Below, I have collected some of the most useful artist tips with links to resources for making music, promoting music and selling music. The latest and most up to date articles are on the top. For the music web sites, I have added links to the Homeless Balloon artist pages so you can see how I manage there. I have also added a few lines to explain how you can get the most out of ther services and community there. (I have to admit that to take advantage of all the possibilites these music sites offer, I would need each day to last for 48 hours instead of 24 hours...)
the best way to learn using your software fast!
MacProVideo is a great site where you can subscribe to training videos (monthly or download purchases). If you want to be up and running with LogicPro, Ableton Live, ProTools etc. fast, you will get help from some of the best teachers around - and by watching these videos, you can set your own speed, repeat lessons - and even take the videos with you on your iPhone.
get at FREE TRIAL to the excellent Lynda.com!
Lynda.com is one of the biggest and best sites with interactive learning videos for the most common software for music, web, design and more. Get a special, free trial by visiting the site: Free 24 hour pass to lynda.com.
Website Marketing from ViralNetworkers
This social media marketing network has a lot of tutorials, tips and features that will help you get more visitors to your twitter or facebook artist site. Click here to visit ViralNetworkers and learn more about Website Marketing
the Musician's Report Survey
Just like with the Musician's Report in 2002, we now invite you to take a short survey about being an independent artist on the web. It will only take a couple of minutes of your time - thank you for participating!
This is a great way to get more fans by trading promotions with other bands. I'm already on the site, so get on it and we can run some promotions together. Sign up now and we'll both get 1x Band Bucks for every social media fan you already have: Check it out!
music think tank
Great web site with lots of info about the music industry for independent artists like you and me. Subscribe to their newsletter and get helpful info and helpful articles directly into your mailbox: Read
David Byrne's survival strategies for emerging artists
David Byrne (Talking Heads) had an interesting talk with Thom Yorke (Radiohead) about how an independent artist should promote himself or herself. Here is the article in Wired: Read
Trent Reznor's tips for new artists
We all know how angry Trent Reznor was at his record label a couple of years ago (2008) when he found out that the price on the Nine Inch Nails CD's were so stiff that many fans decided that they couldn't afford to buy the album. He then started to release his own music on the web, and he combined free (but registered) downloads with special CD and Vinyl packages that you could purchase. Trent is an experienced artist we should listen to! Read
Derek Sivers - his best tips for music artists
Derek Sivers is the founder (1997) of the great online music shop for independent artists CD Baby, a big success story. Derek is running his own business now, and among other activities, he gives independent artists his best advice. I strongly suggest that you take a look at some of his articles and also sign up to his newsletter. Read
top ten mistakes
The top ten mistakes artists are making when they try to get a record deal (advice from Discmakers): Read
Below is a list of recommended web sites where you can upload your music and grow your fan base
Do you want to play Homeless Balloon on your radio?
You may register for free at AirPlayDirect and download tracks from Homeless Balloon in 320 kbps quality, ready for airplay. Click here to check it out!
iLike - the fastest growing music network
iLike is a service to help you organize your music, share your music taste and discover new music through your friends. iLike provides a buddy-list for your iPod - it helps you discover new artists based on what you're already listening to, and it helps you browse your friends' music libraries and share music suggestions with each other. The most important feature in iLike is to grab the data when you play music in iTunes on your PC or Mac. Your user page at iLike will show what you have played, and the artists that are played most, will climb the charts. You can be an ordinary member (listener), and an iLike artist. If you combine being a registered artist at Garageband (see below) with being an iLike artist, you can get a lot of exposere for your music. - Check out the FREE community ilike.com by clicking on the banner.
ReverbNation - professional features
Uploading and storing your music tracks is free. You may then use their widgets to play your tracks from your homepage, and you may subscribe to their excellent Fan Mail system. They have a very advanced statistics and report system, as well.
MySpace - the biggest music site on the web
A few years after the mighty MP3.com died, MySpace began to get the attention of music artists. MySpace started off as a social network (one of the first, in fact), but when they offered spesial music services and allowed artists to upload music (first three tracks, from the spring of 2009 ten tracks), the site really startet to grow. It's also an important site for established artists, and they can get an enormous amount of fans. Ordinary, independent artists will have to invite friends and listeners to sign up as "friend", and their fan base will start to grow slowly. With a social community at the size of MySpace, we can't avoid alot of spam, so expect your mailbox to grow, too ;)
last.fm - great place to discover new music
Last.fm has a lot in common with iLike, and it is basically a huge database of info about artists, songs, albums and listeners and their taste. A label or artist can register an account for FREE and start uploading music. The music should be based on albums (CD's), and it's important to register your album names and track names correctly, to avoid different versions of your songs to mess up the statistics. Until the spring of 2009, listening to music at last.fm was free, but the staff wanted to pay performance royalties (like FM radios always did), and they were foreced to introduce a small listening fee (subscription). This resulted in fewer listeners - and a less attractive place to promote music - but last.fem is still an important place where artists can reach new listeners.
Personally, I have spent some money to test their radio plays campaign, and it gave quite nice results. I am not sure if it was worth the money, but at least I got a lot of new listeners, a couple of nice comments and probably some new fans.
Jango Radio - Airplay that actually works!
The idea behind Jango is to let independent artists be played in rotation in between established or commercial artists. Any artist can buy an amount of plays and be guranteed airplay. If 50 listeners enjoy the music enough to click on the "thumbs up" -button, the song will get into regular rotation on the Django radio. I have bought credits for airplay two times, and the result was that I got 6732 plays, that 566 listeners marked that they liked the song they heard and 81 of them signed up as fans of Homeless Balloon (I can send them bulletins and easily keep them updated from my Jango account). 250 guaranteed plays cost USD 10 (which is hardly enough plays for a song to get 50 thumbs up and regular rotation). The best deal is 4000 plays for USD100, but if you buy this package, I suggest that you divide the plays on several songs! - Another great feature at Jango is the statistics that will show you were your listeners and fans come from, their age, and what other artists they enjoy listening to. With my airplays, I found out that the typical Homeless Balloon fan also enjoy music from Enigma, Delerium, Pink Floyd, Amethystium, Paul Okenfold, The Chemical Brothers, U2, Air, Groove Armada, Faithless, Thievery Corporation, Portishead and Sting. I can use this info when I promote my music on other music sites!
Reverbnation - nice features
Membership at Reverbnation is free and comes with some great services like this free music player that you can place on your web site.
live365 - a huge collection of web radio stations
Live365 is one of the oldest (1999) and most professional streaming radios on the web. By 2006, they had more listeners than any other web radio. Because they had to make a deal with the Performing Artist Societies about royalties when a registered artist was played, they had to raise their fees, and I believe a lot of dj's stopped using their service. Still, they survived, and you can find a lot of great playlists and dj's with excellent taste on live365. I have some of the music of Homeless Balloon in rotations on the radio stations below. The method I used to get airplay, was to listen to stations wth the same type of music as mine, write a short e-mail where I presented my music to the dj, and then waited for response. I also included a link to the tracks I thought were most suitable for the station, so the dj was able to decide if he liked before he gave me any response. During a period of six months, I contacted about sixty live365 stations, I got a positive response from fifteen of them, I shipped my CD's to them, and after a while, my music was in rotation on five or six of these stations.
This is a cool way to promote your music, get new listeners and friends - and earn points that you can use to promote yourself even more... or to buy stuff (if you live in the US)! To see an example, go here to visit the Homeless Balloon artist page, and then you can sign up and upload your own music. You can also create your own Label and invite other artists to join. When listeners play their music, you will earn points. If you are visiting and being active on StereoFame for a few days, you will see great results.
SoundClick - good, old independent site
SoundClick was my main music site for Homeless Balloon for a couple of years, and with a little effort (like responding to new contacts and fans, or spending the USD 9.95 monthly fee for a VIP page), you can expect to get quite many listeners.
You may buy single tracks of full albums as digital downloads (320 kbps!) at SoundClick!
CD's only $8.99 from Earbuzz!
When somone buys a single tracks or CD's (digital DRM free downloads or physical CD) from Earbuzz.com, Homeless Balloon will get 100% of the income, so this is a great way to give support! Click here for Earbuzz.com
EMusic - the biggest music subscription site
You may download a free track from EMusic every day:
Below is a list of services that will help you with your music promotion on the web. You won't necessarily get a record deal, but many more people will have the opportunity to hear your music and discover your artist name.
are you using Twitter?
Twitter is a very popular and fun way to get to know new people, getting their advice, following their activities and hearing their thoughts. As a music artist, you can also use twitter to stay in touch with your listeners and fans. Signing up to twitter is a piece of cake, if you have one minute, do it here!
If you want to get the most out your account, check out Tweet Later which has a helpful collection of services and tools (all free!) to help you use Twitter more effectively (meaning saving time and reaching more people). Click the banner to learn more:
selling independent music on Ebay
Selling independent music CD's on ebay: Read
Promoting your music online: Read
do you want your music played on more web radios?
Music Submit will submit three of your tracks to genre-specific radio stations, online magazines, music directories, podcasts etc. in order to save you both time and money: