Oliver from [NO DOMAIN YET]-[Winningen] wrote:
What do you, as more experienced SBIer's think of this approach? Any musicians around here, that were able to use the power of SBI to brand
and market their music by using genre-related keywords?
SBI is definitely usable for creating a personal brand. That's how I use it.
Not sure about musicians, but I know there are several artist-types who use SBI to brand themselves and their work. There are several authors who built author home pages with SBI and at least a few photographers. I know of at least churches that used SBI for their online ministry outreach, there are a few women who make crafts they sell on Etsy and use SBI to showcase their work. Their sites all fall under "non-traditional" in terms of SBI standards, in that they are not so much building an online content focused business, but rather are already a business in other venues and are using SBI to promote themselves.
In these instances, because they are branding themselves, rather than a topic, often their primary site keyword is their real name. Thus their domain urls are: FirstNameLastName.com rather than MyFavoriteTopic.com
Their keywords end up being stuff like:
music by My Name
lyrics by My Name
Myself I'm an author (Fantasy novels) and artist (watercolor, pastel, & acrylic) and an art car designer (I build large scale works of arts out of cars, turning antique cars into street legal drivable works of art) and I used SBI to build my author/artist home page to self promote me, my books, my paintings, and my cars.
My real name is EelKat Wendy Christine Allen, but most of my fans know me simply as EelKat.
My website, features a lot of content on writing novels.
So my domain url is [Domain Private]
and it's secondary parked url that redirects to it is [Domain Private]
(meaning my site has 2 domain urls, one primary and 1 parked... actually it has several other parked domains pointing to it as well - I bought up all of the ones for my keywords and they all redirect to [Domain Private]
Then my site features keywords like
books by EelKat
art by EelKat
cars by EelKat
I use the "by EelKat" keywords as my Tier 2 pages, indexing all the Tier 3 pages under them, thus...
tier 1 keyword > tier 2 keyword > tier 3 keyword
> books by EelKat > Night of the Screaming Unicorn[Domain Private]
> books by EelKat > Summoner of Darkness[Domain Private]
> books by EelKat > Vampire Leprechaun[Domain Private]
> art by EelKat > Yoga Pants [Domain Private]
> art by EelKat > Prayer Mats[Domain Private]
> art by EelKat > Altar Cloths[Domain Private]
> cars by EelKat > The Dazzling Razzberry[Domain Private]
> cars by EelKat > The Goldeneagle[Domain Private]
> cars by EelKat > No Hurry
So, in the end what this all means is that...
My site's primary (Tier 1) keyword (and its domain) is my name, "eelkat", while my sites' secondary (Tier 2) keywords are my broad topics with my name "books by eelkat", and my site's sub-topic (Tier 3) keywords are more specific "night of the screaming unicorn".
In some topics my site goes 4 or 5 tiers deep.
For example, some of my novels are free to read online, but each chapter is too big for 1 page, so pages get divided up.
tier 1 keyword > tier 2 keyword > tier 3 keyword > tier 4 keyword > tier 5 keyword
> books by EelKat > Summoner of Darkness > Chapter 11: Road To Witch Pond > Witch Pond Part 1[Domain Private]
> books by EelKat > Summoner of Darkness > Chapter 11: Road To Witch Pond > Witch Pond Part 2[Domain Private]
> books by EelKat > Summoner of Darkness > Chapter 11: Road To Witch Pond > Witch Pond Part 3
The goal of a self-branded site is generally to drive traffic to your product you make (in my case my books and art) or service you offer (in my case art commissions and card readings).
In niche topic focused content site is about a topic and drives traffic to more standard products (affiliate marketing for example) so if you are NOT selling your art (music) directly, then branding would not be needed and niche topic keywords are a better way to go.
How you plan to monetize this will determine if you go for branding or not. If you are selling your music directly, then branding is the way to go.
So, I would assume that your end goal is to find an audience for your music, perhaps find clients seeking a composer, etc. seeing how you asked about building a brand, and it's unlikely you would think about branding unless you wanted to focus on you and your music rather than focusing on topic. So I am going with the assumption you are planning to sell your music directly from your site, if that is not what you plan to do, then this advise may not be what you are looking for.
So, translating this into a music composers site, I would imagine the keyword structure to go something like this, more or less:
OliverLastName.com > compositions by Oli > melodies for acoustic guitar > Song Title #1
OliverLastName.com > compositions by Oli > melodies for acoustic guitar > Song Title #2
OliverLastName.com > compositions by Oli > melodies for acoustic guitar > Song Title #3
OliverLastName.com > creative commons background music by Oli > Song Title #1
OliverLastName.com > acoustic guitar music for vloggers > Song Title #1
OliverLastName.com > meditation music > Song Title #1
OliverLastName.com > acoustic guitar instrumentals > Song Title #1
OliverLastName.com > Services Offered > Custom Intro Music For Vloggers
OliverLastName.com > Services Offered > Custom Outro Music For Vloggers
OliverLastName.com > Services Offered > Custom Background Music For Vloggers
(I'm going with the assumption you plan to have a service where they pay a fee to download your song and use it in their videos, when coming up with these. Though I don't know how such a service would work, that's just the image I got in my head from reading your post.)
In this example your domain name is your real name, so that you can brand yourself and clients eventually come to recommend you the composer by name, saying "I got it from Oli over at OliverLastName.com" rather than saying "I got it from that guy that runs AccusticGuitar.com".
Using SBI's ParkIt feature, allows you to point other urls to you site...
thus you can own:
...and when anyone clicks on any of them, they automatically get redirected to OliverLastName.com; giving you the keyword domain name AND the brand domain name, BOTH going to your website, with your name being the primary domain, and the niche topic domains being the ones that redirect to it.
That's how I'd do it anyways, if it was me.
But like I said, that's a bit of a non-traditional method, that's built around the idea of you yourself being the primary keyword and you using your real name to build your brand. The more standard SBI method is to pick a topic and build around the topic. In a sence it's still the topic based method, it just implies that you, yourself personally are the topic.
The advantage of this is long term it helps you brand yourself and get your name known in your industry.
The disadvantage of this however, is it's harder to get start up traffic, because it relies on people manually searching for you as a composer by name (because your name is the primary keyword).
For example, if you wanted 70s glam-pop music in general, you'd type "70s glam pop" in Google and get tons of different glam rockers from the 1970s, including 70sglam.com, 70spop.com glam-rock.com, and a million other variations of the search term. BUT... If what you really wanted was info about David Bowie specifically and not ALL 70s glam rockers in general, then you would instead have typed "David Bowie" in the search box and Google would immediately bring up DavidBowie.com.
That's the difference in a branded url vs a topic url. With a topic url (AcousticGuitar.com) you have to compete again every other site like it (Acoustic-Guitar.com, guitar.com. guitar-music.com, etc) to get search results. It'll give you a lot of traffic, but it may be broader traffic. Whereas with a branded url (OliverLastName.com) you get very narrow focused traffic, and are ALWAYS #1 in search result on Google for your name, but you won't get as much general traffic from searchers.
So, there's a bit of an early traffic trade-off to branding vs topic when going for keywords, and it'll be easier for you to get traffic with a tropic focused keyword, unless you already have a fairly substantial following.
When I started out (before SBI) in 1996 I went with a topic keyword focus (how to write dark fantasy) instead of name branding. Which gave me my early traffic when I was still unknown.
By 2013, when I moved my site to SBI, (20 years later) I had 300k email subs on my site and 3million followers on social networks. The word "eelkat" gets searched for 100k+ times a month, with people searching for me specifically. Thus when I moved to SBI using my real name as my primary keyword instead of a niche topic, was a no-brainer, because my real name was getting enough search traffic to do that.
But when I was first starting out, had I used my name as my primary keyword, I would have struggled to gain traction with traffic.
So, there's that factor to consider, when choosing to go brand vs niche topic, right from the beginning. It's doable, but it's more difficult to gain that early traffic if people are not searching for your name. So, while I personally prefer the branded way of going... it's not for everyone and doing it requires motivation and determination to find traffic outside of standard keyword focus. And SBI certainly works best with keyword focused sites. But yes, there are several sites here on SBI who, like myself, went the branded method instead of the traditional niche topic method, so it is possible, but it'll take longer to see success that way, though long term you'll likely get more success down the road (5+ years from now). Self branding is definitely a long term, slow and steady method if you do try that direction.