I am always surprised by how much praise I get for my various blog-based web sites, like CACTUS JOE’S COUCH CONCERT for example.
I have several sites and they don’t cost me a thing, except some quite enjoyable time (which I have a lot of as a self-employed musician).
It always seemed natural to me to use a free, customizable blog as a web page. Yet, my sense is that a lot of people don’t know how easy, effective, and versatile blogs can be as web information tools.
After all, blogs are designed to do exactly what a musician wants – to communicate directly with fans and provide them with essential information and music they want in an easily accessible and digestible form.
So to me it was simply a fusion of form and function. Blogs allow you to post information, video, and music. Anyone can subscribe to a blog, if you let them, so a fan mail list is built in at no charge and no extra effort. Of course, you need to get potential fans to your blog in order for them to subscribe via e-mail. This is done by having relevant content your fans want (it’s about them, not you) and that search engines will index. Then if someone searches Google for “independent local music” for example, your site may pop up and be visited by a fan who needs and wants your music.
Blogs are so customizable these days that you can make them very appealing and functional with little effort and virtually no cost. All you need to do is spend about half a day learning the ropes of the blog sites.
I recommend BLOGGER or WORDPRESS blogs. There are others, but these are simple to use and free. WORDPRESS gives you some additional functionality for an additional cost, but its largely unnecessary for most musicians’ (and music fans’) needs.
For about $10/year you can buy a “domain name” (a.k.a. a web address) that will direct people to your blog site, and it will appear to the visitor, for all intents and purposes, just like your very own web site address.
Here are a some examples:
GUPPY EFFECT – a band web site in WORDPRESS using a “masked” domain name to appear just like a “real” web site.
CACTUS JOE’S COUCH CONCERTS – a digital music venue site in BLOGGER, that does NOT use a “domain name” per se.
STRONG LIKE BEAR – a band web site in BLOGGER that does use a “masked” domain name.
All of these blog-based web pages were created for free. As you can see, they are quite functional and user-friendly. They literally took only a few hours to set up and maintenance is simple.
E-MAIL ME if you have questions or would like help to develop your own web site and blog skills as a musician. No charge!