The following is a guest post from Shaun from Music Industry How To. Enjoy!
Hey guys and girls, I’ve got a very special article for you today! As some of you may know, I’ve already showed you how to set up your very own professional website very quickly with minimum effort. Today however, I’m going to look at a few things that will make your website stand out from the crowd.
The way you present your website is all important. Yes you can simply set up a WordPress site with the basic features (Free theme, standard pages every musician has etc), but if doing that bit more can increase conversions / make your website more sticky / gain you more fans, don’t you think you should put that extra effort in?
As always, nothing I mention below is hard to do. It’s simply a case of knowing what you should be doing. Whether you’ve already got a site or you’re about to make a website, here are some things that will help your site stand out from the crowd.
Please Note: While this guide refers to doing things on WordPress, you’ll still be able to use the theory to make your non WordPress sites better as well.
1. Make Sure Your Website Header Is On Point
When any visitor (Read ‘potential fan’) first arrives on your website, what’s the first thing they see? No it’s not your latest videos or even your picture gallery, it’s your header! It stands to reason then that you should make your header as attractive as possible, and ensure it gives the right impression.
If you can design your own artwork, that’s all good. Get started on making a great one right away! If you can’t however and are on a budget, that’s not a problem. Simply go to Odesk.com, and hire someone to do one for you! There are some great designers on there, and you’d definitely be able to get someone to do you a killer header for $20 maximum.
2. Use A Premium Theme
As well as making sure your header looks great, it’s also a good idea to buy a premium theme for your WordPress website. Yes you can use a free one, but I prefer to buy them for a few reasons:
- They look better.
- They work better. You have a lot more customization options, which will in turn help you better convert your website visitors.
- They offer more support. You won’t have to worry about WordPress updating and parts of you theme not working any more, they’ll keep everything up to date automatically.
There are a few premium themes around, but my favorite are the themes provided by Studiopress. Both beautiful and functional, my last few sites all have their themes installed.
3. Offer An Exclusive Area For Your Members
You know what to expect when you go on a music website. Picture gallery, shop page, video page… But wait, what’s this? A members area with exclusive content and privileges by the bundle?!
Offer your fans something different by incorporating a members area into your website. You can either make this area free for your visitors (Collecting the email addresses of members that sign up) or you can charge a monthly / one off fee. Either way you’ll be offering something a lot of other sites don’t do, and giving them the chance to get really involved in everything ‘you’.
4. Place Your Opt In Form In High Converting Places
If you don’t want to use the above membership site method to collect email addresses, there’s still nothing wrong with using the good old opt-in form for email collection.
As many of you know, one of the highest converting places to place your opt in form is in the top right hand side of your sidebar (If you didn’t know that, you’re welcome ;)). You shouldn’t stop there however. Other high converting places are:
- Directly below your posts, and
- Within your About page (They are trying to learn more about you after all, so give them insider access).
Take advantage of these other high converting positions. After all, the more people see your opt-in form at different stages of action, the more likely they are to subscribe.
5. Make Your Website Easy To Share
One final point for making your website stand out from the crowd, is using social share buttons. As well as just displaying them, you should make sure these buttons display how many times they’ve been shared. Not only will these buttons encourage sharing of your content, but they also do another thing: Provide social proof!
If you manage to get your posts shared round a few times, whenever anyone new comes on your site and looks at your post, they’ll see that others have already been there and approved it. If you see that a few people have been sharing it round already, that’s a good sign that the article’s a good one right?
If you don’t get a lot of people visiting your site yet, you could always share it on your own Facebook and Twitter pages, and get a couple of friends to do the same. You could even set up a second profile if you have to, and ‘Like’ things a few more times.
Keep sharing like this, and as time goes on you’ll naturally find more people start clicking ‘Like’ and re-tweeting.
There are WordPress plugins that allow you to easily display these social share buttons, so install one and show people just how popular you really are!
While having a website is all important when establishing your online base, you need to put some love and attention into its set up to make it really do its job properly. Put the above five things in place, and you’ll be well on your way to getting your website to where it should be. If you’ve any other ideas of what can make your website stand out from the crowd, please let me know in the comments section below.
By the way, this is a guest post from myself (Shaun) of Music Industry How To. Music Industry How To is a music advice website for independent and signed musicians alike. If you already have your own music website and want me to write an article for you, check here. If you don’t already have a site, you can see my guide on setting one up here.