What To Charge For Merch

**Guest post written by Ari Herstand. It originally appeared on Ari's Take.

 

"It was a great show [Low Cut Connie at the Echo]. So naturally I stopped by the merch table afterwards to get their vinyl and a T...when she told me the price for the vinyl and T I thought there must be some kind of mistake. $27?! For both? No way. They were charging $13 for the vinyl and $14 for the T. Way too low!..."

Turn it down a few notches, please!

**Guest post written by Paula Tolly, one half of the Boca Raton based Americana duo 33 Years.

 

"My band recently did a gig where, just after the first song, a note was delivered onto the stage...“Turn it down a few notches, please.” Really? It’s Saturday night and this is only the FIRST song. (sigh) So I ask you, ‘what would you do?’ At first, this seems like a pretty easy question, right. But think - there you are in your first set and how do you really want to deal with this negative feedback?"

Be Safe, Protect Your Music!

**Guest post written by Yannick Illunga of The Jazz Spotlight, as featured on The Jazz Spotlight.

 

"If you ask artists if they are serious about their music career, most will answer affirmatively. Not many take care of the legal side of their career, though...Whether you’re about to graduate from music school or have been an indie artist for years, you can follow these simple tips that will avoid you huge legal headaches in the future."

How to Write a Better Biography for Your Website

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

 

"The problem is a vast majority of biographies on websites are written by either the artist or the individual hired to construct the website. And when you take into consideration that the best web bios are the ones that combine elements of both journalism and marketing, well, you can see why problems arise...So what can you do to make YOUR biography better should you choose to attempt to write it on your own?"

8 Reasons Why Fans Hate Your Band’s Website

**Guest Post from Dave Cool, from Bandzoogle.com.

 

"Your website should be a place fans enjoy visiting to get your latest news, hear your latest music, watch your videos, and shop from your online store. Here are some things to avoid that could be turning fans away from your site for good..."

What’s the Deal With Brand Partnerships?

**Guest post written by Anelka Argiro, VP of Brand Partnerships for Wind Up Records.

 

A good song just isn't enough [to break through the clutter] these days...Enter your new best friend -- brand partnerships.

Will People Really Join My Newsletter If I Give Them A Free Song?

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

 

"QUESTION: My name is Jefrey, writing from NYC...Just wanted to ask a quick question - do you consistently see results with the direct to fan marketing with getting emails-for-mp3’s via a squeeze page?"

Smash any goal for 2015 using the Seinfeld Strategy

**Guest post from the DIY Musician Blog.

 

"Jerry Seinfeld is arguably one of the most successful comedians of our time...So how did he do it? The answer is actually much simpler than you may think and it’s a proven method to helping you effectively smash any goal you set for 2015."

33 Gig Promotion Strategies (And Which Ones Actually Work!) - Part 2

**Guest post written by Phil Johnson, as featured in his blog, Big Whiz Bang!

 

This is the continuation of last week's post "33 Gig Promotion Strategies (And Which Ones Actually Work!) - Part 1", but rather than focusing on Offline Promotion, Phil talks about his online promotional efforts and their successes/failures.

33 Gig Promotion Strategies (And Which Ones Actually Work!) - Part 1

**Guest post written by Phil Johnson, as featured in his blog, Big Whiz Bang!

 

"Over the course of a month or so, I tried a ton of promotion techniques. And with this post I want to give you a huge checklist of stuff you can do to promote your own gigs. Some of them worked for me, some didn’t. We’ll get into the hows and whys of each..."

House Concerts Are Viral

**Guest post written by Shannon Curtis, an independent songwriter, singer, performer, recording artist, and author, as featured on Pyragraph.

 

"Then we discovered this awesome phenomenon of house concerts: they’re viral..."

Simple and Effective YouTube Practices

**Guest post written by John Waltmann, Client Relationship Manager of Symphonic Distribution.

 

"The countless features and optimizations of YouTube’s platform can seem intimidating, but we are here to provide you with a few basic optimizations on YouTube profiles that can have you looking the part in no time..."

3 Ways to Drive Ticket Sales for Your Show

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

 

"Oftentimes people don’t understand the importance of pre-sales...But pre-sales are important because they help you the artist gauge how well your promo is going, help the venue determine how busy the night is and how many employees they need to staff the room, and help both you and the venue determine if it will be a well-attended, successful show. Here are some tips for encouraging pre-sales and making sure your show is a success even before it even happens..."

The Bribe to Subscribe: Bands and E-mails

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

 

"It is no secret that creating and adding to a list of e-mail subscribers is one of the most important marketing tools for singers and bands. It is also one of the most difficult and frustrating tasks to undertake..."

Build a Fan Base in Your Hometown First

**Guest post written by Matt Jones, a full-time singer-songwriter and solo artist, as featured on Pyragraph.

 

"I’m not sure what your goals are as a musician/artist/songwriter. Many of the people who have relocated to Nashville do so from a desire to be around the best creative people, and to have a much better chance for their music to be noticed on a larger scale. I think most of us have a similar desire..."

5 Reasons Why Bands Need (Better) Websites

**Guest Post from David Dufresne, from Bandzoogle.com.

 

"The Internet is a big and scary place. When you're a musician and your focus is to practice, write and perform, figuring out where to spend the little time and money you have left for an "online strategy" can be confusing. Many bands we've met tell us that they see it as a real challenge. Here are some reasons why I think [owning your own .COM] is necessary..."

How to Promote Your Shows

**Guest post written by Yannick Illunga of The Jazz Spotlight, as featured on The Jazz Spotlight.

 

"...it is time to promote your gigs...You have to ask yourself this first: How am I going to promote my gigs? The answer is simple: be memorable!...

5 Startups For Touring From SF MusicTech Summit That Every Indie Artist Should Know

**Guest post written by Dae Bogan of Dae Bogan Music.

 

Over the last six years, the SF MusicTech Summit has become a staple platform for the convergence of music, technology, and entrepreneurship in San Francisco. The summit has attracted attendees from around the world who’ve looked to SFMT as a place to learn, network, and get inspired. Here’s my list of 5 startups that every touring indie artist should know...

Licensing Your Work to Music Libraries

**Guest post written by Jennifer Kes Remington, composer and filmmaker, as featured on Pyragraph.

 

"So in my quest to throw multiple things against the wall and hope that money comes out of it, I’ve been licensing a lot of my music to library companies...I asked a few other composer friends if they knew of any library companies offhand. On their initial recommendations, I started entering my music into a couple music libraries, and waited and watched as the royalties came in..."

Here's The Pitch, Pt. 2: The Follow-Up

**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.

 

"Your bobber just exploded and somebody took the bait. Now it’s time to let out on the line. One of those thirty-four venues replied to your excellently crafted pitch email and now you’re in negotiations to set the stage for your impending show. But the thread of your line is steadily unspooling, and sure, your cast was masterful, but there are other things to which we must attend. We’ll do that here—in the follow-up..."

The Music Industry is Dead - Now Let's Move On

**Guest post written by Brandon Seymour, musician, SEO analyst, web designer, and social media marketer.

 

"I know - I'm not the first genius to point out that the music industry is dead. I'm also not the first person to point out that artists have been complaining about this for a very long time. I just can't help but wonder if maybe - just maybe - the music industry needed to die..."

How to sign up for Pandora AMP (Artist Marketing Platform)

**Guest post originally featured in the DIY Musician Blog.

 

"Pandora launches free analytics tools for artists..."

Using Story and Storylines to Create Context for Your Content

**Guest post written by Randy Young from the Ottawa based rock band Cherry Suede.

 

"Using storylines to create context for your content boosts its relevance to your audience. The result? More fans, sales, and profits!"

Defining Success And How To Achieve It With A Career In Music

**Guest post written by Carlos Castillo of Schwilly Family Musicians - music marketing strategist, web designer, live performance recordist, international road-tripper, lap steel player, and Captain of the Schwilly Family.

 

“The first requirement for being successful in anything is to define what success means to you. That is one of the biggest challenges musicians face today. There is no standard to follow..."

8 Ways You Should Be Using Photos on Your Band Website

**Guest Post from Bandzoogle.com.

 

"We cannot overstate the importance of photos when it comes to your website. In fact, we often tell bands that they should spend more money on professional photos than on their website. Great photos can create a positive first impression for potential new fans, as well as for industry and media. But if the images on your website look unprofessional, chances are, people won’t take you or your music seriously..."