Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Do this... Now!

1. Bandcamp

Not perfect, but definitely the best so far. Bandcamp is, yes...another place to put your music online. Here’s why I strongly recommend taking the time to do it, ASAP:

a. You can sell your work directly, set your own prices, include bonus tracks and additional files, collect email addresses, and this money is dumped directly into your paypal.
b. It looks damn nice and it’s a way better media player than myspace, facebook, or any of the “____Share” hosting sites that blast your potential listeners with popup ads and blinking flash bullshit.
c. Unlike myspace, it provides detailed data on where your traffic is coming from and how it converts. Unlike Reverb Nation, their branding is almost non-existent, buried down at the bottom left of the page. Unlike iTunes and Amazon, you get to set the pricing. Plus it’s free.

2. Wordpress, Blogger, and Beyond.

Honestly? It really doesn’t matter what you go with. You just need a website. Audible Hype is fancy because we’re Vermonters who like to show off—this is running on Expression Engine templates built by Back Brain Media.

For most of you, that’s too much gibberish. The easiest, best-supported method is to register and buy hosting for your own .com domain and install Wordpress. If you’re sticking with Free, then I do recommend Blogger for hosting—it’s just more flexible, and it doesn’t hurt that they happen to be owned by a company whose name is synonymous with the fucking internet. Speaking of whom…

3. Google, Motherfucker

I’ll admit, I judge people by their email address. When you’re being offered something for free that’s better than any of the alternatives, even those you have to pay for...and you turn that down? Good to know.

This one should be so obvious you’ve already stopped reading the article: if you haven’t already gotten a Gmail account, set up alerts in your name, and trained google to automatically deliver analytics reports on all of your sites, do that at some point today.

Tomorrow, take the time to explore google Documents and Groups. AtWorld Around, we use Groups to co-ordinate specific projects and Documents to do collaborative work. We’ve also started using google documents to set up and collect online surveys for us...which is a service millions of businesses still pay for.


That’s That.

Sure, you could dig deeper than this, but why? If you’ve actually got a fan base you can be selling directly to them with just the tools I’ve outlined here. I didn’t include google analytics on that chart because really, you shouldn’t be sweating your numbers like that...it’s not healthy.

In conclusion: the internet is a gaping maw of bored people with money who love music. All social networks and search engines exist for the sole purpose of bringing traffic to your blog/site so they can hear your music on Bandcamp. If they like what they hear, they will spend money on it, you’ll get a notification to your gmail account every time, and your paypal account will increase in size, allowing you to invest money in merchandise, start selling physical copies of your music on CD and vinyl, and fund tours so you can start taking your operation on the road.

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