Here are some tips and tricks I learned while touring the country (DIY) as a singer-songwriter/duo

**Guest Post by Ezekiel Morphis, San Diego based Americana/Folk Singer-Songwriter.

 

"If you just started playing music last week, this article will aid you further down the road as long as you stay committed and work on your music first. If you are like me — two EPs completed, well practiced, working on an album, playing for a handful of years, don’t mind smelling like beer and shame for days on end and still want to know how to tour DIY — then this is the article for you."

The Road to Joy

**Guest Post by Bret Alexander of The Badlees and Saturation Acres.

 

"Many years ago I remember standing on the side of the stage talking with a crew member of The Marshall Tucker Band...We were in the middle of our first tour as a major label act and I was chatting with him about our experiences on the road...After a while, the roadie pointed up at the sound check that was taking place onstage and in his thick Southern accent he said, “These guys are just happy to still be playing.” Things had certainly changed for these guys over the years, but they were still at it. Why?"

How to Make a Living Playing Music - Part 2

**Guest Post written by Danny Barnes as featured on DannyBarnes.com.

 

"I hear so much complaining about this subject, I just wanted to lay my practical experience on you. free... Assuming... you are financially workable and you have the music where you want it and you are surely called into the art, here goes, in no particular order..."

How to Make a Living Playing Music - Part 1

**Guest Post written by Danny Barnes as featured on DannyBarnes.com.

 

"I hear so much complaining about this subject, I just wanted to lay my practical experience on you. free... Assuming... you are financially workable and you have the music where you want it and you are surely called into the art, here goes, in no particular order..."

The Ultimate Guide to Selling Band Merch Online

**Guest Post written by Jon Ostrow, Director of Sales at Bandsintown, Founder of MicControl, lover of all things music, a raging Phish head, and a coffee addict. Also featured on Bandzoogle.com.

 

"Bandzoogle members have now crossed $20 Million in direct-to-fan sales through their websites (commission-free!). This comprehensive guide will show you how to set up an online merch store for your own band, and give you some ideas for the different types of merch you can sell to your fans."

What We're Learning About The Music Industry

**Guest post written by Carlos A. Machado of Mystery Loves Company.

 

"With almost 200 shows and multiple music conferences in the past two years, Maddy and I have learned a ton about the current music industry. For those wanting a career as singer-songwriters, here are a two things we think are worth keeping in mind..."

What I Learned About Music Licensing After Dedicating A Month To It

**Guest post written by Matt Bacon, originally featured on IndependentMusicPromotions.com.

 

"I’ve spent a lot of time in the last couple of weeks learning about music licensing for a friend I’m helping on a project...It’s been a pretty interesting experience for a variety of reasons – but mostly because before the beginning of the month I didn’t really know what music licensing was. Since then I have learned quite a bit, spent countless hours pouring over articles and have gotten to explore what it means to engage in this potentially highly lucrative segment of the music industry."

I Got a Major Label Meeting and Nothing Happened

**Guest post written by Gaetano, a NYC based Singer, Songwriter, Producer, and Guitarist, as featured in his blog and on Digital Music News.

 

"At this point, we all know someone trying to “make it” in the music business. Thanks to the world of technology we live in, the industry has easily become over-saturated with thousands, if not millions, of aspiring singers, producers, songwriters, musicians, DJs, etc. Anyone with a smartphone and a Wi-Fi connection can simply fill out their social media bio and give themselves whatever title they wish to be called. With too much supply and not enough demand, it’s no wonder that so many are getting discouraged while in pursuit of their dreams..."

Calendar Worship and the Jack of All Trades

**Guest Post by Bret Alexander of The Badlees and Saturation Acres.

 

"Pretty much for all of the 1990s, I played with one band. One band. That was it...Ours was a pretty typical scenario for a band around that time. The object of worship was the CD. Or even a few cassettes and vinyl. Those little circles of information were your lifeblood….. and your salvation...Cut to 2016. Things have definitely changed. Quite a bit. CDs barely sell on an independent level. Vinyl has some appeal, but I would think on the ground floor it would be a break even proposition at best. There are download sales, but as we all know if you want the music for free it ain’t too hard to find...Musicians no longer worship that little round piece of plastic. Their new object of worship is square. And much bigger. It’s called a calendar."

5 Ways to Impress Venue Bookers and Get More Gigs

**Guest Post written by Dave Cool of Bandzoogle.com.

 

"I spent three years as program director for two venues here in my home city of Montreal, overseeing 500 shows during that time. Here are 5 ways that you can impress venue bookers and give yourself the best chance to get more gigs..."

How to Release a Single and Sell More Music More Often

**Guest post written by Corey Koehler, an indie singer-songwriter from Minnesota, as featured in his blog MusicGoat.com.

 

"For the past 30-40 years musicians have been releasing albums. Many times the time between those albums was a year or more. Many bands and musicians these days still model their own release schedules after this same one. This is a mistake. These days you should be learning how to release a single and doing it often. Here's why..."

10 Tricks of the Trade

**Guest post written by Sylvana Joyce, NYC based indie artist, originally featured in her blog Scenipedia.

 

"Let's face it. I'm not Lady GooGoo and I'm not rolling in the deep, deep cavern of Scrooge McDucklike's money vault. But I am a small indie band who has built an intimate fan base from the ground up - enough of a fanbase that I was able to raise $2000 in less than 24 hours to fund my debut album. So let's say I have something to say on the subject of oh, being a successful indie band...here are the 10 things I think are important to making sure you're on the right track as a band and to make sure you have a long and prosperous career where you continue to grow and shoot for greatness..."

5 Music Industry Schemes That Still Exploit Artists

**Guest post written by Gaetano, a NYC based Singer, Songwriter, Producer, and Guitarist, as featured in his blog and on Digital Music News.

 

"If you’re one of the millions (yes millions) of independent artists/producers out there trying to make something of yourself, you’re going to love what I’m about to tell you. If you’re one of the shady opportunists still trying to “hustle” your way into a quick buck, you’re going to hate me. I must be totally unapologetic about this. I don’t care either."

The One Secret of Booking a Tour with Absolutely No Empty Rooms

**Guest post written by Joshua Powell, singer-songwriter, DIY musician, and frontman for Joshua Powell and the Great Train Robbery, as featured in his blog Fearsome Folk.

 

"I’ve been on and off the road with my band for over three years now, and it’s been entirely DIY, grassroots, self-booked. We’ve learned a lot along the way, but I’ve discovered one secret to touring as the single most valuable principle to make sure your tours are worth the trouble. Never play a show without booking 1-3 other bands as local support..."

Ten Things I'm Still Learning About Being in a Band

**Guest Post written by Jay Rutherford of Los Colognes.

 

"Like millions of other morons out there, I'm attempting to make music both the primary joy and primary financial security in my life. My band Los Colognes has achieved marginal success, just enough to get mom and dad off our backs, so to speak. Without further adieu, here’s me convincing myself I have achieved some wisdom, when in reality I have no psychological control over any of it yet. Pretend this is the Old Ben Kenobi version of me, from somewhere in the future..."

SEO for Musicians: Use Link Building to Improve Your Ranking

**Guest Post written by Melanie Kealey of Bandzoogle.com.

 

"So you're looking to continue to improve the SEO for your band's website...One of the most important things you can do to help with your website’s SEO is link building...the more high-quality websites that link to yours, the higher your website will place in search engine results."

Why Music Makers Are the Real American Innovators

**Guest post written by Blake Morgan, artist, musician, record producer, and founder and owner of ECR Music Group. Originally featured in The Huffington Post.

 

"I'm an American songwriter and singer. I first became a blip on the music advocacy radar when an email exchange between myself and the founder of Pandora, Tim Westergren, was made public in The Huffington Post. What lay at the heart of that exchange was that I'd gotten tired of billion-dollar tech companies lecturing musicians like myself about how hard those companies are working to "find ways to incentivize creators." Musicians know exactly how they could incentivize creators: they could pay us fairly."

When To Take an Unpaid Gig

**Guest post written by David J. Hahn, originally featured on MusicianWages.com.

 

"You get a call. It’s a friend of yours, they are throwing a big party, and they want you to play for the guests...You get another call. It’s a local non-profit. They are throwing a fundraiser at a fancy venue and they want you to provide entertainment for a couple of hours...A third call comes in. It’s a local venue. They are having an event next month and 5 bands are playing a 30 minute set each. They’d like to invite you to perform...So what do you do? Do you take these gigs? You know that you have to make a living, but you know you also have to get out there and play for people."

“Musicians: Get a REAL Job!”

**Guest post written by Wade Sutton of Rocket to the Stars.

 

"I’ve been blessed with working with independent artists from all over the world for the past couple of years...I’ve also found myself, from time to time, serving as a pseudo-therapist for artists struggling emotionally when somebody close to them suggests their love for music is nothing more than a hobby and that the artist should consider a more traditional type of employment. You know. A “real job.”"

How to pitch your music for video games

**Guest post written by Michael Gallant as featured in the Disc Makers' Echoes Blog.

 

"Think your music is ready for games, TV, and film? Here’s advice on how to pitch your music for video games and how to optimize your chances of getting placed..."

How to Engage Your Fans To Launch Effective Word-of-Mouth Marketing Campaigns

**Guest Post written by Alan VanToai, Co-Founder of www.CrewFire.com (turn your existing fans into your Facebook and Twitter ambassadors).

 

When you think visionary brands, who comes to mind? Probably Apple, Red Bull, or Nike… right? Well, how about we add one more to the mix: The Grateful Dead...Long before social media or digital marketing ever came into play, they employed viral marketing, social networking, and word-of-mouth marketing...50 years later, the game has changed – but the principles are the same. And word-of-mouth remains one of the most powerful marketing strategies out there.

Major vs. Indie: What really happens when you sign a record deal

**Guest Post written by Dave Cool of Bandzoogle.com.

 

"...it can be difficult as an independent musician to determine the best path to take for long-term growth and success. Ultimately this crossroads is met with three separate avenues: DIY (Do It Yourself), Independent Label, or Major Label. There are pros and cons to each avenue, which should be weighed carefully against what type of musician / band you are and how you expect to see growth."

Musicians, do you NEED to be on Snapchat?

**Guest post written by Chris Robley, originally featured in the DIY Musician Blog.

 

"If you’ve been on the planet for more than a quarter century, you could be forgiven for not really knowing much about Snapchat...with 77% of college students using the app daily, and over 400 millions “snaps” a day (and a valuation of $16 billion) Snapchat can’t really be ignored anymore. So let’s ask the question: do you need to be on Snapchat as a musician?

7 Hacks To Get More People At Your Out-of-Town Shows

**Guest post written by Jonathan Sexton, CEO of Bandposters.

 

Selling out shows in your hometown isn’t easy...Having lead time and a local tribe gives you an opportunity to do something special. But what do you do when you go out of town?..Here are a few ideas to get you started building your fanbase in a new place.

5 Ways to Generate House Concert Leads

**Guest post written by Joy Ike, creator of Grassrootsy.com and Independent Musician, as featured on Grassrootsy.com.

 

"For a while there, house concerts were a trendy idea for independent artists that caught on pretty quickly...But now house concerts are actually becoming the primary means for many artists to make their living...Here are 5 ways that I’ve used to generate solid house concert leads."