It is very important for an artist to own his or her own website. This is especially true for DFW indie and unsigned acts. People need to be able to find you and the first place they’re going to look is on the Internet. After watching and listening to several DFW bands and hip-hop cyphers this past week, surprisingly only a few of the artists had their own websites. Most had Facebook and Twitter accounts, but no website of their own. Some didn’t even have a Facebook or Twitter page. Owning your own website is extremely important in today’s music business, particularly for this area.
Facebook and Twitter accounts don’t count as artists’ websites. As an artist, when you open a Facebook account you’re not setting up a website, you’re setting up a webpage – on Facebook’s website. You don’t own anything, except the musical content, and you can only do what Facebook’s website allows you to do. When fans, or potential fans, go on the Internet to find you they don’t type in or find bandname.com, they find facebook.com/bandname, or twitter.com/bandname.
Facebook and Twitter…don’t count as artists’ websites.
Contrary to popular belief, an artist website can be easy to manage and is also inexpensive. Hosting for your website shouldn’t cost you any more than a couple of hundred dollars for as long as two years, or $10 to $20 a month. Domain names are even cheaper. Some web hosting companies will even give you a domain(s) for free. WordPress is your friend. WordPress is arguably the easiest way to manage online content, especially if you’re not experienced in running a website. The script software makes it very simple to manage an entire website with little to no knowledge of CSS or web languages. Your website should be the central location of all things that are you, not Facebook or Twitter.
WordPress is your friend.
Aside from owning your own web space, customization is another reason why more DFW artists should own their own website. Although Facebook, Twitter, and even Myspace are quite open to customization, all three sites still have their limitations in terms of design. With your own website, an artist has the ability to truly express his or her own uniqueness. Particularly with WordPress, the possibilities in designing your website is almost unlimited. If you need help, one of my favorite sites to fish for website templates is ThemeForest.net. To this day I haven’t found a more robust website that offers more professional templates than this one. Some of the templates have automatic mobile formatting, which means it can detect when someone is viewing your website from a mobile device and reformats your website to a cell phone friendly view.
Content is king.
One of the biggest mistakes artists make when they finally put together a website is not updating it with fresh content. Admittedly, even as a writer I too fall in this category. The only thing I hate more than dead links is a website with nothing on it. Fans love active artist websites. Pictures, videos, links, and blog entries, consistently, are all contributors to an interactive fan experience. Content is king. This is especially true as long as our artists in Dallas/Fort Worth remain active. If you do a show, don’t just post it on Facebook or Twitter, put a Facebook and/or Twitter widget on your website. This way the content will be posted on two sites simultaneously. It’s very easy to do if you’re using WordPress. I believe more artists from the DFW that have their own websites, in addition to Facebook and Twitter accounts, can boost this areas Internet presence and bring more awareness to the talent that we have.
Until next time…