Why You Need Your Own Band Website

As the owner of a recording studio, and a musician who has successfully released a few independent CD’s, I’m often asked by aspiring bands and musicians about how to properly market themselves. One of the first things I tell them is, “you need a website”. And I mean a real website. Not just a Facebook or MySpace page–a real website. Having your own website separates the men from the boys when it comes to the business of your band. Here are a few of the reasons why you need your own website.

1. You need your own domain name

Putting a link to “http://myband.com” on a business card or other website looks a lot better and more professional than “http://www.somewebsite.com/members/mybandsnamegoeshere”. You can register your own domain name for about $10 per year from registrars such as Godaddy, and ad-free hosting can be as cheap as $5 or $6 per month. So there’s no good excuse not to have one.

2. Social networking sites give you zero credibility

It’s far too easy to throw together a page on MySpace or Facebook and start talking smack to make you sound like you’re the next big thing. So, if the only web presence that you have for your band is one of those sites, you have zero credibility as an artist. Most serious bands are more than willing to pay for the minimal expense of having their own domain name and their own hosted website.

3. Flexibility

There are a lot of free and commercial websites out there that sell hosting and content management geared for bands. Some of these are better than others, but there are some major drawbacks. First, you may have limited flexibility in terms of the appearance and format for your site. Many sites have a basic template that you fill out, with information like Band Bio, Pictures, etc. But what if you want to add a custom section to your website that doesn’t fit the mold of the template? You may be out of luck.

4. Control

On social networking sites, or other generic sites, there are far too many distrations. On free sites, there are usually banner ads that seek to grab a person’s attention and get them to click on a link that leads them away from your page. On social network sites, there are links to your other friends or fans, which may also distract the browser and entice them to click away from your page.

Contrast this with having your own website–it’s all about you, baby. Every page, link, picture, etc., focuses on you–the band or artist. You can have plenty of links, but most all of those links should point to some kind of content related to your band–merchandise, downloads, streaming music or video, etc. In summary, your website is the only place on the web where you can control the entire visitor experience.

Yes, create a MySpace page. Yes, create a Facbook page. But use those pages as a launchpad to direct potential fans to your real band website.

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