WordPress is very popular among bloggers – in fact, the service is used by 27 of the 100 most popular blogs, according to a survey conducted by Royal Pingdom early last year.
And there’s a reason why so many blogs use the self-hosted publishing platform. It’s free and easy to learn – and for a free Content Management System, WordPress is very powerful.
Bands, too, can use WordPress in a number of ways to publish content, including embedded media, which will enhance your band’s blog 10-fold.
WordPress 2.9, which was released to the public mid-December 2009, makes it easier than ever before to embed videos, images and other content into your site.
To embed media into a page or a post, just post the URL into the area in which you want it to appear. Make sure the URL has its own line and that it’s not hyperlinked or clickable when viewing the post.
That’s all you have to do. Smarty-pants WordPress will automatically format that link into the appropriate format for viewing.
Embedding media isn’t limited to images or video, however. You can also add audio to your site, which, for a band, is crucial.
In its support section, WordPress mentions that to add audio from your personal computer, you’ll need to purchase the Space Upgrade. Your free WordPress blog gives you 3 GBs of space for uploading media, but the Space Upgrade will give you an additional 5, 15 or 25 GBs of storage. Keep in mind that you cannot upload audio files or music without this upgrade.
There are several ways you can upload audio – from the Web and audio of your own – which WordPress details here. Even better, you can customize your content too by adding colors, adjusting the audio player width, and listing the track title and artist name.
Another way to make the most of WordPress for your band is to choose a theme. We suggest a smooth, minimalist theme so that your music and content aren’t overshadowed. Your media should be the star of your blog – not the unnecessary bells and whistles that some people go nuts with when building their blog.
On its site, Hip Hop Distribution lists six free WordPress themes for musicians and offers helpful hints on how to begin the process of choosing a theme such as observing other artists’ sites to determine what you like and don’t like about certain setups.
Once your theme is chosen, consider the plethora of plug-ins and widgets available to make it easy to customize your site– but like we mentioned before, don’t go overboard. It’s easy to do. Be democratic in your decision on what enhancements you really need to make your band’s site the best it can be.
Once you have your content under control, you want to drive traffic to your blog. That’s the goal of most blogs anyway – to create dynamic content that is useful to the general public.
Google is a friend of WordPress when it comes to search engine rankings – that is, if your blog has something of value to offer. There’s even a case study here that gives you an example of a blog that made all the right moves to get noticed by Google. Consider using some of these tactics as your own as you continue to build your band’s blog.
As we mentioned throughout this post, there’s an abundance of support out there for bloggers using WordPress. The platform itself has a support section that will answer many of the questions you may have, but rest assured that in this age of information, if WordPress doesn’t have your answer someone else out there in Internetland does. A simple search will likely satisfy whatever query you come up with.
In the meantime, if you have any tips or comments to help other bands build a better blog, let us know below. We’d love to hear from you!