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25 ways to optimize your YouTube channel

By Chris Robley
April 24, 2015{ No Comments }
YouTube channel for Walk Off the Earth.

YouTube channel for Walk Off the Earth.

A YouTube channel checklist for musicians

What do all successful YouTubers have in common? They create great videos.

That’s Step #1, at least.

Beyond that, you’ve probably noticed how smart video creators are using some of YouTube’s tools and features to harness the power of those videos and their intended viewers.

Is your channel optimized? Here’s a simple checklist you can reference to make sure you’re doing everything you can to boost views, build a loyal audience, and earn more money through YouTube.

A quick-start to optimizing your YouTube channel

1. Choose your channel name — The channel name is different from your channel URL, so this name CAN be edited. But it’s best to pick a name and stick with it for consistent channel branding. Choose something that is short and memorable (like your band or artist name), and that also lets viewers know what to expect from your channel. Go here and clik to edit on Google+. Read more »

Dimensions for social media images

By Chris Robley
April 24, 2015{ No Comments }

Social media profile and cover photo dimensions

How should you size your social media cover photos and profile pictures?

The header sections of your social media profiles are prime real estate for promoting your next album release, crowdfunding campaign, or tour dates. And your smaller profile photos give you a great branding opportunity. But isn’t it a pain how each platform has different image requirements?

Well, I can’t help you solve THAT problem; you’ll either have to design a bunch of different images or have fun with resizing and cropping. But I thought it might at the very least make things easier for musicians to have all the various dimensions and file size guidelines for the big social media sites in one place. So here’s that blog post! Read more »

How monetization works on YouTube

By Chris Robley
April 23, 2015{ 2 Comments }

YouTube Monetization for musiciansA closer look at the process for determining WHEN, HOW, and WHAT advertisements are displayed on any YouTube videos that feature your music

[This article was written by Gray Gannaway and Chris Robley.]

One of the questions we get asked most frequently by artists who are enrolled in our YouTube Monetization program is “how much money will I earn per view?”

The first thing that should be clarified when answering this question is the fact that YouTube monetization is not based on views so much as it is based on earning ad revenue generated by your videos and user-generated content (UGC) that features your music.

So let’s morph the question slightly into “how much will I earn per advertisement on YouTube?”

There are a ton of factors that determine whether an ad will be shown on your videos and how much money you’ll earn from that ad impression, so let’s walk through the various steps and factors that affect your YouTube revenue. Read more »

Save $20 on the best distribution for your music

By Chris Robley
April 23, 2015{ No Comments }

Save $20 on music distribution with CD Baby


Plus, whenever we add new distribution partners, your music will be delivered automatically.


Make money whenever your music is used on YouTube.


Our customer service department is staffed with real people who have real answers to your questions. Read more »

What every musician should do before releasing an album

By Guest Blogger
April 22, 2015{ 15 Comments }

Album release checklist for musiciansThe definitive album release checklist

[This article was written by recording artist Brian Hazard. It originally appeared on his Passive Promotion blog. I’ve made a few notes throughout, as certain items were directly related to CD Baby services.]

Your album is mixed and mastered, finally! You’ve got cover art and maybe even replication lined up. Now what?

This is the question I was hired to answer. Specifically, I was asked to create a to-do list for a band’s debut album. They were generous enough to allow me to share it with you.

Keep in mind that all this stuff comes before the actual promotion. We’re simply laying the groundwork here. Read more »

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CD Baby now offers cover song licensing to its 350,000 artists

By Chris Robley
April 21, 2015{ 2 Comments }

Cover song licensing: how to legally sell a cover song

License your cover songs the easy way

CD Baby now offers a simple solution that enables musicians to properly license the cover songs they want to distribute.

We’ve partnered with Loudr, a San Francisco-based music rights company, to provide cover song licensing solutions to our community of more than 350,000 artists from around the world.

Loudr’s new licensing platform easily enables users to purchase a mechanical license, the license needed to legally release a cover song across a broad spectrum of media, from physical releases to digital downloads to ringtones to interactive streams, for a flat service fee of $15 plus the cost of mechanical royalties.

Read more »

Improving your speaking skills between songs

By Chris Robley
April 20, 2015{ 1 Comment }

How to improve your onstage banter3 steps to better stage banter at your next show

Lots of musicians are comfy-cozy when it comes to playing through their songs on stage, but they freeze up when they have to tell a story, thank the crowd, draw attention to merch, or ask for email signups.

I’ve been one of those artists myself. In fact, I felt like I had a few “uhhh, what should I say now?” moments at my gig this past Friday night.

For artists like me who feel like the between-song banter is the hard part, Wade Sutton of Rocket to the Stars has posted a series of videos (embedded below) all about the art of talking to your audience. Read more »

Take an intimate tour of Abbey Road Studios, with Google

By Chris Robley
April 20, 2015{ No Comments }

Before heading to London a few years ago, I wrote the folks at Abbey Road Studios (perhaps the most famous recording studio in the world) to see how much it’d cost to reserve a few hours with an engineer to track an acoustic demo. It was basically just going to be an excuse to get inside and check it out.

Total pros, as you’d expect — they responded promptly.

Read more »

How to book a profitable gig at a venue that doesn’t have their act together

By Guest Blogger
April 20, 2015{ No Comments }
Photo of CD Baby artist Broadway Blake.

Photo of CD Baby artist Broadway Blake.

There are essentially three different types of music venues.

The first type of venue is one that really knows what they’re doing. It’s managed by someone with good business sense, and they have plenty of experience booking and promoting bands.

The second would be a venue that is partial to music, but has little to no experience booking or marketing music.

The final venue type are those that have little to no business sense, aren’t terribly excited about music, but will go ahead and book a show anyway, just because.

Of course, there are plenty of shades in between, but if you have been performing for any length of time, I think you can see the various venue types reflected in your own performance history.

Identifying the opportunities that are right for you

I recently had a conversation with one of my band leaders (I play in a couple of different bands right now), and it was pretty clear that he only went after the first type of venue.

Of course, for three 45-minute sets entirely made up of cover material per night, the band members expect to be rewarded for their work. Read more »

How to sell out an out-of-town music club

By Chris Robley
April 17, 2015{ 1 Comment }

Lots of artists can draw a big crowd in their hometown. The big leap comes when you can fill music venues with fans every night on tour.

So, how do you start building an audience in a city where no one’s ever heard of you before?

Here are 5 tips to help you bring a crowd to your next out-of-town concert:

[Note: These same tips can help you build a following in your own hometown if you’re new to performing, or if you’re returning to music after a long hiatus.]

1. Get to know bands in other cities

Opening for established acts in other towns is the best way to build your out-of-town draw, and to ensure that there are people in attendance at your shows.

Read more »