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November 26, 2013

LibreRock Records Website Design and Website Hosting Package

Filed under: LibreRock, SEO, Band News, Band Promotion — ian @ 11:43 pm

LibreRock Records Website Design and Website Hosting Package

My friend Matt Early from MattEarly.com and LibreRock Records is offering a brilliant Website Design and Website Hosting Package that includes Domain Name, Hands-On Support and everything else you need, for only £197 (one time payment). And that’s a bloody good deal. If you don’t believe me, search google for: “cheap website design and hosting” - make sure you read their small print!

The LibreRock Records’ Website Design & Website Hosting Package is the ultimate deal for any independent artist, musician, band or songwriter looking to advance their Web presence, attract new fans and progress their business. Matt’s experienced and individual touch for intelligent website design is second to none. But even better than that, I’ve offered to help with some Free Website Promotion ;)

YOU decide how your website looks and how it functions, for instance: you may want a crowd pulling speciality landing page, to promote a gig and increase ticket sales - Matt can do it.

This is what you get:

  • One off cost of £197 - no hidden fees :)
  • Any available .co.uk or .com domain name
  • 12 months secure hosting (After 12 months: hosting and domain name costs: £10 a month or £100 for the year)
  • 12 months free technical support and website tweaks
  • Multiple domain based email accounts (you@yourdomain.com)
  • The Handmade Website is custom designed and developed to be Responsive (a responsive Website reacts to user’s device - desktop, tablet and iPhone/Smart Phone, etc.)
  • 60% discount on future major website updates, inc. back-end coding or additions made to site after completion
  • Fully integrated Content Management System
  • Feature packed cPanel
  • Easy to use blogging software
  • Full image and video support
  • Integrated enquiry/contact form with spam protection
  • Social media links to: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, SoundCloud etc.
  • In-depth website visitor statistics
  • Google Analytics integration
  • Basic Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Easy meta-tag editor to assist with SEO
  • Compatible with all major browsers: Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer and Opera
  • Free LibreRock Website Promotion Package

I think Matt wants to be paid through PayPal, because it is an incredibly safe and secure method, very easy too!

Contact Matt Early: webdesign@librerock.com
or @Matt_LDN on Twitter

September 8, 2013

The Whaam Showcase Widget

Filed under: SEO, website promotion, Band Promotion — ian @ 12:09 pm

Whaam Showcase Widget

I was emailed by the marketing whiz kid @FredrikNederby who works for a Swedish start-up called Whaam - “We are releasing our latest service to open beta the 2nd of September. The service is called The Whaam Showcase Widget. It is a kind of business card for artists and bands to show what they have on the web.” And I thought Oh My God here we go again, yet another website offering links to bands …Sorry to sound so cynical Fredrik.

My cynicism is born out of my experience with creating and promoting UnsignedBandPromotion’s now defunct Online Z-cards, which are Microsites for bands and are ostensibly on the same wavelength as The Whaam Showcase Widget, see: Build Yourself A Microsite.

Night Riot’s Whaam Showcase Widget

Are bands looking for another place where they can hang their hats? I’ve an extremely strong suspicion that they’re not! I have a feeling that it is the Bands’ Flyers Go To The Wall scenario all over again.

Whaam’s mission is to change the way music related content is presented; and that’s my problem, the Whaam Showcase Widget isn’t really all that different and it’s certainly not as exciting as the interconnection between Facebook and ReverbNation for bands; it’s also a lot like: ThingLink, but not as good in my opinion! Read more: ThingLink/learn.

The Whaam Showcase Widget is embedded in an iframe. An iframe is usually used to display information supplied by another website, in this case Whaam, on your web page. What is the effect of iframes on search engine optimization? Not good, web crawlers will either skip the iframe’s content or get diverted and miss out the rest of your website; plus, the iframe will not help your website’s pagerank either! What helps improve pagerank? Content. Actually it would be very easy to create an online business card, a Z-card, for yourself within a <div> tag - Google would love it. Need some help? Just ask. I’d say it’s best to avoid using iframes if possible!

I can hear Fredrik saying, “But The Whaam Showcase Widget is a simple line of code and easy to share.” True, very true Fredrik - Share this why don’t you: <a href=”http://www.unsignedbandpromotion.com/”>UnsignedBandPromotion</a> A Simple link. BTW, it’s easy to set up a share button with sites like AddThis.com.

Why won’t The Whaam Showcase Widget be successful? Here’s why:

The Standard Package for independent artists, musicians, bands, small blogs, etc., is FREE - there are conditions though. The Premium Package for larger blogs, small record labels, small festivals… $9 per month - and there are still conditions! The Premium+ Package for large festivals, large record labels, ticket agencies… $99 per month - Sorry Whaam, but you’ve got to be fucking joking; good luck with that. Seriously, I mean it, good luck.

Please note Fredrik, LibreRock Records can not afford $108 per annum for a glorified hyperlink.

The Whaam Showcase Widget is now beta testing; don’t be put off by my negative comments, please give Whaam a whirl; and I would love to hear how you got on - I’d also be happy to blog your band’s Showcase Widget.

July 29, 2013

A Sex Pistols Marketing Strategy?

Filed under: Live Music, LibreRock Records, Band Promotion — ian @ 7:49 pm

image - Chris CB Photographie | BB Brunes @ Magic Mirror

@CheltenhamUnder Tweeted to me:

Here’s my reply:

Even in a world where a Sex Pistols marketing strategy has become acceptable, is there ever a good time to call a potential customer a c*nt?

Sorry Cheltenham Underground, but I think that you’ve lost the plot, categorizing customers into subspecies of a c*nt: the deaf, dumb and blind, is truly offensive; it demonstrates appalling customer relations and a complete lack of understanding of how to deal with people - I’m surprised that you’ve got any Regulars!

When I was in my late teens and early twenties (1973-1978) I used to walk past Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s shop (430 King’s Road - it’s now called World’s End) many times a week on my way to and from work on the King’s Road, Chelsea - occasionally I’d pop in on a Saturday afternoon. The shop had a number of guises and names; when it was called Seditionaries (Christmas ‘76) I bought myself a very expensive T-shirt. I wouldn’t have dreamed of asking for a discount - it wasn’t the done thing! BDSM Nazi bondage sex war upside down images of bombed out London and faux threats, were all very subversive, provocative, anarchistic, anti-establishment and anti-christian; but quite frankly, the shop workers were very welcoming and wanted to help, I can’t ever remember having any agro, the only difficulty I had was having enough cash to spend! …questioning cost would have been even more radical and rebellious!

How times have changed. My wife works in a local charity shop that funds a day centre for the elderly; regularly a customer will stand confrontationally in front of her brandishing their chosen item, “What’s your best price?” they usually say in a hostile, barefaced tone.
“I’m sorry, we can’t reduce the price, all prices are as marked. We’re all volunteers here and all the profit goes to the Day Centre.” she politely replies.
“Oh come on, there’s a dirty mark, I don’t want to pay the full price.”
“I really can’t reduce the price, all prices have been carefully thought about by the manager, if there wasn’t a superficial mark it would be much more expensive.” The customer either buys the item or leaves it! My wife returns home frustrated and uptight, however, never once have I heard her call them f***ing c*nts, not because she’s a saint (obviously she is), but because she knows that that customer will be back next week saying exactly the same thing and maybe making a purchase or worse, joining as a new volunteer!

Maybe The Cheltenham Underground are using their article, All our shows from here on in will be FREE ENTRY as a cheap promotional gimmick by being f***ing controversial to boost their business. Promotional Bullshit more like!

I do of course have strong views on the live music scene as I am a founding member of the open source record label LibreRock Records, please have a read of our Live Event Ethos - it states exactly where I am coming from.

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.

April 14, 2013

Hi

Filed under: General Musings — ian @ 6:48 pm

I’m still here, I just haven’t posted for a while, will post soon, promise :) xx

March 26, 2013

5 Honest Truths About LEE MAYJAH™

Filed under: Band News — ian @ 3:13 pm

LEE MAYJAH™ musician lyricist artist ghostwriter

  1. LEE MAYJAH™ is a multidimensional Musician who has been creating music for decades.
  2. He’s a nimble & distinctive Lyricist.
  3. An Artist with sensitivity.
  4. A Ghostwriter supporting World, Hip Hop, R&B & Reggae musicians.
  5. Oh, and he’s just got himself a lovely website - Hook up with Lee on Twitter: @LEEMAYJAH :D xx

January 24, 2013

Luv Moleskine

Filed under: UBP — ian @ 2:20 pm

I just love my new notebook from Moleskine - can’t wait to write in it, but I don’t want to spoil those virgin sheets.

January 22, 2013

The LibreRock Circle

Filed under: LibreRock Records, Record Label, Band News — ian @ 11:35 am

The LibreRock Circle Opens It’s Doors

  • LibreRock Records - Magazine that promotes independent artists, musicians and bands, offering free downloads
  • LibreRock HQ - Get signed up to an Open Source Record Label that empowers indie musicians & bands to be truly independent & liberated
  • Matt Early - Music industry related resource with an extensive FAQ (in development)
  • UBP Blog - This blog! Focusing on Band Promotion and Website Promotion
  • UK Musician Forums - Discuss anything especially topics related to the wonderful world of music.
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