Everyone uses Wikipedia! There’s a good reason it appears at the top of Google when you search for pretty much anything. Because people trust it to give them the info they’re looking for.
That's why getting a Wikipedia page for your music or brand can do incredible things for your artistic credibility almost instantly. And while securing a Wikipedia page isn’t for the fainthearted, there are some definite things that you can do to boost your chances of getting a page accepted & published by the watchful Wiki gods.
How to get a music Wikipedia page in 2022
For independent musicians who are still working hard to build their reputability and exposure as a brand (both online and offline), having a Wikipedia page is an instant win. Mostly because Wikipedia pages are universally adopted as ‘credible sources of information’ about a person, place, brand, moment in history - or whatever the content variable!
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And if you already know a bit about how to get Google Knowledge Graph, you’ll know that acquiring a Wikipedia page can actually improve your overall SEO as a musician and push you to the top of Google’s search results list!
How does creating a Wikipedia page work?
Wikipedia is governed by a range of volunteer editors from across the globe who are in charge of choosing what does and doesn’t see the (digital) light of day.
Getting a Wikipedia page for your music isn’t easy. Especially for new artists. They’re exclusively reserved for musicians who can prove and convince a Wikipedia editor why their name deserves a dedicated page.
There are a bunch of general guidelines and certain things you can do when you’re trying to get a wiki page, but it really comes down to two words.
Eligibility and notability.
Or in other words, do you deserve a Wikipedia page and can you prove it.
So if you’re still relatively new to the world of music and don’t yet have any evidence in terms of noteworthy online news stories or PR written about you yet, it may be worth holding off for some of this exposure to roll in before getting started.
Now it’s hard to say whether or not you’ll definitely secure one, but here’s what you can do to improve your chances…
5 tips for securing a Wikipedia page as a solo artist or band
1. Be noteworthy
Kicking things off with arguably the most important tip: in order to secure a Wikipedia page, your music or band must be of ‘noteworthy’ status - i.e. you must have actual, physical evidence of your ‘claim to fame’, or in this case, your notoriety.
As outlined by Wikipedia's “speedy deletion” policy, pages which aren’t backed up with evidence of their notability are subject to removal under the terms that they have “no indication of importance”.
This means that in order to present your music in the most noteworthy light possible, you’ll need to make it clear what you’re known for by referring to anything your critics have said about you, or anything that has put you in front of the public eye or public media mentions (good news only obviously).
And while the term ‘notability’ is somewhat subjective, Wikipedia actually spells out exactly what they deem as eligible forms of evident notoriety…
- Multiple articles covering your music or a tour
- Albums or singles in the official charts
- Prominence within a certain genre or subculture
- Award or competition wins or nominations
- Your music featured in another form of media, eg. TV shows, movies, games
- Involvement in political activism or controversy
- Worked with other famous figures
- Performed at major festivals or well-known venues
FYI: Now is not the time to take the humble route. Don’t leave anything to the imagination. The more eligible evidence of note you can provide (backed up with reliable sources & evidence of course), the better.
2. Keep it strictly neutral
While it may be tempting to go off on a speech about why you’re “WITHOUT A DOUBT THE GREATEST ARTIST THAT THIS GENERATION WILL EVER SEE!!!” - don’t.
You may well be! But the reason being, Wikipedia accepts and publishes pages on the basis that the page content is written from a strictly neutral and unbiased point of view.
So by using Wikipedia as a vehicle for any kind of self promo, you’ll most likely risk your page getting rejected or even deleted permanently. A good way to approach this is by putting yourself in the shoes of the end reader - does it sound promotional and over-personal? Or does it sound balanced and observant?
(Psst - recruiting someone else to do the writing for you is also a sure fire way to avoid it sounding too hyper-promo, but more on in a bit!)
3. Use only verified sources & references
Including sources and references is the BEST way to prove what you’re stating about your music or band is true. But they mean very little to Wikipedia if they aren’t coming from trustworthy, verified third parties.
This commonly includes things like…
-Article reviews such as in music blogs
-Online mentions about your brand or music
-Press coverage in a well-known magazine or newspaper
Of course you can use any others you find. But remember - all the sources you use need to be unbiased, which often means they’ll need to come from an official, independent body. So for example, a glowing Facebook status about your most recent performance from your mum’s best mate Doreen are the kind of unverified sources you want to steer away from (sorry Doreen).
4. Don’t write it yourself
Contrary to the popular belief that “if you want something, you have to rely on yourself to get it”, in actual fact, the best chances of getting yourself on Wikipedia is by getting someone else to do the job for you.
Well as we mentioned before, Wikipedia only accepts unbiased articles. So writing it yourself or having one of your band members write is most likely going to be one of the first things that’ll get your page axxed. Afterall, it’s hard not to be biassed when you’re writing from the first person perspective.
And this isn’t to say by any means that you need to get a stranger involved - a contribution from a friend or family member is still completely justified!
But here’s an extra special tip - if you really want to improve your chances, track down a regular Wikipedia content contributor to write your entry. Wikipedia actually sees & tracks who contributes to their pages that are getting published, so recruiting a well-known name could be just the ticket to your success.
5. Don’t skimp on the detail
<br>Just as listing as many “noteworthy” qualifications as possible will help boost your chances of getting listed, so too will maximising the level of detail you provide.
Make sure that whoever is writing your page has all the most important information readily available & on hand about things such as…
- Your award nominations/wins
- Previous discographies
- Current band members
- Past and future performance or live performance dates
- Lineup changes
Remember, important information also means relevant information.
Imagine you’re reading this article a century from now for the very first time - what would still be of importance to readers? What wouldn’t be?
Style, genre and musical influences - yes.
Hair colour of lead vocalist at time of second album - no.
Like we said, unfortunately it’s impossible to fully guarantee whether or not you’ll secure a Wikipedia page for your music. With huge amounts of emerging, new artists out there, Wikipedia has to limit the amount of artist pages it can actually publish.
But by following these 5 tips, you’ll without a doubt maximise your chances of getting on the right side of those Wiki overlords!