Quick and Easy way to establish your band on the Net.
By Rock n World Managing Editor, Keavin
So you have a killer
band, and you want to build a web site to show case your music. It really
is not difficult, we here at Rock n World want to help new bands as much
as possible. Therefore this is our "how to establish you band on the net
forum". This article is in three parts. (skip over the ones you may not
need, like how to make a web page if your band already has one.)
How to make an affordable
Web site for your band.
The first thing
you will need if you want to have a web site is a web server to host the
site. You can find many free hosting services which offer a few megs
of web space for you to post your site to. They ask in return that they
display banners when people visit your site, like the pop up window you
get when you visit a GeoCities page. You may already have web space
with your internet service. Many ISPís offer web space to customers as
part of their service. Even AOL gives you ten megs of space to use.
( If you are an AOL customer type in keyword Ď my place Ď, details and
help are available there. You get 2 megs per screen name on your AOL account.)
Check your providers home page for information about free web space.
Here are two places
to find free web hosting for your band.
If you want to have
a domain name for your band i.e. www.yourbandsname,com you will have to
pay for it, the average cost is between $20 to $25. And you can get anywhere
from 2 megs to unlimited space and usage for that fee. You also have to
pay for the set up with most services the average cost is $50.00. As well
the domain name is gonna cost you $70.00 (that covers the first 2 years,
you must renew every year after that for $35.00).
Now we move on designing
your page. If you are using a service like Geocities, AOL, or Angelfire,
they have utilities that will walk you step by step through creating a
very basic web page. We recommend that you do it yourself, you have
a lot more control over how your page looks if you design it.
To design your own
site you do not need to know programming, all you need is a WYSIWYG (what
you see is what you get) HTML editor. The one we recommend
is Netscape Composer
which you may already have if you have Netscape Communicator installed
on your system. Best part about Composer is it is so easy to use, and It
is FREE With Composer you just open a blank web page from the file
menu by selecting new blank page, and you start typing away, using the
tool bars to add links and graphics. It is really easy and you should be
cranking out your web pages within minutes.
Graphics? Ok here
is the tricky part, how do you make graphics? Well we won't be able
to turn you into Picasso but you can download a great Shareware program
called Paint Shop Pro, and start making
some graphics with that. You will need to make a band logo if you
do not already have one, and maybe some titles for the sub pages of your
site, for example Bio, links, Sounds, etc. You can use
Paint Shop Pro for free for 30 days before you are asked to register it.
Ok now what pages
should you put on your site? We have found the best pages to
include are the following, a band Bio giving members names, instruments,
and a history of the band as a whole. If your band has produced any demoís
or CDís a discography page is a must. A tour dates page to
give your visitors times and Venues where they can see you live. A links
page, you will find trading links very valuable in getting people to your
site. A news page, give your fans the latest and greatest on your band,
and we also recommend an update page where you post additions you have
made to your site.
Now since this is
a music site, you should add music. It is real easy to do, simply
go to the Real networks page and download their real
encoder, Itís free. Ok now get a tape or CD of your music, plug
your stereo into your computers sound card for tapes (use your stereos
rca or head phone jacks with a mini pin connector to plug it into your
sound card), or just use your CD ROM for CDís. Encoder comes with
a great wizard which will walk you through how to set up and record a real
audio file. We recommend real audio. Reason one) almost everyone has the
player. Two) the files are streamed, not downloaded, so more people will
listen to them, and Three) the files are small. A five minute song recorded
for 28.8 modems in mono is only about a half a meg in size. *Remember
to upload the files as binaries.
Ok here is where
this article really begins to help you. What if you do not have a real
audio server? You can still stream audio from your web site. Simply
open a text editor and type in the full URL (internet address where you
uploaded the file to
Ok have the URL in
the text file? All you have to do now is save the text file with
the extension of .ram instead of .ra or .rm. Then link to that file, your
real audio songs will now stream from your web server even if you donít
have a real audio server.
the help or FAQ section of your hosting services for instructions on how
to upload your files.
Wow now you have
a web site with a few cool page, some graphics, and real audio! Now
Let people know
you are alive on the web. The absolute first place you should
go is UBL.com. from their main page click
add a link, and follow the prompts, and add your band to their data base.
Have similar music to another established band? Go to their page
on UBL and click add a link and follow the instructions on how to add a
ďSEE ALSOĒ link. (after you have added your band to the UBL database.)
Next submit your
band to search engines, you can use a commercial service to automate the
process like submit it. Most offer
a free verity of their service, that submits your page to the most common
search engines. Or you can go to the search engines add your site. Look
for add url link on the search engines home page.
Ok now look for
web sites for your local clubs etc., especially if you have played there,
email the web master of their site, and ask if you can trade a link with
them. Then do the same with other locals bands you know.
Link Trading works
really well, you will be surprised how many people find your page from
links from other music pages. (remember to link to us)
You can also start
an email group for your band and their fans. They are free to create
click on over to Onelist.com and sign
your band up for a free email list. (these list are a forum where subscribers
write messages to each other through email.)
Last but not least
submit your band to pages like Rock n World
who feature unsigned bands.
Now that you have
a web site and people are visiting it, it is important to make timely updates.
Always keep Your tour dates up to date, and include phone numbers and addresses
to the venues. If the venue has a web site Link to it.
If your using sound
files, like real audio you should rotate your songs. Try posting 2 at a
time and changing them every two to three weeks. People need a reason to
return to your site, and real audio is a great way to do that.
We hope we have helped
you get established on the web, now you can go back to doing what you do
best, making Music!