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To Do or Not to Do

May 1, 2009

When asked for a list of dos and don'ts on the subject of musician Web sites, here's what Schutzman had to say.

Do create a marketing plan for your Web site — decide what elements are key in promoting yourself.

Do ask the right questions when you're searching for a Web designer, such as “How much will it cost?” and “How long will it take to build the site?” Also check into tools that will allow you to update the site yourself (content-management services), and provide the designer with all the key elements so that he or she can deliver a great Web site for you.

Do ask for advice from fellow musicians and compare Web-site-designer pricing and testimonials before you choose one. Create a Web-site style that will be complementary to your music (for example, a black background for goth/industrial/heavy metal bands, light pastels for female singer-songwriters, and so on) so that it appeals to the tastes of the demographic audience you are attempting to reach.

Do include the basic sections on your Web site such as tour dates, news, blog, music and videos, biographical info, and an online store, and present them in a detailed and organized manner.

Do place the two most important elements — an email opt-in sign-up area and a link to buy your latest CD release — on your home page.

Do make your site interactive. Create a forum or chat room element; engage your fans to participate and respond.

Don't use an all-Flash-embedded site, because it will not show up as easily in Google and other search engines.

Don't clutter up the home page, because it's usually a first impression/introductory page to invite people into your “home.” Instead, make them feel comfortable and offer a great navigation bar to allow them to easily search your Web site for content.

Don't use MySpace or Facebook as your official artist site. It's okay to use them as temporary sites but unadvisable to rely on them as your main Web presence.

Don't include many links that will pull the fan away from your site. Keep visitors on your site as long as possible by engaging them with compelling content and by keeping the content updated frequently.

Don't think that once your site is up and going your work is done. Your work is just beginning in regards to marketing your music and your content to the public.

Don't name your site incorrectly. Your URL should be simple and easy to remember (for example, your band name or your own name).

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