As mentioned before, it’s probably still too early to set up a website at this point, and you’ll learn how this has to be done in the second half of this manual. Nevertheless I’d like to explain why you will need an own site, and what basic features it will have to offer. Many musicians and music experts will tell you that today you won’t need an own website anymore, but that’s bullshit of course.
You WILL need a website.
I’m not talking about Facebook, Myspace, or some blog, I’m talking about a real website, using your own domain name, that will allow you to add and structure your own content and that will not only be some subpage on some social platform.
Every professional artist has an own website, and you’ll run one too. On your own website you will need to be able to post news, photos, and some more stuff, and you’ll need an online shop.
Having an online shop is very important, you will learn more about this in chapter 8. Your shop will allow you to directly sell your music to your fans, which means that you won’t have to share your income with some other platform or distributor. Of course you will also sell stuff on iTunes, Amazon, Bandcamp, and other platforms. But it’s always best to have your own site, mostly because of the following reasons:
- You can do whatever you want. You are in control.
- You can have your entire site running under your own domain name (www.example.com), just like any pro artist.
- You will be in direct touch with your fans and record buyers. You’ll have their e-mail addresses and their contact addresses. Not to spam them, but to have a direct connection. This is about professional marketing after all.
- You will also be able to create a members-only area or something like a VIP area later on.
- You will get a larger portion of your sales income, as you won’t have to share it with some greedy distributor. Most services will only pay out about 60-70% – if you’re running your own site, then this can be up to 90-100%.
All of this will be explained and discussed in detail in chapter 8. Unfortunately it’s not that easy to set up a complete professional website with an online shop, and maybe you don’t know anyone who can do that for you (this has to be someone reliable who you can trust by the way). Therefore I have created the Artist Website Manager, an online tool on jamplifier.com that allows you to create and to maintain a professional artist website on your own. But there are also other options and offerings, I’ll tell you more about this in chapter 8. Again:
Do not start building your website now, as this will be a pure waste of time at this point.