Dave Cool

Musicians: How to Properly Use a Landing Page on Your Website

Bandzoogle makes it easy to add an intro or “splash” page to your website. When used properly as a landing page for your visitors, they can be an effective marketing tool for your music.

However, intro pages can easily be misused, which can hurt your site traffic, fan engagement, and your sales.

4 Common Mistakes To Avoid with Intro Pages

Here are four common mistakes that we see with intro pages that you should avoid:

1. Permanent intro page: Intro pages should only be used for short periods of time and for specific calls-to-action. It becomes annoying for repeat visitors to keep having to click through to your main site.

Also, Google picks up text content on your page, and if the first page of your website is an Intro page, there isn’t much to tell Google how your site is relevant to search queries, which can hurt your rank.

2. Too much content: Don’t clutter your intro page with several music players, too many videos, and various social feeds. Make it very clean and focused.

3. No clear purpose: There should be a clear purpose for the intro page. Let fans know about your new album, a crowdfunding campaign, a new video, tour, etc. Don’t just have a photo of your band with an “Enter Site” link, this simply wastes the visitor’s time with an extra click to get to your content.

4. Hidden “Enter Site” link: Make it very easy to find where to enter the full website from your intro page. If someone can’t quickly find out how to access your full site, they might just give up and go back to checking their Facebook and cat videos, and not come back.
 

Use Your Intro Page as a Landing Page for a Specific Call-To-Action

So what should you use an Intro page for? Ideally, to focus on a specific call-to-action. A call-to-action is designed to direct people’s attention to something specific that you want them to do. This can be to:

  • Buy your new album

  • Contribute to your crowdfunding campaign (the example above is from the Enter the Haggis website)

  • Watch your new video

  • Buy tickets for your upcoming tour

Again, the intro page should be temporary, and focused on a time-sensitive call-to-action. But if you want to be sure that your fans know about your new album/video/tour etc., intro pages can be an effective way to convey the message.
 

Other possible uses for Intro pages:

There are a few other ways to properly use Intro pages, besides as a call-to-action:

Under Construction: Your website is still under construction, and you want your visitors to know that you’re still there even though your site isn't accessible. Even then, you can embed a video, or have a mailing list signup to engage the visitor in some way.

Multiple Websites: Many musicians wear several hats. If you have more than one website (one for your band, one for your solo act, and one for your sound engineer business), you can let visitors choose between these website options right away when they land on your page. Same if your website has sections in different languages.


Do you use an Intro or landing page on your website? What do you use it for? Let us know in the comments!

Posted by Dave Cool on 04/23/2014 | 2 comments
Dave Cool

Record Label Website Love: Lisbon Lux Records

Every week, we highlight one of our favorite websites on Bandzoogle.

What: Lisbon Lux Records
Where: Montreal, Qc, Canada
Why their website rocks: It’s
Record Store Day tomorrow, so we’re showing a little love for a record label. Lisbon Lux Records is based in our hometown of Montreal, and their website has a really nice simple and clean custom design. We also love how well organized it is, as they pack a lot of great content onto the site.

Each artist on the label has their own page on the site, complete with a photo, music player, bio, and social links. Plus, the Store page offers everything fans of their artists would be looking for, including digital downloads, vinyls and CDs, as well as Clothing.

Check out the site at: www.lisbonluxrecords.com

And go buy some records tomorrow! Find your participating record stores here.

Posted by Dave Cool on 04/18/2014 | 2 comments
Dave Cool

CEO David Dufresne Hosting Website Demolition Derby at Sync Up Conference in New Orleans!

Our CEO David Dufresne is heading back to the birthplace of jazz again this year for the Sync Up Conference.

Coinciding with the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, the conference is FREE, but seating is limited. You can register online here.

David will be hosting a Website Demolition Derby panel, then there will be a Bandzoogle members meetup afterwards. Here are the details:

Website Demolition Derby
Saturday, April 26

New Orleans Museum of Art
12:00pm

Is your web site doing all it should? If you've got the guts, we'll pop your site up on the screen and let our panel play "American Idol" with it. We'll critique your site and give  tips on how to improve fan engagement - and sales.

Moderator: David Dufresne, CEO, Bandzoogle (Montreal, Canada)
Panelists: Lee Martin, web site developer for rock bands (New Orleans, LA)
, Chris Watson, General Manager, ground(ctrl) - Fan Engagement Services (Sacramento, CA)

Admission to the Sync Up Conference is free, but seating is limited. Register online here.

NOLA Members Meetup!

Right after the Website Demolition Derby, join David for a quick members meetup at the conference. The plan is to drink Bloody Marys right there at the Museum then head out to the Jazz Fest. Drinks are on us!


If you’ll be attending the conference, let us know in the comments below or through Twitter or Facebook!

Posted by Dave Cool on 04/17/2014 | 0 comments
Dave Cool

Musicians: How to Use Integrated Marketing to Boost Your Career

This is a guest post by Dave Kusek, the founder and former CEO of Berklee Online, the world’s largest music school. He taught music business at Berklee College of Music for 14 years and has worked with tens of thousands of musicians.

He just launched the New Artist Model, an online music business school for independent musicians, performers, recording artists, producers, managers and songwriters. Bandzoogle members can get a special 20% discount on the course through this link. They also offer access to free lessons from the New Artist Model online courses to anyone who signs up to their mailing list.


The music industry is often divided into separate subsections, with touring, recording, and publishing (or songwriting) being the most popular division. While it is totally possible for artists to exist exclusively in one of those categories, more often than not musicians find themselves straddling two or three industry subsections.

Many musicians, and even industry veterans, find themselves thinking about each industry in isolation—your touring strategy may be completely different from your publishing strategy with little cross over. However, if you really want to make the most of your music career you need to think of all aspects of your career together and strategize accordingly.

To make a basic analogy, think about your career like a box of gears. You have different gears representing the different subsections of your career: publishing, gigging, recording, and whatever else you draw income from. In mechanics, each gear is separate from each other, but they work together to move the machine.

To bring it back to music, while the subsections of your career are separate, they should be working together towards one common purpose—the growth of your music career.

There’s a few ways we can think about this. As an example, let’s say you just released a new album. Try to come up with creative ways to tie that into your live show. You’ll no doubt be performing your new songs, but how can you go beyond that?

The Wild Feathers are a rock band out of Nashville, TN. In the week leading up to the release of their self-titled debut album, The Wild Feathers made the album available early at their live shows. This strategy gave their fans an incentive to go to their live shows and get excited about the release. On top of that, the band gave their concert-goers a little surprize. Every album sold included two CDs–one to keep and one to share with a friend.

This strategy is genius for a couple of reasons. By selling the album early they are specifically targeting their superfans and getting them to the live show. Because they are so passionate about the music, superfans are also most likely to tell their friends about The Wild Feathers. Giving them an extra CD to do just that really empowered their superfans to share. They turned their superfans into marketers! Above all, The Wild Feathers tied together their touring, recording, and marketing strategies.

Don’t limit yourself to just touring and recording! Be sure to tie songwriting into your overall strategy too. Crowdfunding is something that tends to be tied to the recording subsection of the industry. People start crowdfunding campaigns mainly to finance the studio, manufacturing, and distribution costs. After all, it doesn’t take much money to sit in your room and write songs.

However, tying the songwriting process into the campaign is a really great way to connect with your fans on another level. Give them the chance to buy access to an video series that documents rough song sketches, lyric explanations and discussions, and songs that didn’t make the cut. You might even frame and sell the original paper where you first started planning out the song. You could also involve them in the writing process, choosing from different lyrics phrases or topics. There are lots of possibilities here to draw fans into your creative process.


New Artist Model is an online music business school for independent musicians, performers, recording artists, producers, managers and songwriters. Bandzoogle members can get a special 20% discount on the course through this link. They also offer access to free lessons from the New Artist Model online courses to anyone who signs up to their mailing list.

Posted by Dave Cool on 04/15/2014 | 5 comments
Dave Cool

Get Your Website Reviewed at the ASCAP EXPO!

Bandzoogle is heading to Los Angeles! We’ll be at the ASCAP EXPO, reviewing websites live online for TAXI, and giving a workshop at Musicians Institute. Plus, we’ll be hosting a members meetup while in town. Here are all the details:

ASCAP EXPO April 24-26

The ASCAP EXPO is one of our favorite conferences. Taking place at the Loews Hollywood Hotel, we’ll be offering free site reviews at our table, plus our CEO David Dufresne will moderate the Website Demolition Derby panel:


Website Demolition Derby
Thursday, April 24
12:45pm - 2:00pm

Hollywood Ballroom #2 (2nd Floor (Mezzanine))

This ever-popular session will offer live critiques of your website. The design, organization, content and functionality will be assessed. How does the website fit with the artist's overall online strategy, and how successfully does it achieve the artist’s goals?

The panelists have worked with thousands of songwriters and musicians, from major label superstars to secluded basement composers. They are extremely knowledgeable about website best practices and deeply allergic to bad design, music that auto-starts, Flash widgets and unreadable fonts.

Moderator: David Dufresne (CEO - Bandzoogle)
Panelists
: Ari Herstand (Songwriter, Artist, Actor, Blogger), Brian Schopfel (EVP, Business Development & Partner - The Uprising Creative), Brian Felsen (Composer, Entrepreneur), Dave Cool (Director of Artist Relations, Bandzoogle)

Attending the ASCAP EXPO? Submit Your Website For Review!

Panelists have been instructed to be ruthless and leave all diplomacy aside, so if you’re courageous enough to submit your website for their scrutiny, send a note to Dave Cool: dcool[at]bandzoogle[dot]com

PLEASE NOTE: You must ATTEND the panel to have your site reviewed.
 

Free Website Reviews at Bandzoogle Booth During ASCAP EXPO

If you would rather not have your website reviewed in front of an audience, that’s ok too. Drop by the Bandzoogle table between 9AM and 6PM during the ASCAP EXPO and we’ll review your site, one-on-one. Plus, we’ll have plenty of free candy and t-shirts for members too!

Members Meetup in Los Angeles!

If you’re a Bandzoogle member in the Los Angeles area (or you’ll still be in town after the ASCAP EXPO), please join our Director of Artist Relations Dave Cool at the Library Bar at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel for cocktails to talk music, comedy, and of course, websites. The best part? Drinks are on us! Plus, there will be free Bandzoogle t-shirts on hand:

Sunday, April 27 @ 6pm
Library Bar at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel (7000 Hollywood Blvd)

Please RSVP to confirm if you'll be attending.

And if anyone's up for it, we might go bowling at Lucky Strike afterwards.

We hope to see you there!

Free Website Reviews on TAXI TV!

On Monday, April 28, Dave Cool will be joining TAXI founder Michael Laskow for a special edition of their weekly TAXI TV Songwriting and Music Business Show. Instead of critiquing songs, for this episode we’ll be reviewing artist websites.

The show streams live online, so you can watch and participate from anywhere in the world:

Monday, April 28
4pm (PDT) / 7pm (EDT)

Link: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/music-marketing-online

Musicians Institute Workshop: How to Build Your Music Website

And finally, David and Dave will be giving a workshop at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood called “How to Build Your Music Website”. Please note that this is open to students at MI only:

Wednesday, April 23
5:30PM-7:00PM


Let us know if you’ll be attending any of these events! Either in the comments below, by emailing Dave Cool (dcool[at]bandzoogle[dot]com), or let us know through Twitter or Facebook.

Posted by Dave Cool on 04/14/2014 | 1 comment
Dave Cool

Band Website Love: Treacherous Dogs

Every week, we highlight one of our favorite websites on Bandzoogle.  

Who: Treacherous Dogs  
What: Indie Rock Band
Where: London, UK
Why their website rocks: We love the header image that the Treacherous Dogs are using for their website, which looks great with one of our newest themes. We also love how they keep the design and content nice and simple throughout their site.

On their Photos page they have official promo photos, as well as an Instagram feed that helps keep the content fresh. And on their Videos page, they’ve embedded nice large videos so that fans can watch them comfortably right on the site. Nicely done guys!

Check it out at: www.treacherousdogs.com

Posted by Dave Cool on 04/11/2014 | 0 comments
Dave Cool

The Heartbleed Bug: Bandzoogle Accounts Safe

As many of you may have heard, there is a bug affecting web servers called "Heartbleed" that can compromise your private data.  

We’d like to let you know that Bandzoogle sites were not affected.  Our e-mail server (Zimbra) was updated as soon as the bug was announced.

Mashable has a comprehensive list of sites that were affected (see the entire list here).

Several sites that musicians might use on a regular basis were potentially compromised. We recommend that you immediately change your passwords for the following sites if you have an account:

  • Facebook

  • Instagram

  • Pinterest

  • Tumblr

  • Google / Gmail

  • Yahoo / Yahoo Mail

  • GoDaddy

  • Dropbox

  • Soundcloud

If you are using the same password for your Bandzoogle account as with any of the sites listed above, we recommend to also change your Bandzoogle password, just to be on the safe side. To do this, login to your account and click ‘change password’ from your Account tab, or use the 'Forgot password?' link at www.bandzoogle.com/login

- Team BZ

Posted by Dave Cool on 04/10/2014 | 3 comments
Dave Cool

13 Topics That Musicians Can Easily Blog About

There are plenty of reasons for musicians to blog on a regular basis. First and foremost, blogging is one of the best ways to drive people to your website. Every time you create a new blog post, it’s an excuse for you to invite fans to check out your website.

Blogging also shows that you are active in your career. If a potential fan visits your site, enjoys your music, and then sees that you have months of regular blogging under your belt, they might click on a few posts to get a better sense of your personality. If they really like what they read, you might have a fan for life.

Blogging is a great way for your fans to get to know you better. Reading about you and your art adds context to the music, and that’s how they’ll come to value it more. They might be fans of your music already, but if they become fans of you on top of that, then the music gains an increased perceived value. Our CEO David Dufresne likes to make the comparison of having your music in a gallery versus at IKEA.

Blogging is great for SEO

Improving your SEO (search engine optimization) is another great reason to blog. Simply put, the more you blog, the more Google can find you, and the higher in the search results you will potentially appear based on the keywords, titles and content of your blog posts.

So what can you blog about? Here are 13 topics that musicians can easily blog about:

13 Topics Musicians Can Easily Blog About
Not sure what to blog about? Here’s a quick brainstorm of 13 things you can blog about that might help trigger even more ideas:

  1. Preview an upcoming show

  2. Review a recent show

  3. Stories from the road

  4. Behind the scenes at rehearsals

  5. Songwriting process

  6. Making of your album

  7. Crowdfunding campaign

  8. New gear

  9. Other great bands/musicians in your local scene/genre

  10. Music that’s inspiring you at the moment

  11. Your crazy pet(s)

  12. Passion outside of music (maybe you’re a big sci-fi geek, or have a favorite sports team)

  13. An issue you care deeply about outside of music (the environment, human rights, etc.)

Note: If you do decide to start blogging, it’s really important to keep it up to date. Just as an updated blog can show that you’re active in your career, if your last post is from a year ago, it can create a negative impression. Focus on blogging regularly, rather than trying to make each post perfect.

Photos & Videos

Some of you might be thinking “Well, that’s sounds great, but I’m not good at writing blog posts!”. That’s ok, your blog posts can contain mostly photos, or can even be videos.

Whichever method you are most comfortable communicating with, go for it. The important thing is to post new content on your site on a regular basis where fans can gain some insight into your career and who you are as an artist.


What topics do you blog about? Let us know in the comments!

Posted by Dave Cool on 04/08/2014 | 6 comments
Dave Cool

Musician Website Love: Michael St. George

Every week, we highlight one of our favorite websites on Bandzoogle.

Who: Michael St. George
What:  Dub Artist
Where: Hamilton, ON, Canada

Why his website rocks: Michael St. George’s site features a great header image, and we especially love the description he includes with it: Dub Artiste - Poet - Playwright. You immediately know what Michael does when landing on his site.

We also love that his Homepage features a short bio, regular updates on his blog, a site-wide music player, mailing list sign up, and social links. With the social links, he’s using our newest icons set, which automatically match the site’s design and look sharp on high resolution displays!

Check out his site at: www.michaelstgeorgedub.com

Posted by Dave Cool on 04/04/2014 | 0 comments
Allison

Musician Website Love: Erica Perry

Every week, we highlight one of our favorite websites on Bandzoogle.   

Who: Erica Perry    
What:
Country Bohemian Singer - Songwriter
Where Leander, Texas
Why her website rocks: Because it totally suits her style! Self-proclaimed 'Gypsy Soul', Erica found one our newest responsive themes to fit in line with her personality. With a little bit of sky whimsy, custom title font and really great vintage looking photography in the headers, Erica has made this template her own. The Home page is inviting to her fans with a nice hello message to her fellow HIPPIES. There’s also a section listing ways to connect to her by social media, radio tour and fun events. This website is a good example of how using professional photographs makes the difference between a pro and amateur look. As a bonus, Erica’s site looks great on mobile devices since she’s using one of our pre made templates. Beautiful job Erica!

 
Check out her site at: www.ericaperrymusic.com
 

Posted by Allison on 03/28/2014 | 0 comments