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How To Build A Larger Audience/Fanbase For Your Christian Music - Part 2

Are you a Christian music artist? Do you want to build a larger audience for your music? In this 5 part series, we will explain our music marketing strategy for exponentially expanding your fanbase.

Today, in part 2, we are focussing on your online hub, ways to attract more visitors to your online hub, and being more than a musician.
Next week, in part 3, we will focus on the use of social media, especially on how social media works to reinforce your online presence and value to your audience/fanbase.

Build a Website

Your website is your online hub. An artist without a website is dependent on the content that others publish, good or bad. As an artist, you want a place that you control where people land when they want to know more about you and your music. That landing place should ultimately be your website.
See the website as your online hub. Everything ranging from social media, artist accounts on streaming platforms, etc. should be seen as a spoke extending from your online hub (website). Look at what happened with Google+ a couple of years ago! Google+ was a social network owned and operated by Google. The network was launched on June 28, 2011, in an attempt to challenge other social networks, linking other Google products like Google Drive, Blogger, and YouTube. Google+ was shut down for business and personal use on April 2, 2019. Imagine what happened to artists that used Google+ as their online hub! All of the hard work that they had done to pull visitors (traffic) to their pages evaporated as a result of a decision that they had no control over. These artists not only had to create a new online hub for themselves, they also had to redo a lot of their previous work.

I still see artists using Facebook Pages, Discord, and other third-party platforms as their online hub. If that platform goes out (just like Google+ and many other similar platforms), there is no easy way to recover from the loss. At a minimum, they will lose part of their momentum, and they will most likely also lose part of their audience. Doing rework comes at a price, and it hurts extra if you realize that most of the rework could have been prevented if they had created their own online hub in the form of a website.

Use a website as the hub for everything you do online, and use other platforms (such as social media) as 'spokes' — places where you are also sharing interesting content that links back to your website as often as possible.

Here are a number of reasons why we believe that it is essential to have your own website:
  • You are the owner of the web address (the so-called domain name). Your fans will always be able to find you because that part of the internet will be in your control. If you need to move your website, you take your domain name with you. As long as you keep the same page structure, you can literally lift and shift your website to any other webserver, change a few settings, and your fans can find you and your content without noticing the change.
  • You control the experience (the look and feel of the website). You own the design of the website and can design it in any way you want (obviously there are a few best practices to consider). You are in control of the visitor 'experience', without any of the distractions/ads that you get with social media platforms and free webpages on other platforms.
  • You can optimize your content with keywords/phrases that indirectly make it easier for people to find your website through the search engines (Google, Bing, etc.). Please don't underestimate the importance of this optimizing. Many artists could reach more potential fans if they would only pay more attention to the content they write and publish on their websites. I have seen announcements on pages of Christian artists moving from the 18th page of Google search findings to the first page, after rewriting the announcement on their website.    
  • You own the data. Data is much more than the content that you create and post on the website. It is also all of the statistical data about the visitors, including how they reached your website, which search commands were used, how many pages did they view during the visit, is it a first-time visitor, etc..
  • Webshop on your own website (optional). There are a number of reasons to have your own webshop. One of the reasons has to do with avoiding commissions to other websites that sell merchandise and other stuff on your behalf. I believe there is even an even more important reason to have your own webshop if you are selling merchandise. Each time you send a visitor to another website, you risk losing the visitor! You are spending a lot of effort getting people to your website, managing the experience, engaging with the visitor... and then you send them to a site that you no longer control... and risk losing them because that site is also trying to keep the visitor and get them to click on other content as well!  
  • Newsletters (optional). Some visitors/fans like to receive newsletters. Newsletters are a way to keep fans connected. Running a newsletter is not easy. Newsletters need to be attractive (layout), engaging, and may never become an over-kill... flooding someone's mailbox and slowly turning into SPAM. There are third-party services for creating and managing newsletters. Make sure that if you use a third-party service, that it fully integrates with your website. The visitor should never leave your website, nor see the branding of the third-party service.   

Post Content Regularly On Your Own Professional Website (Blog)

Maintaining a blog is a great way to drive fans to your website. If the blog is part of your website, then it will also help you with search engine optimization — meaning your website will rank higher in the search results when people use Google / Bing / etc..

Blogging also provides a source of consistent, quality content to share on social media. It shows that your career is active and, over time, it helps create a stronger connection to your fans. Yes, someone might hear one of your songs and like what you’re doing, but if you don’t keep giving them more content and keep them entertained in some form of another, there’s a good chance that they may forget you.

Remember that I said that the website is your online hub? I highly recommend writing blog posts on your website and using tools (such as to cross-post your blog posts to social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). If you are posting identical posts to multiple platforms, then realize that Google will detect the duplication, and unless you use "rel=canonical" in the page code, your page ranking could go down as a result of duplicates. Moral of the story... customize the posts for each platform, or make proper use of "rel=canonical". (Lookup "rel=canonical" on Google for more details.)
People can respond on your socials, but you should only have one place where you start your posts... and all posts should lead back to your website.

Not sure what to blog about? You can post about things like:
  • Preview an upcoming concert
  • Sneek preview of an upcoming release
  • Share the story behind a song
  • Review a recent show/concert
  • Write about your tour
  • Share stories about your rehearsals, new ideas that popped up during rehearsals, etc.
  • Studio stories
  • New gear
  • Other bands in your genre
  • Be sure to include lots of photos and videos in your blog posts to make it interactive and engaging for your fans!
See each post that you publish as a small anchor. All these little anchors build a huge anchor that reinforces your online presence. Each post is adding to the big picture that you are trying to create about your music, you as an artist, and the goals that you are aiming for.  

Be More Than A Musician

This is a big one, so listen up. If you want to get as much exposure for your music as possible, you’ll really want to make yourself more than just a musician! What do I mean by this? Well, you want to do everything you can to get yourself out there and in front of a targeted audience. And by everything, I mean things that aren’t directly related to promoting yourself as a musician (but that will still get new targeted eyes to you and your music).

The good news for you is, not many musicians are doing this. This means there are a lot of opportunities out there if you use this tactic correctly.

Some ways you can do this include:

Talking About More Than Just Your Music On Your Site

Remember the above point about posting more content on your site? Well, who’s to say that you have to talk about yourself all the time? By talking about other acts and your genre of music in general, not only do you have more content to share with your audience, but you’ll have more things that you can rank for in search engines. This will mean more traffic to your site in the long run, as you’ll be using relevant terms which people will be searching for to find your kind of music. This strategy is definitely worth using, so get started with it asap!

Creating A Platform Related To Your Genre Of Music

This is something I’ve talked about and helped people do in my other guides. So taking the above theory even further, why not create a website or podcast in which you target people who like your kind of music? This can be a music review podcast, a radio show which showcases your genre, or even a website that generally covers everything in your music scene. Furthermore, it could even be something not 100% related to your genre that a lot of people in your genre also like. So if you make music skateboarders often listen to, you may want to make a skateboarding site and play your music on the site and in the videos.

You’ll also want to include a shop page where people can buy your music, and possibly even start selling skateboarder-related merchandise with your logo on it.

Doing these kinds of things will get you in front of people you wouldn’t have otherwise, and allow you to showcase your music to new people who are largely interested in your genre.

That's it for this week. I hope you enjoyed part 2. Next week, in part 3, we focus on the use of social media, especially on how social media works to reinforce your online presence and value to your audience/fanbase.

Have a great week!