Make Great Music
If you want people to listen to your songs you better have something they like. Make sure your music is up to the high standard of commercial radio, or whatever the buzz stream is or download. Don’t just record it and assume if you like it everyone else will. Be open to improvements and critiques. Don’t be afraid to rewrite and revise. Hone and refine your craft. Learn from other songwriters and collaborate with them. Do a lot of gigging. Once you get something good then it has to be presented as professional as possible. This means it has to be well written, well arranged, well recorded, and well mastered. If you do not succeed at all these things then your audience can simply listen to something else that fits into the expected format and forget about you. If you’re not that great of a singer then find someone who is a great singer and have them do your songs. If your passion is music then stay the course and become something great. Always believe in yourself no matter what other people say about you.
Build a Website and Start a Blog
Promote your music and merchandise, and sell it on your website. Get backlinks to your website to increase your presence on google. Learn Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Add a blog to your site and post articles on a regular basis. You’ll attract new users when you add good relevant content. Users like to come back to see new stuff that has been added.
Build your website with WordPress. This platform has some great music oriented templates. These templates are free or cost very little, and can easily get you up and running in no time flat. Once you decide on the template you want, the next part of getting your website looking great will be adding the right plugins. WordPress has many great features and plugins you can easily activate.
Use a Mailing List
Use a mailing list to engage your fans. A couple of music platforms that allow you to email your fans for free are ReverbNation and NumberOneMusic. You can also import email addresses from your contacts into your mailing list. ReverbNation has a fan collector than you can easily embed on your website. Once you have collected your fans then send out messages to them on a regular basis. This can be anything like songs releases, promo images, concerts, thank you for your support, etc.
Develop a Social Presence
Social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter allow you to connect and engage with 1000s of users to make your brand stronger. Try to keep the same profile handle across every social network to make your branding consistent. Start by connecting with as many people in the music industry as possible, without looking like you’re following way more users versus having followers. In other words keep your follower to unfollower ratio optimized. When others unfollow you, don’t keep them, they simply aren’t a fan. It’s best to try to have a many true fans as possible. These are people who support and follow you. Use buffer to post and schedule content to all your social platforms at once. Do not just post images about you and your brand, but also post short videos. Users typically engage with videos more than other types of media.
Create Professional Music Videos
Get on YouTube and set up your channel and add your music videos. Have a friend help out. You don’t need to spend tons of money to produce a great video. You can easily use an online service like rotor, which is a reasonable, to create an engaging video in minutes. You simply upload your music, images and clips, and choose a catalog of styles, or you can choose from the thousands of free clips that rotor has available. If you have a decent phone, then you can also use it to create some nice clips, which may be good enough to integrate into your music video.
Another reasonable way to go is by learning how to use a video editor. Wondershare filmora is reasonable in cost, and has a lot of awesome features, and effects right out of the box. It allows you to get a video up and running relatively quickly, and looking professional. One other thing you can do is integrate royalty free images and clips into your music videos. There are lots of these available online that don’t cost you a dime. These types of media are available for downloading for free on sites like Pixabay and Pexels.
Distribute Your Music
Use a service like CD Baby to distribute your music. Do not limit how many platforms where to submit your music. CD Baby distributes to over 150 platforms. I would suggest utilizing them all. What this means is you may be submitting your songs to some free streaming providers. But don’t be concerned about money at this point. The real purpose should be to get your songs heard by as many people as possible.
You can use other platforms like ReverbNation and NumberOneMusic for your music. These platforms aren’t available through CD Baby. ReverbNation is mainly used to network to other musicians, while NumberOneMusic is a great way to gain actual real listeners. You may not make much money using these platforms, but the point is to get your songs heard. Getting your songs heard can open up opportunities. Bandcamp has the capability to connect to your PayPal account. Have all your buy links point to your Bandcamp songs.
Depending on what you want to do, you may also want to join a Performing Rights Organization (PRO) such as ASCAP or BMI. PROs collect public performance royalties. SoundExchange is another organization which collects digital public performance royalties for Pandora, Sirius, and cable music. Note that Pandora is curated, so even if your music has been distributed to them, you must fill out a submission form to get your music added.
Market Your Songs on Spotify
With a distribution service like CD baby you can get your songs on Spotify. Find a reasonable and reputable marketing service to boost your plays. These firms may offer you a platinum plan, but you probably don’t need it unless you can justify the cost. This should only cost whatever your budget can afford and will help you get consistent streams and get on playlists.
Submit Your Songs to Online Radio Shows and Podcasts
To find radio shows and podcasts, do some research and networking with other musicians. It should not cost you money to submit your music. If anyone approaches you to spin your music for money, it is usually a scam. There are some valid promotions out there but you have to very careful since these opportunities are few and far between. Typically you should get an honest DJ’s email from another musician who has already been on the show. This way you know the DJ is not trying to rip you off. Once you have a reputable email then you simply send the DJ a few of your best mp3s.