans!
  9. Details delight. By including the complete details about your music, gigs, etc., you will attract many repeat visits from an interested audience looking for more information - for instance, details about parking may not be very rock and roll, but are very useful.
  10. Link to your website at every sensible opportunity - be reasoned, don’t overdo it. Obviously, linking to your website from your social media is a must, but also think about contributing to prominent blogs that talk about your genre / subject matter.

Have fun, and BTW, sorry it’s been so long - talk soon.

Written by Ian Robson
IanUnsigned 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 and Twitter. Ian has been working on website promotion techniques since 1994.

December 5, 2012

The Top 10 Ways To Get Your Website Noticed By The Music Industry

Filed under: Music Industry, Band Promotion — ian @ 3:26 pm

Vivendi own Universal Music Group (UMG) the world's leading music company

In What’s Going Wrong With Your Music Career - imperceptible bollocks logic I said, and I still say, If you are having trouble getting your music noticed, revisit Your Three Core Essentials: Music and Performance, your Business Plan and how you connect with people, Connectivity. You’ll find that one core essential follows on from another.

It’s exactly the same with your Website, but this time it’s Content and Connectivity!

  1. Give your website its yearly SEO check-up, see: Band Promotion Using Search Engine Optimization - while you’re at it, make sure you have included your full contact details, everywhere.
  2. A well managed website is indicative of a well managed band; record labels are looking for signs of responsibility and professionalism.
  3. Be where the music industry hangs out; register your band’s name on the major social networking channels.
  4. Content and Connectivity :: Produce and Share Content via your Website and social media - unique, little and often.
  5. Focus on branding your band across your web presence - BTW don’t get known as the brand that spams!
  6. Link to your website! Your band’s website is at the centre of your Internet - traffic flows towards your website.
  7. Use a well made music video as part of your marketing effort.
  8. Blog About Your Genre. Invite/ ask music industry bloggers to contribute. And for God’s sake, be engaging.
  9. Select images of your band AND of your fans as a promotional tool that will spark conversations. Use a professional photographer.
  10. Gig. Performing gigs will increase the numbers of visitors to your website, partly because of the spin-off effect from promoting the gig.

Written by Ian Robson

IanUnsigned 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 and Twitter. Ian has been working on website promotion techniques since 1994.

October 17, 2012

Build Yourself A Microsite

Filed under: website promotion, Band Promotion — ian @ 11:32 am

The Malloys

Very partly inspired by @molovo - molovo - who make hand-made awesome-filled websites - I created a new example microsite: The Malloys; as I’m in the slow process of updating/ rewriting UnsignedBandPromotion, I’ve updated How To Build A Microsite and I have deleted fifteen old microsites.

September 28, 2012

Punkalicious Records #RecordLabel #BandPromotion

Filed under: Record Label, Band Promotion — ian @ 8:31 pm

Punkalicious Records - New opportunity for new and unsigned acts to get their music heard

Punkalicious Records @PunkaliciousRec are helping young, unsigned and independent punk/ rock/ metal bands to get their music heard by collaborating with them to produce a number of compilation albums.

There is a small, nominal fee of £5, which will be put towards production and marketing costs, but the profits will be shared out (evenly I hope).

If that sounds good? Then get in touch :) Facebook & Twitter

September 18, 2012

Backlink Builder

Filed under: website promotion, Band Promotion — ian @ 6:58 pm

Here is a great little F’ree Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tool by webconfs.com. Backlink Builder helps you to discover new places that might give you a backlink - one of the most important factors in SEO. Type in your genre ie., Rock Music; it’ll search for websites of the theme/genre you specify, and contain key-phrases like: add link, add site, add url, add url, submit url, add article etc., potentially awesome, very handy :)

Backlink Builder
Enter Keyword (Theme/Genre)

BTW, there is a CAPTCHA thingy that you’ve got to enter to continue!

September 15, 2012

Website Checklist For Artists, Musicians and Bands

Filed under: website promotion, Band Promotion — ian @ 9:30 am

Website Checklist For Artists, Musicians and Bands | Check your website yourself - C.I.Y [check-it-yourself]

August 19, 2012

Major Artists Make A Big Splash With A Webpage

Filed under: SEO, website promotion, Band Promotion — ian @ 10:27 am

Diroski - Building Success In The Music Industry by Connecting, Building Relationships, Reaching Out To The Media & Not Relying On Facebook or Myspace

The Website DIROSKI seems to be down - So Link Removed

Gemma Diroski Lou left a comment on my blog post Facebook Versus Your Website #BandPromotion and of course, as per usual, I visited her website. What caught my eye and got me thinking, was the advertisment and title of Gemma’s first music industry report, “Aren’t Splash Pages Just Stupid Barriers To Real Content?” With a subtitle of, “So why do major artists make you and their fans go through them?” Yeah, I’m looking forward to reading that (due out 30th August ‘12 [it’s running late]) because it’s been one of my pet subjects since 2004.

And I thought, “what’s needed here is an off-the-cuff preemptive blog post” - a sort of pre-post, as opposed to a follow up post. I’m Not trying to be confrontational. Anyway, I often have a go at newbie bands who’ve got a new website and their opening page is a splash page, so I thought I’d better state my case - BTW, splash pages aren’t as fashionable as they used to be, thank God.

A Splash Page is nothing more than an introductory opening page that precedes the website’s main home page, a little like a magazine cover. They usually contain Very Little Content, just a massive attention grabbing image of the band or Flash thingamabob that acts as a link to the band’s home page ‘CLICK HERE TO ENTER SITE’; or worse, the link points to one of the band’s social media profiles like SoundCloud or Facebook …turns out the band hasn’t got a website, just a bloody splash page!

If a band wants to maximise their website’s promotional effectiveness, they should not have a splash page. Having a splash page is one of the most extravagant promotional luxuries for normal independent artists, it’s pure vanity and is a colossal mistake - there, I’ve said it! However, there is more to this than meets the eye.

The clue is in the subtitle “So why do major artists make you and their fans go through them?” Major Artists. The reason some major artists direct visitors through their splash pages is because they are acting as Sales Pages (squeeze page, landing page). These pages will often include three elements, image of band with Enter Site Here, their latest video and a link to ticket sales or album sales. And they work because of the extremely high volumes of targeted traffic.

I’ve an inkling Gemma’s report is going to look positively at splash pages and recommend that artists use them as a sales page or even a pre-sales page; however, splash pages don’t really work for independent artists because they don’t have the same widespread exposure or high volumes of traffic visiting their websites as the major artists. Independent artists should concentrate on search engines, networking (including web links) and real world methods (i.e. visitors type the URL directly into the address bar) for their visitors - yeah I know that might sound boring and a little defeatist. This means Search Engine Optimization (SEO) becomes very important as does usability.

One of the main issues with splash pages is their lack of content that’s required for SEO (see: What’s on your index page? An article from 2004 & needs updating, but the message is there), search engines will list the splash page because it’s the default index.html page, meaning the homepage (where all the content is) isn’t necessarily listed; also, web crawlers have a tendency to hang on splash pages (caused by Script & Flash) and consequently may never fully index the rest of the website! It is textual content that makes search engines understand your website, without it they may misunderstand your website and might list it incorrectly.

I know what you’re thinking, ‘I’ll add some content!’ Well, a splash page with real content isn’t really a splash page anymore!

A splash page makes the visitor click through to find the content that they are looking for, that’s Unfriendly Usability. People don’t like interruptions and being messed around! The faster you can get your messages across, the more likely you are to be successful. So, excessively large images and Flash which can cause download speed and user device problems are big no-nos - usability is always important to website design and productiveness.

Looking positively at splash pages; they do play an essential role in warning us about controlled content on adult, alcohol, gambling and gaming related websites - they’re not all bad.

An independent artist’s website exists to promote the artist to a wider audience, to enable the artist to have full control over their business, and to introduce an air of Stability (a key word. Might also be called professionalism) in an otherwise turbulent and fast moving world wide web. I think an artist’s or band’s opening page should be a simplified version of their press pack, that contains everything a new visitor or fan is looking for!

If you MUST have a Splash Page make sure it includes: 1. An exciting free gift. 2. Your latest video. 3. Album details. 4. An attractive ‘Download/Buy Now’ button (album cover). 5. A mailing list sign-up form. 6. Details for your next gig. 7. Images of fans. 8. Your contact details. 9. Links to the rest of your website. 10. Your photograph and a written description of who and where you are.

Oh, and BTW, I hate it when I follow a link from an artist’s Facebook page to their website only to find a massive image of the artist and a daft link back to their Facebook page - Bounce Rate or Yo-yo effect?

Written by Ian Robson
IanUnsigned 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 and Twitter. Ian has been working on website promotion techniques since 1994.

August 12, 2012

Under A Banner - @underabanner alt rock band Wolverhampton #BandPromotion

Filed under: Band Promotion — ian @ 3:37 pm

Under A Banner alternative rock band Wolverhampton

Adam from Under A Banner contacted me this week :) so, I thought I do a little blog post about them as I haven’t posted for ages!

Under A Banner are an alternative (mostly acoustic - almost folk) rock band who perform their passionate songs as a duo, 3 piece or even with 5 musicians on stage. Their songs are bold and catchy thanks to unconventional chord progressions and relative themes. Each track also boasts poetically adept lyrical content.

They’ve been in existence for over two years and have played a number of festivals, been featured on various FM and online radio stations and recently supported the cult band New Model Army at Robin 2 in Bilston, Wolverhampton. Under A Banner’s first album “The Ragged Rhythm of Rain” is due to be released in February 2013 (looking forward to that guys) and features songs such as “Some Stories” a true story song, soon to have its own animated video.

Under A Banner have a load of free downloads on their SoundCloud - I think my favourite is “When We Used To Dance” :)

Adam (guitars & vox) and Jonathan (drums & percussion) are obviously committed to the cause and I really wish them well. I was really pleased to see that they’re work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License (although I do prefer the Creative Commons A/NC/SA License - which is what I’ll turn UBP’s copyright to soon) hoping to help them with some website promo in the future.

Hook-up on Twitter - @underabanner and - Facebook

Written by Ian Robson - by quoting Adam Broadhurst

IanUnsigned 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 and Twitter. Ian has been working on website promotion techniques since 1994.

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