Let’s face it, if you’re a musician these days and you don’t have a MySpace page, you might as well not exist. Of course, it helps to have your own site (which you can link to from MySpace), but this is free, and it’s a quick way to get your music and information about yourself out there. Everyone’s doing it, and you should, too. It’s helped propel the careers of a number of artists (hey, even dead guys have MySpace pages — it must be popular!), and it’s simple to create.
The first thing to do is create an account. Amazingly, this is the trickiest step of all. Logging on to MySpace gets you to a sign-up page, but this isn’t what you want. You need the music page, shown here:
MySpace Music Page
To open an account you need to fill in the brief form and agree to abide by their rules (all very straight forward). Once you’ve done that, you’re redirected to another page, which asks for basic information — name of the artist or band, and genre — a sort of simple meta tagging for artists. Don’t forget to verify your e-mail address.
The MySpace Registration Form
Once you’ve completed that, you’ll be offered the chance to have your friends link with your MySpace page. These links are at the heart of the MySpace social network (don’t worry if you don’t have anyone to invite immediately. They give you one, named Tom — the MySpace guy — to start you off). Over time, you’ll acquire a network of friends and link into their network, almost an ultimate “Six Degrees of Separation” game. It’s quite easy for your extended network to reach into the millions. Of course, they won’t all know who you are and link to you. But the mind boggles at the possibilities for www.myspace.com/chrisnickson.
Upload your picture, and you’re moving right ahead. But as a musician, it’s the music that does the talking, and you can put up to four tracks on your page at any one time (you can take them down and replace them with others as you wish using the “Edit Profile” feature). So, the next thing to do is get some of your tunes up there — but note that you must hold copyrights for them. After putting in some basic song information, it’s time to upload the first track, which you can set to play as people open your page. Click on the link to “Add A Song,” and you’ll see this screen:
MySpace Add a Song Page
Use the “Browse” function to locate the file, then click “Upload.” Be warned, it might take a little while, especially if you’re using a larger file. Hint: use MP3 files, not .wav. Once complete, you can select an image to accompany the song.
Once you have your music uploaded, you’ve covered the essentials. However, you can add more pictures — say, of a gig, or those head shots that turned out so well — and put them in a slide show. Add a list of your upcoming shows, so people can come out and see you. If you have video, you can upload that, too, and even add a blog, if you’re actually inclined to keep one. You can do all this from your page.
When you’re done, your page will look something like this:
MySpace Band Page Screenshot
Of course, there are ways to spruce up your page and give it real individuality. Pimp it out all you like (about the only thing you can’t get are go-faster stripes), but try not to clutter it up too much. People want a page that loads quickly and is easily navigable. Throw in the kitchen sink and people are just going to pass you by. Sometimes a little simplicity is best.
You’re there…and now, good luck.