It seems pretty simple to have and maintain an artist website, right? Truth is, it’s not always so easy for everyone. Being in the industry, I’ve seen both extremes: websites that make us feel jealous and websites that make us feel pity (and some that don’t exist at all). At the end of the day, a web presence is no longer an option for artists.
The possibilities are endless with a good website. Not only will it keep your audience engaged and up-to-date, but it can also be a great additional revenue stream if done right.
If you’re curious as to whether or not you’re doing your artist website right, ask yourself the following questions.
Do you know your target audience and are you branded accordingly?
What types of people do you want to buy your music? If you don’t know how to answer that then its going to make building your website unfocused. Once you’ve identified your target audience it’s time to create unique branding design to set yourself apart.
Do you have high quality content?
A good artist website should always have high quality content; this applies to both text and images. If you don’t have a professional logo made or bio written, we highly recommend the professional investment.
Is your website compatible on all devices?
Just because your website looks great on a MacBook Air, doesn’t mean it will look as awesome on an Android. The key to having a successful website is to be functional on all devices.
You can get creative once the basics are covered.
A great example of going above and beyond in the digital realm is that of artist ill.Gates and his site illgates.com. His website doesn’t stick to the traditional revenue stream of selling artist merch; it takes the concept one step further by selling quality music tools that benefit all types of artists. In a similar vein, Vespers.ca was created by Canada-based DJ Vespers to offer quality online training in electronic music production through video courses, downloadable packs, and webinars.
Both of these websites are successful because they covered the basics of branding, content and site functionality and have built off of that with e-commerce intelligence. If you want to build a great e-commerce platform like Vespers and ill.Gates, start by asking yourself:
Am I selling a quality product?
This should be a given. If you aren’t selling a quality product then going through the trouble of building an awesome site is totally not worth your time.
Have I thought about payment?
Don’t forget to set up a payment gateway. We recommend accepting PayPal and credit card payments. In order to accept credit cards you’ll need to set up a payment gateway like Stripe.com. You’ll need to register for an account and if you are using WooCommerce, purchase a Stripe.com plugin that gives WooCommerce the ability to tie into Stripe’s system.
Is my website secure?
You want to protect your customers, and yourself, from getting into some serious trouble. Make sure to purchase an SSL certificate and have your host install it on your web server. This allows sensitive information to be shared over the Internet because it’s encrypted.
We know this is a lot, but it’s only the beginning of the things you need to think about. That is why both Vespers and ProducerDJ hired Lion’s Share Digital to help build their e-commerce stores. Lion’s Share has worked with many in the music industry to build successful websites and e-commerce platforms.