Friday 20 September 2013

Just how beneficial is a singer's website? Akin to a chocolate teapot or slightly more use?

I have had a website since 2009. The site I use allowed me to set up a free website and it remained free (my choice, why pay when you don't have to?) until 2011 when I decided to buy a domain name and also pay not to have adverts placed upon my website. I decided this after a friend told me they had been on my website and there was an advert for a "dating" service that was riddled with scantily clad ladies. Not really the game I am in (although if I don't get work soon, my threat to give being a dominatrix a go may become more than a pipe dream).

So for the past few years I have been paying to host (I think that is the right technical term) my website, and I am very happy with it. But is it any use, really? Before we address that I must tell you a rather spooky story. My first intention was to buy the domain as I thought this was the smartest name. Unfortunately someone had snapped it up. Now, some of you out there will know I have started another blog "Queen of the Knit". This is dedicated to my love of knitting and crochet (don't judge me). Guess what the other Claire Platt's website is for? That's right, knitting (and sewing). What are the chances! Have a look, it's a lovely blog.

Anyway, I digress. The way my site is set up, if I look at how many people have visited my site I can only find out the number of people who have visited in the last month. I can tell you (and don't mind telling you) I had 67 visitors in the last 31 days. That might not seem like many to you and in comparison to this diary which had 1356 page views last month it isn't a lot but up until I started writing this diary I would sometimes be lucky if my website reached 10 hits a month (be aware I do not mean that 1356 people looked at my blog, my posts were looked at that many times.....I think. Anyway, a darn sight more people looked at this diary than looked at my website). I don't mean this to sound like showing off, starting this blog and linking it to my website proves that sometimes you have to think outside the box in order to get people to notice your online presence.

This is not to say that having a website is all about how many people visit, it really isn't. It is more about who visits your website. The most important thing is that you have one in order to keep an online record of what you have to offer as a performer. In these high-tech driven days people don't want to wait to receive a CV/resume through the post any more (actually there are still a few casting directors that do like this - if this is you I salute you) they want the information at their finger tips there and then. So you might be on Spotlight or Casting Call Pro or your agent's website and, yes, in theory everything they need to know should be there but what if your prospective employer thinks "ooh if only I could hear that person singing something else or see other photos of that person"? This is where it would be handy to have a website (in my humble opinion).

I do not pretend to be an expert in this sort of thing at all. I am just thinking out loud and justifying my own website really. Also, I bloomin' love tinkering with them. In fact a few days ago I was at a friend's house helping her develop her first website (albeit not entirely successfully) and I was totally in my element. All that said, you may not feel the need for a website and that is absolutely fine. It is in no way the be all and end all. The entertainment industry managed to survive before the Internet so I am pretty sure you will still get work without one.

It is kind of scary how important the Internet has become over a relatively short space of time and it scares me (melodramatic) how much I don't know about all these technical bits and bobs. So should I carry on about my business in blissful ignorance or do I try to make my very small brain box understand all the ins and outs? Do you know what, I think I will attempt to learn summat and try and cram as much information into my already full noggin in order to give myself a proper, fighting chance of getting somewhere in this business we call show. Of course if I asked my 6 year old niece to help me out she would probably come up with a far more professional website than I could ever put together. Now that is scary!

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