Are you too lazy to blog? Are you sick of everyone telling you that without an updated blog you are not a band? Does blogging feel like a huge, annoying, and daunting task that is evocative of being a kid again being assigned homework?

Well, fear not. I’ve got a great and easy blogging solution!

http://www.flickr.com

They say a picture says a thousand words, and it’s true.

This issue of Sound Advice will walk you through yet another handy dandy Web 2.0 site that is on my top 10 list of sites to join. I am In Love with Flickr! It’s one of the most user-friendly Web 2.0 sites and it’s owned by Yahoo so millions of potential new fans are waiting for you to discover them and make friends. Flickr works in many ways just like MySpace or Facebook. You create a profile, upload your main image, join groups, and make friends, and you can also direct message people and leave comments on any photo you like.

Photos Tell A Complete Story of YOU!

Flickr is a great way to show yourself as multi-dimensional. You can post photos of things other than your band activities (such as vacations, kids, your home, and hobbies) to show your fans you are a well-rounded individual. And if you go to conferences, this is a great way to get people to link back to you and pay attention to you (remember – the most interesting thing for people is THEMSELVES).

Create A VIP Photo-Sharing Experience For Your Fans Your photos can be marked private so only approved fans and friends can see certain photos. Flickr lets you choose which sets to share. I suggest creating a VIP area of fun / special photos that only your registered fans / friends / street team can have access to as an added bonus to link to you.

Top 10 Reasons Why Musicians Should Use Flickr

1. The #1 REASON – It Helps You Build Your Fan Base. One of the best things about Flickr (unlike say Kodak.com) is you can search and make friends and contacts and join groups and make new fans and friends!

2. If blogging overwhelms you with all of the writing, it’s a perfect choice. All you need to do is upload photos from your cell phone or digital camera, create brief captions and Tag things properly and voila!

3. It’s a great way for your fans to see other dimensions of you and get “behind the scenes.”

4. You can create multiple sets and break them up by categories within your site so people that are interested, in live music, could go to your live shots. Or people that are interested in candid shots of the band having fun can go to those shots.

5. You can join several Flickr groups and network with others by leaving comments on their photos

6. You can create sets that will drive traffic by linking to other groups (Music Festivals, Live Shots, Fan shots etc.- I included a list to get you started below)

7. You Can Use It To Promote Your Own Site. As people come and browse your photos be sure to include links to your site to drive traffic to you.

8. You Can Create Cool Digital POSTCARDS to send to your fans.

9. Start Your Own Flickr Group & Get Known. In addition to your personal page you can start a group and invite others to join – perhaps it can be “backstage shots” or “on-the-road photos” or “musicians and their dogs” – get creative – start an new community that no one has thought of yet.

10. Get the cutest / coolest calling cards on earth. Flickr works with a site called Moo and they make the greatest little cards with assorted photos on each – a cool and creative way to share your info: http://www.moo.com/flickr/

Some Photo Set Ideas

Here are some ideas for grouping your newly uploaded photos…

Fans In The Audience – You can create a whole album of just fans by taking pictures of fans at your shows

Posed Shots Of Fans – Ask your fans that are loyal followers send in great photos of themselves with captions they create. This will keep your fans coming back to see themselves.

Food – Take photos of all the food you eat on the road or take a picture of your lunch every day and make a photo plates diary.

Behind The Scenes – Take pictures of you in the studio, you loading your gear into a club, you writing music, you buying instruments, and add comments about what the life of a musician is from behind the scenes.

Music Festivals / Conferences – When you go to CMJ, SXSW etc. you can maximize your experience by covering all events. Many of these music festivals have their own Flickr sites so you can upload those photo sets directly to each Flickr group and use them to network with the people that were there.

Band Candids – Out takes from photo shoots and videos. Live shots.

TIP – How To Add A Contact (This Took Me A Minute To Figure Out)

Simply click on the image of the person (the Buddy Icon) you want to add and a menu will pop up and direct you!

Loads of questions can be answered here if you get stuck:
http://www.flickr.com/help/faq/

Some Groups To Check Out & Join

Ariel Publicity & Cyber PR – Be Our Friend!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/arielpublicitypr/

Band Publicity Photos – Upload yours here:
http://www.flickr.com/groups/[email protected]/

Music Directory:
http://www.flickr.com/groups/musicdirectory/

Girls With Guitars:
http://www.flickr.com/groups/girlswithguitars/

Music Makers:
http://www.flickr.com/groups/musicmakers/

My Love Affair With Music:
http://www.flickr.com/groups/musiclovers/

Live Music Photography:
http://www.flickr.com/groups/[email protected]/

Live Music:
http://www.flickr.com/groups/live-music/

I’d love to join your groups and see your photos so please do include me as a friend once you get started.