Learn how to design an effective music website. Here are ten tips for building a musician website that connects with your fans and music industry peers.
What Is a Music Website?
Establishing an online presence for your music and brand is an absolute must. Social media is not enough for musicians starting their music career in today’s digital landscape. If you’re serious about your music, you’ll also need a music website.
A music website serves as an online hub for your brand identity and music. A professional website with your latest music, artist information, tour dates, and merchandise will get you and your music taken seriously. It also plays a vital role in your music marketing strategy, discovery, and fan engagement.
What Are the Benefits of a Music Website?
There are many reasons it’s necessary to have a music website. Here are a few reasons:
- A musician website is a one-stop-shop for everything your artistry represents. Your music website should be the center of your online presence.
- You have complete control of everything. There are no limitations to what you can do. You control how it looks, what features to add, the messaging, and more.
- It’s easier for people to find a website. Make it easy for people to find you. Remembering a website URL is easier. Telling people to search for you on Facebook is more work and less professional. Also, sharing a short and simple website URL is better than a long Facebook URL.
- You can sell music and merchandise and keep all the profits. You’ll make more money from sales on your website versus services that charge a fee or take a percentage of each sale.
- You control the mailing list and data. Conversely, social media owns the database of your fans. There’s no way to transfer it to a different platform. They can also restrict how many fans see your updates or change the way you connect with fans.
- You can build your fanbase. Use your music website to connect with fans, grow your fanbase, and unlock opportunities from music industry peers.
- A musician website puts the focus on you and your music. Whereas, your music promotion efforts on social media can get lost in political rants and annoying memes.
- A musician website shows your serious about your music career. It also shows professionalism and a certain level of credibility.
What Content Does a Music Website Need?
A musician website should reflect your image as an artist, attract new fans, and connect with existing fans. It’s crucial you provide relevant information, engaging content, marketing material, and contact info. Your music website will be the go-to place for people to know about your brand and music. Ensure fans, record labels, booking agents, promoters, music journalists, and other music industry peers can find everything they need.
Consider adding these pages and content ideas to your music website:
1. Home Page
The home page is your chance to make a first impression. Include all the essential information about you and your music. Make it easy for fans, record labels, booking agents, promoters, music journalists, and other music industry peers to find essential info in one place.
The home page should display a shortened artist bio, latest release, upcoming tour dates, visual media, social media links, mailing list signup, and a link to your Electronic Press Kit (EPK). It’s also vital to have clear navigation links to all the important pages and a call-to-action (CTA). A CTA asks visitors to engage with your content. For example, a button that says “Buy My Album.”
Also, update this page often to keep all the info current. Moreover, consider using a sidebar or footer section to add a newsletter signup and to promote your latest release or next show. Content that appears in these sections will show on all pages of the site.
Last, avoid cluttering up your pages with too much content. Keep the layout simple, quick to navigate, and easy to find relevant info.
2. About Section or Artist Bio
Have a dedicated page that displays your full artist bio or tells your story. This is where you can highlight your music career. Also, include brief details of any previous or upcoming releases, milestone achievements, collaborations, recent shows at notable venues, and any significant endorsements. Record labels, music promoters, booking agents, and press use this information for promotional material and write-ups.
This page could also include a downloadable Electronic Press Kit (EPK). An EPK is an online media/marketing portfolio. It’s designed to provide simple access to all your essential information. Learn how to create an effective EPK below.
3. Music and Videos
Your website should have a page where people can listen to your music. You can embed audio players from music streaming services like SoundCloud, Spotify, Bandcamp or Mixcloud. You could feature releases, playlists, mixes, music videos, and even free music downloads. It’s also important to add buttons or purchase links directing fans to buy or download your music.
Also, don’t auto-play music or videos when someone visits your website. Avoid startling people with blaring music that plays unexpectedly. Their likely to leave your site, which is a missed opportunity to gain potential fans. It also hurts SEO.
4. Press Photos
A page of promotional photographs is beneficial. Professional looking photos is also a must for any press coverage. It’s essential you have high-resolution photos for promoters, labels, booking agents, venues, press, and anyone looking for visual media.
Showcase your artistry. Add photos of you in the studio, playing live, candid shots, and anything else that reflects your brand. Also, include vertical and horizontal photos to fit the varying layouts of different media outlets.
Last, high-quality press shots have large file sizes and can slow down your website. Consider uploading high resolution (300 DPI or larger) versions of your best photos to Dropbox or another offsite cloud drive. Then add a button or shareable link for easy access.
5. Social Media
Social media is a valuable asset for musicians. A strong social media presence is essential for promoting your music, engaging with fans, and expanding your fanbase. Moreover, an effective social media strategy connects you with music industry peers and can also present new opportunities.
Make sure your social media profiles are easily accessible on your website. Also, using icon buttons associated with the different social media profiles makes them easily identifiable.
6. Press and Testimonials
Have you been featured or interviewed on a music website or magazine? Having a page dedicated to your press is beneficial. Include short quotes and links to any press coverage. Also, add favorable reviews or testimonials from respected industry professionals. A few key points of interest will help build up your profile and credibility.
7. Tour Dates
Do you have upcoming tour dates? Listing forthcoming gigs or tours on a dedicated page or footer widget is crucial. Adding tour dates informs fans when and where you’re playing live. They also help booking agents work around your current schedule. In addition, anyone mentioning you on a radio show, podcast, or in a blog post can include the dates and help promote them.
There are several ways to add tour dates. You can use dedicated plugins compatible with your website theme. Or, embed widgets from music sites like Bandsintown and Songkick.
8. Contact Page
A page that includes your contact information and a form to contact you is vital. Make it easy for fans and music industry professionals to reach you. Someone may want to book you for a show, ask about licensing your music, schedule an interview, or another opportunity.
Also, consider including your management or booking agents contact details if applicable. The contact page is also a great place to add links to all your social media profiles. Make it easy for people to find your online presence.
Alternatively, you can skip a contact page and add your contact details and social media links in the footer, so it’s visible on every page.
9. Merchandise Store
Fans often want something tangible from the artists they support. Having a merch store on your website is an option to consider. Selling merch is a marketing strategy to promote your brand, connect with fans, and make money. Having a merch store also looks more professional to promoters hoping you’ll bring fans to their venue.
Some item ideas to include are music downloads, vinyl, tickets, t-shirts, hats, stickers, tote bags, buttons, bracelets, or other swag. Moreover, items sold in your store are commission free. 100% of the profits go straight to your pocket!
There are also a ton of merch design websites for musicians like Bandzoogle, Dizzyjam, Threadless, and Shopify.
10. Promote Your Music with a Newsletter
Email marketing is an essential promotional tactic for musicians. Every artist should be collecting email addresses on their website and anywhere else. Email lists are an effective way to reach your fans directly. You can promote new releases, tour dates, send updates, sell music, merch, tickets, and more.
Newsletter services like Mailchimp offer email marketing tools and newsletter templates for musicians. Also, Mailchimp’s free account may be enough for most musicians.
All the major email marketing services also provide newsletter signup forms you can embed on your website. Adding it in the footer or a sidebar will make it visible on every page of your site.
Your music website should represent your brand and music. It’s also vital that it looks sleek and professional.
There are lots of options for designing a musician’s website. You can use website builder services like WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, and Bandzoogle. Or, you can hire a website designer. There are also tons of low-cost options out there for web design, so do your research and shop around. Browse various themes and features that will best serve your needs.
Finally, keep your design simple and easy to navigate. You want your fans to immediately find what they’re looking for within seconds of arriving on your site. Avoid cluttering your pages with excessive content and links that make it hard for visitors to find everything. Last, keep your website’s content fresh. Update it regularly and give your fans a reason to keep coming back!