As we revisit the year that was, a chorus sounded out in the music community: fans supporting indie artists. It was music to my ears!
In the words of the late Mac Miller, the world is so small until it ain’t. The global artist community shares similar challenges; some territories saw a return to live music, while others continue to be up and down with pandemic measures in place.
Here at Bandzoogle we wanted to make sure online tools would be there to help artists gather support from their fans in today’s volatile climate.
For an artist, there’s a myriad of ways to spread the good word; from fans sharing song streams, tagging on social media, to joining their mailing list, or offering financial support by buying merch, sheet music, tickets, and more. These tools have never been as accessible as they are now.
For all 28 of us at Bandzoogle, 2021 was all about expanding options to help over 55,000 indie artists increase their online support, nurturing a community with the common goal of sharing a love of music and of their favorite artists. What an incredibly fulfilling undertaking!
Here’s a look back at Bandzoogle in 2021:
Selling tools dashboard
As musicians sold more music, merch, and tickets through their websites, we streamlined all of our e-commerce tools to create a Selling Tools dashboard. This area of your website control panel makes it simpler to sort through transactions, and see where you’ve made sales. On the back end, it’s fast and mobile friendly.
By far the most popular feature of 2021 was the Printful integration. Syncing the Bandzoogle store to a Printful account and adding products to be shipped on demand allowed many musicians to sell more merch through their websites without having to worry about inventory or fulfillment, or even lugging merch around on tour. This presents so many opportunities to try out different offerings for your fans without any investment, guess work on sizing mixes, or space for storage.
Updated PayPal integration
Another important part of supporting as many e-commerce options for musicians as possible was updating our PayPal integration. This resulted in a smoother checkout process that works seamlessly on mobile as well. With additional e-commerce options, you can give fans multiple ways to support your artistry online in even more countries.
Want to give your fans fun ways to support you, and move more merch at the same time? Bundles are a great way to engage your fanbase, and offer experiences as well as products from your store. If you want to try out bundles, check out How to create bundles your music fans will love.
Bulk uploads and music feature updates
Got lots of music to add to your website? One of our most requested options was to create a way to upload tracks in bulk, which is now available for all members. At the same time, we updated our music feature to have a more modern flow when adding music. We also made it easier to sell standalone CDs, and added cassettes as a built-in option.
EPK page templates
If you’ve been waiting to build an EPK, or update your EPK, you’re not alone. This year we added EPK page templates for musicians to suit different needs: a general EPK, a Onesheet for radio, and EPK for Media, and an EPK for venues. So whether you’re looking to book shows, pitch a single to radio, or get press for an album release, there's an EPK template to help you build the best press kit possible.
In addition to EPK templates, musicians can now create a downloadable press kit. This can be used in person like a resume when networking, or attached to an email when doing outreach to press, booking agents, or venues.
Updated image options
Imagery is a huge part of any band’s website, and making that perfect image fit well within your website template across all devices isn’t always easy. This year we added and improved controls to adjust your header image, and started serving different image sizes to mobile, to help with your website’s speed.
New website templates for musicians
Musicians are creative and ever-changing, so we like to offer many options and looks when it comes to designing a music website.
Over the year, six different fully customizable, responsive website templates with 30 variations, and preset palettes were added to the roster of band website templates. If you’re planning to rebrand, match your design to a new album or single, or just looking to start fresh in 2022, you can change your entire web design in one click! These templates are modern, mobile-ready, and your content will remain intact even as you switch to a new design.
The Shade template - features a full-page header image with scrolling overlay options.
The Alto template - a simple side menu template for a solo artist.
The Nosi template - an open and highly flexible template, featuring a full-width header.
The Signal template - a minimalist design, with name and menu fixed at the top.
The Breakbeat template - a stunning split header template.
The Empire template - an artist profile template complete with thumbnail image.
Give your fans tangible ways to support you while giving the gift of music! Just in time for the holidays, gift cards can be sold through your store and redeemed for anything sold on your website - from vinyl to music lessons, and more.
Read more about gift cards: New: Sell gift cards from your Bandzoogle store
Small updates: streamlined reports, cassettes, editing options
Throughout the year we constantly monitor customer feedback and make some small updates to improve on different features. This year, we gave the Reports tab a new look and feel, revamped the options to add pages more seamlessly, included a tally of current files in your File manager, added account profile names and pronouns, added cassettes as a music format option, and a shortcut to edit your header image.
Customer support team recognized
In 2021, the Bandzoogle support team won a coveted Stevie® Award, placing Silver for Front-Line Customer Service Team of the Year in the Tech Industry sector. We’re so pleased to be able to help musicians succeed online with their websites, and any member who has been in contact with our support team knows this award was extremely well deserved!
SEO resources for musicians
In 2016, we created many resources for musicians to better understand Search Engine Optimization and apply the techniques to their websites. Fast forward 5 years and 2021 was a good time to update these articles with the most current information. If getting your website to rank well in Google is on your priority list, start with The Fan Journey and work your way through to optimizing your band website for SEO.
Fan support infographic
To celebrate 18 years of Bandzoogle creating tools for musicians to build their websites, we thought we'd put together a list of 18 ways that we’ve seen fans give their time, effort, and support to indie artists.
Infographic: 18 ways fans can support musicians
The trend of supporting local artists promises to be a solid foundation for the musical community as 2022 begins to unfold. There is so much hope through music that can be shared, and we expect to see more fans offering validation to creators in multiple ways, both online and in person.
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