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March 8, 2012

WOLFSHEAD

Filed under: website promotion, Band Promotion — ian @ 6:10 pm

Wolfshead hard rock band from Fleet Hampshire UK

WOLFSHEAD are a hard rock band from Fleet in Hampshire, UK. They’ve just put up a really professional looking Tumblr website - LOVE it Leigh & Mart :)

Keep in touch guys, I’m just down the road Between Crowthorne and Wokingham.

March 7, 2012

How To Get 100 Daily Website Visitors - The Golden Ticket

Filed under: website promotion, Band Promotion — ian @ 8:48 pm

Golden Ticket to success

Brian Thompson of Thorny Bleeder Records wrote an interesting blog post a while ago titled, 8 Ways To Get 100 Visitors A Day To Your Website; @corecorina of corecorina.com (BTW I like your blog Corina) commented cleverly, "I would like to see ways that the above strategies are implemented to provide ‘concrete’ returns." And I thought, yeah, I’d like to see that too. Brian pointed out that there are NO guarantees or a single golden ticket when getting website traffic - True Brian, very true. Website traffic is gained through multiple processes or actions, that combine to make up an overall strategy.

All this exciting chatter was sparked off by Chris Rockett’s question (posed to the experts), "What is the fastest way to get 100 targeted fans per day visiting your website on a consistent basis without using paid traffic?" in 100 Fan Sprint. I made a follow up blog post, The 100 Fan Decathlon, which provides the reader with an elementary and practical outline of a typical website promotion effort - the sort of thing that Corina was looking for! ;)

How To Get 100 Daily Website Visitors

Here’s an obvious but important thought (question) that you may not have bothered thinking about. "how many fans do you need to get 100 visitors a day?"

The number of fans needed to get 100 Daily Website Visitors - if each fan visits your website on average:
TWICE a month - is approximately 1500
ONCE a week - is approximately 700
TWICE a week - is approximately 350

O.K., the maths is V.simplistic and naive, but you get my point; and please note, the average indipendent band only has around 250 Facebook Likes (Likes are not necessarily true Fans, and, there Is much more to It).

How many times a week do your fans visit your website? If they are merely visiting your website once a year to catch up on stuff, then that’s why your website is dead! Additionally, there is a natural turnover of fans who move on to pastures new, BTW, a high ‘attrition rate’ could be an indicator of total boredom - Oh! and if you’re a bunch of arseholes that won’t help either ;) You do need to be constantly attracting new fans and that’s solved with MARKETING & PROMOTION.

I am assuming that your website is ready to receive visitors by offering brilliant content, however, you might want to read The Most Frequently Found Website Promotion Mistakes, it may give you a few extra ideas.

The Golden Ticket To Success

  • Firstly, create a *Target Fan Profile* - without one you are totally screwed. Think about your fans’: geographical location, age, gender, occupation, attitude, general personality, life-style choices, habits, loyalties, needs, knowledge of your band and information sources.
  • About 70% of your Web traffic will come from Google - a lot of the traffic, unfortunately, could be Web crawlers and Spambots and means nothing! To help cut the crawlers and increase the client requests (or hits), you need words. Search engines use TEXT to find you. Find the top 8 - 10 keywords and/or key-phrases (per webpage) that best describe your band, genre and subject matter (think SEO) - e.g: Genre (indie rock band), Location (Chelsea, London), Venues and Lifestyle Choices i.e. reflecting the demographic factors (habits, attitudes, tastes, moral standards…) that define your target fan. Include the keywords and key-phrases on the appropriate webpage.
  • Go to each page on your website, without exception, and check the HTML head elements (Think About What Words You Want To Be Found For, bear in mind your Target Fan):
    The TITLE element Should look approximately like this: the flying footstools - folk rock band reading berkshire Disambiguation: [Band Name] - [Genre + band] [Geographical Location]. Lowercase, no punctuation.
    The DESCRIPTION meta element Should look approximately like this: the flying footstools are a folk rock band from reading berkshire, on the first saturday of each month we play at the black duck in henley on thames. Disambiguation: [Band Name] are a [Genre + band] from [Geographical Location] , [blurb/puff] [Venue] [Venue’s Geographical Location]. Short sentence (150 characters including spaces), lowercase, minimal punctuation.
    The KEYWORDS meta element Should look approximately like this: the flying footstools, folk rock band, reading, berkshire, black duck, henley on thames Only include the most frequently used keywords contained within the title, description and the webpage, lowercase.
    NOTE (this is the important bit): the Title, Description and Keywords head elements must pertain to each individual webpage’s subject matter and reflect its content - do not just replicate the same head elements throughout website.
  • Add Google to your website: Google Analytics - so you can measure your progress. And Google Adsense - provides a financial yardstick. Read: Reading Website Traffic Statistics.
  • Blogging regularly is an easy (reality check: blogging isn’t easy!) way to make your website entertaining. Either, download the latest version of WordPress.org (free blog software, easy to install, loads of free templates & plugins) or (pick this one) get a free blog from WordPress.com - Google will love you for it ~ post 3 times a week (Mon, Wed & Fri) - share.
  • O.K. it’s time for an idea. You need a Hook. If your target fan was a horse racing enthusiast and you said to him, "Visit my Website tomorrow after 10.30 A.M. and I will tell you the winner of the 2.30 at Ascot." And it won or ‘came in’ (a horse racing colloquialism), you would have a mega-superfan. That’s a hook; a reason to visit your website. Why do you think so many female artists show a little too much flesh? - Maybe it’s time to get your kit off - only joking ;) Instead of posting ‘happy snaps’ on Facebook, put them on your website and tell your Facebook friends to go and have a look - if you’ve included them on your blog, they can comment and share.
  • An easy one for you: Link to your band’s website from all your social networking profiles (plus.google.com).
  • Send out an emailshot to your mailing list: Sign up for a free MailChimp account. Create a database of fans, friends and family (spend a lot of time on this list, this is the real gold) - a group of four (with help from friends) should easily be able to assemble a legitimate mailing list of about 500, aim for around 1,500 - 2,000 targeted subscribers. Announce your updated website and use your hook. Ask recipients to help by not only sharing the email, but to spread the word by: liking, tagging, retweeting, bookmarking, commenting and posting your news.
  • Create 480 A8 (74mm x 52mm / 2.9" x 2.0" (16 A8 flyers on a normal sheet of printer paper - A4)) flyers promoting your wesite’s hook - make it very easy to read. Include: Your Band’s Name. Website URL. Marketing Message (the hook). Then, hand them out, only to your target fans - You know where they’re hanging out!

And that’s it, 100 Daily Website Visitors - no problemo. By-The-Way, you’ve got to do ALL these ideas and keep up the good work by constantly updating, checking and tweeking your website - get a friend to help.

Helping Indie Bands With Website Promotion
Unsigned Band Promotion
UnsignedBandPromotion.com
Helping musicians and artists get their websites noticed by fans, search engines
and the music industry in half the time they could do it on their own.

February 29, 2012

UKBANDS.NET 1997-2012 - I Wonder?

Filed under: General Musings — ian @ 10:56 pm

John Booth, Friday 30 December 2011: “Does anyone really want to know or care about how fraudsters destroyed any hope of creating a portal that may have been the only chance the independent bands in UK may have had?”

Nope! Oh yeah go on then, I would love to know what happened since I was kicked out of UKbands.net in 2007 just for supporting Andy’s ChatAboutMusic Forum!

John Booth again, “UKbands.net is no more, as most of you will have already realized by now! It was destroyed by 3 people. So what Happened! Well if anyone is interested then I will be happy to write a full explanation and publish it on the record for all to see because these scum bags seem to have got away with it until their next exploit is known. So 2012 is the year to tell the story of UKbands.net and how it fell to ashes due to the greed of a few scumbags leaving a wake of distruction in their path.”

Well John, as Cassie, one of your former UKbands.net employees, stated in UKBands…a deletion too far! on the ChatAboutMusic Forum, “What goes around, comes around.” BTW., why didn’t you post what happened?

It’s the little things that piss me off like: Andy’s band Sheldon, they haven’t been a member of UKbands.net since 2007 (when they too were unceremoniously booted out), who up until recently still had a UKbands profile, even though they had asked you, John Booth, to remove it. You refused! I also didn’t like the petty way you exposed our full names instead of our Usernames after we were barred! “What a moron.” - Andy 2007.

I feel that UKbands.net died in 2005, as each week went by more and more of the old stalwarts disapeared, only to spring up, rebirthed in MySpace (Booth’s nemesis); MySpace is also waning fast (or is it dead?), I suppose Facebook is next!

I joined UKbands.net while making a website for a friend’s daughter’s band in 2004. I was flamed on my first post by a mafia style mother who was protecting her stupid tosser of a son (a lead singer). It didn’t matter. I enjoyed the combined experience of Menendez, UKbands and SEO, so I set-up Unsigned Band Promotion. A lot has changed since then, forums are ‘old hat’ and social media has taken over; just about all the forums I’ve been a member of, apart from one, have fallen by the wayside like guestbooks in the night (who the fuck’s got one of those anymore?).

Over the past couple of day’s I’ve been reading two ChatAboutMusic forum threads, “UKbands time line” and “UKBands…a deletion too far!”, that I saved for posterity (yes, I’ve got it all guys) before John Booth persuaded Proboards to delete them. Both are massive threads running to many pages and they’re a compelling read, detailing how and why it all went wrong for John Booth and UKbands.net in 2007 written by those who were there.

This blog post was going to be a contraversial diatribe, but after reading the forum posts by: Andy, Seags, Matt of The Malloys, Kate, MediaMoggie, KateM, Chaz, Cooper, Allan Wall, Cassie, oneyeopen, Martin GD greendragon, Moby, Revolution Radio, Benny of Bullo Pill, Melandra of Voodoo Doll, and the wonderful (where is he now, baby you can drive my car) Jack Neill, to name but a few, I thought better of it, but I thought I’d quote the wonderful daddy of them all and Flying Hero, Seags, “Suck my septic stump Booth.”

R.I.P

Oh, BTW, if you would like to make a comment, I’m always happy to receive your comments, PLEASE do not make them slanderous, otherwise I may have to “moderate” them! ;)  I would like to progress from where we were on ChatAboutMusic.

Marketing Music With Affiliate Marketing

Filed under: Music Marketing, Marketing — ian @ 12:11 am

Ages ago @JonnyScaramanga Tweeted: @BandPromotion I want to run an affiliate scheme to pay my fans a commission when their friends buy my merch. Any idea how I could do this?

Such an interesting question, I couldn’t possibly answer it in 140 characters. I conversed with Jonny and I’d love to share my additional thoughts with you.

A Brief Overview of Affiliate Marketing

Firstly, there are usually four parties that make up the affiliate marketing circle:

  • The Advertiser (the merchant - the seller)
  • The Network (the intermediary)
  • The Publisher (the affiliate - the referrer - the reseller)
  • The Consumer (the purchaser - the website visitor - Joe Public)

Looking at affiliate marketing from the Publisher’s point of view; affiliate marketing is the practice of getting rewarded by a merchant for sending visitors or customers to their website. After joining an affiliate marketing network you (the affiliate) select merchants to be affiliated with; when approved, you display their advertising banners and/or text links on your website. After your website’s visitor makes a purchase, fills out a contact form or clicks their link (clickthrough marketing) you earn a commission; typically your commission is a percentage of the sales price or fixed amount per lead/ clickthrough. It’s a simple way to earn some extra money and get paid for your performance!

In the case of @JonnyScaramanga, he wants to be the merchant and run his own in-house affiliate program. Jonny wants to pay a commission for referred business - maybe by utilising affiliate tracking software?

Affiliate Tracking and Management Software Providers

Please Note: I think I had better state, I am NOT endorsing or promoting any of these affiliate program products. You use them at your own risk!    Warning: always be cautious of ‘free software’, do your homework and check them out.

If you want to run your own in-house affiliate program, you will need a real website and an affiliate tracking software package (hosted packages do also exist). Fans, friends and family will be able to join as affiliates, then login, get links, view their stats and get paid! You, as admin, will be able to perform all the administration duties:

  • Cosmic Affiliate Click They say it’s lacking in detail and doesn’t have any major features but, it works and it’s free! Because this script is free it isn’t supported - which is normal, most free scripts usually have a helpful forum - somewhere!
  • Best Option (@JonnyScaramanga ?maybe?) (Basic, Hosted $19 (£12) /month): Post Affiliate Pro Affiliate software to power your affiliate program - so they say… Easy to set up and manage - recruit new affiliates, give them promotional tools and track their referrals. Integrates with many third party payment processors. BTW I am NOT an affiliate of PAP - maybe I should be, but I’m not!?

Note: Professional Affiliate Tracking and Management Software costs range from approx. £200 - £1,000 (for a hosted option there’s usually an additional monthly charge from approx. £15).

Be Aware Of The Security Issue

Security (in all senses of the word) is a very important and wide-ranging subject from the consumer’s, the affiliate’s and the merchant’s point of view. It can simply be about trust as in, “would I buy from that website!” Most affiliates are small-time, they worry about getting ripped-off, they want to feel safe and they want to get paid for their hard work; but obviously there is more to security than trust! Where there is money, there is corruption and the merchant who doesn’t prepare for trouble will get into difficulties and fail. Before using affiliate tracking software or signing up to a hosted affiliate package, carry out exhaustive checks and ask questions about their fraud protection and security arrangements - one can’t be too thorough; we all worry about the security of our personal information online, don’t we?

Low-Fi Methods of Running an Affiliate Program

These ideas are not perfect, they all have flaws or loopholes, I would recommend that you only invite superfans, friends & family to begin with. Do a lot of testing and keep a close eye on progress, because what makes these ideas work is trust, for instance: a real world affiliate might come round to your house and pick up 20 T-shirts & 20 CDs on a sale or return agreement, then proceed to market them to his friends - choose the wrong, aggressive salesman and it may harm your band, not help it!

1. This first method isn’t really an affiliate scheme, it’s promoting your band through ‘affiliate style’ marketing in the real world. This should be a casual and friendly project that you can expand, develop and improve.

To start, pick ten close friends and offer them five CDs each at cost price (e.g. 5 CDs x £2 = £10). They can sell the CDs for whatever they feel is the correct price (e.g. recommended retail price: £7 each). They keep all the profit. You give them a complimentary CD and a fake tattoo - get yourself a photograph of them for your website. BTW, make sure you include all your contact information on the CD and rear inlay or cardwallet.

I also recommend that you get your music on to a website like http://www.tunecore.com/, they distribute to itunes, amazon, emusic, nokia music store and others. Fans, friends and family can join amazon’s affiliate program and promote your music from their social media. Tune Core is always looking for affiliates as well!

At this early stage it would be worthwhile creating a database of names and emails of superfans, friends and family who may be interested in helping your band. Use http://mailchimp.com/ a brilliant free email marketing program.

2. An advancement of the first method would be the “Sale or Return.” method; Sale or return is an arrangement whereby the merchant (you, the band) sends CDs to an affiliate (the reseller) who pays the band when they’ve sold the CDs. The CDs (or goods, merchandise) remain the band’s property (the band is known as the ‘title holder’) until they are paid for in full (by the reseller). The band should allow a reasonable period before unsold CDs are to be returned by the reseller and/or payment is made, say 30 days; the reseller receives an agreed discount (a commission payment) of say, 20%, depending on their performance (how many they’ve sold).

Obviously you, the merchant, will need to set up a Reseller Agreement. The terms of agreement should include: Ownership and copyright details. Recommended retail price. Commission rates. sales/payment time scale and recovery of CDs due to late returns. Loss or damage. Transit liability. Their consumer legislation responsibilities, and your liability waiver. Etc. etc.

The reseller, affiliate is able to sell your music (and merchandise?) under agreement from their online shop :)

3. I’m sure you are thinking what most people are thinking by now, affiliate marketing is, “a fan sticking up our banner add on their Facebook page and selling our music to their friends!” O.K., here is how you do it Low-Fi style:

Sign up to PayPal and get yourselves a merchant account. When you have joined, go to: My Business Setup & click: Website Payments Standard. Go to: Create A Button Now. Set up a buy now image button (your CD cover) for each affiliate (could take about 15 minutes per affiliate, no advanced programming skills required!). Send your new affiliate the code to paste on their ‘web pages’. When “Joe Public” clicks and buys your music, you get the email from PayPal, so *You *Must keep records of the who, which, where and why affiliates, are selling your music. Then you pay-out a commission (10-15%) to the referrers/ affiliates.

Big Tip: treat your affiliates like gold dust. Why not get some distinctive and individual fake tattoos made, send them (maybe as a prize) to your top affiliates and post images of them flaunting themselves and having fun on your website’s blog. Definitely blog about your top affiliates and link to their ‘web pages’, it encourages others to join and buy.

Please be aware that most of your affiliates will only sell to about 2% of their audience - no one is going to make a fortune.

The Serious Online Marketeer

I’ve been an online/ affiliate marketeer since about 1994, that’s a long time in the affiliate world. Here is some sad news if you are a band looking to join an affiliate network like Commission Junction to market your music; NO serious online marketeer is going to touch your band with a barge pole - unless they are sleeping with the lead singer! Why? Because there wont be enough reward for the effort. It is the same for you (the band), joining an affiliate network (to market your music) would be too expensive! However, serious online marketeers do look for niche products and good profit margins - what’s your product & what’s the PM? Affiliate Marketing is a numbers game and it doesn’t matter what side of the affiliate marketing equation you are on, whether it’s the merchant or the affiliate, understanding the numbers is important - BTW, they’ll check you out!

However, the benefits of running an affiliate program could be worth the effort and expense: you should increase your website’s targeted traffic by 100+%. You will widen your fan base and get the opportunity to engage with, and reward your true fans. And ultimately sell more product.

Resources

February 26, 2012

The Most Frequently Found Website Promotion Mistakes

Filed under: Music Marketing, SEO, website promotion, Band Promotion — ian @ 12:32 pm

Sorry that it has been such a long time since I posted, I’ve been working!

If you are The Unknown Band who wants to get their name out there and would love some help with your website promotion, then take a quick gander at this Open Email - it’s a sort of ‘Most Frequently Found Website Promotion Mistakes’ compiled from my 2011 email correspondence with bands ~ no names mentioned ;)

You Are Not Maximising Your Website’s Promotional Effectiveness

Your opening page is a splash page! Having a splash page is one of the biggest and most extravagant website promotion luxuries and it is a colossal mistake. A splash page is nothing more than an introductory opening page that precedes the main home page; it usually just contains a massive attention grabbing image of the band that acts as a link to the band’s home page (CLICK TO ENTER). Here is some real source code copied from a band’s splash page (Only the band’s name & javascript have been changed):

<html> <head>
<title>The Johnson</title>
<script language="javascript">
<!– {
/*Bollox javascript*/
image_load_javascript_here();
} //–></script></head>
<body bgcolor="#CBBB9B">
<div align="center">
<a href="home.html"><img src="images/artwork.jpg"
width="800" height="569"></a>
</div></body></html>

…No Content There Guys! Personally, I think a band’s opening page should be a simplified version of their press pack, that contains everything a new visitor or fan is looking for :) Please have a V.quick gander at: Press Packs What Should They Include

Quick Fix Get rid of the splash page and replace it with your Home-Page which has loads of content.
Further Reading Search Engine Optimization - SEO for Bands and UBP’s Response To Matt Early’s Blog Post - Splash Bang Codswallop!

Your Links And Linking Are Totally Up The Spout

Linking errors will ruin your chances of success. The question every noobie band’s webmaster wants to know the answer to is, "How can I get people to visit our website, become fans and buy our music?" The answer is simple, traffic increases with the number of Links pointing to your Website in addition to the quality and quantity of your website’s Content. It’s a simple answer, but quite difficult to accomplish.

Most of your links are pointing away from your website to Facebook, Twitter, ReverbNation, MySpace and various other profile pages, and they are not reciprocated. Your website is acting as a landing page to your social media and that is wrong, it should be the other way around.

Also, create a user-friendly navigation structure so it is easy for visitors to find their way around your website - don’t use loads of different and confusing text sizes and colours. NEVER make regular text look like a bog standard link (underlined &/or blue), it confuses people and stops them clicking the real link.

Quick Fix Link with 10 other websites each week. For linking think networking and for networking think conversations. So that’s, get into deep and meaningful conversation with ten new people each week - and swap links!
Further Reading Links and Linking - The Dark Art and Check Your Link Popularity

You Have Got 153 Coding Errors On Your Home-Page

Coding errors are actually the most common of all website mistakes - by a country mile - I’m sure I’ve got some myself ;) Most HTML errors are very easy to solve, go to W3C HTML Validation and run a check to find out more.

However, you haven’t got enough technical flexibilty on the type of web platform that you’ve chosen to build your website on (one of the free web hosts) - which means, your web host, where your website resides, doesn’t allow you to get hands on with the coding (they do it all for you), your website is not created in the most optimum way and there are a shed load of SEO & html issues! Your problems would be solved by moving your website to a real web host like iPower.

The most common HTML errors are: Not including or incorrect use of DOCTYPE declaration. Forgetting to close a tag. Nesting tags incorrectly. Not opening or closing quotes within tags. Not encoding special characters like ‘"‘ and ‘&‘. Not including the image alt attribute.

Note: a lot of the free Web hosts use too much javascript, Flash and frames which can cause problems with Web crawlers; this may result in your website being indexed incorrectly (and slowly) in the search engines.

Quick Fix Get a real website from iPower then visit: W3C HTML Validation
Further Reading Band promotion for unsigned bands

Your Website Is Mind-Bendingly Boring

A band’s website shouldn’t look like a 1990s Online brochure for a small engineering firm. Boring - unless you’re a small engineer ;) A band’s website should be entertaining. And what makes a website entertaining is good content. Content is the all important key word here; if you want people to spread the word about your band, you’ve got to give them something to talk about! Give your visitors regularly updated, interesting and maybe a tad contraversial, newsworthy Content.

It is So easy to get sucked into social networking and at the same time neglect one’s website, because websites take up so much fucking time, and, quite frankly, updating websites can be boring. However, if you want to make money from your music, it is worth putting in the effort. You are posting some lovely images of your band on Facebook, publish them on your website instead. Write loads of compelling description around the images to enlighten and titillate - especially for the people who don’t know your band. Do the same for the wacky photos of your fans enjoying themselves.

Stop using images to replace actual textual content (words).

Quick Fix Turn your opening page into a Blog.
Further Reading Quality Content

There Are Problems With Your Band’s Name

You often abbreviate your band’s name or write it as an acronym, I wouldn’t do this until you are Very Well established. Promote your full name at every opportunity.

Because your band’s name is a Surname, you have got strong competition when promoting it in Google. Write a strapline that describes your band, eg: The Johnson are an indie folk band from Reading, Berkshire Put it in to your title tag and write an extended version (about 150 characters including the spaces) for your description meta tag - Write many different versions and tweet them regularly (note: tweets are 140 characters including spaces).

There are other bands with the same band name as you!

Quick Fix Choose a unique, short and memorable name that reflects your band’s image - make sure it’s O.K. to use.
Further Reading A Band Name That Everyone Cares About

You Are Not Promoting Relevant Keywords

This is how a search engine sees the textual content of your opening page: ‘official’ ’site’ because you do not have any other textual (written) content!

Aim to be found for your bands name and for something else other than your band’s name, like: ‘folk band reading’ or ‘function band berkshire’. What is someone going to type into Google to find you? Second Guessing (attempting to predict or anticipate what people are going to search for to find your website) is an odd topic with plenty of scope for both error and success, but, it’s important - your band’s lifestyle choices could be the way to go! Don’t bother using extremely popular keywords like: music, sex, free, mp3… they’ll never work!

I wouldn’t normally say anything about keyword density here on my blog, however, I would aim for approximately 4 or 5 keywords and or key-phrases per 100 words of written content (not including the header meta tags) - ‘Johnson’ is a keyword, ‘folk bands reading’ is a key-phrase!

Quick Fix Find the top 20 keywords and key-phrases that best describe your band and genre, add them to your website.

Your Free Hit Counter Looks Very Amateurish

Nobody cares about how many hits your website gets - apart from you ~ true! But, the fact that you’ve got a hit counter means that you are interested in monitoring your website’s success, brilliant. If you are interested in marketing your music, keeping track of your website statistics is vital as they will tell you what your visitors like and dislike.

Obviously, by keeping a regular check of your website’s statistics you will be able to build-up a good understanding of your: Advertising success. Traffic sources (the who, what, where and why of how people are finding you). What pages are successful… i.e. the overall performance of your website’s various aspects.

Quick Fix Get Google Analytics - so you can evaluate your progress.

Cold Hard Fact: Your Website Design Is Unprofessional

Sorry, but the one ingredient that separates an amateur website from a professional website is the speed at which the crucial message is delivered to the visitor. A professional website delivers the crucial message immediately, however, your website delivers your album and gig details eventually (one day, someday, never - only if one looks for them), V. negative!

There are two VERY important areas on the opening page of your website:
1. Centre Opening Screen - this is where your most important messages should be going.
2. Top Right Corner Opening Screen (between 1 and 2 o’clock) - the perfect place for a sign up button, a music player or a 300px x 300px ‘clickable’ image of your psychedelic album cover.

Keep the layout simple and obvious, i.e., Upcoming Gigs should be listed with new gig dates at the top and old gig dates at the bottom - why would you make visitors scroll down the page to find your next gig date? BTW, Don’t forget to blog about ‘it’ too!
…Talking of blogs, if you use Blogspot or Wordpress, make an effort to make it look like the rest of your website. Post 3 times a week.

Quick Fix Think about what your fans want. What is your website like from the their point-of-view? Ask them!
Further Reading Make A Sexy Website And Get Laid Like A Rockstar This Weekend
Make Money From Your Band’s Website

The $64,000 Question: How Can We Get More Traffic?

Well it’s the question everyone wants to know the answer to! How to get targeted and consistent traffic visiting your website - quickly, like today? After all, it’s what we build a website for, isn’t it?

The fasest way initially is to collaborate with others. Big Warning: collaboration will kill you if your band is crap and has a pisspoor website!

Create a ‘Target Fan Profile’ and figure out how they will come to your website; there are three usual ways (with multiple criterion): 1. By searching in a search engine. 2. By clicking on an incoming link. 3 By typing your URL directly into the address bar.

Create the right environment on your website that will satisfy your target audience. Point your potential fan towards your website using both online and real world techniques. Visitors will keep returning and become fans if they are continually entertained - i.e. they like you!

…How Fast? Well it is not going to be a 9.58s 100m sprint, getting traffic is much more like the decathlon! Visitor numbers improve with the quality and quantity of Content, in combination with the quality and quantity of Incoming Links, and Time.

BTW, the three most common requests I receive are: Help us get our name out there. How can we get more web traffic. and, Help Promote My Band. Unfortunately, promoting a band Online through its website and social media, doesn’t lend itself to a quick fix answer; like building relationships through networking, promoting a band Online takes time! See a simple and basic outline of a typical website promotion effort in: 100 Fan Decathlon

Your problem is that you are too focussed on social media, that you don’t pay enough attention to your website!

Lastly, and to conclude, did you know only about 20% of bands have a Real Website! That’s it for now, hope that helps a little, if you’ve got a specific question, please feel free to ask and I’ll do my best for you.

Fond Regards

TURN UP THE VOLUME
Unsigned Band Promotion
UnsignedBandPromotion.com
Helping musicians and artists get their websites noticed by fans, search engines
and the music industry in half the time they could do it on their own.

December 31, 2011

Band Promotion For 2012

Filed under: General Musings, Band Promotion — ian @ 3:29 pm

Sorry, I’ve been so “non-productive” since October - been busy in the real world!

I have got a couple of ‘biggish’ posts about bands’ websites and marketing music to fans up my sleeve - I’ll do my best to get them both out in Jan :)

I hope all the readers of this Band Promotion Blog have a wonderful and peaceful 2012.

Love Ian xxx

October 20, 2011

Dumb Blonde Must Sync Or Swim

Filed under: website promotion, Band Promotion — ian @ 4:36 pm

monroe

Punished for posting? I hate it when people like David Hughes of Mohican Records act as a spoiler to my magnanimous and virtuous efforts to help bands with their websites! I posted a most out-of-the-ordinary, as it was my first time, advertweet pointing my websiteless followers to an advert here on UBP’s blog recommending iPower, because They’ve Got A Sale On :) The amazing and stupendous Chris Bracco of Tight Mix Blog retweeted it and I quote: “On @BandPromotion: IPOWER Is Great For Musicians - Web Hosting Sale co/oiNHmPFv

Anyway, I was talking with Adrian, an old friend, down the pub ages ago and he asked me, “What’s all that bollocks stuff on your Facebook these days?” “Oh, it’s just my tweets. I’ve synchronised Twitter and Facebook so my tweets appear in Facebook!” I said. “I’m not on Twitter” he said.

Back to the present, so how do I feel when the ill-informed David Hughes say’s on Facebook, “Nah it’s cheaper via 1&1 or better still bandzoogle for a real band website, it has everything you could possibly need and works with artist data which means being able to update all your web presence in one go, take from somebody who knows” ????

Synchronizing social media is a dangerous thing to do, especially for bands, who tend to spam the same mind numbing shit like “Check Out Our FUCKIN’ AWESOME New Demo” or “Join Our Mailing List” day after day; even when bands take care to post exciting and informative news, it can still look lazy and spammy! We are not helped by the social media who actively encourage synchronization, maybe as a collective act of self-promotion and togetherness?

Each social networking platform, be it Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, or dare I say it, Your Website, has its own niche, an identity created by its owner for its users - Facebook isn’t Twitter isn’t MySpace isn’t your website - the differences may seem subtle sometimes, but they are important to the individual user. Always use different content on the different social networking sites, so when people ‘click around’ they don’t read the same shyte over and over again, because that’s boring, disengaging and a massive, massive, massive turn-off - even for super-fan! The true promotional value of social networking is always measured by what you have to say!

So when somebody who knows tells you, you can automatically update and publish your information to your Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Bandzoogle, PureVolume, Sonicbids and MySpace fans all with the single press of a button, tell them to “Eff Off,” because they don’t know what they’re talking about and ultimately, it will hurt you if you don’t run away! And yes, I’ve de-synced.

As for 1&1 and Bandzoogle, well, I’m not going to pull them down. Stating the obvious, there are hundreds of places to get your band a website on the Internet, Bandzoogle and BandVista are two well-known sites that offer a 30 days free trial! But with many bands wingeing that they are perpetually skint, free networking sites like Facebook, YouTube and Myspace are the main attractions.

I like the idea of bands using blogging platforms as a free website because they are so easy to set-up and personalize. Here are some of the conspicuous names with an example band blog on each platform: Wordpress - Downstat, Twitter - Tiny Birds, Blogger - Blue News Band and Tumblr - Tom Waits.

Be creative and be inspired by giving life to a free website :) Primer used Wix for an easy drag and drop flash website- which looks brilliant :) Charlotte Stephenson used Moonfruit - London based and very friendly :) Tiny Birds - tinybirds.co.uk used Bandcamp as their publishing platform (not totally free but good)!

So anyway, I was talking with a band this week who asked, “Why are you doing all this for free and what’s in it for you? I’d love to put some work your way.” Well, I’m a Buddhist; I like to help bands by showing them how to promote their websites, I do it for free because I’m a Buddhist! My key words are, dedication, service, simplicity, purity and harmony; and my strapline is, helping 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. If you feel that I’ve given your band support enough to warrant a reward, then feel free to make a small donation! I also recommend sites that I’m affiliated to like, iPower and easyspace who provide webhosting at very competitive prices - and I’m proud to do so :)

Here is a Buddhist thought, “As a net is made up by a series of knots, so everything in this world is connected by a series of knots. If anyone thinks that the mesh of a net is an independent, isolated thing, they are mistaken. It is called a net because it is made up of a series of connected meshes, and each mesh has its place and responsibilities in relation to other meshes.”

October 18, 2011

A Little Band Promotion For PAGE 8

Filed under: Band Promotion — ian @ 2:50 pm

“If you’re in a band, you’ve always got competition! Of course there are bands who do it for the love of music and a few free beers. They consider themselves not to be in the rat race! But they are, and they’ll knock you off the top slot in the local pubs and clubs, as they are usually very talented musicians. When you’re good, you’ll get bookings and a following, because people will want to hear you play. And that will always make money for some Landlord behind the bar!” How To Sell Music Online 2004 Ian UBP. Page 8 are one of those talented bands - Here’s some information they sent me :)

Page 8

Page 8 are not into the whole mean and moody thing or how deep music is, it’s a hobby that keeps us all sane in our different ways, makes a bit of sense out of life and gives us an excuse to get together regularly.

All we want to do is play good music, fill the dance floor, meet some interesting and nice people, make a little money, have a good time and watch the audience let go and really enjoy themselves. Is that so much to ask?

Music is fun. Think back to the last event you went to. What’s the first thing you remember? The food, the decor? Unlikely - chances are it was the music. You can get away with skipping the favours and getting pizza hut in to do the catering (I do love pizza hut), but the one thing you can’t skimp on is the music.

Page 8 are a six piece band from Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire; we are: 2 female vocalists (Bex and Hattie), guitar (Tim), bass guitar (Wil), keyboards (Michael), drums (George) and a sound engineer(Phil). Together we play contemporary and classic covers. Our musical influences are wide ranging from Ellie Goulding and Katy Perry to Kings of Leon, Stevie wonder and The Rolling Stones. Each and every song we play is very important to us.

We play music because we enjoy it and we play the type of music we play because people like it.

UBP: Thanks for that Michael. They’re available for weddings, “The dance floor was jam packed… Credit has to go to page 8 …fantastic live band who made our wedding extra special,” - Katharine Dymoke. And all the usual functions and music festivals :)

A Little Band Promotion For PRIMER

Filed under: Band Promotion — ian @ 12:48 pm

PRIMER female fronted rock band from the West Midlands

PRIMER are a 4-piece female fronted rock group from the West Midlands. Formed in 2007, the band has seen several member and sound changes before settling on their distinctive, inimitable style; a mix of Celtic inspired vocals mingle with strong, expressive guitars whilst powerful, intense drums and an emotive, resonating bass push through to drive an original, unique sound with a difference that is not to be missed. Definitely different!

October 12, 2011

IPOWER Is Great For Musicians - Web Hosting Sale

Filed under: Music Marketing, website promotion, Band Promotion — ian @ 10:00 pm

I don’t like to be pushy, when it comes to advertising on UBP however, IPOWER who have got a promotion going on at the moment, partly because they’ve merged names with iPowerWeb, is worth a second look if you are thinking of getting yourselves a website :)


It’s a good time to start building a Website with IPOWER, who used to be called iPowerweb! I’m an affiliate, give them a try - 30-day money back guarantee, with a free domain name :)

Easyspace.com making the web easy

[Edit:] Easyspace has some quite good deals going on too :)

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