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."

Why Bands Should Wear Their Influences On Their Sleeves

**Guest post written by Matt Bacon, Senior Campaign Manager at Independent Music Promotions.

 

You look out on the crowd after a high powered set opening up for one of your favorite bands – and then instead of playing another song off your latest release you instead pull off a killer cover of Just Like Heaven...People love artists who pay tribute to their influences.

Don’t Be Afraid To Try Something Old

**Guest post written by Andrew Jones of Checkered Owl Media.

 

"The music industry, like much of our society, can become obsessed with what is new: The new better way to sell music, the new way to connect with fans, the new DAW to record your new album...But if you pay attention to culture and society, you will notice a shift. People are beginning to embrace old..."

The 8 things that should be in every band's digital press kit

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

 

"There are many different kinds of people that will be visiting your website, but likely for different reasons. These include your current fans, potential new fans, as well as media, bloggers, bookers, and other industry folks...To make it easy for media and industry to find the information they need (and quickly), the best thing to do is create a Digital Press Kit section on your website..."

The Real Gig: A Musician's Guide to the Universe

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

 

"I’ve been a vocational musician for almost 30 years...This is an incredibly difficult business to make any sort of sustainable living at for that long, so inevitably people ask me what advice I would have for anyone who wants to do the same. Opinions are certainly like assholes, but I’ll give you my take on that. Do with it what you will..."

10 Things to Consider if You Want Your Local Band to Play Festivals

**Guest post written by Amir Mozafari, Director of BD for Everfest and formerly of C3 Presents.

 

1. Develop a relationship with local promoters. 2. Practice, practice, practice! 3. Keep your EPK (Electronic Press Kit) up to date...

How To Properly Promote Yourself At Gigs

**Guest post written by Brad Barnett, professional musician and founder of Indie 411.

 

Most musicians have a general idea of how to promote their upcoming shows...With so many musicians actively promoting their gigs, it comes as a surprise to me that most of them stop there. What I mean by that is they work hard to try and get people out to their event, then don’t do anything to promote or sell their brand once it’s show time...If the goal is to get as many people to know about you as possible, then there are a few things you should be doing at gigs to maximize your reach.

Should Radio Stations accept a “listen” fee from bands to screen music for airplay?

**Guest post written by Michael Corcoran of musicSUBMIT.

 

"It goes without saying, all bands and musicians want to get their songs on the radio. There’s no point drumming up all the benefits of having your music broadcast to thousands of listeners with one spin on the radio. And of course radio stations want to find songs they think their audiences will want to hear...

 

But therein lies a nearly century-old problem for both artists and radio stations..."

Musicians’ Checklist: 23 Little Things That Will Help You Nail Your Next Gig

**Guest post written by Megan Liscomb, originally posted on TakeLessons.com.

 

"Congrats on getting the big gig! Whether you’re preparing for your band’s first show or your album-release party, these tips will help you learn how to promote your band, make your best impression on stage, and get invited back to the venue to do it all again."

SEO for Musicians: 3 Tips to Optimize Your Website Content

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

 

"Making your website rank well in search engines can seem like a daunting task...Even starting with a few small things can help with the search engine optimization (also called SEO) for your website. Let’s look at a few quick ways to update the text on your website to help it rank better in search results!"

Independently Creating Video Content For Your Band

**Guest post by Hank & Cupcakes, Brooklyn based Indie/Pop/Rock duo.

 

All of us are aware of how important the visual aspect of our music is for promoting, exposing and marketing our band. It seems that many indie bands are afraid of making their own videos mainly because there's a common mythological assumption that it is very complicated, expensive and technically demanding to create this kind of content, so many bands don't even try to explore this territory which is today as accessible to us as the audio recording field is...

Top 10 Free Internet Tools for Musicians

**Guest post by Harrison Welshimer, creator of MusicMunch Reviews and Interviews.

 

"Do you love FREE as much as I do? Duh, we’re musicians! Here are the top 10 free internet resources I recommend from personal experience..."

Record Label Deal

**Guest post by Stephen Wrench, CEO of Musik and Film.

 

"I recently had the pleasure of pitching a very talented well produced artist to major labels...They never listened to it [the music] because their social media numbers were not good enough?"