Welcome to the New Website!
Welcome to my new website, and new home to my blog. Exactly one year ago today, I quit my day job at a record label and began life as a full time freelance musican. To add some structure to my life, I began a blog a couple months later. Finally, I have decide to combine my website and my blog into one location.
The web has been a great way for an independent musician such as myself to connect with more people. Not only did I begin blogging, but I also got more active on social networking sites like Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and most recently, YouTube. I've been exposed to many new people and ideas. Likewise, more people have been introduced to me and my music.
Along with my personal blog, I co-founded a website called Musician Wages with my friend, pianist Dave Hahn. This site is full of articles for musicians by musicians. Dave's Chronicles of a Cruise Ship Musician is the #1 resource for information about a cruise ship gig. I have written extensively about the strategies behind promoting my own music, and many other musicians and music industry experts have contributed their knowledge as well.
If you're a musician and would like to build a website similar to this, I created the site using the Wordpress platform. Here are some of the plugins I used along the way:
- Gigpress - Every musician needs a calendar for their gigs, and I thought this one fit into my site best. Check it out on my Tour page, and also in the left sidebar. Notice how it turns the venue addresses into a link for Google Maps?
- Audio Player - As simple as the name suggests, this slick audio player fits neatly on the page, encodes the location of your mp3 files, and can stream playlists. I use it all over this site, such as on the Discography page.
- Contact Form 7 - This email form is pretty simple, there are probably more powerful options available, but for what I need this does the trick. As you might expect, you can see it in action on my Contact page.
- Flexi Quote Rotator - If you have press quotes to display, this is a tidy way to get them on every page.
- Video Playlists - This actually isn't a plugin, but by creating playlists on YouTube I could then simply embed them onto my Video page.
- ShareThis - Web 2.0 is nothing without social network bookmarking and easy sharing options, and I thought this was a nice, clutter-free option to add to my posts. It shows up automatically on every page, and every post. Click on it below to see how it works.
- FanBridge - My email list is currently being managed through FanBridge. I don't have much experience with their tools so far, but I like the people and I like what they're doing. They offer a very easy solution mailing list management, and the basic plan is free.
Finally, I should mention that as a freelance musician, I don't have much money to spend on websites right now, so everything about this site is free. Someday I hope to hire a real designer to give the site a new look, but the functionality I want is all here, and free!
Until next time, Cameron