ESSENTIALS FOR YOUR WEBSITE!

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ESSENTIALS FOR YOUR WEBSITE!

Post  Admin on Thu Mar 13, 2008 7:26 pm

Introduction

A website is often the first port of call for people - this means fans, label managers and A&R to check you out. It therefore makes jolly good sense for you, as an unsigned artist to have one.

This section goes through what you should have on your site and how to make it A&R friendly, including:

What to put on yours
Photos
The design
Using message boards
Using reviews and links to other sites
Adding MP3s

What Should Be On Your Site:

What you have on your site is up to you but there are a few essentials that you should have in order to promote your music on the site. As well as the ones mentioned below you should also have some MP3s available and images - more about these later in the guide.

Biography
Where are they from? How long have they been around? What are their influences? These are the burning questions that people will want to know and the answers should be explained in your biography. It needn't be a work of art - just enough detail to give people a basic idea of what you are about.

Contact details
Hard to believe it, that people neglect to post contact details on the site - but it does happen. It's elementary that if A&R are keen to get hold of you and don't have any details - the first place they'll look is your site. At least put your e-mail address on there (and make sure you check your mail box regularly). Be careful about putting home address and phone numbers online.

Photos:

Image does matter. While it might not be up there in terms of importance with a biography, contact details or upcoming gigs, having some pictures on the site is beneficial, particularly from the record industry's point of view.

The music industry is concerned with the kind of image that the band wants to project. Try and avoid amateur or blurry photos - if the rest of your site is professionally laid out you don't want to ruin the impression by a few out of focus photos.

Design:

A site with no illustration appears lifeless and might well give the impression that your music is the same. The web, after all, is a visual medium and reams of text with no images are a big no-no.

That said, you don't want your site looking as if it's won first place in a virtual fancy dress party. Subtlety is needed here. To some people flash is anathema - and a flash site might turn users away before they've even had chance to check out the content. Steer clear of irritating pop up boxes and huge bulky images which simply just slow the site down.

Message boards:

Message boards are a method of showing people how popular you are. A message board is a way of creating a buzz about your band - so it's important to give it some care and attention.

The more users you have on the boards, the more likely A&R are to think you are worth investigation. Make sure you have decent posts on your board before you launch the site (it's worth emailing your friends in the initial stages just to start the ball rolling) though otherwise having a board might do you more harm than good!

Try and make the boards fun (use smiley faces or quirky emoticons - visual expressions that denote your mode such as Smile ) and play around with novelty interactive features. OneMusic artist Shouting Myke, for example, gives users the opportunity to swat their singer should they feel the need to. It's simple and effective and gives you hours of mindless fun. As well as being a gimmick for fans and industry bods to latch on to and remember you.

Reviews and Links:

If you have a few good reviews then it is worth putting them up on your site - but don't make go over-board with this one. Reviews from respected e-zines and local press should have a place on your site but keep them concise and to the point. One-liners sum up the band succinctly and are easier to read than a huge review.

If you have links to other sites it gives the impression you connected to a local music scene. This is good as far as A&R are concerned. A&R bods are keen to keep up with emerging music scenes if they know they can use your site as an index for other artists they'll look at your site more.

MP3s:

MP3s are a taster of your band. A link to an MP3 site with your music on it is essential and gives people instant access to your music.

CDs are still the preferred format when it comes to demos. This is partly because some people don't have the technology to listen to MP3s whereas CDs are tangible and you can play them anywhere.

---Your Mrs gig Admin team, via the BBC---

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