Graham Fitch is a sought-after teacher in London with an international profile, attracting students of varying ages and levels. He writes regularly for Pianist Magazine and he is a tutor on the EPTA (UK) Piano Teachers Course. Graham is also famous for his own eBook Series. In the following interview he tells us about his internet experience and what is important to succeed in today’s world!
What inspired you to get your online presence?
I recognized that every freelance professional musician who wants to keep competitive and up-to-date needs to make full use of today’s technology. If you don’t have a website at least, you are likely to get passed over.
How long did it take to have your first website running and were there any major costs involved?
This was back in 2008. I had it done professionally and it cost about £1000, but nowadays it is much easier to build a website yourself without knowledge of code.
Did you make it yourself ?
I used a company called Genial Web Design, who did everything for me.
What inspired you to make your second website?
I set up my blog, www.practisingthepiano.com a while after, as I noticed a gap in the market in the piano-related blogs. Nobody was really talking about practicing, such a vital area of our work as musicians and music teachers.
How did you choose the name for your websites and in your opinion, is it important to pay attention to a domain name?
My domain name came easily. A .com address seems to have more of a cache to it, but perhaps this is not true nowadays. I feel a domain name should be catchy and easily memorable.
What software (CMS – Content Management System) do you use to run your websites ?
I use WordPress, very easy to use. Writing a blog post is as easy as composing an email, and instead of pressing “send” at the end, you press “publish.” You can easily edit afterwards if you spot any typos.
What improvements you had to make in order to attract more visitors (new design, new plugins, social media…)?
I think a Facebook page is important, and to leave the odd comment on other blogs.
Was there a visible success after improvements (visitors, followers…)?
My blog has been growing in popularity since its inception, and continues to do so today.
How much time do you spend writing new articles?
It varies – from an hour or so to longer, depending on the topic and how much time I have that week.
How do you promote your articles and your websites (is social media important)?
I stick it up on my own Facebook page, also Twitter is important. I would advise joining other Facebook groups and getting involved with the folk on there, contributing comments and generally being a part of the community rather than just using it to promote your own stuff.
Who is your intended audience?
Piano teachers, piano students – anyone with a serious interest in improving their piano practice (and therefore their playing).
I don’t like google ads, but this is certainly an option.
Do you feel your online presence has helped you in any way?
It has certainly helped me promote my “brand” and bringing my services to the attention of a much wider audience, yes. Plus it IS satisfying publishing posts that help and interest people!
Your advice for music teachers who are not sure if they need a website on their own?
Start off with a general website and progress to a blog after a time if you feel motivated to write and share your ideas. The important thing about a blog is to treat it like a pet – one that needs regular attention! Writing posts every now and again is fine, but you really need to update it regularly to keep it fresh and relevant.