HostBaby client Sawyer Fredericks wins The Voice (season 8)!

Photo from NBC.

Photo from NBC.

Who won season 8 of The Voice?

Sawyer Fredericks, the 16-year-old songwriter from upstate New York, was announced this week as the winner of The Voice, NBC’s popular music competition show.

Fredericks has distributed his music through CD Baby and hosted his website via HostBaby for a while now, so we were psyched to follow his progress on the show.

Sawyer was the youngest contestant on The Voice this year but he seems to have an old soul, singing gritty blues and Americana inflected songs by the likes of Ray LaMontagne, The Soggy Bottom Boys, and John Fogerty.

He was humble about the victory. “I’m feeling great and I kind of want to get back to the farm just to have a little bit of a break from all of this, so I’m excited to get back home,” said Fredericks. “I do not want to move to L.A.!” Continue Reading . . .

Introducing the new FILTER theme from HostBaby!

HostBaby's new FILTER theme

We’re excited to launch a brand new website theme for musicians: FILTER!

With FILTER you can upload a band photo or album cover, and the theme will automatically abstract the image into a background that will give your website a super interesting vibe.

With a single photo, you can give your website both a dynamic AND consistent feel. FILTER gives you a simple way to integrate your design and imagery.

Want to try out the FILTER theme for your website? Here’s how:

Continue Reading . . .

Two HostBaby artists give outstanding performances on ‘The Voice’

Tonya Boyd-Cannon and Sawyer Frederick

HostBaby clients impress judges on The Voice

Huge congrats to Tonya Boyd-Cannon and Sawyer Fredericks, two HostBaby artists who successfully auditioned for The Voice earlier this year, and who are both still in the running to win the popular TV show’s vocal competition.

We wanted to give them both a shout-out here and share their initial audition videos with y’all.

Watch them wow the judges below!

First up, Tonya Boyd-Cannon kills it with a soulful rendition of Pharell’s “Happy.” Continue Reading . . .

More than a thousand artists now using HostBaby’s Instagram tool

Instagram for musiciansRecently at HostBaby we were excited to see that more than a thousand musicians were using our Instagram tool to display awesome photos on their websites.

If you’re one of them, we’d love to take a look at your photo gallery! Feel free to leave a link in the comments below. If you’re not using HostBaby’s Instagram tool yet, get started today. It’s super simple.

If you’re wondering how to use Instagram to promote your music, check out the following articles:

1. Why you should be using Instagram as a musician (and all its dirty secrets)

2. Spice up your Instagram profile with these tools (and the best ones are FREE!) Continue Reading . . .

Add a downloadable press kit to your musician website

How to get press for your musicIf you want bloggers and journalists to write about your music, and if you want to impress talent buyers so you can play more gigs,  you need to make it easy for them to write about you or get a feel for your music by providing them with all the essentials.

A few weeks ago, I listed the 10 things that every musician website needs to have in order to make the job of talent buyers and editors a little easier. But there’s one other, simple thing you can do to increase your chances of getting written about or booked for the show.

Create a zip folder that includes:

* a one-sheet (PDF) or bio (Word doc)

* 2 or 3 high-res photos (at least 300 dpi) in both landscape and portrait orientations (because you never know what publication or website will need)

* any articles, reviews, press quotes, or press releases that might be useful to a journalist or blogger Continue Reading . . .

Get a .rocks or .band domain name at a discounted price!

Get a .rocks or .band domain name

Get a new domain extension made just for musicians!

Do you want your website’s domain name to stand out from the pack? We’ve got the inside track on two new extensions perfect for today’s independent musician: .rocks and .band.

That’s right, you can now own yourname.rocks or yourname.band!

And through March 31, 2015, you can save big on registering your new domain, with .rocks extensions for just $9.95, and .band extensions for just $19.95.

IMPORTANT: you do NOT need to host with HostBaby to have us reserve a .rocks or .band domain name for you. Continue Reading . . .

6 quick ways to give your website a fresh feel this Spring

Website makeoverChances are good the majority of people who come across your music will do so online. If it looks like your website hasn’t been updated in a while, people will assume you don’t take your music or your music career seriously — and they certainly won’t be sharing your content with their friends.

To make sure this doesn’t happen, let’s take a few minutes and look at six quick ways to get your website up-to-date.

1. Remove dead links or links to social platforms you don’t regularly use

No one wants to visit you on Twitter if you never tweet.

2. Update your concert calendar

List every event you’re playing, big or small, because visitors want to see that you’re active in your music. If you’ve stopped performing for a while, mention that at the top of the calendar: “We won’t be playing until Fall of 2015 because we’re recording some new songs that we’re really excited about. See you in October!”

Continue Reading . . .

Why you need a website if you’re trying to book gigs

why-you-need-a-band-websiteYou’re on a blog for a hosting service, so hopefully you don’t need any convincing about the importance of a website.

But just in case you’re one of those musicians who think that having a Facebook, Bandcamp, or ReverbNation page is the same thing as having a web presence, read THIS.

In that article, I speak with two talent buyers from a well-respected music venue about the importance of band websites.

Hint: if you don’t have a website, you’re probably not going to get the gig — and you’re certainly not going to get any extra promotion!

Click HERE to read why.

Build a pro musician website in minutes with HostBaby

Continue Reading . . .

Make your website social-media friendly

Social Media IconsWeb optimization 101: socialize your website today

We’re now a decade into the age of social media. Social media is how people use the Internet. If your website isn’t social, you could be losing out on loads of traffic. The bare minimum you should have on your website are “follow” buttons so that people can find you on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, and “share” buttons so people can share your content on their favorite social networks.

Adding Follow buttons

Whether you use HTML to add your buttons or use a free service like www.niftybuttons.com, social media icons are a great way to get your website visitors to engage with you on social media. But remember: people have become accustomed to seeing those generic Facebook and Twitter icons. Make sure to choose icons that stand out and include a call to action. Continue Reading . . .