Remember, you are building an empire. By empire I mean your brand, and by brand, it means you. So what do you want people to say about you? What do you want people to take away when they view your brand? Let's face it, your SoundCloud profile looks exactly the same as every one else, give or take a thumbnail or cover photo. But is it memorable? No. Does the design really speak to your audience? Probably not. Does the page truly showcase your style? Doubtful. My point is, it's looks just like every other damn playlist or artist profile. And as an artist, your brand cannot afford to look like everyone else. You have to break through the clutter, make an impact, be memorable. And one of the easiest and best ways to do so is by having your own website.
There are so many benefits to having your own personal website. For starters: your domain name. It's much easier for someone to remember to type artistnameleon.com than say soundcloud.com/artistnameleon. Not to mention, that's your trademark, your brand, your name - of course you want to own that, certainly before anyone else does. If you're building an empire, than its starts by purchasing your domain with your branded name as the URL. Not to mention it's cheap, and often times you can purchase the domain directly through the platform you are using to build your site. And if you initially purchased a domain from another site, 99% of the time its transferable to the new platform you will use to build your site, at least for Bandzoogle and Wix anyway.
Most importantly, a website is the foundation to your brand. It's your chance to shine and stand out from the pack. It's a one-stop-shop for visitors to get to know you, listen to your music, stay updated on what you're doing, learn what kind of buzz you're generating in the media, and shop branded merchandise. Your website allows you to make your mark with a great design and quality content. I initially started with Squarespace, but it was way too complex for someone like me who is not as technical and prefers a simplified way of doing things. Squarespace was far from easy to set up in my opinion. However if you find it simple to use then I will say it has great pre-built design templates (better than Bandzoogle) and a seamless, user-friendly eCommerce platform should you decide to sell merchandise. I love Bandzoogle in design, SEO capabilities, and user friendliness, but it has its limitations just as all pre-built platforms. The eCommerce platform is pretty dated and a lot of their built-in features are mediocre but because it's powered by PayPal you reduce the shopping security risks. I've complained to them a few times about fixing it but have yet to see any updates. So until I can afford my own web developer it'll have to do. Another notable website builder is Weebly. For more information read this helpful guide on website builders from PC Mag.
Overall, do your research first to see which website builder fits within your needs and budget. If you don't have a lot of time on your hands, as most of us don't, then I highly recommend Bandzoogle. It takes me less than 60 seconds to upload/update my site if I need to. It's pretty much dummy-proof. But you are really providing a disservice to your brand by not getting a website at all. I pay $16.95 for a premium account and that includes eCommerce. The price on average across all the suggested sites I listed above is roughly $25/month. If you have the budget to purchase an annual subscription, do it, because you'll save some money. The most costs will occur during the initial set up process because it includes purchasing a domain name, but it will all pay off in the long run, trust me. Building a website doesn't have to costly or difficult, but it is crucial to building your brand. Don't sell yourself short, and show your fans you mean business.
What's your favorite web builder platform? Comment and share below.
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