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5 updates independent music artists should consider on their websites

I spend a great deal of my time on the unexplored highways of the web searching for and visiting artist’s music websites. Sometimes during the week, I might visit hundreds in a single day. It is just part of what I do here at Gighive.

internet highway

internet highway

So you can say, I maybe more of an authority on exploring the web for new and interesting artists than most who only travel the major interstates from one major city to the next. I for one think life is more interesting on the lanes less traveled than hitting the 6 to 8 lane congested highways.

So I decided to write a report on my findings and give the locals some tips on how to improve there site experience so visitors will return more often. Note* there are always exceptions to the rules!

Tip 1 – Ancient website design and web 1.0 type styling.

Old towns may have a certain charm with their rich heritage and unique architecture, but in my opinion do not translate in the online world.

There is no charm in blinking stars, colorful jpegs, animated gifs and flashing links; coupled with a confusing link structure all on the same page.

TheBuzz-By: Max Rauch of Washington Square Park

WashingtonSquareParkTheBuzz caught up with guitarist and vocalist for unsigned band, Washington Square Park, for our new weekly interview feature, TheBuzz-By. Learn more about indie artists with our short list of random questions.

Washington Square Park is currently touring and will be releasing their self-titled debut album on June 22nd. For fans of The Movielife and Jimmy Eat World, Washington Square Park has the goods to be the breakout band of the summer.

What are your favorite websites you like to check out on the road?

MR: I like watching tons of youtube videos.. that is enough to entertain me for hours on end.

Indie Songwriters: Established Yourself Using MusikPitch offers  a new online marketplace for custom songwriting. The Nashville, Tenn. startup gives songwriters a market for their songwriting and music-making talents, and serves as a resource for clients searching for music to use on their next projects.

Based on the success of other crowdsourcing sites like 99Designs, the MusikPitch process is straightforward. Clients state exactly what type of song they need and how much they are willing to pay.

Why Every Indie Music Artist Should Start a Blog

blogger-and-wordpress-differences-logoEvery 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.

New Year’s Resolutions for Indie Bands

happynewyearI’ll be the first to admit that New Year’s resolutions are kind of stupid. They usually involve quitting something (smoking, drinking, eating too much) that I end up doing on New Year’s Day because the party’s still on, and after that, I need my favorite vices to recover from the craziness of the holidays, and by the end of the week, I’m wondering why I bothered making a stupid resolution in the first place, and what’s so great about New Year’s, anyway?

But there is a secret to keeping a New Year’s resolution. The secret, friends, is to resolve to do something totally amazing with your new year. Don’t plan to wallow in miserable self-denial. Don’t plan to change who you are. Just plan on being completely awesome.

Doing great things is a particularly excellent plan if you’re someone whose future depends on your ability to succeed with no one cracking the whip behind you. Like, say, for example, if you’re an indie musician. Inertia can be a killer. So what better time to commit to becoming rich and famous than on January 1st?

10 Reasons Why Every Musician Should Join Twitter Now

twitterOverwhelmed with maintaining your MySpace page, blog, podcast, e-mail, website, tour updates and everything else online to promote yourself?

Twitter is an ingenious solution that will give your fans more of you and it takes less than 3 minutes a day to stay on top of everything without your computer!

I’m just back from summer vacation where I spent a relaxing 11 days in the gorgeous Pacific Northwest right after having attended Gnomedex07. At Gnomedex, I learned A LOT about Web 2.0, social networking and blogging and my next several editions of Sound Advice will focus on things I learned.

Indie Music 2020

crystal_ball2_bmwPreviewWhat To Expect From the Music Industry Over the Next Decade

‘Tis the season to put out retrospective lists. Albums of the year. Songs of the year. Indie controversies of the year (Matthew Friedberger said what about Radiohead?).

But this year, in particular, is a special one. It’s the end of a decade. The world ended in 2000 and we’ve been living in a post-apocalyptic wilderness ever since. Which means that 2009’s indie darlings have to fight for recognition on lists that are looking back at a whole ten year block of music.

And the last ten years have been an interesting thing to witness. If we are living in some sort of post-apocalypse, it could be defined as the world that comes after one dominated by major labels. Sure, they’re still flailing around out there in the bosom of capitalist America, but more and more, the industry is being shaped by indie labels, indie musicians, and indie music fans. So while a retrospective of the last ten years brings back some great memories, what I’m really interested in is what we can expect from the next ten.

12 Tips For Creating a Successful Music Website

dreamweaver-beta-cs4I’ve looked through hundreds of band websites, from the professional sites designed by high-tech designers to the free sites you’ll find at MySpace or Facebook. From this research, I’ve learned a few simple techniques to designing a website that serves its purpose. There are two purposes to every band website: first, to sell your band; and second, to sell your CDs or digital downloads. If your website does any less, you are selling yourself short. So let’s get started with 12 hot tips on how you can turn your website into a money maker.

1. KIS. Keep it simple. Websites should not be flashy. You can try to impress people with killer graphics and dazzling animation, but all you are doing is limiting the number of fans who will visit your website. I can’t tell you how many times I stopped trying to surf a website that opened up with some fancy FLASH or gave you a blank page with a pop-up. That’s popular with the Major Labels, but more surfers find it necessary to use pop-up stoppers because too many people use pop-ups to deliver SPAM.