N.B. this Old news post was originally published at CeruleanSounds.com/news

Launching new artist site LaurenceWarner.com

January 5, 2023

lw on cerulean
signing off on Cerulean (Sounds dot com)

Professional website will carry my new music further & wider, as CeruleanSounds.com consolidates to 1-pager next month.

tl;dr fans: check LaurenceWarner.com for new monthly singles / drop your email there and I'll let you know.

big fans (of either myself or #SavvyIndie website strategy): read on for details of why & how.


If you heard my single "Another Year", you'll know that I'm going into 2023 releasing music & performing under a new name: Laurence Warner. My parents came up with it: thanks Mum & Dad!

In the track, I explore the drivers - both emotive & rational - of that decision to return to the name given to me 27 years ago. It represents a great opportunity to build more personal trust with my audience and acheive greater impact with each piece of content in the Internet age.

If you heard my final Cerulean | MC Beastly double OURSS.SOCIAL, you'll know I'm an open-web enthusiast. Public websites have been a big part of marketing my content so far, so I'll explain how I'm hoping to smash it with a single new website for my new artist name!

Artist websites

This marks a departure from the first part of the decade, in which I've released annual high-concept albums under two different stage names to explore big ideas of how my identity's changed returning to my hometown - in Smalltown Dreamer - and becoming an online content creator - in The Divided Selfie LP.

As #SavvyIndie shining light Steve Benjamins points out on a landmark blog post on his modern but simple Squarespace site (upon which I've modelled my own Webflow design), this approach on the left (his example literally picks Smalltown Dreamer's June 25th release date) is not ideal for reaching an audience:

my old & new release schedule, courtesy of Steve Benjamins
my old & new release schedule, courtesy of Steve Benjamins

This is because "(streaming services)...algorithmic playlists rank songs— not albums. It's just like in SEO: Google indexes pages, not websites."

I was one of those people 'bummed out' by the "growing irrelevance of albums" until I read this analogy. Like Steve, I designed websites before releasing music, and appreciate that a great website can be built over time by adding pages gradually.

And it's not just an analogy: Search is actually a major way people find music, so songs should have webpages which Google indexes.

major artist webpages are missing basic song info
major artist webpages are missing basic song info

Constantin Roussos the founder of dot Music - a service much-awaited by artists who weren't as fortunate as me to pre-own TheirName dot com - pointed out at the NIC.Music launch that the music industry is currently missing an open-goal by letting 3rd party websites capture search traffic clearly intended for specific songs. For example, DuaLipa.com doesn't contain her biggest hit's lyrics!

major artists losing search traffic
major artists losing search traffic

Thus gifting Page 1 to BigContent, who in the top result here leak the traffic!

Therefore, in 2023 all my online* releases will be Singles, and each will have it's own webpage. (*I may bundle them into a physical merch at the end of the year with enough success, especially on the live front!).

Older website builders like GoDaddy are not made for this: they have a 50 page limit and no templating.

how track links share
how track links share

A Single site

Webflow on the other hand - if you're willing to hold your nose forking out treble the money - has a brilliant CMS functionality, meaning I can create a Single template, creating a page for each one at a self-descriptive & relatively short link like: LaurenceWarner.com/music/another-year3. As long as the middle 3rd of your artwork stands on it's own, the automated meta tags even share nicely.

No need anymore for 3rd party link aggregators like Linkfi.re/yourrelease (which you're liable to mis-spell like that and accidentally leak traffic to that pesky artist 'MC Beastly' anyway!).

Given I'm on the business plan, I can also sell merch at only 2% transaction fee (much lower than Bandcamp's 15%), and excitingly can offer monthly subscription memberships, currently to access unreleased music as my 'patron'!

What next for Cerulean Sounds (.com)

The brand

I will continue to run Cerulean Sounds Productions Ltd (Cerulean Sounds for short) as the indie vehicle for monetising my work in entertainment, for example it will be listed as the indie label for Laurence Warner music releases. For the foreseeable, I will continue to use @CeruleanSounds as my consistent user-handle on Big Social. I've had music industry marketers criticise that with my focus on minimalism (e.g. block cerulean colour as logo) my social-media presence is corporate. Yeah well Big SOCIAL is too.

For more personal vibes, check out the music I'm now sticking my name on. I'm embracing a Piet Mondriaan visual aesthetic: i.e. monochrome blocks with splashes of red, blue (cerulean of course) and (MC Beastly's favourite colour) golden-yellow. Or get the weekly updates from my personal blog  wa.rner.me, which will be taking the Mondriaan reference to blocky extreme, and where I publish messier shortform content with behind-the-scenes insights more regularly.

This website

Will become a simple one-pager at CeruleanSounds.com showcasing projects and useful company info. Already today you'll notice the disappearance of some sections. Here's the redirects:

/cerulean -> LaurenceWarner.com (the vast majority of my search traffic)

/cerulean-acting & /live ->  LaurenceWarner.com/shows for the entertainment I'm in - whatever combination of music, comedy and acting it is

/cerulean-activism X the content I make will live & breathe my social activism more

What remains until my GoDaddy subscriptions ends in February is as follows, including where I plan to rehouse the content:

CeruleanSounds.com will get a different homepage with /contact info in footer

/sounds page -> LaurenceWarner.com/music

/productions will be showcased on the new homepage

productions (like Closure Cafe) -> subdomains

/news/ -> LaurenceWarner.com/news/ OR wa.rner.me/ TBD: The /news page itself looks pretty good haunting the WaybackMachine like a ghost. However, the individual blogposts don't seem to be loading there, so I will carry over to either Webflow CMS or my personal wa.rner.me for public archive, whichever is quicker to copy & paste with images.


They are all hosted by the incredibly affordable Carrd, and historic projects will continue to lay dormant indefinitely, for example SmalltownDreamer.CeruleanSounds.com.

The design at Workshop.CeruleanSounds.com will become the homepage and there won't be a separate workshop.

SavvyIndie.CeruleanSounds.com -> SavvyIndie.com or LaurenceWarner.com TBD trying to decide whether to offer as distinct coaching/community service from my own content.

Why not integrate the .rner.me subdomains too?

Centered around my personal blog wa.rner.me hosted with techie community Micro.Blog, I consider these my personal websites involving my geeky interest in the internet I'm displaying here. Whilst no hard separation is intended, I'm keen to give my entertainment career a single home - no confusing subdomains or link shorteners - displaying a consistently high standard of branding & presentation.

Whether it's a granny in Bogota wanting to download a song, or a teenager in Mississipi wanting to book my next US show, I can say "visit Laurence Warner dot com" and be fairly confident they will find their way. I might also say "it's spelt with a u" though I don't really have to..

How to stay in touch

This is my 57th and final post here at CeruleanSounds.com/news since May 2020. That's around two articles a month, a rate I'll try to maintain.

I'll further reduce posting frequency (& gimmicks like the Linkstagram and TikTok) @CeruleanSounds, and up my focus on making harder better faster stronger Laurence Warner content and promoting it with Short snippets.

You can get the inside track on that process by becoming my patron, directly via LaurenceWarner.com! For just a quid per month, you'll gain access to private pages containing pre-released content, often months (and always a week) in advance.

Thanks for joining me for the next chapter of my journey as an artist & indie producer. It means the world to me.

Katie & Greg's son,

Laurence Warner ~ Cerulean Sounds Productions