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How To Effectively Promote Your Music On The Internet

Jul 19, 2008
Have you ever seen a local, unsigned band and thought to yourself, why aren't these guys huge? Conversely have you ever heard a band on the radio and thought, these guys are terrible, I hear better than this at my local. All too often great musical talent goes unnoticed, and it isn't down to a lack of good songs or live performances. The main thing holding back independent bands is a lack of good self promotion.

With the huge wealth of outlets for promoting your music online there really is no excuse for poor self promotion these days. The Internet has completely opened up underground music and made it much easier for bands to reach their audiences and build up a relationship with their fans. Through this article I will give you some useful tips for starting out when marketing your band online. I am in the process of starting up a new band myself, and this is what I'll be doing once we get moving along.

The first thing you must do is without doubt the most difficult. Define your sound and write some killer songs and work on an amazing live show. Sounds hard right? Well it is. This is the stage that my band is at right now, we're just writing a load of songs and trying to find the style that fits us best. Once we've written ninety minutes worth of material we'll start work on our live show and then start gigging.

What you must do when writing your music is work out who you want your target audience to be. You may like all kinds of genres of music but generally when people turn to your band they will expect your sound and you've got to deliver it to them. There's nothing wrong with being able to put your band into a category that people will look for. If you class yourself as heavy rock then that's good as people that like heavy rock music will be more likely to find you.

As you start to finish up writing your songs and start working on your live set I believe it is a great time to start working on your band website. I would absolutely recommend purchasing the dot co dot uk or dot com domain of your band's name. I would even go as far as to name the band specifically so you can get the web address you want. If someone tries to find your band online they're bound to type in yourbandname dot com and so ideally you want them to find you.

Once you've bought your domain there are a few different ways to get a good band website together. One is to hand build it yourself. It can be quite difficult to do, but gives you complete creative control over the look and content of the site. If none of you can build your site then ask around your friends, maybe one is a budding web designer and wants to add to their portfolio.

Failing this you can choose one of the free blog software sites such as Wordpress or Blogger and build your band website as a blog. The advantage of this is that you can post news as new blog posts and you can have the band all contribute here and there. It requires no real knowledge of web design and there are a bunch of great templates for you to use. You can integrate band pictures and add extra pages to your blog site to make it into a great website. Your fans can comment on news posts and you can build a great rapport with them this way. I would actually recommend starting a site like this for your band, if only for the community aspect of it.

If you choose to use blogging software then make sure you write regular updates for your site. You can even write articles about music that is similar to your own. By doing this you will gain a reader base quite quickly, and they're much more likely to try your music if they like your articles. By writing regularly you're helping your page ranking in Google. It is quite important for you to rank highly for your band name in Google, as that is the first place people will go when trying to find you. You can litter your posts with keywords so that when people search for you, they get you and not anyone else.

For tips on writing for Google then try searching the web for search engine optimisation (SEO) tips. It is quite a complex topic and you probably won't need to fully understand it, but certainly a grip on keywords and page ranking will help you when promoting your band online.

So you've got your band website up, you've got some articles written, maybe about favourite bands or gigs and you've started to attract some visitors. Hopefully you're highly ranked in Google for your band name as well. You'll want to put up some of your music so people can actually hear you. You can upload mp3s of your songs to your own site as well as many others. When uploading I would honestly recommend giving away your music for free. With the huge wealth of quality music available online if you charge for your music then people just won't give it a try. At this stage you're trying to create a following and a fanbase so free music really is the key.

Once you've uploaded your mp3s to your own site then it's best to get moving onto social networking to really help push your band. Social networking has taken the net by storm and now almost everyone is a member of at least one social networking site. They're fantastic tools to promote your music and can really help you reach people you never would have otherwise. The first stop you should make is MySpace. Set up your profile there and upload some songs for people to listen to. There are fantastic tools there to help push new music so make sure you make the most of them.

Facebook is the most widely used social networking site and there are actually some really neat things you can do with it to help your band out. There is a great application available on Facebook called Facebook Flyers. What this does is enable you to place and ad for your band at the side of people's profiles. The key here is that you can tailor the ad to your sound so it will only appear on people whose taste matches your band. It is a great tool for your band. You should also set up a Facebook group for your band and add everyone you know to it. This way people can discuss your band and will get notification of when you're playing and access to all kinds of pictures and information.

Your band should also take the time to record a video and upload it to YouTube. It is just another place you can go to promote your music online. There are a couple of ways to go about making a classic YouTube video. One is to do a fairly serious music video like you would see on MTV. Another is to try to create a video that will generate it's own buzz and get loads and loads of views purely based on the content of the video. Aussie rock band Sick Puppies used this method of viral marketing to great effect with their 'Free Hugs' video. They filmed a guy going round town giving out free hugs with their song playing in the background. The video has been viewed over 19 million times and the band are now signed and on tour with Evanescence.

This just goes to show the power that great Internet marketing can have for your band, and the great thing is that you can do it all yourself easily. The web really has opened up marketing opportunities for emerging musicians but always remember that you'll only get out of it what you put in. No-one is interested in you to start with, you have to make them interested. Good luck, and above all remember to write great songs. Without great songs all the marketing in the world can't help you!
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