Every Indie music artist should think about starting a blog.
First though, a little rant. I’m always shocked by the amount of crudeness people will allow on their MySpace pages. It’s not always their own content either. In fact, usually it’s the comments other people leave on their page.
If people start dropping comments on your page like, “Yo man, ur shits smashin, check out my dope new tracks !!”, not only should you not check out their dope new tracks, but disable comments on your page altogether because your page is becoming a spam farm. If your page is attracting these types of numnuts, pretty soon you’ll be inundated with more garbage than a Mumbai slum.
The larger point I’m trying to make is that the quality of your online presence says a lot about you and what you do, whether you like it or not. Whether we’re talking about a personal website or just a MySpace page, in this day and age, your site is a portal to your musical soul and often times the first thing people will see or learn about you.
I can always tell how serious somebody is in real life by the how they care for their websites. I know someone who managed to collaborate with reggae star Junior Reid because of her MySpace. It happened through six degrees of separation. She contacted someone on her MySpace page who knew someone who knew someone…and soon enough she got a message from Junior Reid.
That initial spark happened on her MySpace. Of course, the quality of her music is ultimately what sealed the deal, but the immaculate and professional look of her MySpace told every person along the chain that, along with being talented, the chick’s disciplined and hardworking.
And I would argue that those two qualities are just as important, if not more important, than raw talent in the music business.
Basically, it all boils down to this. Take the Web very, very seriously. Let me say it again to be crystal clear. Take the Web seriously. It’s the future. This isn’t 1999, where nobody knew what a search engine was. For everyone, it should be the hub of any music marketing strategy.
Unfortunately, most people still don’t understand the Web. They just don’t get it. To really get the Web, the most important thing you have to understand is that the vast majority of people who are online are looking for information. Not cool music. Not cool pics of Brangelina and their 28 kids. Information.
Even though social networks are all the rage right now, I would argue that traditional online marketing tools like blogs still matter more because it’s easier to control your message.
The big mistake lots of Indie music artists make with their websites is that they don’t fill them with interesting information that people want to read. I’ve noticed a lot of people will just slap up a website, put up a few mp3s, have an about us section, maybe have their touring schedule and that’s it.
And they wonder why their site’s getting less traffic than a K Mark parking lot. The reason these types of sites don’t get much traffic is because they’ve committed two cardinal sins.
First, no unique content. Search engines crave content. The whole notion of a search engine is based on the question of “What kind of content would a human want?”. If you don’t have any high value written content that’s updated on a regular basis, it’s going to be hard for any of the major search engines to find you. There’s a whole science to search engine marketing that I don’t have the space to get into here. Bottom line is, you just can’t get around fact that you need to have good content. But what if you’re not a normal person and don’t really care about being ranked on Google? Well, you still have to deal with a second and even more important factor. Human psychology.
If you visit a store at any mall, you’ll notice that the vast majority of people there aren’t buying anything. They’re usually walking around and checking stuff out and kind of just looking around
I’m sure you’ve done this before: You walk into a store and see something you like. But you don’t buy it because maybe you just don’t feel right about the store yet. Then a few days later your best friend says something good about that store. Then you go back to the store and buy the item you saw.
Why did you do that? Because your friend’s recommendation personalized the store. It’s called social proof and it’s a huge factor in sales. The store felt more personal to you after a trusted recommendation and therefore put you in the mood to buy.
The same principle applies in the online world. In fact, I would say that on the Web it’s even more important to get people to feel a personal connection to you.
You want to make your website feel like a community. Make it personal. Give it personality. The best way to give it personality is to add your own unique voice to it by blogging. Your website is your virtual office and your office needs to reflect your personality because when people buy things music related, they are buying feeling. You have to mold that feeling through every possible tool you can get your hands on. Not just your instrument. Blogs can be extremely powerful because they create personality and feeling. Fortune 500 companies have discovered this too and many have added business blogs to their sites. Your blog should be updated at least once a week and each blog should be no more than about 600 words in length. Make them personal and interesting. And absolutely allow your readers to leave comments.
Mika Schiller is a writer for the Indie music website MADE and he writes about where the music industry’s headed and how it relates to the Independent Music artist. He gives irreverent career and personal development advice to the Indie music artist. For more great writing and irresistible advice, along with a free report on effective MySpace music marketing, please visit http://www.letsgetmade.com.