The Bandzoogle Blog

10 years of advice, inspiration and resources for musicians navigating the new music industry.

Band Website Inspiration: Use Frequent News to Keep Fans Engaged!

Band Website Inspiration: Bluebirds of Paradise

Who: Birds of Paradise
What: Jazz Indie Folk Pop
Where: New Jersey
Why their website rocks: This duo really knows how to stay in touch with their fans! Birds of Paradise uses the Blog feature on their Homepage, so visitors see it immediately when visiting the site.

Their frequent updates allow fans to know exactly what's going on with the band. From upcoming concerts and events, to logo releases, and new music! These updates don't just benefit fans - frequent news posts can also help their site's SEO. Read 10 SEO Tips for Musicians

Bluebirds of Paradise Mailing List Signup on their Website

They've also placed a Mailing List signup form in the right-hand column, making it easy for fans to get news right in their inbox (find out more about Bandzoogle’s built-in mailing list tool here).

The Events calendar on the Homepage also let fans know about their upcoming shows. Plus, Bluebirds of Paradise placed their social media links using our My Sites feature front and center, which makes connecting on other platforms quick and easy.

We love their site and we love the cheeky humor these two have - you have to check out the reviews on their Homepage!

Check out their website at www.bluebirdsofparadise.com

Your Home Recording Studio: 5 Tips to Help You Mix Like a Pro

5 tips to help you mix like a pro

After getting the most out of your home studio environment and setting effective goals for recording sessions, you should now have a great recording to work with.

Now we’re going to deal with the all important step of mixing. Here are 5 ways to ensure that you have a great recording to mix.

[Learn how to build a website for your recording studio]

1. Be prepared before recording

One secret to a great mix is being 100% prepared BEFORE recording.  

Great mixes almost always come from a great recording session. So prepare everything as best you can before recording a single note. Make sure the artist or band is well practiced, rested, fed and ready. Have notes on arrangements and lyrics, mix ideas printed or on a laptop, phone or ipad. And have your room set up with mics, amps etc., exactly how you want it.

Check tuning - constantly. In fact, be annoying about tuning, and obsessive about amp settings, synth patches, etc. Check if strings, sticks or drum heads need changing.

Get the singer to do vocal exercises and get warmed up ahead of time. All the sound and parts should be as ready as they can be before you send that electric signal down the chain to your computer.  

The better your tracks are going into the mix, the less you’ll have to mix at all (let alone fix anything). The less problem frequencies, noise, or anything else printed on your tracks, the better.

Use the best performances for mixing

2. Use the best performances for the final mix

A lot of multitrack recording software these days will provide options for you to take multiple passes or ‘takes’ of the same instrument. You can also simply create alternate recording passes of the same song at different points on the timeline of your recording software.  

Either way, the idea is that you can record the same guitar solo a whole bunch of times, and pick the best performance for your final mixed track. You can even build a solo from each take and stitch together the parts you like best.  

This is arguably the greatest advantage digital recording has over the old days of tape reels. You can easily make loads of edits to specific tracks in the song, and changes can be made in a ‘non-destructive’ way, so you can undo edits if needed.

In recording circles, this is called ‘comping’ - short for ‘compilation’ - and you can do it with any of your tracks to put together the best take for the final mix. Comping can sometimes feel like making Frankensteins’ monster. But with quality takes, and a bit of practice, you’ll wind up with a great sounding starter mix before adjusting any track.

3. Consider the arrangement before mixing

If you’ve been in a studio, you may have experienced the ‘letdown in the chorus’ phenomenon when listening to a track. Everything sounds great in the verse, perfect harmonies, things sound punchy, the chorus hits, and… it feels weak.

When a chorus doesn’t sound strong in the studio, it’s usually because there’s too much going on in the verses before it. The chorus is that moment all of your fans know the words to, so if it doesn’t make an impact, the song itself can be in trouble.

In this case, less is more. With digital recording, it’s never been easier to find out what you need ‘less’ of in certain parts of your song. You can do this by editing your arrangements in the software prior to getting down to your mix.

Be brave and try pulling out the double vocal and rhythm guitar in the first verse - heck, drop the bass and make it just drums and the singer, who knows - try everything. Maybe that otherwise well played piano solo in the middle simply doesn’t work in the song, so just chop it out and see if it flows better.  

Nervous about cutting bits away? Try listening to the song and use your ‘mute’ buttons on different tracks to see if things start popping better where they need to. This is where you can get that incredible ‘a-ha!’ moment. Once you hear how you think it should sound with some rough muting, you can be more confident in your timeline edits.

When you take the time to consider the arrangement prior to mixing, you’ll find muting or editing tracks in certain areas will give your song impact where it needs it most.

Listen critically during the mix

4. Before touching the EQ or adding effects, listen critically

At last, the mix moment has come, faders set to kill. Then the voice in your head sounds like this:

‘Okay, so I want to reduce the 3k range completely using a parametric EQ, and add a ping pong delay on the vocals, then I want two flangers on the guitar solo along with...’

If you’re hearing something like this in your head, silence it with four words: Stop. And. Listen. Critically.

Most recording software comes with EQ, processing and effects - often referred to as ‘plugins’. Plugins look cool, with shiny buttons and neat high tech or vintage styling. But if you’ve followed the steps leading up to mixing, and you give a good, well-rested listen to that song, you’ll probably find your mix doesn’t need a lot of that stuff on your tracks.

For starters, most plugins add volume ‘gain’ to a track - so the more plugins added, the louder it will get. One or two plugins on a track may not make a noticeable change in volume, but start adding more and you’ll likely be hearing things in your mix that weren’t there before.  

Equalization or ‘EQ’ is usually a must. A good rule of thumb with EQ is to lean towards ‘reducing’ certain frequencies you don’t want on a track, instead of increasing or ‘boosting’ frequencies you like. You usually don’t need to reduce much to start hearing things get clarity in your mix, and it will keep the gain down in your effects chain.

Effects like delays and reverbs can add a more professional sound. But they will add more time to the end of a musical phrase, and that extends the length of phrases in your tracks. This can add more of the track’s frequency range to the overall mix, which can sometimes give a ‘muddying’ effect. If that starts happening, consider rolling some of it off in the mix.

Finally, effects are just that - an effect. They’re neat, but like action movies, they shouldn’t be gratuitous.  An effect needs to have a reason to be where it is, otherwise, it’s this thing doing nothing in the middle of an otherwise great song.

5. Know when you just can’t ‘fix it in the mix’

With mixing tracks you will need to accept that there are some things that simply cannot be changed or ‘fixed’ in the mix. You can try, but… well, it just won’t happen. You need to identify them in your recording, and have the wisdom to accept that there’s nothing you can do to change them.

With that, be forewarned that no fancy bit of gear, plugin, or software on earth can correct or fully remove:

  • A poor or tired performance

  • Unwanted background noises

  • Microphone bleed from other recorded sources

  • A badly recorded track (has distortion printed on it, for example)

Many artists record the band together in the same room simultaneously. This can be a more ‘organic’ way of recording. But since each live take will be performed slightly differently, be aware that recording the group together will greatly limit any editing you would need to do.

With things like noise on a track, in most cases, when it’s printed in the recording, it’s not going to come off. Some processing can help correct problems like this by reducing or removing certain frequencies, but this is often at the expense of other frequencies you will want to keep.   

In a nutshell, there are some things that, with a bit of work, can be fixed in the mix. But trying to mix low quality tracks will usually only give you a really clear sounding, badly done recording. If this is the case, the easiest solution is to go back and get a better take, or overdub parts of the track to correct the problem.

We’d love to hear any mixing adventures you’ve had in your home recording studio! If you have any other tips or tricks, just share in the comments below!

New: Sell tickets for shows directly through your website

Instead of sending fans away to buy tickets through an outside service, built-in ticketing now lets you sell directly to fans using the Events feature. Best of all: just like with music & merch sales, ticket sales are commission-free.

Sell tickets through event listings

Sell tickets directly through event listings on your website

Fans can buy a ticket right from your event listing. It gets added to their shopping cart, and they can continue to shop and buy music & merch at the same time.

Professional looking, printable tickets

Fans get professional looking, printable tickets to your showOnce the transaction is complete, fans instantly get a professional looking, printable ticket by email.

Mobile-friendly guest list page

Bands get a mobile-friendly guest list page for each showWe automatically build a mobile-friendly guest list page, which is password protected. You can print this out, or share it with the venue staff.

Ticket sales are another new feature for Pro members. With the Pro plan you can also offer discount codes on music & merch, report music sales to SoundScan, track inventory, sell album pre-orders, and more!

Band Website Design Inspiration: All About the Image

Band website Rebecca Rego

Who: Rebecca Rego & the Trainmen
What: Indie-Folk Rock N Roll
Where: Wisconsin
Why their website rocks: Talk about a picture being worth a thousand words! We love the main image on this website. It immediately puts their folky Americana sound into your mind. It also makes you think how much fun it’d be to listen to this down-to-earth and stylish group of musicians!

Hints of white in their image make it seem fresh and modern, working well with their eye-catching text. Their main image also scales perfectly from page to page and on mobile devices.

It can be time-consuming to update your website on the road, and they have added the instagram feature as a great way to keep visual content always appearing on their Homepage. They keep their tour dates tidy and updated by using Bandsintown, and a Twitter feature also adds tidbits of news in bite sized pieces.

Continuing with their creative vibe on their website store page, they offer their CDs for sale as well as homemade jewelry shaped from Rebecca’s guitar strings!

Check out their website at: http://rebeccaregoandthetrainmen.com

SEO for Musicians: Use Link Building to Improve Your Ranking

Band website SEO

So you're looking to continue to improve the SEO for your band's website. After reading 3 Tips to Optimize Your Website Content, you've added some great website content and customized your page titles. What's next?

One of the most important things you can do to help with your website’s SEO is link building. Think about it this way: one friend told you to check out a musician’s website. Then ten friends told you to check out another musician’s website. Which one would you likely visit first?

In a similar way, Google takes recommendations in the form of links and compiles them. Then it selects websites with many links pointing to them as more trusted.

So the more high-quality websites that link to yours, the higher your website will place in search engine results.

Why links matter

Links are one of the best ways to signal to Google what your website is about, and to improve your ranking in search engines. Let’s take a look at some places you can build links.

How to build links

Links from established websites that weren't paid or traded for, will help improve your search engine ranking. Here are a few examples:

Popular music blogs: Contact local music blogs about an interview, a music review, or doing a guest post for them.

Online newspapers: Playing a local event? Your community likely has a few online newspapers that will promote it ahead of time in a 'weekly picks' column, or even a full article.

Festival or event websites: The majority of events you will play have a website and want to promote you. Creating a press kit with promo images and bio is standard, and make sure when they add your info, they also add a link to your website.

Venues: Most venues from pubs to sit down music clubs have a website where they create sections for the artists. Make sure you're listed along with your website.

Podcasts: Besides audio, most podcast websites will include text information about the content. Seek out music podcasts and sit in as a guest, or ask for a music review.

Social Media links: Linking to your website on social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter is a great idea. These links may not hold the same kind of weight that an external website would, but they still help, and are easy to share. Plus the more people that see your content, the more likely they are to link to it.

The importance of link context

As well as links to your website, the text used when linking helps search engines understand the context of the link.

Use descriptive anchor text

Anchor text are the words you use when creating a link. Using detailed words, like 'folk rock group from Toronto' as the text linked to your website is more useful than just writing 'click here'.

If external websites link to your website using specific words, Google will know that your site is a good match for those words. So anyone typing in 'folk rock group from Toronto' to the search engine is more likely to find your website. You don’t have to use the exact same words each time, but the words should be descriptive.

Create quality content

Think of how your link will fit in with the content it's presented with. The website it appears on, the page on the website, and the words around your link also help Google understand the context of the link. So focus on creating a high-quality website, and update it often with good content to encourage people to share it!

Tools to check out

Now that you've worked on adding links, how will you know that other websites are linking to yours? Here are a few tools you can use to track your success:

Open Site Explorer shows you websites linking to yours, and their influence.

Google Webmaster Tools offers insight about your site in Google Search.

Google Alerts can let you know if you’re mentioned online.

I hope this helps you add a few links to your website. Be sure to always keep your website url in mind, and share it widely to get links back to you!

25 ways to get more fans for your band using Instagram

25 ways to get more fans for your band using Instagram, Bandzoogle, images

Your fans have the attention span of a goldfish (less actually!). So every time you engage with them you need to hit em with a 1-2 knockout punch. The best way to do that is through consistent visual content. We process visuals 60,000 times faster than text, and since graphics evoke emotion this connects you to your fans more quickly (if you have the right images.)

The king of images and videos right now is Instagram. In a previous post we hit you with 4 tips to make your band’s Instagram more engaging. Since then Instagram has exploded we so here are 25 more ways to make your Instagram (IG) account work for you:

  1. Use hashtags - Hashtags are the way to go on Instagram. Hashtags allow you to call out what your image is about. Like a vendor at the ballgame yelling, ‘Peanuts! Get your hot, fresh, crunchy peanuts here!” Hashtags are similar in that you want to use detailed words or phrases that describe your image or brand. Even though your followers can see the image, select hashtags that would make sense even if they couldn’t see the picture.

  2. Don’t abuse the hashtag - Hashtags are a way for fans to find and connect with you. When you use popular hashtags that have nothing to do with your band or image it comes off as spammy and desperate. Definitely go for the creative and humorous, but leave out anything that doesn’t relate to your band.

  3. Caption fun - Just like the hashtag, a caption can be just as important to your posted image. This is where your writing skills will shine. Don’t get too bogged down in writing the perfect paragraph, or the most witty text. Just make sure it pairs nicely with your image and adds a little something to the post. Being funny and clever is a great idea but don’t make it so inside joke’y that your fans don’t know what the heck you’re talking about! Just keep it light and fun to compliment your photo.

  4. Hashtag bandwagon - I know you wanna hate em, but recurring weekday hashtags are here to stay (at least for awhile.) You know what they say, if you can’t beat em, join em! Go ahead and jump on the party train with #musicmonday and #tbt (Throwback Thursday). Just start with one day of the week and go for it. C’mon, you know all your fans would love to see a baby pic of your drummer next Thursday (like our very own Dave Cool #aww

  5. Variety is the spice of IG - Your IG page shouldn't show 10 of the same pictures of your band in different poses. Mix it up! Post tour shots, writing sessions, party nights, and whatever else makes up the life of an indie band or artist.

  6. Show your true colors - Make sure you’re posting images that makes fans want to see more. Dark, grainy pictures are depressing. Make sure you take bright colorful pics and use the IG filters to your advantage.

  7. Everyone wants to WIN! - Fans are crazy about winning anything, so IG contests are usually a big hit! You could give away digital downloads, t-shirts, gig tickets, heck - even a signed guitar pick. It doesn’t much matter what it is, as long as it creates a buzz around your IG page.

  8. One and done - The great thing about IG is that it gives you the option to send your posted image to Facebook and Twitter. This is a nice time saver!

  9. Link to your website - Social media is great for rallying your fans, but if you want them to focus on your music you need to get them to your website. To do this you’ll want to add a link to your site in your IG profile.

  10. Profile basics - The highlight of IG are your images, but don’t forget to write a great profile summary as well. Make sure to include your band name, genre, and where the band is from. Keep it short and simple, with just enough info to make fans want to click the link to your website to find out more.

  11. Serenade your fans - IG allows videos of up to 15 seconds, so why not give them a little taste of your music to keep them going? You can sing snippets of your songs, short clips of popular songs, custom songs for a particular fan, or anything else that highlights your sound.

  12. Turn the ‘Recording’ light on -  Let your fans in the recording booth with you (virtually) by posting short videos of the recording process. Show them where you're recording, the outtakes, the chill time, the creative difference ‘talks’, and anything else fans don’t usually get to be part of.

  13. Tour bus diaries -  Most fans will never get the opportunity to tour or gig, so let them in on the magic. Take short clips of the road trips, pit stops, green rooms, hotel stays, venues, and even funny moments like when the band is sleeping (e.g. drooling or snoring).

  14. Comedy is King - Fans love to see your personal side, so keep things light and post up any pics or videos that might get them laughing. Funny videos show your fans that although you're rockstars, you’re also human as well. How about filming some pranks on each other, or band hijinks on the road? This will go a long way to build relatability with your fans.

  15. Find your fans - You can either wait for fans to find you or you can get proactive and search for new fans on your end. In IG, click the magnifying glass icon, then you’ll see the Search box at the top. Try searching for keywords that fit your band or music. For example, if you are a bluegrass band you could type in bluegrass, banjo, fiddle, country, etc. You can also search for other bands/artists in your same genre and places/things in your local area. Then follow anyone who has interest in those same things.

  16. Comment, comment, comment - Now that you’ve searched for and found your fans, interact with them. Stardom is not a behind the scenes job. Get out in front of your fans and let them know you’re there. Fun examples:

    • If you find a fan who hashtagged an image with #fiddle you could comment something like “John from our band started fiddling at the age of 2!”

    • You found an image tagged with #AlisonKrauss, comment something like, “Cool! Alison’s song ‘Paper Airplane’ was the inspiration for our latest single, ‘Name of your single’

    • Someone tags a picture with #wafflehouse, hit em with, “We love waffle house! In fact, we’re gonna get some waffles after our {Name of Venue} gig next Friday. Come with us, the syrup’s on us! lol”

    • During a festival follow the hashtag and pop in where relevant. One of your fans might post a pic saying, “First time at #telluridebluegrassfestival and lovin it!” You can comment, “Great festival! We plan to perform there next year!”

  17. Interact with fans - The key to building super fans is to make sure they feel special. It’s great to promote your band a bit with comments, but also make sure to comment on regular every day type pictures your fans post as well. If they post a picture of their cute dog comment, “Aww too cute!” or if they post a vacation picture, say, “Hawaii’s a great vaca getaway. Have a pina colada for me!” Just keep it personable and fun.

  18. Share the spotlight with your fans - Make it a point to take photos with your fans at gigs, events, and just out and about. Then post the pics to IG and tag your fans in the photo. Make sure they get a copy of the pic so they can post on their IG feed and tag you as well. This creates the opportunity for you to get new fans from their friends.

  19. Fan love - Have fans email you photos, drawings, and videos talking about your band or music. One idea is to have fans submit videos of them rockin out at your concert. Another might be a fan doing a cover of one of your songs. You can even post artwork that fans have drawn or painted of the band.

  20. Network with other bands - Now that you’ve found similar artists by searching IG, get in there and work together to get new fans. Cross promote gigs and music. Comment on their music and videos. Collaborate where you can. Do a contest together. Be creative because sharing fans creates more buzz for you (and them).

  21. Be present - Besides commenting on your fan pics and images by other bands, make sure to comment on other pages as well. Keep your name out there by commenting on posts about current topics, events (e.g. soccer, holidays, etc), and the like.

  22. Something to look forward to - Recurring photo series take a little more work, but if done right, fans love it. The idea is to post a new photo in a series every week to give your fans something to come back for. Ideas:

    • Our drummer can sleep anywhere: Post a pic a week of your drummer sleeping in a suitcase, in a stairwell, in the bathtub, etc.

    • Where’s our banjo?: Post a pic a week showing your banjo with a paper mustache in a new location. Think about putting it where you gig so people know where to find you.

    • Pranks: Post one pic or video a week of band shenanigans (People LOVE silly posts and like to tag their friends to look also.)

  23. Mix it up - If you are a band, make sure to have each band member get involved. This will help fans get to know you as a group as well as individually. From that you can even do IG polls with questions like, Which band member has the hottest body? Which band member has the best hair?  Which band member posts the best pics here on IG?

  24. Add your IG photos to your website - Once you get a nice array of photos in IG, display them on your website. You can easily set this up on your website with our built in Instagram feature.

  25. Be consistent -  Although this is #25 in number, this really is the #1 best way to get more fans. If you show up often enough with thoughtful, consistent content, your fans will remember you!

Now that you know what to do, make sure you don’t mess up all your hard work by using poor quality photos, being too salesy, or forgetting to set your account to public!

There are certainly more do’s and don’ts to Instagram. What are your favorite tips for maximising your Instagram feed to get new fans?

Musicians: 7 Tips For A Successful PledgeMusic Campaign

Tips for musicians for a Successful PledgeMusic campaign

This is a guest post by Bandzoogle member Barney Boom (Sonic Boom Six), which originally appeared on the PledgeMusic blog

Bandzoogle integrates PledgeMusic campaigns into band websites

Sonic Boom Six are using our PledgeMusic integration on their website, which seamlessly adds PledgeMusic campaign offers to any page of your website. Check it out here: http://sonicboomsix.co.uk/pledgemusic

For more info about the PledgeMusic integration on Bandzoogle: How to integrate your PledgeMusic Campaign into your band website in seconds 


Barney has seen the PledgeMusic experience from all sides. Not only is he a valuable part of the PledgeMusic team, but he’s also a member of UK reggae rockers Sonic Boom Six. This means he’s uniquely suited to provide this helpful list of tips for a successful PledgeMusic campaign.      

PledgeMusic sees hundreds of direct-to-fan campaigns a year on the platform, many of them from internationally renowned artists like Erasure, Bring Me The Horizon and Smashing Pumpkins. But there are also just as many emerging, unsigned and smaller bands coming in and smashing their targets by running well-planned and engaging campaigns. Having run campaigns from both sides of the desk – as a band and as a campaign manager – here are my seven tips to ensure that your project is a success.

PLAN YOUR CAMPAIGN

The most important period of a campaign comes before you press ‘launch’ on the project. Meticulous preparation is essential. Make sure that your numbers add up, that you have enough time to deliver your material, and all the possibilities are considered, including artwork, mastering and whatever else may come into play for your project. Remember to account for the production costs of your merchandise in the final figures. Ensure your profile has the images, links and music that you want to represent you and your exclusives.

The PledgeMusic staff will help you through every step of this process but ultimately, they can only work with what you provide them with. This is a partnership and, with proper planning, this platform is the greatest way to engage your fans you could imagine.

MAKE YOUR PITCH VIDEO A PRIORITY

Your video pitch is your first update and your chance to get the message out about your campaign. It’s the first port of call for visitors to your profile and will stay there for the whole project, so it’s worth getting right. Using programs like iMovie, it’s easier than ever to knock together a professionally captioned and edited video. An interview with you in a studio is the standard pitch –- and can really work -- but it’s also worth thinking outside of the box.

My band, Sonic Boom Six, chose to do a new, original acoustic song about our campaign and then we remixed it and offered that as a PledgeMusic-exclusive free download. Exit International did a hilarious video involving, exercise, sexual pandas and nudity. Land of the Giants did an outdoor pitch involving cucumbers, kidnapping, rolling hills and nudity. You’d certainly be forgiven for thinking nudity is the common denominator for PledgeMusic success, but I can assure you that the key is anything that’s going to get shared on social networks, which will push your campaign beyond your immediate fans and as far as it can go.

Exit International. Quality purveyors of exercise, sexual pandas and nudity. 

ALWAYS KEEP YOUR PLEDGERS UPDATED

This may seem obvious, but I’ve seen acts begin their campaigns with enthusiastic updates and then slow down as the campaign progresses, especially as they got towards, or past, their targets. This is a bad idea because a campaign doesn’t have to stop once you’ve reached your target. In fact, many campaigns thrive afterwards, as some fans choose to watch from afar and like to have confirmation that the release is a certainty to jump in.

It’s later in the campaign that the updates really come in handy. As more of the Pledgers engage with, and discuss, the latest update in your campaign on social media, the more the fans on the outside of PledgeMusic AccessPass begin to want in to see the updates that they’ve missed. It’s only by building the library of updates across the whole campaign that you can make the currency of your updates a vital part of the fan experience.

THE PERSONAL TOUCH WORKS

It’s a part of the culture of a PledgeMusic campaign that the artist and the fans are united in the creative journey, so don’t be afraid of climbing off the stage and addressing fans personally. Fans will join a campaign if they get closer proximity to an artist, and you see the best results when you approach communicating with your Pledgers with a positive honesty rather than Rock ‘n’ Roll aloofness.

Being a relatively new concept, it’s only natural that some artists feel uncomfortable with the idea of direct-to-fan pre-order campaigns, so they may attempt to distance themselves from the projects. This is a bad idea. The most enthusiastic engagement from Pledgers -- the lifeblood of the campaigns -- comes when artists communicate personally with the people who are supporting them at the grassroots of their art.

USE CREATIVE EXCLUSIVES AND REACT TO DEMAND

Think long and hard about the personal, creative exclusives that you can provide, because these are the ones that really make the difference to the bottom line. An item like ‘your name in the credits’ will cost you nothing stock-wise, but get a hundred of them in your liner notes and they’re a great asset for your project, providing they’re reasonably priced.

Offering guest vocals from your singer is an engaging, and outside the box, idea.

There are no hard and fast rules for what a person will or won’t pay for a creative exclusive like a cover version or a personalised song, but you’ll need to be adaptable. Once the campaign is launched, be ready to listen to the feedback of your audience on comments and social media and don’t be abashed about getting in touch with the staff at PledgeMusic to react to, and adjust, the pricing and exclusives in your project.

You’ve got the greatest market research of all – your fans – at your fingertips so use this resource and keep abreast of what does and doesn’t work for your unique fan base.

DON’T BE AFRAID OF GIVING AWAY DEMO TRACKS

With the ever-changing face of the music industry, and ongoing debate about downloading and streaming, fear of the dreaded studio ‘leak’ persists, so artists can be wary about the idea of having demos bouncing about the web. However, as artists, instead of worrying about our music getting out there, we’d do better served shift the goalposts of our expectations and use sites like PledgeMusic to engage our audience with demos, remixes and outtakes.

If anyone’s enough of a fan to listen to a demo, they’re also going to be enough of a fan to want to contribute to your projects, and you can always set to stream rather than download if that’s your preference. Don’t worry about little things like having tracks playing in the background during your updates -- in fact, use them to whet the Pledger’s appetites. Your fans will feel privileged to hear your works in progress. Think of it as getting them excited for the album they’ve already pre-ordered rather than satiated for one they won’t.

RELAX, BELIEVE IN YOUR MUSIC AND ENJOY THE CAMPAIGN

I know, from experience and from talking to artists that a PledgeMusic campaign can be a daunting proposition. Putting together a host of exclusives, crunching the numbers and figuring out the calendar and schedule are tricky propositions for most artists, with a lot of responsibility assumed. But when I speak to artists after a campaign, without fail, they say that if they’d have known how well it was going to have worked from the start, they’d have concentrated on enjoying the process rather than worrying about the outcome.

Remember that nine out of ten of our sign-ups achieve their intended target, so if you’ve set a sensible target – which PledgeMusic campaign managers will help you with – and followed the advice above to the letter, chances are you and your awesome music will smash your targets, utilise the platform to its fullest and get the most out of your next release.

Website Design Inspiration: Great Bilingual Site from Whisky Legs

Bilingual website design by Whisky Legs band from Québec.

Who: Whisky Legs
What: Blues, Rock, and Soul Band
Where: Quebec, Canada
Why their website rocks: We love that Whisky Legs posted some fantastic images to their page headers, while keeping their content informative, clean, and neat. This helps ensure clarity in their bilingual site, especially when viewed on mobile devices.

The Whisky Legs site also uses our subpages option to good effect, and keeps what could be complicated navigation between French and English really easy. In mobile view, every translated page is nested below a corresponding main menu language page, so visitors can just scroll to their language preference, and select a page to view.

It’s obvious that keeping their fans in the loop is important, as they keep their Nouvelles / News pages current with a blog feature. Also, every page prominently features the mailing list signup form feature at the top, so visitors can’t miss where to get on the list.

We also like that Whisky Legs have their music features set up so visitors can ‘name their own price’ when purchasing music. This is a great way to make their music accessible to new fans, and shows confidence and trust in their existing fan base who continue to support them.

You can check out their site in either English or French at http://whiskylegs.com

Video: How to add Bandsintown events to your Bandzoogle website

Add Bandsintown events to your Bandzoogle website.

We recently partnered with Bandsintown to build a feature to let you easily integrate your Bandsintown tour dates into your website.

For both touring musicians and music fans, Bandsintown is a must-have app. Downloaded more than 16 million times, it’s the largest concert discovery app in the world. Through personalized notifications and a full Facebook integration, they connect artists to fans.

This video tutorial shows how in just a couple of clicks, you can pull your events from Bandsintown and display them on any page of your website. No need to re-enter dates, or embed widgets or plug-ins. Check it out:

The Bandsintown feature also styles automatically to match your website’s theme, and looks great on mobile devices. We hope you guys find it helpful!

10 songs by Bandzoogle members you should listen to #MusicMonday

music, work, artists, genres, styles, musicmonday, Bandzoogle, staff

We recently did a blog post highlighting the music listening habits of the Bandzoogle staff. We're a team who listens to all sorts of genres and styles of music. Us Bandzoogler’s love a variety of artists but have a soft spot for tunes created by our members. Today we salute you for your hard work getting your music out to the world. Here’s a small sample of the members our BZ staff is listening to today. #musicmonday

Bandzoogle Staff Picks Playlist:

Who's listening to what?

David E (Support) - “Burken” by Niko Ne Zna

Allison (Support) -”Sunday Morning Pancakes” by Julia Figueroa

Dave S (Developer) - “Passionflower” by Jon Gomm (Member spotlight interview!)

Justin (Support) - “Hand over my heart” by James Hill (JUNO Nominee!)

Dave Cool (Artist Relations) - “A Love Sincere” by Covenhoven  

Adam (Support) - “Big Deal” by Open to the Hound  

Stacey (Support) - “Common Sense" by Mason James

Desi (Support) - “Numbered Doors” by Lori McKenna

Josh (Design) - “The Rain Song” by Camila Meza (Featured Artist!)

Melanie (Support) - “The Peninsula” by Tara Craig


Now it's your turn. Post a Soundcloud link of your favorite song by a Bandzoogle member, even your own! We love hearing new music and who knows, you may be featured on a future #musicmonday post. Bandzoogle members unite!