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Enter Amount:

This is a topic that has been covered many, many times by a slough of other writers. However as someone who has built many a website in the music industry, feel that a couple of salient points have been missed.

Put Your Calendar To Work For You!

Whenever I get asked to install a calendar for a band instead of searching for the latest "plugin" for Wordpress or "component" for Joomla! (my preferred CMS platform) the thought is "how do I get others to notice where the next show is?" The answer to that is through an aggregator such as Reverbnation.com's calendar or my favorite, ArtistData.com. So when you place a date on the calendar it not only shows up on your website but also it goes out to several outlets. Reverbnation promotes your shows on their site, in the area where it's happening on their "calendar of local events" as well as anyone else who pulls the ReverbNation feed onto their site.

Same with Artist Data, but they are linked in to "Sonicbids" which long ago established itself as the "EPK experts". (What's an EPK? An "Electronic Press Kit"... something you need...)


Create YouTube Playlists

As a webmaster for bands over the years, both my own and others whom enlist my services an oft-asked question is "I want to be able to add videos to my site easily but don't understand all that "embedding" stuff..." The answer to this question is to utilize YouTube Playlists. Create a Playlist, add videos to it and embed THAT code onto your page.

So when you want to add videos to the page you can do it at the YouTube level rather than having to go in and dig around in strings of code that maybe you don't understand and end up munching the page.


Speaking of YouTube...

ALL your videos should have in the description box LINKS AT THE TOP FOR PEOPLE TO BUY YOUR MUSIC. Also, you should have all songwriting credits, band members and any other pertinent information that can add to your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). That way when your sax player or drummer end up getting the gig with "Tiny Dave Matthews" and become kajillionares, the web searches will lead the throngs of star-seekers to your lil' ol videos from "way back when he/she was but a newt".

And if you go into your "Upload Defaults" portion of your YouTube channel you can define all that stuff one time and simply add to the description what you wish, with all the other data appearing as if magic!


Manage your Audio "Version Control" Via SoundCloud

In this day and age "demo recordings" end up turning into "random files" and somehow the CD company gets the wrong mix for the CD and presses up 1k of them and at that point it's too late to turn back! Or the radio station gets the version where you break an A string at the solo but played it anyway, all out of tune.

So how do you share your audio sensibly with others without sending song files floating around the internet? The answer is via SoundCloud. It's what the "Industry" loves because A- It's a familiar website and interface to them. B- It's reasonably secure and discourages people from copying the file*. C- You may "unpublish" or "revoke access" to any files you post at any given time. People who listen to tracks all day don't like to fight to get something to play so they opt for the easiest way to make something work. SOUNDCLOUD.

So when you put together the "new album tracks" do it in a SoundCloud playlist deemed "Private" in the security settings. Once you arrange everything as you like it you may then click the "Share" icon and grab the link; a link with a small "token" at the end so it would look something like: https://soundcloud.com/billraydrums/sets/the-journeymen-dog-days/s-J91b3. Notice the "s-J91b3" "token" at the end of the URI (web address). You may "revoke" that token when you feel that it's time to shut down access to these files.

Finally, media managers recognize this as a sign of professionalism and someone who is savvy to the ways of the music industry.


Sell, Sell, Sell!

Having your music on iTunes is important, yes it is! But having it on iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby, Reverbnation, Bandcamp and all the other outlets is akin to "getting your music into all the stores". Let's face it, all of the aforementioned companies are indeed the Tower Records, Record Bar and Sam Goody of the 21st century so what enterprising musician wouldn't want their music in as many catalogs as they could grab?

A company called TuneCore.com does just that. They put your music into online outlets and get you on the streaming services as well. Granted, streaming revenues are a joke for most bands (how 'bout that $.02 check that cost $.50 to mail?) but for any young band getting your music into the loop of streaming will be a good thing for the most part.

90% Of Life Is "Showing Up"

All of these tips aside, there is no substitute for simply "showing up". When your face is out there you're real and material. It's better than a thousand website views! When you show up to gigs nowadays chances are someone is recording and your mug on a video can end up turning into great things! Case in point- I sat in at a jam session a couple of weeks back and someone recorded my playing. It got back to a band manager and they expressed an interest in my drumming for their band... We're getting together soon to "feel each other out" so I'm certain I'll be letting the world know how it went. :D

Keep on playing and learning!

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