Bob Gray's Information
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I Have A Secret Place
I have a secret place, and no one ever goes
It‘s my Music Website.
I open with this line, not because I want
sympathy, but because this fact has only recently
been made real for me.
I’ve had my www.BobSongs.com website for a number
of years. I’ve redesigned it a number of times,
and regularly go in and tweak Keywords, Meta Tags,
and post new songwriting offerings.
In the past few months, I’ve started up the Blog
you’re reading now. I recently read some info on
Google Analytics, and so, installed them. In the
two weeks since I’ve started getting information,
my Blog traffic varies… from daily high of 37
visitors and a low of 3.
At the same time, I installed the tracking
software on my Music website, but with a vastly
different result… Flatline. Zip. Zero. Zilch.
The soundtrack of my website’s stats is crickets
While it was disappointing, I was pleased to find
this out sooner, rather than later. This was a
game-changer for me.
I have a number of friends who are songwriters ,
musicians, and performers… and many, like me,
want to market themselves. Many have websites, or
pay to have their profiles put on websites… but I
think a lot of them are having the same results
that I am.
Now, I am on a quest to find a more productive way
to market my songs. I hope to encounter someone
who would like to publish or perform my music, so
that my songs get heard.
I also hope to help my friends and readers find
success, or at least maximize their chances, and
maybe, at worst, save them some money on marketing
Stay tuned !
Performer vs Musician vs
I have never cared for the spotlight.
I’m not one who seeks out opportunities to jump on
stage and Perform, whenever I can. I have a few
friends and family that are like that… and I
admire them for it. One guy I know carries a
guitar in the trunk of his car, “… because you
never know when a jam is going to break out !” I
am all for supporting spontaneous acts, but I
won’t be the one in the centre of it.
My friends and family all say, “You’re just
nervous.” No… Nerves have nothing to do with it.
I see the thrill that my friends get from
performing, and the rush of pleasure that an
audience reaction gives them, and while I am
delighted for them… I don’t understand it.
I’ve gone up on stage a number of times, after
each time being convinced that THIS time would be
different ! And each time I come off afterwards,
knowing that nothing had changed for me, and
hoping that the audience got more out of that,
than I did !!!
Those same friends encourage me to play guitar…
but again, there are many much more talented
folks, and I have no desire to impose my mediocre
playing skills on their fun.
The Musicians are easy to spot… In the midst of a
song, they will be absolutely LOST in the music…
eyes closed… playing as if their lives depended on
it, and absolutely loving it. They could be
playing for themselves, or they could be playing
Madison Square Gardens… it would be the same for
them, in that moment.
I don’t get that either.
The thing I love, is the crafting of a phrase.
The moulding of words and music into a single
being. Like driving a car fast around a corner,
and straightening out from the curve at the
perfect moment… that is the rush I get from making
the words match seamlessly with the music. The
shadings of light and dark, fast and slow,
staccato and legato. Playing with words to
express the maximum feeling and emotion,
constrained only by the metre of the melody.
That is where I find my rush… my drug of choice is
the written word.
We’ve established that I am not destined to rock a
stadium full of crazed music fans. We’ve also
confronted the reality that as a musician, I am
passable, but pedestrian in skill.
So, we are left with the Songwriting… and daunted
by the marketing.
If I cannot bring my product to the masses, how
shall the masses have my product revealed to them
The purpose of today’s article is to frame the
The journey towards an answer shall be the subject
of what I imagine will be an on-going series of
posts, which I shall submit to this Blog as I get
to noteworthy points along the path, either for
their discovery, or for their revelation of a
confounding dead end.
Stay tuned !!!
Ripples, Puddles and Gioogle
I’ve just been awoken by Statistical Analysis…
Yes, I’ve graduated to a WHOLE new level of web
It’s Monday morning, and a little after 2 am.
I’ve been awake for an hour, and, having been
unable to get back to sleep, have been trying to
look at, review and understand the various
statistical breakdowns that are supposed to be
critical to a Blog’s success.
I believe that much of the traffic that is drawn
to my site, comes from Twitter.
So, I turned to the Twitter Analyzer
http://twitteranalyzer.com/Default.aspx with the
thought that perhaps my Tweets are driving the
traffic. I have recently been talking with people
about the use of Hashtags (#) as a search device,
and so I find it not surprising that 51.9%of my
Hashtag comments are #Canucks related, with a
further 16.5% being attributed to mentions of
#Canada, after the #WJHC(World Junior Hockey
Championship) in December, which contributed 4.7%.
With the Winter Olympics imminent, and the
inherent NHL Break, I expect #Canada to do some
serious catching up !
While the Hashtag stats are interesting, I saw
nothing there that would give me any aid or
guidance, in being a better Blogger… So, moving
Google Analytics - Starting from Zero...
Google Analytics tells me that 54% of my traffic
comes direct to my site, while 27% gets referred,
and 19% from Search Engines. I guess this is a
baseline, and I can see what the relative numbers
do, going up or down. On an unrelated note, I
think it’s interesting that the 5th highest source
of visits is Facebook, although I haven’t pushed
my Blog there. Hmmm !
Owen Greaves on his Blog, has written a number of
thoughtful and insightful articles, and says that
he has found that the best time of day to Post a
blog is between 5 pm and 10 pm. I’m not able to
grasp that level of detail, but there are some
revealing stats, and being a bit of a numbers
geek, I am looking forward to reviewing this
again, sometime soon.
But what has awoken me just recently, is
mind-numbing in its simplicity… elegant in its
mathematics… and daunting in its implementation.
I think more than anything else, I view my Blog…
like one of the science experiments we did in
Elementary School. I’ve got a bunch of seeds, (my
postings) some get sunshine, (viewers) some don’t…
some get more water, more fertilizer (multiple
mentions) others not. And at the end, we get to
see on a very organic level, what works… and what
I was getting bogged down in minutiae. Stuff that
doesn’t matter. So what if I overuse the word
“Awesome” in my Tweets, and use the salutation
“Cheers” too many times ? (Other than perhaps
being minorly annoying… It doesn’t matter !!!)
What DOES matter, is the resonance of your
message, and the distance it carries. Thus, the
ripple and the puddle analogy.
On Twitter, my account @BobSongs has 750
followers. Owen Greaves has 15,200. Jaff Jarvis
has 34,000, and Gary Vaynerchuk has 846,000.
Even if EVERY single one of my followers reads one
of my Blogs, I will still get less hits than
@GaryVee gets in an hour.
Scale of economy.
This should NOT have been mind blowing to me…
except for some reason, I believed something
I have a music website, www.BobSongs.com that I
don’t tweak or overtly promote… and it smacked me
in the face to know I got NO TRAFFIC !!!
In the drop of water that is that puddle, my Music
website has no ability to create a ripple.
And similarly, with Google Analytics… I can’t get
bogged down in the very fine print… yet.
So, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go get a
bucket, and find a tap… because my puddle needs to
be bigger !!!
Musicians, Songwriting &
I think it happens almost every day.
As BobSongs, http://Twitter.com/BobSongs I’m a
Blogger, Writer, and Songwriter. I’m on Twitter
most days, and Facebook a few times a week. I
have a LinkedIn Profile, that I’m working on, but
not 100% familiar with, yet.
I’m also involved in the BC Songwriters’ Showcase
Association, http://Twitter.com/BCSongwriters and
sometimes help out with their Twitter and Facebook
I am often surprised by the frequency with which
we will encounter someone who expresses a desire
and drive to become a songwriter or performer… but
have no Photo, Biography or Contact Information on
their Twitter Profile.
I understand that a LOT of new users don’t
understand the ebb, flow or even the concept of
Twitter and Social Media.
But, if you want to attract and grow an audience,
then it is important to greet them properly.
Sad as it is, we are a society of people who judge
books, by their covers.
As we gather a sense of people from our first
impression… so we gather a sense of you, as an
Artist, from your Social Media.
Many times a week, I send friendly Tweets to
folks, reminding them to fill out their Bio and
If you are on Twitter to have fun, and talk about
school… sure, lock your profile down.
If you are on Twitter to promote your Product, or
especially if your Product is Yourself… you really
need to put your Best Foot Forward !
If your Band is following 200 Tweeps, but you only
have a following of 18… it probably means that
you are probably only reaching the hardcore
audience (family and friends) that already know
about you. You are “preaching to the choir” and
the rest of the people you follow are not
interested in your message, or your “Product.”
How To Make It Better:
At the top of your Twitter Page, are a series of
words… Everthing that people will base their
first impression on, (other than your Tweets,) is
contained under the Settings “tab”:
1) Post a picture ! If “you” are your product,
then the picture should be of you. If that
doesn’t work for you, take a picture of a guitar,
microphone, or your cat… My picture is currently
one of my Cats, who snuck into my guitar case… but
I change it regularly ! (Points get deducted for
using a photo of ANOTHER person, as your photo.)
2) Say where you are ! Maple Ridge, BC, Canada.
If you are not comfortable with saying the exact
city you are from, pick the closest big City.
Vancouver, Canada If that causes you concern, go
regional… Canada’s West Coast Give us SOMETHING,
because, who knows… we may want to work or write
with you !!!
3) Give us a sense of “you” ! If you are a
guitar-playing country music loving songwriter…
say so. If you’ve got a bunch of things going on,
say that too ! My profile says: Blogger,
Songwriter, Writer, married to @loriegray,
right-handed, wacky sense of humour, cat lover,
Hockey fan, Uncle… and Canadian ! There’s a lot
of info in there, but I wear a lot of different
hats, when I use Twitter.
4) Websites ! If you have your own website… fill
it in ! If you have a MySpace profile, and one
song… fill it in ! If you have a grainy video on
YouTube… fill it in ! Whatever the ONE best
website you have, that represents your product
best ? Use it.
I’m not writing this to be mean. I’m not writing
this to underscore that Artists sometimes have
different gifts, and can be technically
I’m writing this with the hope that it may help
someone look at the deficiencies in their Twitter
profile, and be able to effect changes because of
If these instructions help you… I’m glad !
If you need help understanding how to implement
them, please send me an e-mail or a Tweet.
Please don’t go on, without filling in the blanks…
because in many cases, it means we will probably
Not Follow You or Follow You BACK… and only YOU
know what we’ll be missing out on !!!
Hope to see you on Twitter !!!
Fans of Bob Gray