Category Archives: music websites

I Need to Get Better

This is a reply to myself in the previous blog, “What Happened to Built-in Crowds”. (This is nothing new, I argue with myself all the time).

I need to get better. I need to sing better, I need to play guitar better, I need to compose better music, I need to write better lyrics.

Marketing and promotion can only help if you’re good. At something. Maybe you’re not a great singer, but people will come hear you if you’re a good guitar player or songwriter. Maybe you’re not a good guitar player, but people will come hear you if you’re a good singer.

If you’re just average, and not really good at anything, your friends will come see you– for awhile. But to win fans you have to be good, at something.

If you’re good, people will open doors for you. They’ll tell their friends about you– “You have to hear this!” Other musicians will invite you to open for them at a gig. The word will get around. That’s more important that the best website, the best MySpace or Facebook sites, Twitter, emails, etc.

Of course if you are good, then the-above mentioned promotional tools can really help.

It’s hard to evaluate oneself, but I think I’m a decent guitar player, a decent songwriter, and a below-average singer. So I’m taking singing lessons to improve my singing. But I also think I need to improve my musicianship and composing.

I’m going to spend less time on promotion and more time getting better. I want to hear rumors of people emailing their friends saying, “you’ve got to hear this guy Rob Roper”. I want to hear other bands or singer-songwriters approach me and say, “Your music is important, I want to help turn people on to you. Will you open for me next month?” When I hear those sort of things, I’ll know I’m good.

Rob

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Filed under music marketing, music publicity, music venues, music websites, musicianship, songwriting

Music Website Design

I’m redesigning my website (www.robroper.com). So I looked at other websites and made a list of things I like, and things I don’t like, about other music websites.

Things I don’t like:

1. Homepages that take 40 days and 40 nights to load. This is usually due to videos on the homepage, music players, and/or excessive high-resolution photos.

2. A homepage that’s not a homepage; you have to click something to enter. Why can you just bring me to your homepage.

3. Pathetic begging for money and support. Buy my CD! Come to my show! Get on my email list! Now!

4. A cluttered page. Too much stuff on one page.

5. Small fonts that are hard to read. I’m not going to read it if it hurts my eyes.

#5 and #6 frequently go together.

6. Music players that auto-play a song on the homepage.

7. 4 billion cookies. There’s no justification for more than one cookie.

What are the characteristics of a good music website?

The homepage should be simple, uncluttered, readable and fast loading. It should have the most important info up front. There should be links to other pages for everything else.

Music, video players and most photos should be on other pages linked to the homepage.

The site should express your personality. If you are humble and personable, then the site should convey that; it shouldn’t make you out to be self-centered and pretentious. On the other hand, if you are self-centered and pretentious… hey, a lot of fans like that in their heroes. :)

For me, I like color and shape, so I like a nice background and a nice color scheme.

And last, but definitely not least, the site code for the site should meet web standards, and you should test your site with 2 or 3 common browsers.

Of course, those are just my personal preferences. I’d be interested in hearing what others like and don’t like about music websites. And I’d love to get feedback on my work-in-progress, www.robroper.com. I’m just an amateur web designer at this point, but it’s fun.

-Rob

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