Demo CDs are quickly going the way of the 8-track, as budding musicians find a new medium for marketing their talents: the Internet. The Nielsen/Net Ratings March 2008 report estimated the worldwide Internet audience at 1.35 billion. That's an enormous potential fan base. Learning to harness this powerful medium could get your budding music career in full swing.
Of course, promoting your music online takes more than setting up a website and walking away. Jupiter Research analyst Michael Gartenberg comments: "The Internet is certainly a way of showcasing music in a larger venue." But "the question is getting it heard and getting people to pay for it." The following steps can help you build an effective online presence. How to Build Your Music Website 1. Take a Web design class.
Community colleges and art schools offer basic Web design courses to help you launch your music website. You'll learn how to build a site with eye-catching visuals and "ear-catching" downloads of your music. Web design classes also teach you how to write effective HTML tags and how to use the principles of search engine optimization to ensure that your site doesn't get lost in the mix.2. Write a Blog.
A blog can be a great tool for building a fan base. Music bloggers offer the following advice for getting an audience for your blog:
3. Set up a Podcast and Post Downloadable Audio Tracks.
- Ask readers to subscribe to your RSS feed, offering incentives such as free downloads.
- Comment on music forums and other musicians' blogs.
- Invite discussion and respond quickly to reader comments.
- Incorporate visuals such as YouTube videos and photos. Multimedia features make a blog more engaging.
- Invite guest bloggers to contribute.
Your site is, after all, about the music. Post online preview clips and samples of your music in .mp3 format for users to listen to online or download. Also, you can establish a regular listening audience by establishing a podcast. A podcast is an audio blog, providing subscribers a regular snippet of music, commentary, or both.
Setting up a website to promote your music is the first step to reaching a vast online audience. Once you have established this home base, it's time to venture out into the World Wide Web to take advantage of other online resources.
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About the Author
Clare Kaufman is a freelance writer specializing in education and career advice. She has a graduate degree in English.