... RIP HeyLangford!? Ver 2.0 (2012-2015)
... so welcome to my new site everybody!? Finally got a case of inspirado over the weekend and put the new site together. I was considering a couple other platforms to build this new one but it's tough when I've been with Weebly since 2008 (I think).
The layout is based off a template from another platform I really liked, similar to how my previous site was based off a Tumblr page I made for fun one day... well it was more about parking "heylangford" everywhere I could on the net! (Band Tip: you should make sure to do the same with your band name too! What if you become ultra famous???)
... truth is, it's been done for a few days now but I ran into a minor (major) snag at the very end.
Despite only posting the odd time the last several months, I feel like my blog is a big part of my site... especially during my travels. I like to share the experiences with everyone and this is an easy way to do it... and despite being a Weebly blog (opposed to a Wordpress), it gets a fair amount of traffic.
So at the very end of creating my new site, all I needed to do was import my blog.
... import my blog.
... just gotta export my blog from my old site, and bring'er into the new one.
*search Weebly help, search Google... *
... so apparently this is not possible... and something people have been asking for as far back as 2010 and most recently September 4, 2015... so it's safe to assume it's not possible... as of today... right now.
There are some work arounds to migrate the blog out to other sites/platforms but they're quite tedious.
So late last night, after day 2 of searching for a way to do this, I flipped my mental coin, backed up my old site (sans blog of course) and started migrating my new site and replacing the old one... and hit publish.
It didn't take long (about an hour) since all the pieces and layout were done. I'm sure there's still a few bugs to work out, but overall it wasn't too painful.
Actually the most painful part was the feeling of deleting my old site (courage to destroy!)... meanwhile (afterwards) comparing the two sites was apples and oranges. Going back and looking at the old site, it felt and looked really old and outdated... and this is coming from a guy who works in an industry where people are still arguing about recording to tape! Because it sounds better!
Function is the key though... and my old site, although better than my first one, was still pretty brutal on iPads and smartphones... and half my website traffic is from smartphones. I take into consideration how much has changed since 2012 online but still...
... we scroll down (or pull up), that's it... so layout the story the way you want people to read it!
The last thing I'd like to mention about this whole process... Weebly is basically a free platform. Yes, I do pay for the PRO user subscription but there's still a lot of things to know about the service they provide and how they operate... one of them being how your content is treated... example, not being able to really (easily) export the contents of your blog posts, even within the platform.
I always keep this in mind when people complain about things like Facebook changes. In the digital age you have to always keep in mind what you control and what you don't, what you own and what you don't... and what you do and don't pay for.
You don't own much after it's put up online... and anything digitized is fair game!
All that being said, I'm still a happy Weebly user and hopefully the blog thing is resolved in the near future. It's still a great way to quickly put a website/blog together.
Thanks again for checking out my new site.
I'd love to hear what you think!
- Mike :-)
"Why aren't people taking us seriously?"
That's basically what it gets down to when I hear people grumble about why they can't find shows, or a manager, or a label, or sell cds, or merch, or get more people out to shows... or find investors. You name it, there's a good chance it falls under this umbrella.
This video might seem a little harsh at times... and you can sense the hesitation they have on certain topics (so they don't come across as assholes), but in my opinion, it's right on the money.
I've decided to do a sort of "Coles Notes" version for those who might not have the 30 minutes to watch right now. Oh by the way, I tried to setup the link to start at 6:46... the time before that is spent talking about a dog, new born babies, and poo.
So... in a short... this is why people don't take your band seriously.
... and I'm putting the headings in bold caps so the super impatient can skim through... and so you feel like you're being yelled at. I know what your hearing is like... since most of you don't wear ear plugs.. and most of you reading this are probably guitarists or drummers.
1. YOUR BAND PHOTOS AREN'T GOOD ENOUGH.
It's the awful, honest truth, we judge a book by its cover. Life is too short not to. Make sure you stand up to what's going on (aka considered professional) in your genre. Hiring a great photographer doesn't have to cost a fortune and that one great pic can last you a year or two.
If you look like hacks, you get treated like hacks. It might not seem original, but at least try to look like a band... as much of the time as possible. You will anyway if it becomes your career.
2. YOUR RECORDINGS AREN'T GOOD ENOUGH.
We've entered a stage of very affordable record production. There's a lot of misguided carobbyists (career hobbyists) who think they can produce, record, and mix their own albums... or their buddy can do it for a case of beer in his spare time. There's been a few great albums made in the past this way (often demos remixed after being shopped for a deal), but most often they fall short.
Experience, time, and talent... those are three important elements to the outcome of any creative project. When it comes to recording, rarely someone with all three is in the band or doesn't do it for a living already.
Will that change in the future?
Are we there yet?
... lol. No.
I could go on for a while about this but bottomline... do your recordings stand up to what's out there?
Don't just ask your friends and family what they think of your recordings. Actually put your best song between two successful songs on your iTunes playlist. How does it sounds? Then factor in the time/money spent, and people involved on theirs versus yours.
Does it stand up?
Do you need it to? <-- be honest
If it doesn't and it does, perhaps change your formula, and try again.
... backing up for a second... how are the songs?
3. YOUR SONGS AREN'T GOOD ENOUGH.
Now a good song is subjective... but... if you know your genre, and you know a few people with "great ears" within the genre, you'll know what your best songs are... and if they're in fact, good enough at all.
I've met a handful of people over the years who I think have "great ears" regarding "great songs". My old assistant Tyler, even at 17 years old, could pick out hits by new artists well before anybody else I knew. He loved discovering new tunes and has a real ear for it.
This is the #1 piece of advice for bands out there trying to do something serious with music... you can write cool songs that are self serving and please your imaginary fanbase... but you'll learn to love those "hit" songs that put you on the map... they're what can actually launch your career. It's hard to name a successful band that doesn't have a "hit" song behind them... regardless how far in the rearview mirror it is.
4. YOUR WEBSITE ISN'T GOOD ENOUGH.
Update it often. Constant quality content is queen these days.
There's also this misconception that simply buying your domain name and linking to your FaceBook or Reverbnation page is good enough... well it's not... and it's stupid to rely on these things in the long run.
What if they disappear overnight or fizzle out? What happens when people move on? You want these sites to feed into your main, personal website. The one you have ultimate control over. That's where you need to direct your core fans.
I use Weebly for my site... it's easy... and at least someone in your band should be able to figure it out in an afternoon... if not, you've gotta know at least someone who can help you.
I'm gonna go out on a limb though and say a weebly site is better than majority of the dated and clunky sites I see built by friends and family. Keep it simple and don't pad your content if you have nothing to talk about in your bio... nobody needs to read 37 paragraphs about a band that hasn't done anything worth mentioning.
You need three paragraphs basically... who are you, what have you done, where are you going. Your blog/YouTube/Twitter updates are for what you're doing.
5. YOU DON'T TAKE YOURSELF SERIOUSLY.
So many bands play the "we just want to get together in the jamspace and see what happens... it's just for fun... if it goes somewhere, cool" card. Well... as long as you know it's just for fun, have fun! My men's league hockey is just for fun... despite all its glorious moments (W 3-0 yesterday, 1 G) I ramble on about to friends and family.
If that's your attitude, it'll go nowhere... or the people in the band that want it to go somewhere will eventually dump the rest of the band once they find better people to work with.
Lots of successful bands are a collective of what I call "heavy lifters". The ones who get sh*t done... or at least don't make things more difficult for the ones getting things done.
The successful in any industry are hardcore lifers. If you want to do something that's hard, you have to make your goal not to simply "accomplish it", but to see it through... it's the difference between having a kid and raising one... since there's no real end goal if you're in it for the right reasons.
P.S. It was a garbage goal... but that isn't what they mark on the gamesheet. :-)
... yes... I finally gave my website a complete overhaul. Why? Honestly... because my old one wasn't as fun to me anymore... and it was really hard to read... especially on mobile devices... and I knew that.
There was an article I read a few weeks ago, talking about the where and how people are doing their searching online. Close to half, if not most use their phones to look up information.
I guess… but I still didn't think people did that much on their phone though aside from fling birds and text… the problem… is that's coming from someone who until a few years ago didn't have a cell phone… and has been an iPhone user less than a year.
Now I use my phone constantly, for almost everything… especially finding out things I want to know more about, the moment I want to know about it… which is amazing with something like Canadian Music Week here in Toronto around the corner. I'll be out seeing bands… but there's only so many bands I can see.
An important consideration for any type of branding is knowing your audience and where your audience is going to be. We do our homework online and through word of mouth… and just because we're in transit or away from a "computer" doesn't mean that thirst for information and networking stops.
Dear Bands… How compatible is your website for mobile devices?
Check it right now… if the who, what, and where all show up efficiently, in order, and you get your message across in 10 seconds… awesome. If not, you've got homework.
I'm not going to walk you through the steps to do so… your social networks and Google can take it from here. I knew I was doing something wrong and I finally decided to do something about it. How you brand yourself online, just like on stage and on your recordings, should be fun and leave you feeling proud and satisfied. Just make sure it's not too much fun at the expense of the clarity of the content.
Mike Langford - Official Blog
Being on both sides of the glass, I get the chance to wear many hats in the music industry. This is a place to share my thoughts, views, predictions, rants, stories and news!