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An Open Letter to LunarPages

or Why I Recommend Against Using LunarPages to Host Your Website

The last 2 months have been a virtual hell for me (pun completely intended).  Sometime in the middle of May, I started noticing real problems with my website.  I was in the midst of doing a lot of content creation and tweeking to the big overhaul I’d done in February.  But everything was taking so long.  It was hard.  It was frustrating.  But then it got worse.

I started getting complaints from clients, customers and paying Members that they couldn’t access my website.  That it was timing out, locking up, going down.  And so, I filed a ticket with Lunarpages customer service.

Their initial response was to blame my website.  There must be a bad plugin or script causing the problem, because Our server is just fine.  So, I spent time and money, spoke to multiple web programmers familiar with both WordPress and Wishlist Member (the wordpress plugin that runs my ArtistsMBA Program).  And while we did find one bad plugin and deleted it, instead of things getting better, they actually got worse.

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Niche Marketing – How Thinking Small Can Payoff Big

Artists MBA, Professional ProgramWhat is a Niche, really? And why is everybody talking about Niche Marketing?

Many business owners are afraid to define their niche on the mistaken premise that they will lose business as a result.

The truth is just the opposite.

Designing your marketing around a Niche can enable you to have a major impact on a small budget. Since most business owners are working with a limited to non-existent marketing budget – Niche Marketing can give you a tremendous advantage over your competition.

In this class, you’ll learn:

  • What is a niche, really and how does it apply to my business?
  • How do I pick my niche?
  • OK – I’ve chosen my niche, now what?

Additional Resources for this Class:

Prerequisite Class:

Listen to the Class:

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Ready to get serious? Enroll in the Artists Marketing & Business Academy Professional Program to access these classes today!

Your Tuition ($79 per month) includes all Foundation level classes PLUS the Professional level classes PLUS the Time Management Mastery Course & App.

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Ready to get serious? Enroll in the Artists Marketing & Business Academy Professional Program to access these classes today!

Your Tuition ($79 per month) includes all Foundation level classes PLUS the Professional level classes PLUS the Time Management Mastery Course & App.


Thank you for your interest. This content is visible to ArtistsMBA Foundation Program members only. Click here to login.

WordPress Website Essentials with Jesse Petersen

artists-marketing-business-academy-interview-with-expertsYou’ve heard me say it again and again, you need your own website. A Facebook or ReverbNation page isn’t enough. To succeed in the 21st Century, you must have a web presence all your own.

For most people there are 3 obstacles to creating their own website and in my experience, WordPress solves all three.

In this Interview with an Expert call, I’ll be talking with Jesse Petersen. We’ll look at how WordPress dissolves the biggest website obstacles. And answer the biggest questions you have about creating a WordPress Website that announces your business on the Internet and makes it fun, easy and attractive for your fans, clients and customers to play with you and buy from you.

In this Interview you’ll learn:

  • The three obstacles to a web presence and how WordPress solves them
  • How to get started with WordPress
  • The 5 most important WordPress Plugins

And so much more. Take it from this died-in-the-wool technophobe – WordPress makes the website manageable!  And Jesse makes it understandable!

Additional Resources for this Interview:

Additional ArtistsMBA Classes on this Topic:

Listen to the Interview:

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Jesse Petersen

Debra Russell, Artists Marketing and Business Academy, internet marketing, Website, WordPress, sales and marketing

Jesse has been using WordPress since “the good old 1.x days” of its development and has seen it grow from something that once took a moderate amount of techno-savvy to choose a theme into the wonderful software that it is now; with one-click updating and uploading. Over the years, he has broken his sites and his themes hundreds of times and learned a new trick every time.

In 2008, he left corporate America to become the Support Manager at iThemes, a theme development shop out of Oklahoma; working remotely from his home in sunny Florida. It was during this time that he encountered thousands of bad WordPress installation issues, server issues, theme issues, and more.  That found him quite the following of people eager to get quick, easy fixes to their WordPress problems and he always seemed to have an answer within minutes.

In February 2009, he went out on his own, forming Petersen Media Group, LLC to launch his own WordPress services company. He currently has over 100 small business and blogging clients from England to Hawaii to Tibet. His services, while very specialized in his area of greatest expertise, draw from many areas of his experience and allow him to be the complete package for those clients who want it all: logos, branding, social media training, and website design and development. This breadth of knowledge makes Jesse an excellent choice for drawing in the big picture for his clients and guiding them in the right direction, whatever their needs are or budget allows: they are certain to get a straight answer.

Twitter for Artists – An Interview with Carla Lynn Hall

artists-marketing-business-academy-interview-with-expertsIf you’re not using, or haven’t gotten the hang of, Twitter yet, it’s a great social networking tool that enables you to get your point across in 140 characters or less. It’s a great way to start and build relationships in less time than it take to send an email.

People who are unfamiliar with Twitter often get bored before they see the opportunity that’s available. If you’ve given up on your Twitter account, or want to learn how you can use it to build your business, this workshop is for you!

In this class you’ll discover:

  • How to get followers
  • How to promote your gigs, music, photography, etc
  • How to get new visitors to your website
  • How to meet and communicate with fans and industry professionals

Additional Resources for this Interview:

Additional ArtistsMBA Classes on this Topic:

Listen to the Interview:

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Read the Interview Transcript

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Carla Lynne Hall

Debra Russell, Artists Marketing and Business Academy, Carla Lynn Hall, Twitter, social media, outsourcing, Social Networking, Sales and Marketing, internet marketing, listCarla Lynne Hall is a musician and music marketing consultant based in New York City. Her mission is to make music and share her knowledge with other musicians. As a musician, she has released three CDs on her own label, and has toured the world as a singer/songwriter, and professional vocalist. In addition, she also has spent a number of years behind the scenes in the music industry, in publishing, management, publicity, and radio promotion.

Carla is the host of Musicians Lunch, a monthly musician’s gathering in NYC, and other cities around the US. Carla has given indie music lectures at many venues, including ASCAP, Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, The Indie Music Forum, and Philadelphia Music Conference.

Get more information about Carla and check out her ebook – Twitter for Musicians at:

Twitter For Musicians

Debra Recommends John Braheny

Debra Russell recommends, John Braheny, Craft and Business of Songwriting, Music Business

From left: Joann Braheny, Debra Russell, John Braheny

I met John Braheny and his wife Joann several years ago at the West Coast Songwriter’s Conference and they introduced me to Michael Laskow, CEO of TAXI. When I recommend a place to get expert feedback on your songwriting – John is always one or two or three names on the list.

John is in demand as a top consultant for songwriters, performers and industry entrepreneurs. He is a consultant and screener for Taxi.com, the worlds leading independent A&R company and offers valuable feedback on songwriting craft and business and career strategies for performers.  He is one of the most respected people in the music industry, and, more specifically, in the songwriting community. He is referred to as “the songwriter’s best friend” for his tireless efforts to create education and discovery opportunities for songwriters, to help bring public attention to songwriting as an art form and to champion songwriters’ rights. His activities in these areas include:

It is with devastating sorrow that I give you the news that John Braheny has left us.  On January 19th, 2013, John died of cancer.  He will no longer be able to teach you songwriting in person.  He will no longer be offering in person songwriting and music business advice to songwriters.  But his brilliance lives on in his book and the videos he did for TAXI TV.  And in our hearts.  We miss you, John.

John’s book – Craft and Business of Songwriting

John’s Website – http://johnbraheny.com/

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Debra Recommends Ann Evanston – Social Networking Coaching Club

Debra Russell recommends, internet marketing, Social Media Marketing, Ann Evanston, Warrior-Preneur, twitterI took a Twitter Technology class with Ann and I learned SO much, that I signed up for her Social Networking Coaching Club. I’ve been learning a lot – and really diving deep into the social networking world as a result of her support! Many of the principles I teach my Members and clients I learned at her knee!

I recommend Ann and her Social Networking Coaching Club! She is committed to teaching the strategies and tactics to successful social networking to grow your business, increase traffic, and generate revenue!

Most people do NOT understand the social psychology of how to market their business online without wasting tons of time and energy. Truly build credibility and have your marketing go “viral” with this system!

The Social Networking Coaching Club provides a customized coaching process, online rather than 1:1 which is far more costly! Get results quickly and feedback specific for what YOU are trying to achieve!

Growing your business online makes smart business sense these days. Learning how to do it right the first time is critical. There are many people out there who claim to be “Social Media Experts.” And they charge some pretty nice fees to “coach” people to improve their online marketability. There are also many people out there trying to be “helpful” but have no clue of how to extend strategic help!

What Ann says about her experience with Social Networking:
I am a HUGE fan of social networking – it has expanded my internet presence and closed business for me. As a matter of fact I ran 3Q numbers and I have pulled $30,000, and a book and radio deal for business in 2008 from social networking! (Oh, and I was a featured speaker at BizTechDay – I loved the “heavy hitters” I got to play with that day!)  The opportunities are endless on the internet! And if you practice what is in my Social NetWORKing article you can be successful at it!

If you are serious about true social networking to grow your business, not shoving your business at everyone (it gets old!) then this site is for you! Learn the secrets for success! Go to the Social Networking Coaching Club to sign up or learn more!

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Debra Recommends Ning – Create Your Social Network

Debra Russell recommends, Artist's EDGE, Ning, Social Networking
Ning.com is a very cool thing!  Ning lets you create your own social network and/or join others.

Based in Palo Alto, Calif., Ning offers an easy-to-use technology platform enabling you to create and join Ning Networks for your interests and passions.

With over 1.3 million Ning social networks created and more than 30 million registered members, millions of people every day are coming together across Ning to explore and express their interests, discover new passions, and meet new people around shared pursuits.

Ning also enables artists, brands and organizations to simplify and control their online presence with their own unique Ning Network that beautifully integrates with other social media services while providing the most direct, unique and lucrative relationship with fans, consumers and members.

Founded in October 2004 by Gina Bianchini and Marc Andreessen, Ning launched the Ning Platform in October 2005 and Ning social networks in February 2007.

Check out Ning!

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Debra Recommends Patrick Schwerdtfeger Internet Marketing Expert

patrick-l1I met Patrick in 2006 through his San Francisco Bay Area Meetup – The Entrepreneur and Small Business Academy.  I am tremendously impressed with his vast knowledge of marketing on the internet, SEO and social media marketing.

Patrick is, frankly, a self-described geek and ridiculously passionate about all things internet marketing.  And he has a way of using his passion to make this stuff comprehensible and actually interesting to those of us non-technical people.  I’ve attended several workshops he’s taught and interviewed him for the Artist’s EDGE Membership.  His class for the Membership garnered more enthusiastic feedback than any other class or interview I’ve done.

I strongly recommend Patrick’s books, classes, and CD’s if you want to learn about promoting your business on the internet.

Check out Patrick Schwerdtfeger and Tactical Execution.

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Debra Recommends Bob Baker – The Buzz Factor

Debra Russell recommends, Bob Baker, The Buzz Factor, Art and Entertainment Industry, music business, marketingBob Baker is an author, musician, and workshop leader who is dedicated to helping musicians, authors, and creative people of all kinds get exposure, connect with fans, and increase their incomes through their artistic passions. Bob’s books include “Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook,” “Unleash the Artist Within,” “Branding Yourself Online,” “Self-Publishing Success Secrets,” and more.

I was thrilled to interview Bob for the Artist’s EDGE Membership awhile back and everyone was very impressed with his knowledge of Marketing and how to apply it to the world of the Arts and Entertainment Industry.  He made what can be a scary subject both understandable and approachable.

For hundreds of music marketing tips, visit Bob’s Website – The Buzz Factor

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Debra Recommends Ariel Publicity and Cyber PR

Debra Russell recommends, Ariel Hyatt, Cyber PR, music promotion, music business, marketingSince meeting Ariel Hyatt from Cyber PR in 2009, we have become good friends.  I was honored to participate on a Panel at the TAXI Road Rally that she moderated.  (Pictured left to right, Dean Krippaehne, Vikki Flawith, Ariel Hyatt, Derek Sivers, and me, Debra Russell)

I was very impressed by her knowledge and presence and the more I learn about her, the more impressed I become.  She’s hosted me as a speaker in NYC and I’ve interviewed Ariel for the Artists Marketing & Business Academy.

Here’s some information from the Cyber PR Website:

Ariel Hyatt, author of Music Success in Nine Weeks, is the founder of Ariel Publicity & Cyber PR a New York based digital firm that connects artists to blogs, podcasts, Internet radio stations and social media sites. Over the past 13 years her firm has represented over 1,400 musicians of all genres.

Ariel Publicity started out as a traditional PR firm and for 9 years Ariel pitched bands to newspapers, magazines TV and radio. Five years ago she noticed a dramatic downturn in effectiveness of traditional PR for her clients. It was harder and harder to even secure a calendar listing in newspapers that once gave her artists cover stories and feature interviews.

At the same time she noticed that online portals were covering her artists extensively and much faster than their traditional media counterparts.  2005 was the year of the podcast and 2006 the year of the blog (The TIME Magazine person of the year was YOU) and 2006 was the year Ariel Publicity abandoned all traditional media pitching and went digital.

Teaching and educating musicians is  an integral part of the Cyber PR platform and the philosophy is: combine social networking with Internet marketing to help artists grow their fanbases and increase their income.

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