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  •  The EvO:R-Pedia Musicians Tips Section


    Welcome to the EvO:R Tips Section. We call this section EvO:R-Pedia because it is like a complete reference library for Indie musicians...Just about every tip has been used so you won't find false promises and a series of books to buy after reading each tip. This section was put here by musicians so that people that followed can take this knowledge and use it's power.


    Websites vs. MySpace
    by Nancy Moran

    "What does a MySpace page do that a website can't do?"

    A good friend of mine recently posed this question to me in an email. And quite frankly, a short while ago I had the exact same question running through my own head. So, I thought it might be a good one to answer here.

    If you're an indie artist, you certainly know the significance of having your own website. Your website is your little home on the 'net and a key ingredient in your marketing plan. This is where people can find you and information about you, your CDs, your tour schedule, and any current news you may wish to promote. You can also include photos, blogs, newsletters, and videos. Plus, it's a way for your audience to connect with you, as many fans are already accustomed to looking for you at www.yourname.com.

    But there's one big catch about a website: people have to KNOW about you and KNOW to go looking for you. So, it's great for people who know about you already. But what about the rest of the world who hasn't heard of you yet? Also, if you're a songwriter only, you may not have a website or even believe that you need one. I mean, if you don't have CDs to sell or performances to promote, what's the point? Right?

    Welcome to MySpace.

    On the surface a MySpace Music site looks pretty similar to a regular website. You can add your tour schedule, upload songs, and include your bio and lots of pictures. You can even start your own blog. That feature is built in.

    The difference is that MySpace also has a built in world-wide community of nearly 200 million people, many of whom are actively searching for indie artists and songwriters! And there are lots of different ways they can "find" you on MySpace:

    1. They can search a local area (i.e. Nashville, TN)

    2. They can search for musicians of a particular genre (i.e. "folk rock," "death metal," or "western swing")

    3. They can search for artists who sound similar to their favorite artists (i.e. "sounds like Suzanne Vega")

    4. OR - they can literally stumble upon you as they're viewing someone else's page on MySpace!

    This last scenario is perhaps the most significant feature of MySpace and the biggest advantage over your own website. Your "friends" will be linked to your MySpace page and YOU will be linked on theirs. So, people viewing another page on MySpace may see your picture or your comment and click on your link to check out your page. And voila! They are now listening to your music and reading your bio and you may potentially have a new fan who didn't know about you a few minutes ago. And this fan might be in England or Botswana or Thailand!

    Generally speaking, people do not go to Google and search for "indie folk rock songwriter in Nashville, TN" and then go visit all of the sites that come up. But in MySpace, it's an everyday occurrence.

    Also, for those of you who are non-performing songwriters, MySpace is a gold mine for you! You may connect with other co-writers, either locally or in other countries. You can get feedback on new songs simply by placing rough recordings on your profile and asking for comments. People on MySpace LOVE to get involved and communicate. And you'll find that the majority of people are very positive and encouraging and helpful. Also, remember that there are zillions of indie artists on MySpace. So, upload your best demos and let people know that you'd love to have them record your song on their next CD. You could potentially get some indie cuts.

    So, am I telling you to dump your website for a MySpace site? Absolutely not! You need to keep your own "home" on the web. But you also need to have a MySpace site IN ADDITION to your own website. Why? Because some people will only go looking for new music on MySpace. And you want them to find YOU.

    Now, there are definitely down sides to MySpace. It's slow and full of bugs. If you're not careful you'll find yourself spending WAY too much time on it. And you may not see any tangible results right away. Also, "MySpace friends" do not necessarily translate into "fans who purchase your music." BUT, you WILL be able to get many, many people to LISTEN to your music who may not have any other way of hearing you. (I mean, how often do you play in Botswana, after all?)

    I guess the real point is that MySpace is just another tool for you. And it's FREE! So, why not take advantage of it? Just remember that it's not the ONLY tool. So, use it in conjunction with all of your other promotional and marketing efforts. They all work together.

    One quick note: to be able to add music to your profile page in MySpace, you must sign up as an "Artist." (And songwriters, you can be the "artist" even if your demos are sung by someone else. The key is that you hold the copyright.) So, on the main MySpace homepage, click on Music on the menu bar first. That will bring up the MySpace Music menu bar (in maroon). Click on Artist Signup and that will take you through the process of setting up the correct type of account. For those of you who have a "regular" MySpace account because you didn't realize this? There is no way to change your regular account to a Music account. So, you'll have to start from scratch.

    Hope this helps! Come check us out on MySpace and add us to your friends list:
    www.myspace.com/nancymoran 
    www.myspace.com/songwritersconnection 
    www.myspace.com/susanetucker 
    www.myspace.com/kimcopeland 
    www.myspace.com/azaleastudios

    This article reprinted with permission from www.songwritersconnection.com


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