The Bandzoogle Blog

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

Website Design Inspiration: Bandzoogle Team Sites

Website Design Inspiration: Bandzoogle Team Sites

Not only do we work here, we're also members! While we're away at our annual meetup, we're taking the day to showcase some of our own websites powered by Bandzoogle.

  • Customer support representative Allison has built her coaching website here. She makes great use of our built-in features like the Blog to keep her website up to date. Her frequent updates also help her site rank high in search engine results as well! She’s using the beautiful new Prismatic theme - just one of the new modern themes we’ve been adding this year.

Allison Sharpe website - Bandzoogle Blog

  • Dave Cool, our Director of Industry Outreach, uses Bandzoogle for his personal website. He shares blog posts relevant to musicians, as well as a variety of free eBooks he's written. His documentary, What Is Indie? is also available in our commission-free eCommerce feature!

  • QA Analyst Justin hosts his website here, featuring his past and upcoming performances in the Shows feature. He also uses great imagery and adds a different header image to each page of his Meridan theme for a super modern and colorful look. Justin also has a vocal lessons page on his site, so if you're in the neighborhood and looking to take some lessons, you can contact him directly on his website!

Start building your own website with us! Bandzoogle websites have a built-in mailing list tool, and you keep 100% of your sales when you sell music, merch, & tickets online. Sign up free now.

Website Design Inspiration: Best Recording Studio Websites

Website Design Inspiration: Best Recording Studio Websites on Bandzoogle

As a recording studio owner you certainly know time is money, and building a website can be time consuming.

Many studio owners are great at building a top notch studio, but don’t have a bunch of time to sit around messing with a full website build. This is where we here at Bandzoogle can help. We provide you with all the tools to give you the pro looking website your studio deserves.

[How to Build a Website for Your Recording Studio]

To get you started, let’s go through some of the most important pages your clients want to see when they get to your website.

Is this my studio home?

When an artist or band starts the process of looking for a studio, they need to do some research. This is why it’s vital for you to provide all the details they’ll need to feel confident in booking with you.

On their search they’ll hit up many studio websites, so it’s critical that your Homepage is on point. People buy from those they like, know and trust. Since they don’t know you yet you’ll want to make a welcoming introduction right away.

Studio owner and ARIA award winning producer Damien Leith of Studio Four has done a great job of this on his website. He’s using one of our newest templates, Portside, to display a large header image of him and his studio setup.

Website Design Inspiration: Best Recording Studio Websites on Bandzoogle

This imagery gives visitors a sense that he’s friendly and the studio environment is comfortable.

In addition to the header, Damien also has a nice welcome message, a mailing list sign-up form, and video of one of his latest productions. This is just enough information to get a visitor interested in learning more about him and the studio.

Website Design Inspiration: Best Recording Studio Websites on Bandzoogle

Tell me more

The second most important page on the site is the About or Bio page. This is where you’ll want to go into more detail about you and your studio. Admiral Bean Studio gives us a great example by using a fun studio image in the header then a text feature explaining how the studio came to be.

Website Design Inspiration: Best Recording Studio Websites on Bandzoogle

Including a few more personal details will draw visitors in and let them know you’re relatable. Remember the studio is a place where artists will need to be vulnerable so they want to know they can trust you. Adding several images, both pro and candid, will help win them over.

But what’s the studio vibe?

Feeling comfortable with the studio staff is just the first step. Next a visitor needs to know if the atmosphere they’ll be recording in fits their style. The best way to find out is by checking out the studio design.

Website Design Inspiration: Best Recording Studio Websites on Bandzoogle

This photo gallery layout by JSR Studios shows visitors that they have a variety of great equipment, and have also had some heavy hitters use the studio as well. This can really seal the deal with prospective clients.

Got samples?

At this point you’ve gotten a visitor to like and trust you, but ultimately they’ll want a quality product. To give them an idea you should add a Music page to your website with samples of the work you’ve done with other bands and artists.

Website Design Inspiration: Best Recording Studio Websites on Bandzoogle

J. Augustus Creighton from Barnstormer Recordings does a fantastic job highlighting a recent client on the Music page. He shows the recording date to show it’s current, lists a few songs, and provides a brief story of the session. These personal details make a newcomer feel like they’ll be given the VIP treatment if they choose your studio.

Do you support the music community?

You have everything an artist wants, but the tipping point may just be how engaged you are with the music community. Do you hold industry mixers in the studio? Give a percentage of your proceeds to a music charity? Participate in any other music related events? If so, adding a dedicated page for this on your site would be a hit!

Website Design Inspiration: Best Recording Studio Websites on Bandzoogle

Another fun idea we’ve seen by Melodrama Recordings is to host live recording sessions and interviews from local bands and artists. This creates camaraderie within the local scene and promotes your studio at the same time.

Sold! How do I get in?

When you’ve done a great job leading visitors through your site, they’ll be anxious to get started. This is where you have to make it super easy to book with you. It’s a must that you have a contact or booking page as the last item in your navigation menu.

Pama Studios in Sweden has a well-organized studio page that allows prospective clients to get in touch right away.

After a brief introduction of the studio, there are pro images and important info about each studio room, then a short booking form. Once the visitor fills out the form it’s sent to the studio owner’s email so they can contact the prospective client to set up the first meeting!

Website Design Inspiration: Best Recording Studio Websites on Bandzoogle

Now that you have an idea of what makes for a great recording studio website it’s time to jump in and build one of your own.

If you need more inspiration check out the Bandzoogle blog and our Examples Page where we highlight our most outstanding artists. And don’t worry, we’ve made it super simple with our point and click sitebuilder so you’ll have a polished website up and running before your next session!

Build your recording studio website in minutes with all of these features and more. Sign up free with Bandzoogle now.

Annual Bandzoogle Team Retreat This Week!

Bandzoogle Annual Company Meetup

It’s that time of year again! The entire Bandzoogle team is driving and flying in from around the globe to meet in person. This year, we’re heading to the beautiful village of Mont-Tremblant, in scenic Quebec, Canada.

Since we all work virtually, it’ll be a chance to re-connect face to face rather than from behind a computer screen. We’ll also get to meet newer employees, and share some food and drinks (sugar pie, anyone?)

It also gives us a chance for each team to meet and talk in person about all of the new features and options we’ll be implementing. So far this year, we’ve been focused on design and have added some great new options including:

There are also custom band email addresses and an integrated a GigSalad feature to check out. And there’s lots more to come, including a revamp of our mailing list system, more new themes and font options, and other integrations.

Since we’ll be meeting in person, you might experience longer than normal wait times for support replies, and live chat won’t be available during the week. Our dedicated support staff team will still be responding as quickly as possible to any inquiries!

So while we might be away from our computers more than usual (and eating s’mores by the bonfire while we talk rather than Tweet), we’ll be back in full swing next week.

Have a wonderful week everyone!

- Team BZ

How to Create a Store Page to Sell Music & Merch on Your Website

How to Create a Store Page to Sell Music and Merch on your Website

With your website being your main hub online, it’s important to monetize your music. This includes setting up a great store page for band merch that’s easy to scan and shop.

First create a compelling Homepage with recent information and music. Make sure your band bio page is up to date, then get your Music ready to sell music online.

Now you’re ready to add your band merch! Selling through our commission-free store is easy to set up, and here are some tips to get you started.

[VIDEO] How to sell band merch online with Bandzoogle: 

Organize it

Your Store page needs to be organized. Use a simple website theme that will allow you to showcase content on this page. Then, add your store with the products that you’ll sell.

With each item, take care to note exactly what it is, and add a description. The more detailed you are, the better your chance is of making the sale.

You can create sections to group items per category - CDs, then shirts, then extras like vinyl or posters.

If you have a lot of merch to offer, create separate pages for each type of product. Each page can have it’s own store with dedicated items. Then, you’d link to them from the main store page.

With many products, choosing to display them in a grid will also give your store a unified look.

Ball Brothers Band Merch Store

Make use of images and color

Make sure every item in your store has an image showing what it is. This will add visual interest to the page, and help potential buyers see what they are getting. You can even add several images per item (think front and back of a t-shirt).

When it comes to selling band merch online, a simple design will work wonders. With a plain background, the focus will be on your store items. Think about which colors work well, and integrate them. You can set the color of your buy buttons, or give them a modern outline, to give your products a sleek look.

Savvie Merch Store

Include extras for everyone

If it’s been awhile since your last album, your fans may have already bought it. If you’re hoping to make a steady stream of revenue with your online store, get creative to move that merch!

Set up some package deals, or bonus items like signed posters. Little items like stickers or guitar picks can be popular on their own, or bundled with CDs. Don’t forget, you can set up the automatic inventory option to be sure you don’t sell out of any limited run items.

Red Hill Valleys Merch Store

Need some ideas for what kind of merch to sell? Check out The Ultimate Guide to Selling Band Merch Online.

Make it stress-free

Once your page is set up in an organized way, with an uncluttered layout, add some text with instructions to make shopping easier. You could note the expected ship time for regional vs international orders, or explain that you accept both Paypal and credit cards on checkout.

Add a way to contact you well. This will help if someone is browsing and has questions, or if they have bought something and need help afterwards.

Finally, add a quick thank you note in your payment settings as well, which will get sent to your customer directly. A message thanking them, and offering a way to get in touch, will help build connections with your fans.

Enter the Haggis Merch Store

Add a digital option

Besides items that you have to ship out, you can also offer digital tracks or files. Sell pdfs, ebooks, sheet music and more through your Store! You can even sell music lessons, workshops, or set up gig deposits, using your store to collect payment.

[How to Sell Sheet Music Through Your Website]

Rotate merch regularly

Your store page should be updated regularly. This means removing items out of stock or adding items that are coming soon. Clear out your old CDs and shirts by having a sale, or offer a discount code to members of your mailing list. Then, add new items and be sure to promote them to your fanbase.

[The Complete Guide to Email Marketing for Musicians]

Reaching out to plug new merch is a great way to drive traffic back to your website and get people shopping!

Swamp Donkey Jass Merch Store

Setting up and maintaining a store page is your best bet to make money on your website and sell more music and merch online. Keep it well organized and simple, and your efforts will pay off!

Build a professional website in just a few clicks where you can sell music and band merch commission-free! Sign up free with Bandzoogle now.

[Free eBook] 23 Ways Musicians Can Make Money

 23 Ways Musicians Can Make Money - Bandzoogle

Two years ago we published a blog post called 18 Ways Musicians Can Make Money. But a lot can change in two years, especially in the music industry.

There are now even more opportunities for musicians and bands to make money. New tools and services are also available to help you take advantage of these new revenue streams.

So we decided to update that blog post with new revenue streams, more tips, more tools and resources, and release it as a free eBook: 23 Ways Musicians Can Make Money

Here’s what you’ll find in the eBook:  

  • 23 ideas for generating revenue for your career eBook Cover: 23 Ways Musicians Can Make Money

  • Resources and expert tips for each revenue stream 

  • Musician tools and services to help you make more money

  • Details on a new form of currency for musicians

  • Eye-opening statistics on the most important marketing tool for musicians

The eBook is free to download, no strings attached. We hope that it helps spark some ideas for generating more money for your career!

Download the eBook 23 Ways Musicians Can Make Money

Make more money as a musician! Keep 100% of your revenues when you sell music, merch, & tickets through your website. Sign up free with Bandzoogle now.

New Website Theme: Meridian

Musician Website Theme: Meridian

Looking to change things up and give your band website a fresh look? Our new Meridian theme is stylish, mobile-ready, and full of customization options.

Full-width header with style

Mobile ready band website theme

This modern music template has a full width area at the top for your main image. Add a press kit picture, a texture, or try a stock image to set the tone. You can adjust the height to show more or less of your image.

To give your main title text a polished look, there is a diamond shape behind it. This can be switched off if you don’t want to display it, or you can change the color to match your look.

You can also add your own logo in that space, set your title to be all caps or not, and edit the color of your header text.

Overlay options

Looking to jazz up your website? Check out the color filter options to make your image stand out! You can turn on the color photo filter to give your header image a tinge of any color you want.

Then, click the Photo color filter mode to try out the different effects.

There is also the option to use a filter called photo dust, which adds a vintage look to your image. It’s a subtle and interesting effect to give your image some visual interest.

Watch this video to see this theme in action:

Content Customization

The content area of this template includes a diagonal shape at the bottom of your header image. It gives the theme a unique look. If you’d rather have a simple, straight edge under your image, that’s an option as well.

Using a feature title is a great way to break up your content. This makes a layout that’s pleasing and scannable. You can toggle the feature title decoration on, or off.

To better match the colors of your main image, you can change the color of the content area itself. Create a black and white version of the theme, or choose bright and bold colors to emphasize your style of music.

Choose your own style

There are three variations to choose from as a starting point to fully customize your design. You can pick the default cream version, a muted grayscale version with a pop of red, or a blue variation.

Depending on your style of music, you can pick whichever one works, then adjust the colors, font, color overlay, and more! With each theme, the colors currently in use, as well as the previous colors used will display in the color picker, making it easy for you to match.

The Meridian theme offers lots of color choices to make your band website truly unique. You can try it on for size in the Theme Designer, without it affecting your content and layout. Hope you enjoy this brand new theme!

Bandzoogle lets you create a unique and mobile ready website that's easy to update at anytime. Try Bandzoogle free now!

How to Make Better Music with Fan Feedback

How to Make Better Music with Fan Feedback - Bandzoogle Blog

Guest post by Dave Marcello, Head of Artist Growth at Audiokite Research. Audiokite helps musicians, labels, and media companies better understand their audiences through crowdsourcing.

Let’s face it; you’re pretty biased when it comes to evaluating your own music. You may think it’s the most soul-filled, genre-busting art the world has ever heard, or you might view it as a ten-pound bag of trash that belongs out on the sidewalk. That’s why artists need to seek input from people who can be critical and honest, then understand how to put that information into action. Here are some guidelines to help you along the way.

Your Mom Already Loves Your Music…Now What?

Tell me if this reaction sounds familiar when you ask a close friend or family member what they think of your song:

“Oh, that’s great, it sounds great. Everything is great!”

Did you buy that? Are you really going to take that comment to the bank? I don’t think so. Because musicians work hard, pouring your heart and soul into your craft, and at the end of the day, the people around you want to be supportive, not leave you disheartened. Your mom is simply not the best critic of your creations. Neither is your significant other, best friend, or musician pals.

Avoiding this “positive thinking trap” is an important first step to effectively analyze your own music…and music business. You want to do everything possible to avoid confirmation bias, which is the tendency to search for and interpret new information that confirms your existing beliefs or theories.

If You’re Not Checking, You’re Guessing

The only way to get better at what you do is to know how to get better. As they say, “Measure twice, cut once.” Acquiring new fans, distributing your music, and getting better at everything becomes much easier when you have a clear path and measurable goals. The first step is to ask “Why?” as often as you possibly can. Some people like your music; great, find out why. Some people don’t like your music; even better, find out why. You get a ton of Facebook likes and Spotify plays in Saskatchewan; weird, but awesome, so find out why.

Point blank – if you’re not actively trying to validate the assumptions you’ve made before putting in a bunch of time, effort, and money, you’re losing out.

“…when an artist attempts to identify where his music is being played, who’s playing it, and how it’s being received across audiences, much is left up for assumption.”

- Caitlin Lopilato, greenlabel.com

With your questions at the ready, you can begin searching for patterns, outliers, and gaps. You can start digging. “Why?” is the most powerful question in the universe, but only if you follow it up with true exploration. Act like a scientist, an archaeologist, a street-wise detective.

Give The Fans A Voice

There’s a concept in the startup world called customer validation, which is a business-building philosophy that focuses on learning as much as you can from the market and making decisions based on what you discover. Soliciting feedback directly from music fans is much easier today than ever before.

  • Move beyond the retweet and the like: Social media is at its best when fans interact directly with artists, so be brave and use it as a testing ground for your songs. Ask your followers to answer questions about your songs or about their listening habits to get a clearer idea of your target market, straight from the source.

  • Get in on live streaming now: You may not have heard of it yet, but the live streaming site YouNow already has 100 million user sessions every single month. Then you have Periscope, Meerkat, Facebook Live, and more. It doesn’t get much more direct than live streaming, where you can be uninhibited and informal, like playing a live version of a work-in-progress song right from the studio and collecting instant reactions to it.

  • Hit up your email list: You do have a superfan email list, right? Anyone willing to fork over his or her email address is going to be a great source of feedback. Whip up a brief fan feedback survey and send it to your list (we use typeform and highly recommend it). Bonus tip: offer an incentive as a thank you for their time, like a limited time free song download or signed t-shirt to one random participant.

  • Play for an entirely new crowd: What better group to provide unbiased feedback on your music than consumers who aren’t (yet) your fans? Services like Audiokite Research play a song to a targeted group of music lovers, collect their sentiment and reactions, and provide musicians with a data-filled research report.

Uncover Actionable Information

Beyond surveying your current and potential fans, most artists have access to built-in analytics through popular music hosting and fan engagement services like Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, SoundCloud, and more. Then there’s website traffic exploration tools like Google Analytics, email marketing measurement like Mailchimp, and even merchandise sales tracking via your preferred vendor. Spend some time getting to know how to use these analytics tools and putting that knowledge into practice.

Now that you’ve gathered a whole bunch of data and begun analyzing it, the time has come to turn this information into insights that can help guide your decision-making capabilities. Assuming you don’t have regular access to data scientists and number-crunching algorithms, you can follow these basic steps:

  1. Identify patterns: The easiest way to get started is to look for obvious patterns across all your data. Keep an eye out for bits of information that continue to surface, whether they show strengths or weaknesses. You should also note any important data that might be missing, like where the majority of your sales come from or what other artists your biggest fans support.  

  2. Develop a hypothesis: Take one of those patterns or noteworthy points of data and make an educated guess about it. Notice your conversion rate from website visitor to email newsletter subscriber is weak? Maybe you’re chasing the wrong target market or maybe your homepage needs a redesign.

  3. Test and observe: Now that you have a theory or two, it’s time to find easy, low-cost ways to test them. In the example above, you could add a new email sign-up box in the top section of your homepage and see if that increases your conversion rate. You never know until you try, and you’ll only know what works if you measure it and compare to previous results.

  4. Repeat: This process should never truly end, as there are endless minor improvements you can make to your music and your process that, taken together, can have massive impact at the end of the day.

You don’t have to be a white-lab-coat-rocking scientist to act like one. If you put in the work to solidify your assumptions, you’ll end up making more informed decisions, then reap the benefits sooner and more often. Start small and don’t be afraid of rapid experimentation.

Bandzoogle websites have a built-in mailing list tool, and you keep 100% of your sales when you sell music, merch, & tickets online. Sign up free with Bandzoogle now.

Singers & Songwriters: How to Win Over Your Audience At Every Performance

Singers & Songwriters: How to Win Over Your Audience At Every Performance - Bandzoogle Blog

This guest post from Celebrity Vocal Coach Cari Cole originally appeared on her blog

Every performer has good days and bad days. It’s par for the course. However, the goal of any superstar or rising star, is that even on bad days, you still can rock the stage.

And that’s a tall order when your voice punks out on you, or you’ve got personal stuff to deal with, or maybe your label just dropped you ~ sigh. But you still have to go put on a show, no matter what. That’s the life of a performer.

So, how do you still strut the stage when you’re underwhelmed yourself? You gotta have a few tricks up your sleeve. Don’t worry, Mama’s got you covered. I’ve been in the trenches with artists over the past 3 decades, and have some handy solutions for pretty much every possible scenario.

Besides my coveted list of natural remedies to recover your vocal health in a matter of seconds (find out more about all of that in my Vocal Road Warrior free 3-part series here)… knowing a thing or two about how to mesmerize your audience, when you’re out of sorts, is probably the most important thing you do as a performer.  It’s not as easy as it looks, especially if like most performers… you’re an introvert. Boom. How did Mama know? Yep, most artists are the introverted sensitive types. That’s how you write such killer songs that we all relate to. But when you’re on stage — Bam. You come alive.

But performing is not about you ~ it’s about them. Your audience. To be on point every night, don’t focus on perfection, stay in the present moment, give yourself fully and be with your audience.

1. Audiences Respond to Your Energy, Turn it On

There are times when you have to perform that you won’t want to. Whether you’re battling some inner demon, the flu or your record label, the show must go on. The good news, is that people respond to your energy even more than your musical acuity. All you have to do is turn it on, and soon enough, you’ll feel it coming back in droves. The audience will energize you once you give it to them.

2. Make Them Feel Special  

Even though your audience is coming to see you, it’s not really about you. It’s about their connection to you and their experience at the show. It’s a great opportunity to bond. Welcome them, use their city name, talk about how glad you are to see them or how stoked you are to be “back” in their neck of the woods. It seems obvious, but when you switch your focus away from yourself and onto your fans, it  not only makes a more meaningful connection to them, it takes the pressure off of you and performing for them becomes fun!

3. Dedicate Songs to Them

Everyone wants to feel special. Every fan wants to feel important. Take a moment to think about what song you want to dedicate to your fans and why. Then share it at every concert. You may want to have different dedications for different locations depending on the mood, current events or your history there.

4. Share Yourself Emotionally

The number 1 thing that ramps up an audience is you. So all you have to do is plan to share as much as you can of yourself and your emotions in your songs. If you can go there all the way, so will your audience. And that creates a bond. People bond with you over what you give. “People won’t remember what you say, but they will remember how you make them feel.” (I don’t know who said it, but it’s so true!)

5. Conduct a “Sing-A-Long”

Nothing lights up an audience as much as singing along to a well known song of yours, or a cover. Usually the sing-a-long is best suited for the chorus, by turning your mic on them ~ or if your song has an “oh-oh-oh” or a “hey” background stand-alone part like the Lumineers Hey Ho. Rehearse the audience before you start the song, with the band playing the loop of that section demonstrating their “part.” Rally the troops for at least one tune. Fun, fun, fun.

Cari Cole is one of the most respected and in-demand Celebrity Vocal Coaches, Artist Development Experts and New Music Business Mentors in the industry. She has worked with some of the biggest names in music. Her client list includes multiple Grammy winners,  legendary rock stars, major and indie label artists and thousands of independent artists. She helps musicians find their voice, build their brand and create successful careers in music. To find out more about Cari and to get her free Vocal Road Warrior 3-part series on how to keep your voice healthy while you are out conquering your tour, visit her website/blog: www.caricole.com
 
Bandzoogle lets you create a professional website in minutes with all the music promotional features you need including a blog, mailing list, and social media integrations.Try Bandzoogle free now!

Website Design Inspiration: Best Country Band Websites

Website Design Inspiration: Best Country Band Websites on Bandzoogle

Wondering what makes for a great country band website? We’ve got you covered. Here are examples of some of the best country music websites on Bandzoogle.

Each website uses one of our many mobile-ready templates, customized to fit the artist’s individual brand! Check them out:

Great Images

Alyssia Domniguez’s website uses our Manhattan theme and features a large professional header image on the Homepage.

[How to Build the Perfect Homepage for Your Website]

Alyssia Domniguez Bandzoogle website Homepage

She then changes up the header images with more beautiful photos for the interior pages. But we especially love her Gallery page! Featuring photos or videos are a great way to let fans in on your activities - and Alyssia features both on her website.

Alyssia Domniguez Bandzoogle website Gallery PagesHer Gallery page lets visitors choose between Photo and Video galleries.

On the Photos page, she includes 2 galleries. The first one features great promo shots from different photo shoots. This provides lots of options for media, venues, and festivals to choose from. She also has a gallery of great live shots, which gives both fans and industry a sense of her live show.

For the Videos page, she makes use of our Video feature, embedding YouTube videos from both live performances as well as intimate cover songs.

[How To Create a Stunning Photos Section on Your Band Website]

See You At The Show!

Of course you’ll want your fans to be able to find you after they’ve checked out your website!

Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue use our Events feature to list all of their upcoming gigs (they’re really busy!). Fans can click on any event to get more details, see the venue on Google Maps, and share to social media to help spread the word. Gal Holiday also adds some visuals to the Shows page by using our Instagram Gallery feature.

Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue Bandzoogle website Events page

[How to set up an Events Page on your Band Website & Sell Tickets Online]

Sell It Out

Our Store feature allows you to sell your physical merchandise, so fans can order straight from you! Like with our Music feature, sales through the Store are commission-free!

Dannie Marie lays her Store page out nicely, with great visuals for her merch. She even sells some creative merchandise, including leather cuff bracelets with lyrics from her songs!

Dannie Marie Bandzoogle website Store page

Be A Show Off

You want to show off on your website, so why not dedicate a page to cuts you’ve had recorded by other artists?

Travis Meadows does just that by using a Photo Gallery to lay out the album artwork. Then he adds a Text feature to showcase even more tracks that have been recorded by other artists.

Travis Meadows Bandzoogle website About page

Your website should be a home with information for both fans and industry. Bandzoogle makes it easy to include these key elements when building your country music website. Hopefully these examples give you some ideas on what to feature on your own website!

For more design inspiration, check out our Website Examples page and the Beautiful Website Templates category of our blog.

Build your country band website in minutes with all of these features and more. Sign up free with Bandzoogle now!

17 ways to promote your music online

17 ways to promote your music online - Bandzoogle Blog

When it comes to promoting music online, there are far too many channels, networks, forums, platforms, apps and communities for musicians to be involved with to be present on them all.

So rather than attempt the impossible, you should focus your efforts on a handful that are likely to bare the most fruit.

How are you to know which platforms are most likely to lead to success?

Well, there's no one answer, and trial and error will still most certainly be involved. But there are a few questions you can ask yourself to help you identify your best options:

  • Who are your ideal fans?
  • Where do they spend their time online?
  • Where do you find similar artists (even far bigger acts within your genre) spending most of their time actively engaging with their audience online?
  • What type of content are they focused on (i.e. Videos, photos, articles/ blogs, etc.)

Answering these simple questions is a great way to get started. Once you've made it to this point, you'll want to explore the different platforms / properties available to you. These can be broken into 4 separate categories, each with a unique purpose:

Owned Properties

While social networks are great, they are essentially rented, not owned. If Twitter suddenly ceases to exist, all of your followers go with it.

For this simple reason, you should always start with the channels you can call your own. Make sure these act as the hub for your fans to know they can always find the most up to date information about you.

1. Website

This should always be priority #1 (and we’re not just saying that to toot our own horns). An official website gives your fans a place online where they know they can find you, no matter which social networks come and go.

[Musicians: 10 Reasons Why You Need a Website]

2. Mailing list

Email is still the best way to reach your fans when they need to be reached. Unlike most social networks that 1) use an algorithm to determine what content gets delivered to fans (hint: your content may not get seen!) and 2) require a fan to be present on the social network at or around the time of you posting, your email is guaranteed to land in the inbox of your fans. A regular monthly newsletter is a great way to keep your die-hard fans informed about all things going on with you and your band.

[The Complete Guide to Email Marketing for Musicians]

3. Blog

Speaking of all things going on with you and your band, a blog is a great way to offer a regular, longer-form glimpse into your world. Recording / touring diaries, lyrics, album reviews, personal entries about what makes you feel joy, anger, sadness, etc. For fans interested in connecting with you, or learning more about the creative process behind their favorite music, a blog is a great resource to own.

[Music website marketing: How to promote your blog posts to reach more fans]

4. EPK

Now unlike the above which are focused on fan-facing endeavors, you also want to consider your industry-facing presence online. An EPK, or Electronic Press Kit, is essentially a resume for your band, including up to date bio info, music, tour dates and contact information. This is a great resource to have as your booking shows, shopping a demo or even just for connecting with others in the industry.

[How to create a digital press kit with Bandzoogle]

Engagement / Community

And then comes time to develop your fan base and nurture the sense of community. The following platforms are some of the biggest, though certainly not the only options to achieve this goal.

[How to Get More Fans Through Social Media]

5. Facebook

Not much needs to be said here other than it’s by far the biggest social network, and often seen as the standard for where you should be online. However, Facebook’s algorithm used to determine which content will be seen by fans has been detrimental to the effectiveness of the platform (the average visibility of a post to your page is likely between 5 – 10% of your total fan base). You do have the option to pay for your posts to be seen by more fans, but keep this all in mind as you determine which platforms to spend the majority of your time.

6. Twitter

Around for almost as long as Facebook, but still trying to truly find its way in the world of social networking, Twitter is a jack of all trades for news in real time. Depending on what kind of news your fans want, Twitter could be a great way to post set lists in real time, thoughts and rants contributing to relevant trending topics around the world using hashtags, question and answer sessions with fans, and more.

7. Instagram

Owned by Facebook, Instagram is the standard for easy photo sharing. Instagram is a great way for you to spice up your content on Facebook and Twitter with photos and videos by posting your photos to all 3 channels at once. Instagram also has other apps such as Boomerang, Layout and Hyperlapse that allow you to create unique and inventive content out of your every-day photos / videos.

[25 ways to get more fans for your band using Instagram]

8. Snapchat

Snapchat has become the biggest ‘new kid on the block’ with a focus on storytelling through short, timed photos / videos. Oh, and the filters. The latter has become a huge focus for the platform, and has led to some highly unique marketing opportunities.

Amplification 

Now, on the other hand, there are some platforms don't require active engagement. There are many that can act as a channel for you to amplify your music, videos, news, and tour dates to ensure that you're out in front of your own fans, and new potential fans, when it matters most.

9. Online Radio

Getting your music on online radio such as Pandora is a good opportunity for existing fans to hear you in their mix of regular music, as well as new fans to find you as you get mixed into their favorite songs.

10. Streaming Music

Essentially a requirement with the slow death of album sales, getting your music on streaming music platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, YouTube Red, etc. is the best way to make sure your fans can hear your music when they want to. You’ll get some royalties from this, but ideally the real money comes when your fans see you on tour, buy your merch, etc.

11. YouTube

Speaking of YouTube, this is a great way to amplify your music. It is, to this day, still the #1 streaming music service on the internet. Not only is it a great opportunity for new fans to find you, but it’s also one of the easiest ways for fans to share your music on other social networks, leading to a greatly expanded reach beyond your core fan base.

[How to make money from your music on YouTube]

12. Blogs

No not your own blog, but other people’s blogs can be another great opportunity to reach new fans. Seeking opportunities for music reviews, interviews, guest blogging, etc. is a good start. Take a look at blogs that are featuring other similar artists (ideally your artists that match your size first – don’t go reaching out to NPR to review your first-ever single because you have a similar sound).

[5 Ways to Get Your Music Noticed by Music Bloggers]

13. Bandsintown

Bandsintown is the largest concert discovery platform, offering an easy way to get your tour dates out in front of all of your fans. Using the Bandsintown Manager app is a simple way to get your tour dates posted to your Facebook page and Website and amplified out to all of your other social networks.

[Video: How to add Bandsintown events to your Bandzoogle website]

14. SoundCloud

Similar to YouTube, SoundCloud offers an incredibly easy way for fans to share streaming audio of your music on most platforms. There is also quite a large community of regular users and curators on the platform, so including your music here could be a good way for your music to gain newfound visibility.

Fan Conversion

While engagement and community development is a wonderful thing, there needs to be a next step. This is where fan conversion comes in. This is the step where a fan you can only reach online becomes a fan you can reach directly via email (read: mailing list above), allowing for great opportunities to sell more merch, concert tickets, and yes even albums.

15. NoiseTrade

Recently acquired by PledgeMusic, NoiseTrade offers you the opportunity to give your album away in exchange for an email address. A simple proposition that can lead to a huge increase in your mailing list.

16. Contesting / Sweepstakes

If you ever run a contest or sweepstakes, ask your fans to enter by giving their email address. It may be a larger ask than liking your Facebook page, or retweeting something, but your end-game is much bigger here. You get a long-term boost in an email address, whereas with the social media focused contesting, you get a one-time boost in engagement. Always take the former over the latter.

17. Bandcamp

Bandcamp offers two unique ways to convert your fans. The first is the primary focus of the platform – an easy, direct to fan solution for selling your albums and tiered bundles. The second is less of a focus but a great way to boost your mailing list – Bandcamp allows you to offer a free download of a single / album in exchange for an email address. Use both of these offers to drive your fans to convert beyond simply being engaged with you online.


The above will get you well on your way to an established online presence and engaged (and converted!) fan base. But these are certainly not the only options available, and you should always be on the lookout for new and creative ways to promote your music online.

This post was written by Jon Ostrow. Jon is the Director of Sales at Bandsintown, Founder of MicControl, lover of all things music, a raging Phish head, and a coffee addict.

Bandzoogle lets you create a professional website in minutes with all the music promotional features you need including a blog, mailing list, and social media integrations. Try Bandzoogle free now!