So, does your website need to look amazing?
In short, no, I don’t believe you need a great looking website to have a successful music career. Here’s why.
1. Content is King
It’s nice to have a decent looking site, but frankly content is far more important than design will ever be.
If you don’t believe me, then check your Google ranking. Sites with relevant, quality content are always higher in the search results than those that are (supposedly) designed well.
If you’re not regularly building content to attract new visitors to your site yet, your flashy design isn’t going to make much of a difference.
2. Interaction/Engagement is More Important
Connecting with your audience is one of the most important things in developing long-term sustainability for your music career.
It doesn’t matter if your website looks like a magazine in mass publication or a community newsletter. If you aren’t connecting with your fans, you’re doing something wrong.
Collect email addresses from people who visit your website, start a forum, let your fans comment on your blog posts and make sure you’re engaging your audience. Relationship is key.
3. RSS Feeds Negate the Need to Surf
The way people digest content on the internet continues to change.
There are only a few reasons (like commenting on posts or purchasing product) for people to visit your physical site, because RSS feeds and feed aggregators like Feedly have made it far more convenient for users to absorb new content.
The point is that if people aren’t coming to your website in the first place, there’s a good chance they could care less about your site’s design.
I enjoy scanning content with RSS feeds, because instead of visiting dozens of sites ever single day, I can have all of my updates delivered to one single location, using a feed aggregator.
I end up saving a lot of time, and I know immediately when there’s new content I have yet to read on my favorite blogs.
4. Your Website Design Doesn’t Replace YOU
If you’re a musician, you need to be playing gigs. I don’t care how you go about it. Go play in a bar, a coffeehouse, or a hardware store. Play for corporate functions, hotdog lunches, or your friend’s BBQ. Play in your basement and stream it to the Internet.
I don’t care how you’re doing it, but just make sure you are doing it. Your offline presence – in other words your live performance – will almost always hold more weight than your online presence.
This also goes for your day-to-day: attending parties, having lunch with friends, going to conventions, etc.