What music genres are searched for the most on Google?

music genresData from Google can tell us a lot about what’s popular in the world. After all, when people are curious about something, generally they will “Google it”. In fact, Google has created a website called “Google Trends” that lets you track the popularity of search terms over time. It even lets you compare musical genres. Is the music you play in popular decline? Or are you riding the tides of increased popularity? Below is the Google trends report for “rock music” versus “pop music.”

 

 

 

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12 tips for a better band website

aidan-millsOften you don’t need to completely redesign your website to make it resonate more with fans and visitors. Sometimes it just takes stepping into the shoes of your fans and making a few tweaks here and there. Here are 12 tips that will help make your current band website–even better.

1. Get rid of distractions

Kill autoplay on videos and music. This is bound to annoy visitors. Let your visitors decide if they want to click “play.” Flashy animations and pop-ups can have a similar effect. Ditch them.

2. Tell people what to do

What do you want people to do when they land on your site? Preview tracks on your new album? Sign up to an email list? Read your blog? Make sure to let your visitors know what is important to you, and they might just do it. Continue Reading . . .

Win Free Hosting For Life (Act now before October 16th, 2014)

unnamed(1)People can tell when a band is trying to pass off a social profile as a real musician website. When it comes to connecting with fans, bookers, labels, and promoters, there’s no substitute for a hosted site where YOU’RE in control.

Don’t believe us? Think your social networks are just as pro as a real hosted website? Try HostBaby today, see the difference, and you might never have to pay for hosting again!

Try HostBaby for free. Win free web hosting for life.

Here’s all you need to do to participate:
1. Sign up for HostBaby’s 30-day free trial here
2. Use HostBaby’s easy drag-and-drop website builder to create your new site
3. Before October 16th, 2014, tweet a link to your new HostBaby site and be sure to include this hashtag: #MyHostBaby

Prizes:
We’ll collect all entries and select winners at random. Winners will be announced October 17th on the HostBaby blog.
1st prize: Free web hosting FOR LIFE for one lucky musician or band
2nd prize: (3 winners): Free web hosting for a year

Create your site today to enter for a chance to win!

How to write about your album

Colorful viny record albumsYour album description is essentially a sales pitch, but that doesn’t mean it needs to read that way. It’s important to avoid tired phrases that mean nothing, and use specific language that really gets at the heart of what your album is about. After all, if you want people to click that “buy” button (that resides right next to your album description) you’ve got to provide some good reasons for people to do just that. But what seals the deal? What can you say that might take that teetering customer over the edge and into purchase territory?

For my money – which I’m never eager to part with – honesty and specificity are the key: Tell me what you sound like, and be detailed. Tell me WHO you sound like, and don’t be afraid to get granular – “Blood on the Tracks-era Dylan” paints me a perfect picture. Tell me about your accomplishments and any notable names that worked on the project. Give it to me straight!

Tip #1: Sometimes we are not the best judges of our own music. We think it sounds like Radiohead and our fans think it sounds like the Talking Heads. Before you compose your album description, ask some friends and fans to describe your album for you. Use this information to create a more balanced description of your music.

Tip #2: Step into the listeners shoes. How will they experience your album? How will they feel when they listen to it? What benefit will they get from the purchase? Use this to inform your writing.

How Not to Write About Your Album

What you shouldn’t do is use a bunch of cliches and vague language that ultimately lead nowhere. Want examples?

“unique” – This could be said about literally every piece of music ever made.

“genre-defying” – If someone put a gun to your head you couldn’t come up with one or two words?

“indescribable” – Try. Please just try.

“eclectic” – Nothing is eclectic anymore because this word has been overused and no longer has meaning.

“like nothing you’ve ever heard before” – This one, like “unique,” is technically absolutely true. It’s also a lazy way to describe your music and not necessarily a good thing. I have very specific tastes, and you think telling me it sounds nothing like the music I KNOW I like is going to sweeten the deal for me? I don’t have money to waste here. Give me some details.

“a wonderful addition to any music collection” – I see this one quite a bit, and I’ve gotta tell you: if you’re trying to say nothing about your music, this is about as nothing as you can get. “Do you have music at home? This is also music. You should buy it and put it with your other music.”

“the hottest new artist on the scene” – Slow down, Mr. Cool! I’m having trouble deciphering your hip lingo.

“a must-have!” – Requirements for life: oxygen, water, food, and this person’s new album.

“something for everyone” – Quick: name an album that everyone likes.

“if you love music, you’ll love this” – Casting your net a little wide there, Skipper.

Which ones am I forgetting? Let us know in the comments, or tell us your opinion on the issue. Does language like this entice you? Why?

Join HostBaby in Support of Net Neutrality

HostBaby Net NeutralityYou’ve probably heard about it in the news. Big cable internet companies like Time Warner, Comcast, and Verizon are planning on setting up internet fast lanes for the tech giants that can afford to pay, and internet slow lanes for everybody else. What does this mean for musicians and HostBaby customers? It means a slower internet experience for you and your fans. But even worse, it means that cable companies have the power to promote the companies that pay, and demote the ones that don’t. This is not freedom of the press. It’s extortion.
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Feature Fans on Your Site. Collect Karmic Rewards.

feature your fansHaving (very) recently experienced the birth of my first child, I think I can say, with a reasonable amount of certainty, that humans have a pretty primal desire for care and attention. In fact, I can’t put down my son for more than a few minutes before his cries announce a desperate need for these very things.

What does this have to do with websites, music, or the price of tea in China? Well, we’re all kinda like my newborn son deep-down. Right? We’re all still in need of attention and care. Thankfully, we’ve moved beyond uncontrollable crying (for the most part) as a means to acquiring these things. But it’s still rather important to most of us that we feel others value our existence and are willing to go out of their way to make us feel valued.

As simple as this information is to grasp, it can be difficult to apply in real life. But it’s important for us musicians. After all, it’s not all about us. Music success can’t exist without devoted fans.

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5 things your fans want to see on your website

5 things your band website MUST haveWe’ve written many times about website essentials for musicians. More often than not, though, those articles have focused on what’s essential for YOU, the artist, in order to turn web visits into sales, subscribes, and shares: things like email capture widgets, clear calls-to-action, a music store, etc.

But web traffic is more than just a stat; it’s people!!! And people expect to find what they’re looking for when they visit your website.

So what ARE your fans looking for from your band website? 

1. Your best music — Don’t make people have to work for it, or hunt around on other music sites, or guess at what tracks are your “hit singles.” There should be an obvious music player on your site that streams a handful of your best songs. Oh, and shut the auto-play function OFF! Continue Reading . . .

The website mistake that’s guaranteed to drive your fans away

Website tips for bands

Your band website shouldn’t be a point of departure

I visited a band’s website the other day to see what they’d been up to this summer. I didn’t really NEED any specific info; I was just curious and figured I’d pay a visit. After no more than ten seconds on their site I closed the tab in frustration. Why?

I’m glad you asked. Here’s why: the website consisted almost entirely of a landing page with a background image and the band name — and then the only other “content” was a handful of icons that linked me to Facebook, YouTube, SoundCloud, Twitter, and Tumblr.

If you don’t see anything wrong with that, walk with me a minute down Analogy Lane

Imagine you’re interviewing for a job, and I’ve done you the courtesy of showing up at YOUR house to do the interview. Continue Reading . . .