Apr 25th, 2009 by Dave Piersall

Build It And They Will Come

daves-pictureAnswering the Age Old Myth

So what does it take to make a successful website to sell original music on the Internet?  Many songwriters and bands come to the Internet, see sites like MySpace and iTunes and say  “I need to get a site too so I can sell my songs” and some actually move forward with the plan but not all are successful in the quest.  In this post we will answer the questions to why that happens and how to keep it from happening to you.

excuses-pictureYou’ve Got a lot of Excuses Don’t You?

This is an issue that stops a lot of artists in their tracks and gives them all the reasons in the world to do nothing and justify their actions to themselves and others.   I should know I did it for a lot of my life too because it is easier to sell yourself short than it is to get online, Get on stage, and put yourself and your music out there.   There is a real fear surrounding putting it all on the line because to do that means you may find out the hard way either you, or your music does not have what it takes.   That can be a painful reality and the thought goes through all artists minds at one time or another too.    You can choose to make it mean something totally different if you want to though.   You can see a failure as a great opportunity to discover what did not work, research why, change your approach, and give it another go.  If you believe your music has what it takes then you need to be ready to take some punches and keep coming at them.

fans-in-crowd-pictureSo What Does it Take to Make YOUR Music Website Popular Online?

Never in their wildest dreams can most songwriters concept what it will take to actually make this plan work.    Go read this post first to see if you have the time and personal drive to succeed.   The mountain of time involved in building traffic that results in song sales is insurmountable to some beginners.  Buying your domain name, and getting the site made is the easy part, the hard part is getting anyone to actually see your site and if they do to pull out their credit card and buy your song.   Viewing Google Analytics traffic reports and seeing 3 people came to your site today when you were 2 of them is a sobering experience.  In this post we will discuss how to build those visits and turn them into sales.

blog-pictureThe Importance of Starting A Music Blog On Your Site

No one is going to repeatedly come back to your site for just your songs even though you would like to think they would.  You need to give them something they MUST come back for and one thing is a music Blog with great content.  Writing a successful Blog means making the content mean something and making sure it has value to your readers.   Giving value means research to get the facts right and linking to sites that support your views to build credibility.  Also it is VERY important to set a writing schedule and to always stick to it.   Here is why, if you start writing a Blog post once a week and your readers come back to see what you wrote week after week and suddenly you stop for a week or two guess what is likely to happen?  They will also stop returning because you got lazy or let something else become more important than sticking to your plan.   Don’t let that happen especially after you have built a following.    When you write a great post your proud of go to these sites and tell people it is there.  Blip.Fm, Last.Fm, Facebook Music, MySpace, and start building a email list to send out the word too.  Here is a great video on marketing your site from Artists house.

song-downloadWhy Do People Buy Original Music and How Do You Get Them To Buy Yours?

Lets think about the concept for a moment….. OK if you went into a record store when you were a young adult and there were two album racks.    The first rack had all the popular albums from artists like “The Who”, “Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers” and other well known bands.    On the second rack were a bunch of albums you never heard of,  had no idea what style they are, and did not know if the songs were any good.    What do you think you or anyone else would be likely to do in this situation?   You and they would buy the popular ones and maybe think  “I wonder what those other ones are all about”.    Now would you or them ever go back to buy one to find out?    Probably not.     You know why?  The buzz created from the promotion done for the popular albums guided your choice .   So what does it take to get your music that popular?  The same thing it took to make all the albums on that music store rack popular.   It takes people talking about your songs, friends telling other friends they need to check your stuff out, and professionals in the music industry and online world talking about your music.

web-traffic-pictureWhat Else Can You Do to Drive Traffic?

Another resource would be to find music processionals like Entertainment attorneys,  Music producers, and Studio owners that will write weekly Blogs for you on their business giving tips to jump start a young songwriters career.  Lastly you need links to your site from successful music Blogs and sites that have great traffic because that will bring people to your site too.  This last one is key as someone who has respect in the industry and more importantly partners with you through a link will drive more traffic to your site and give you best shot at selling your songs.  It is all about credibility and creating a buzz.

dave-neupert-pictureStarting A Link Campaign

OK here is the plan to start a link campaign as you need this more than anything.    You need to bring traffic to your site and just like you need fans talking about your music, you need to talk about your website and network with other Blog writers and industry professionals.   Go to Technorati.com a ranking site for websites and search for music Blogs and see who has the highest ranks in related blogs to your own.  In an Excel spreadsheet input 20 of the top ranking websites with columns for the date your campaign started, the site contact,  and what the result was.  Contact these individuals by writing a comment about a post on their Blog and that means actually reading the post and meaning what you say.   Go to the sites every other day and comment and start building a friendship with the site owners as good things come to those who network.   After 4-5 comments ask them to read one of your best posts and share it with their readers through a link to your site.    You may be ale to peak their interest by offering an ad on your site in return.  If you save the site addresses in your browser under a favorites folder called “Link campaign sites” it will make it very easy to continue your campaign.   If  you have other band members or Blog writers have them do the same thing with 20 different sites as traffic will help you all.   Here is a great video from Dave Neupert about the importance of networking Here are some groups you could join to network and grow your career.  Narip.comLAMN.comChat.comArtistshouse.org

band-photo1Are You in a Gigging Band?

If you are in an actively gigging band then fans are hearing your music, that is if you have a fan base which is a whole other topic in itself.   You can talk about your website on stage, put the URL on flyers, and get your fans talking to others about your website.   Now your songs need to be up to par to sell any real numbers of course.  If you need help understanding how to get that done of what that means check out these posts on “10 Steps to writing a hit song”, and “How to be a better songwriter”.

artist-starting-out-picture2So Can You Promote Original Music Successfully Online Without a Band?

Yes you can though you need to know it will require you to work a lot harder at it because you are missing a part of the process the gigging band.    Just do everything else I talked about in this post and remember no one will care about you or what you are selling or saying until you show them how much you care about them.  That means giving something back to your readers they can use.

Next week I will cover the specific details and steps to building your first music site from start to finish.  Look for it Saturday May 2nd 2009

Contact Dave


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