I’ve been saying it for years, MySpace, Facebook, ReverbNation – I don’t care – If you are (or want to be) a Professional Musician or financially sustainable Band:
YOU MUST HAVE YOUR OWN WEBSITE!
Thanks to platforms like WordPress, building your own website or hiring someone to build it for you no longer has to cost thousands of dollars.
But whether you build it yourself, or you hire someone to do it, it is up to you to decide what goes in it, on it and how it looks and feels. I’m thrilled to have 2 specialists in building websites for musicians, Josh and Bret, to help us figure out:
- What must every Musician/Band website have?
- To blog or Not to blog?
- What are the best WordPress plugins for musicians’ websites?
- How do you integrate and brand yourself from Social Media to your website?
- And what about SEO?
We’ll be talking about this and more!
Additional Resources for this Interview:
List of Plugins from Josh and Bret:
Pluginsakismeteasy iframe loadertubepress and/or smart youtubewp smush.itwp dbmanagerwp super cachewp touch (automatically optimizes site for mobile devices)nextgen galleryall in one seosimple google sitemap xmlgoogle analytics or statcountershareaholic (aka sexy bookmarks)contact form 7 + download monitor + email before download = collect e-mail addresses for downloadstweetblendersocial media widgetIf you use Genesis Framework:genesis simple editsgenesis simple hooksgenesis simple sidebarsgenesis slider or wp-cycle (for slideshows)
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Middle Tennessee Music is comprised of C Bret Campbell and Joshua Smotherman:
- Middle Tennessee Music
- Small Barn Sound Recording
- Jefferson Grizzard
- Reggie Shaw
- Tim Culpepper
- TSINews (under development)
Joshua Smotherman‘s Bio:
Back in 1999, along with a childhood friend, I started writing, producing, and recording full-time as part of the hip hop duo, BUNKS. With no desire to ever sign a recording contract with a big label, we decided to build our own label and to use the Internet to promote the music.
Back then, Social Media did not exist, but we had services such as MP3.com and Soundclick which allowed us to create profiles, upload music, and share it with listeners across the world. Forums and Messages Boards were the go-to sites for interacting with the independent music community. Specifically in Hip Hop, large numbers of emcees, producers, and fans spent hours engaging in writing lyrics, sharing recordings, and collaborating on instrumentals.
When Myspace became the most popular social networking site in the U.S. in 2006, we dove head-first into Social Media and began sharing and promoting our music with the Myspace community.
Shortly after, it was YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, ReverbNation, and an ever growing list of social networking services. It became hard to keep up with everything going on, but we quickly learned that the World Wide Web was changing, growing, and evolving on a daily basis. It was necessary to learn and maintain flexibility as well as spend a few hours each day reading and researching the latest developments.
The more time we spent with Social Media, SEO, and all the research involved; the less time we had to focus on writing music, booking shows, and releasing albums, BUT…
Other bands, venues, and indie labels noticed our presence and began asking questions. Then they began asking for help. Then somewhere along the line people started paying us for our advice as well as asking us to oversee their Internet Presence (from the Website to all their Social Media accounts). Things began taking off in unexpected directions but we rolled with the punches and soon realized the music community could use our help.
After years of learning, researching, and throwing ideas back and forth, Middle Tennessee Music was born.
C Bret Campbell‘s bio:
C Bret Campbell is owner of Small Barn Sound recording studio in Hillsboro, TN; known for it’s artistic vibe and down home feel. The philosophy at Small Barn is that beauty and integrity of performance comes first. The drive is a desire to see the underdog succeed.
He is also Vice President of Middle Tennessee Music. Founded in 2011 as a merging of Small Barn’s promotion services with those of BUNKS Multimedia, Mid Tenn focuses on independent musicians, labels, venues, publications and web partnerships. Along with free information and promotion services Mid-Tenn act as consultant, webmaster, and online marketing director for bands, artists, indie labels, radio promo companies, and others. We build, host and maintain websites, handle social media campaigns and help build the professional team that an artist on the rise needs.
Bret has been a musician for 35 years, and involved in the music community in some way or another all of that time. He is currently making music, and writing PR and reviews. He covers Social Media forThe Saturday Independent newspaper, the Tennessee music scene for 101 Distribution, and a multitude of topics on Mid Tn and Small Barn Sound. He also organizes and participates in charity concerts for several organizations.
He is blessed to be a happily married father of 3 beautiful children who constantly give him inspiration to be the best he can be.