Your Website

themanBlog

A bands Website should be “Home base.” Not Myspace, not Facebook, nor Twitter et al Social Networking sites. Those sites should be maintained, and the fan relationships within maintained, but you want to drive traffic back to home base.

My personal favorite as a main platform or CMS (Content Management System) is the “Indie Band Management Platform” Fourfour.com . No extreme coding experience needed, though more malleable CSS capabilities are going to eventually be implemented, I am told. I would guess they will be more malleable than a Myspace page, knowing the FourFour development team.

Yep Check it out:

Starting as of September 24th, bands can sign up to FourFour for free, and then, optionally, choose to pay for upgrades from an a la carte menu of Premium Features.

As expected, the new free version of FourFour comes with limitations:

* Premium accounts can map their website to an official domain. Free accounts
must use their FourFour URL (i.e. http://bandname.fourfour.com)
* Free accounts may have outside advertising incorporated into their website
* Free accounts can stream up to 3 songs in their Music Player, Premium accounts get more!
* Premium accounts can make any songs available as MP3 downloads and
can access and use embeddable play buttons
* Premium accounts can add a Press Kit to their website
* Premium accounts can send emails to subscribers on their Mailing List
* Premium accounts get super-awesome customer support

Go to the following links to learn of the options:

Free Features
Premium Features

Go get your Websites on!

Whew! I’m tired! But I would be even mo’ tired if I did not have Four Four for my bands Web site! www.lifelovemisery.com . Many very cool acts are starting to adopt this creatively open platform, such as Roy Rogers, Nashville Pussy, and many others.

Bandcamp

One creative hybrid or “mash-up” I did with my FourFour Website was to use the “add a Web link” feature and I put the “minimalist” Web site platform “Bandcamp” as a top navigation tab offering Digital Downloads in *any format*! I can sell my downloads directly to my fans via Paypal, if they are hip with technology. My only worry is that they are “iTunes brainwashed” and that they really do not know how to operate anything but iTunes.  So I have the music in iTunes via a digital distribution company, of which there are many popping up or “in the works” these days.

Audio formats:

  • MP3 (320k)
  • MP3 VBR High
  • MP3 VBR Low
  • AAC High
  • AAC Low
  • FLAC
  • Ogg Vorbis
  • Apple Lossless (iPod native format)

One supercool feature is the ability to match graphics with an existing site, upload multiple albums, or singles, and the tools are pretty cool also, including mailing list merges with their “download code” generator. From their Website it reads:

“Download codes let you reward your biggest fans with free downloads of tracks or albums that they’d otherwise have to pay for. Send codes out via email, or print them up and bundle them with vinyl, t-shirts, posters…you name it!”

You get 200 free codes when you sign up, then afterward they are $30 for 1000.  $.03 a piece is not bad at all. You can get really cool “cards” made by a cool company called “Moo” for another $20 per 100 cards or you can go DIY like I did and make your own.  I think with color copying and time it’s still like $20 per 100 cards to tell ya the truth! The satisfaction of DIY is so sweet I suppose.

This is what my DIY cards look like (for now at least):

Bandcamp also includes ability to sell your digital albums or songs via Paypal, either the album or singles, and you can make “hidden tracks,” track statistics, or play the game “Defender”.

Many bands  have already jumped on this platform that was authored by a former Yahoo Music employee, Ethan Diamond.  Check it out: http://bandcamp.com/artists

So as you can see you can make your band’s Website pretty bad ass for kinda cheap, or you can spend $1000-10,000 with a Web developer and you’ll pay them again when you want something updated, unless you’re Blog savvy and you or a friend whip up a blog and make your domain pointer go where it needs to go. I presume you have a domain name? GoDaddy.com, hey, yeah, a little sexist on the marketing, but #imjustsayin that is how this Website was pointed here.

The three solutions I have proposed for a band Website are 1) A FourFour / Bandcamp hack 2) You or a friend using a blogging platform like WordPress or Joomla 3) Paying boo koo bucks for a custom site from a hot Web Developer. Solutions 1 & 2 can be “self-serve” after initial set-up and a novice can be taught pretty quickly how to maintain and update the system, so you can keep in touch with your fans.

Totally clueless on how to get your Website up and running on the cheap or with a modest to huge budget? I may be of some assistance if I am available. Let’s continue this conversation if need be.

Most of the information on this site is painstakingly formatted in this PDF file below so you can print it on white paper with easy to read black text. Or you can print for FREE by subscribing to the RSS feed at the top of the page, and also be in tune with any and all updates. Try Google Reader, its’ pretty cool. Also many hyperlinks will take you into the Web and show you the examples given. In some cases better then the Website! Ha!

Ebook – ” Web and Social Media Presence for Music Marketing and Fan Engagement” by Todd Tate –
Take it for free!