Several years ago I read an excelent article by Jim Westgren (a Sweedish SEO) on link baiting. He kind of opened my eyes what online marketing and search engine optimization is all about! It is not so much about getting backlinks with force on other sites or showing annoying advertising. It is about beeing in the discussion! And how do you do this? As Google always says: “Produce good unique content”

Jim’s list with link baiting techniques are just another way how to produce good content and make it more interesting so people talk about you! And when people talk about you, you become relevant!
When first reading the list I realized right away how this would perfectly fit to musicians and music bands. But when I showed this list to some band members they didn’t seem to understand what I was talking about. It came to my mind: Jim’s list had to be translated to a language understandable for musicians. So here you go with Jim’s list and my translation of it.
(remember that link baiting as a musician ist much easier than for bloggers because everytime you say something people will talk about you because you are famous. So this is not so much about really getting backlinks but thinking about how to present yourself as a musician on the web)

Make a valuable resource (lists, special reports, history of, how to, etc.)

This obviously translates to: Put your music and videos on your website. And especially while first publishing this kind of stuff put it nowhere else. No MySpace and of course no Facebook. Fans / Webzines and so on will talk about you but it will be your website they are linking to. So you get the relevance points from the search engines and not Facebook or MySpace. Why would you make those websites better when you can improve your own? I just realize that this point is so crucial that I will craft a standalone article about where to put your music on the web. So long you can see my similar article about sharing music

Interview (e-mail/phone) prominent people and publish it.

well you are already famouse and prominent. But why do you need to be on MTV to be interviewed. Of course because you can reach a new audience. Guess what. Asking your fans to ask you questions making your own video interview on your homepage is fun, challenging and will drive back those fans and if their like it their friends on your page. Some other blogs / mags might talk about it. Give it a try!

Build a useful tool

All right you got me here. I don’t see any translation for the musician. Maybe you could build an app for the newer smartphones but still distribute it over your website.

Write an interesting article

As a musician you are kind of an oppinion leader. Why don’t you comment on other music you like. You are obviously an expert on your topic and it will be very interesting for your fans and the fans of other bands to read your reviews and comments on their music. Just Imagine Lady Gaga had her own blog where she reviewed other music. Damn this would attract many people.

Run a newsworthy ‘event’ such as a contest

That is a great one. You are going on tour or you are organizing the tour? Well local bands will be interested to open the concert for you. Have contests for this. Not a contest where they just have to make their fans click somewhere on your page. But making a bandcontest can be fun and other bands will try hard to get this slot on your shows!
Have your fans create youtube videos with one of your songs and give them the chance to win something really cool. You have a personal Gig on their birthday party!

Test something new that has not been done before

Well this might sound hard but as a musician you should be creative. When Radiohead first put their album on the web for free download they tested how it would work and a lot of people like me still talk about it. The crucial part is that it has not been done before. Now if I reference to this event / happening I always use the radiohead example even though many others also did it.

Be the first in doing something on the internet

This one is very similar to the one above. The internet is a huge playground just experiment around. There are many possibilities.

Write something controversial

It is sad but true. But In the entire timephase of promoting In Legends record most of them have been sold on april first when we did our somewhat funny somewhat controversial april’s fool telling the world that the band members have been replaced by some hot chicks because it’s a better visual effect for our live shows. not even the news that our album is out resulted in more comments. That’s kind of surprising.

Be the first to write the latest news in your niche

Easy score. Eerytime you have a press release you do this by putting it on your website and then you contact the mags with a short mail and state that you put the press release on your page. they will eather reference to your page or copy the release. You do not put the press release on Facebook or any other community. The only thing you can do there is to make an update saying you put something on your website.

Be the first to expose a scammer

well the scammer could be within the industry but remember you might loose a friend or close some other doors. But hey maybe there is this critic you always had an open bill with. Or this guy organizing a festival you don’t agree with. Since your connection is already bad why not making this public and getting a profit out of it.

Disagree with an authority

Again think about record labels / festival bookers. What would happen if Metallica posted an article on their page stating that this years Wacken festival had a bad or boaring line up? Well at least I would really enjoy the following and ongoing discussion.

Write some funny humor

Funny things happen to musicians. While recording the music while beeing on tour. In day life. Just think about stories that most people lough at and share them. Or remember the april’s fool we did.

Make an interesting picture

Well this could relate to promotional pictures. But there could also be pictures of fans or of you taking a sh** behind the tourbus. People are attracted by pictures and you certainly have a lot. On the internet quality does not have to be as high as in print mags. More important is the activity.

Be the first to research and document something

I guess this is one of the few points that holds best for bloggers.

Make a theme, plugin or piece of software

This things could relate to your music or artwork or what so ever.

Make a tool that others can put on their sites but that links to you

the best thing would be some kind of concertfeed or newsfeed. If you really aggregate all reviews on your music that apear on the web you could also use those as a content and still link to them and say tool powered by “your band page”

Make a joke about a known person

Well you have to know the person and everyone has to understand it. But I still remember Children of bodom playing umbrella at wacken open air. That was pretty funny. I guess you could transfer ideas like this to the web but in the case of musicians it would not be my first choice.

Make a resource that is just in time for a major event

you finnaly got your record release world wide or play the gig on this huge festival? well you better get an mobile app or some other cool stuff on your page to support it!

Write an outrageous theory and back it up with logics

Another point that fits best with bloggers. Anyone has an idea? Feel free to use the comments.

Write useful comments on something that is happening

it is what people do on facebook. Writing the tour diary or some other things about what is going on in the studio. Well do it on your page and attract the people to your page! not on facebook!

Give something valuable for free

Well I have a whole article about sharing music! I encourage you it is your very best marketing tool!

Coin a new acronym in your niche and get people to talk about it

Well this is what you do. You create new music or a new style. Van Canto have been the first to do a capella metal and now people talk about a capella metal and know right away they have to look into van canto.

Become an expert in your niche and write valuable information

as a serious musician you already are an expert and since you have fans your information will be valuable.

I guess you see the pattern that comes from Jim’s ideas and how they transfere to music. If you quote this list please also consider to link back to Jim since he really is the initial creator of this list. My article is just an interpretation of this list for musicians.

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2 Comments on Link baiting for Musicians Bands – The perfect band website: part 4

  1. [...] writing my article on link baiting for musicians I realized that this topic is overdue. besides the fact that Facebook is highly overrated this is [...]

  2. [...] Ideen für das interaktive Online marketing (nicht nur auf Facebook) kann man in meinem Artikel Link Baiting für Musiker nachlesen oder können gerne hier in den Kommentaren – genauso wie eure Meinung zu Facebook [...]

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