In “Getting to Viral: 4 Steps for Online Promotion,” we discussed how you, the hard-working and well-deserving musician, can start using your website to promote your music, build your fan base, and earn more money. Today, let’s take it to the next level, with advanced marketing tips for hungry artists.

1. Post details of upcoming events.

Place an organized calendar of the band’s upcoming events in a visible spot on your webpage. Include the city, state, venue, and a link for driving directions as well as one to buy tickets right from the calendar. Make sure it is easily accessible. When your fans want that information, they shouldn’t have to search for it! Yahoo Groups offer an online calendar that allows users to access information about new events, photos, and links. Many online networking communities allow you to post notifications right on the site.

2. Share your music.

Adding music to your band’s website lets listeners preview your albums. Do you believe your songs are good enough to sell themselves? Offer some free content and persuade listeners to pay for the whole thing. Here’s how:

  • You need a computer with audio input capability and an audio encoding application, such as iTunes or Windows Media Player. If your music is already on a CD or your computer, it is easy to reformat these files as MP3s. If you are working with analog recordings or some other format, it can be more complicated, but there are plenty of programs that allow you to transfer songs.
  • Once you have an MP3 file, upload music to your wenough to sell themselves? Offer some free content and persuade ebpage just like you would with any other media or image file.
    If your band’s main site is on MySpace or Facebook, you might have to download the proper application to play your music/videos.

3. Keep it user friendly.
You’ve got a lot to offer, but don’t make the mistake of cluttering up the page. You’ll overwhelm users if things get too complex. Not everything needs to appear on the front page. Consider adding a site map and a search function. A few category links at the top, bottom, or side of the page allow for easier navigation, while the search box lets viewers find just what they’re looking for. Allow loyal fans to submit an email address. Send them notices and links when a page is updated. Also, avoid flash animation; it may look pretty in theory, but can easily become overwhelming. In some cases, flash animation will make it hard to load your page. If you’re set on using animation, choose only one or two, and offer the ability to load the page without them.

4. Stay Updated.

You can connect to the Internet from the library, a coffee shop, a hotel lobby, or a smart phone. These days, it’s harder to find an area without Internet access than a wifi hotspot. Your fans are online all the time, and you should be too. A cell phone with the capability to view your site lets you update at a moment’s notice. If you are on the road, or don’t have a computer, take pictures from your phone and send them to your website. No matter what, continuously check and update your site. Offering new content on a regular basis keeps fans coming back to see what’s new, and good content gets emailed, Dugg, and otherwise reposted, increasing your traffic. Frequently updating also increases your relevancy in Google searches and helps you turn new fans on to your music.

5. Merchandize.

Selling band merchandise is one of the easiest ways to generate revenue and convince your fan base to provide you with free advertising. T-shirts are probably the most popular merchandise for any band. Café Press, Spreadshirt, Zazzle, Printfection and the list goes on of popular place to make your individualized shirts. You can create, design, and sell T-shirts, all on the same site. This site lets you slap your design on a variety of other products, too. Limited merchandise makes the product more appealing. Sell limited editions of your products at concerts and special events. Tell your fans they can purchase your products on your website to encourage more traffic.

6. Promote it!

Sure, you’re using your website to promote your band. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to promote your website. Website promotion lets people know you’re on the web. Announce that you’re online when you’re onstage at concerts and performances. Include URLs in your CD liner notes. Print them on your merchandise Tell your friends, family, and acquaintances. Allow fans to sign up for newsletters; this is an easy way to build your fan base and costs little to nothing to implement.

So start functioning at your highest capacity. Put your website to work for you and sell music in your sleep. Need more ideas? Look at other band and artist pages for inspiration. Some excellent examples to check out include AFI, Amy Winehouse, The Dixie Chicks, and Good Charlotte. With a little help from the Internet you can reach more fans, achieve more bookings, and earn more money than ever before!