Folk music has a unique way of connecting people through stories and rhythm. If you’re ready to share your own take on traditional song-writing or modern storytelling through music, creating a website is the perfect way to engage with fans of the genre and make your own stamp in the industry.
Making a website for your music might seem challenging, but a website can start with just a few elements and then grow with you along your journey. We’ll outline some of the elements that make a great website right here. Let’s dive in!
Choose a folk music template
Folk music isn’t a one-dimensional genre, so choose a folk music template that reflects your take. You can choose a template that features a customizable background image (for album art or a photo of a landscape), a stunning header image, or go for a template without image placeholders if you would like a simple, elegant start.
Your template can also come with customizations like animations, section spacing, and more. Once you’ve chosen a good framework for your website, you can go further by adjusting the colors and fonts to match your own aesthetic.
Use your template as an opportunity to think about how you’d like to be seen. While your music tells a story, the colors and fonts you choose for your template set a visual tone. If your music focuses on tales from the rust belt, try using de-saturated terracotta and mustard colors with a strong, authoritative font. If your music is whimsical, with hints of magical realism, a cursive font with oceanic blues and other-worldly violets will amplify your story.
Artist: Ben Plotnick
Create a Homepage
Your homepage is the first page visitors will see when they head to your site, so you’ll want to grab their attention with a call-to-action, music highlights, and snapshots of the content they’ll see on other pages across your website.
If you’re promoting a single or album, use a call-to-action in your header with a button that links to your music page. Your call-to-action will hover over your main header image, which should be a good quality image that represents you and your music. You can also add a track at the top of your Homepage to encourage fans to listen right away.
Artist: Abby Feferman
If you’re not promoting new music, but want to build your fanbase for future tours and releases, add a mailing list signup at the top of your homepage. You can add a small bit of text describing how often you send newsletters, and what you like to include in them to encourage fans to join.
Once you’ve added music and a mailing list signup to your Homepage, add a brief bio to introduce yourself. This can be livelier and more succinct than your full artist bio. You could also use the blog tool to add updates about your life and your process.
From there, add a carousel of upcoming events, a video of you performing live, and anything else that is a great representation of you and your music.
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Share your story on your About page
Adding a dedicated About page to your website is a great way to give your fans and industry professionals insight into your lyrics and style. Folk musicians pull inspiration from their real life, so detail your experiences to convey who you are as a musician.
An effective musician bio will include an introduction that establishes your name and where you are located. It can then describe how you were introduced to your craft and what about your upbringing drew you toward making folk music. If you’re a folk band, talk about how you met and why you decided to make music together - then go on to talk about how you and your member’s experiences or influences helped you create your unique sound.
On your about page, sharing candid photos of yourself can enhance the messaging of your bio. Even if you haven’t done a professional photoshoot, you can have friends take pictures of you that encapsulate who you are as an artist. Try taking a drive up to the mountains, or pose with your guitar in a city alley. Images with a strong setting that is relevant to your work as an artist, even if they’re not the highest quality, are perfect for your bio page.
Don’t forget to add details about your accomplishments as a musician and what you’re planning next. Your artist biography shouldn’t feel stagnant, so keep it up to date with your current projects and latest achievements.
Artist: Rita Hosking
Add your music
Music can be packaged as full albums, an EP, singles, or even a compilation with unreleased material and demos. However you’d like to share your folk music with fans, create a page on your folk music website that is dedicated to your music releases. This is especially helpful when you’re promoting a new album or getting ready for tour.
If you have a new single or want to highlight one track from an album, place this at the top of the page so visitors can preview your music. From there, add your most recent full-length album in its own section. If you have CDs, cassettes, or vinyl, add options for fans to buy the digital or physical versions of your music.
Once you’ve established your music page with a special track preview and your most recent release, try adding a section with two columns. Then, you can put your other albums side-by-side or dedicate one column to singles and EPs, and the other column to albums.
If you want to offer streamable tracks to your fans, you can set any tracks on the page to play in full or offer a preview clip. It’s a good idea to set a couple of your best tracks to play in full, then add a one minute preview for the others. You can also set your digital tracks to ‘Pay What You Want’ so if fans want to hear more, they are given a great option to purchase the rest of the album that they have only gotten a sneak peek of.
Artist: Bianca Merkley
Curate videos and images
It can sometimes be hard to capture the essence of folk music in recorded tracks. Often, folk musicians will record video performances to show the emotive and raw qualities of their playing. Just like your bio image, try friends or a professional to record you performing live and add these videos to a dedicated Media page on your website.
Live performances are also great because they can be in so many settings, which puts you in creative control for the experience. Set aside some time in your schedule to do some video recordings at a destination that feels important to you, like a forest or meadow, or in your home. You can gather some nifty lamps, tapestries, or whatever suits your style, and record from your very own living room for an intimate and engaging video.
Once you’ve added videos to your folk music website, add a photo gallery for more visual representation. You can combine images from gigs, meeting fans, professional shots, or tour diary pictures all in one gallery, or try splitting them out into their own galleries so fans can see your dynamic range.
Artist: Tim Stokes
Let fans know where they can see you next
Whether you’re playing festivals across the country or sharing your music at a local cafe, add a dedicated Events page so visitors can navigate to it directly and know where they can catch your live performances.
In your event listings, you can add notes about what you’re planning to play, who you’re playing with, or why it’s an event fans won’t want to miss. Be sure to include the date, time, and address of the venue so showgoers don’t lose their way. In the event description, you can also add a gig poster or a picture of you playing live for visual interest.
If you’re able to, you can also sell tickets to your event and send or print the guestlist for the venue. This can help you know in advance how much of a crowd you will draw. If you set a limit on the advance tickets, it will encourage fans to get them before they sell out.
Engage professionals with your EPK
Adding an EPK (electronic press kit) page to your folk music website is a great way to catch the eyes of the press and industry professionals. As a navigable page in your menu, an EPK shows you’re a professional musician with the intention of playing festivals, being featured in playlists, or being reviewed for magazines.
A musician’s press kit will start with a short, concise quote from a reputable source. This quote should speak to your style, charismatic live performance, or the intricacies of your music. If you don’t have access to a quote from a reputable source, you can add a quote from a fan or even a song lyric.
Following your quote, add a succinct artist bio that is geared towards the industry. Your artist bio on your about page might be more descriptive, whereas this bio can be focussed on your efforts as a musician. Next to your bio, add press photos that will look great on gig announcements or in music blogs.
Once you’ve added your bio and images, add a tracklist with your best songs to the page. These songs should be fully streamable. If you have a big range in style, try to include tracks that cover the depth of your catalog. Here, you can also add links to streaming services and socials where visitors can listen and follow your journey.
Adding clippings from digital or print to the page is also a great idea. You can add them as downloadable PDF files or hyperlink to the original posts. Next, add some contact details that are specific to your booking or promotional channels. You can even design a contact form with extra fields that would be important for agencies.
Ways to get in contact
The last page on your folk music website will be your contact page. Now that visitors have scanned your content, listened to your music, and learned more about you, they’ll want to know how to get in touch. Like on the Homepage, you can add a mailing list signup here so fans get your newsletters directly from you.
Next, add social media icons that link to the channels you’re active on. You can also add a guestbook here for fans to leave comments about one of your performances or about a song of yours they love.
Finally, add a custom contact form to this page. You can keep it simple with a space for visitors to send you a long message, or add extra fields that will help you organize contact submissions.
Artist: Clint McCune
We hope this outline has inspired you to create your own folk music website. There is a bit of content to gather and place on the page, but get started with what you have and channel your artistry to the page. Just like writing and performing a song, your website can be as dynamic as your songwriting. With colors, fonts, music, and written content, take the first steps toward growing your career as a folk musician.
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