Basic Internet Promotion

internet promotion

By David A. Barber
Author of Gigging, Everything You Need to Know About Playing Gigs (Except How to Play Your Axe)

How do you use the Internet to get your music “out there” to people who would otherwise never hear you or buy your CD? It’s not rocket science.(This is true for all facets of the music biz.) It just takes time.

Here are some of the steps that we use to get this off the ground. Obviously, there’s a whole lot more that can be done, and as the Internet continues to grow/change new opportunities present themselves frequently. Every band should assign one member to spend one hour a week promoting the act online. In a few months, the results could be impressive.

Here’s where to start:

  • Facebook: Start with Facebook. Do a Facebook band page. It’s free and relatively easy. (Ask any teenager for help) make sure the information there is current and keep adding friends. There are many other social networks out there. Use them all. The more the better.
  • Get a real website. Your site should have downloadable MP3 music files for people to listen to, a Biography, Photos, a short description of what kind of music you play (yes, you need to decide what genre you are in.), your gigs and a page for links. The better your website is, the more professional your band looks. There are tons more you can do with your website, but this is a short intro.
  • Make sure the Search Engines and Directories can find you. Go to each of the big ones (Yahoo, Google, MSN, etc.) and search for your band name. If your website link does not come up then you need to submit it to them. There is usually a “add url” or “submit site” link, in small type, somewhere near the bottom or fringes of the search page. Entire books have been written on Search Engine Optimization and many people work full time trying to figure out how the search engines work. How they determine who comes up on top of the list changes constantly, so we’ll just leave it at getting listed, for now.
  • Swap links. All you have to do is ask other compatible bands, venues where you play, and businesses that you frequent if they want to swap links. Most places will gladly do so. One of the many search engine ranking factors is how many other websites have links to yours. The thinking is that if lots of other sites are linked to yours, then your site must be pretty important. Out of Courtesy, you should link back to anyone who links to you. If the venue you regularly play doesn’t have a link to your site, it’s probably because they don’t have your link. Send it to them. chances are, they will put it in their database and it will stay there forever.
  • Get hooked up with the big music websites. You’ll need 3-5 songs in MP3 format, a photo, a bio, and a bunch of other info about your act. The goal here is to make it as easy as possible for random people to stumble across your music. Therefore, it should be easily accessible on as many different sites as possible. A few of the other big ones (at the time of writing) are,, and To find more, just type “Music” into any search engine. New sites pop up (and disappear) almost every day, so see what you can find.
  • Get hooked up on the regional music websites. There are dozens of sites in every market, just search for terms like “Denver Music.” Get your photos on Every bit helps.
  • Get hooked up on genre-specific websites. There are sites for the blues, for metal, for folk, and everything else. They’re easy to find, just throw your genre into the search.
  • Make sure your CDs are easy to buy online. Sure, you should sell them from your own website, but they should also be available on, and all the rest. can get your music onto iTunes. Any good distributor should be able to get your CD available at a variety of online locations.
  • Post on Message Boards: When you run out of websites to get listed on, (look again, there’s always a new one out there) Start hitting the message boards and newsgroups. Post all your shows a few days ahead of each one. If people don’t want to know, they don’t have to read.
  • Use Email!! Collect email addresses from your fans every chance you get and tell them about your shows and music.
  • Traditional publicity. Flyers, Posters, postcards, and advertisements are great ways to promote your website and your act. Anything you print (business cards, CD tray inserts, promo kits, etc.) should have your website address on it. Make sure that the address is also mentioned in newspaper and magazine interviews as well. Make sure you are sending out regular press releases and that the newspapers and magazines where you are playing have your gig info. in time to run it in their columns/listings section.
  • Get creative. There’s no end to the clever ways you can bring people to your website, get them to hear your music and, hopefully, buy a CD. For example: if you are also a poet, put up a page for the poetry on your band website and then promote it to poetry oriented sites. If you’ve got an artist in the band post photos of the artwork and promote to art websites.

It’s not that hard. It just takes some time. If you don’t have the time yourself, hire a company to do it for you.