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The website mistake that’s guaranteed to drive your fans away (and other web tips for musicians)

By Chris Robley
September 2, 2014{ No Comments }

WebTipsBanner 650x165 The website mistake thats guaranteed to drive your fans away (and other web tips for musicians)


A whole season’s worth of web tips to help you smarten up your online music marketing

Well, somehow summer slipped by without me posting one of my usual monthly recaps of The HostBaby Blog. To make up for it, here are links to all the best online music marketing tips from June, July, and August — beginning with an article that addresses a website mistake too many musicians are making, and one that is sure to frustrate most of your fans and visitors.

Here are the most recent HostBaby Blog articles:

The website mistake that’s guaranteed to drive your fans away

5 things your fans want to see on your website
Email marketing for musicians: “Make sure your emails are a reference” Read more »

Mobile phones at shows: A promotional boost for you or a grand distraction?

By Chris Robley
August 29, 2014{ No Comments }

Screen shot 2014 02 24 at 7.56.49 AM 1 650x218 Mobile phones at shows: A promotional boost for you or a grand distraction?Perennial copyright curmudgeon Don Henley recently told the Daily Telegraph that “videoing a concert with a phone is a violation (of The Eagles’ rights).”

“It spoils it for people who are going to come to a show in the future,” he said. “We’d like for them to experience it for the first time in the audience rather than experience it on a crappy video that sounds horrible.”

As far as I’m concerned, if you have to sell a kidney in order to afford a ticket to an Eagles concert, you deserve to be able to shoot a little video to prove that you were there. Furthermore, I’m not sure that a crappy YouTube video qualifies as an “experience” for the diehard Eagles fan. They’re still going to want to go to the show.

But matters of copyright aside, what’s happening at concerts today when so many attendees are holding up their smartphones to snap pictures, shoot videos, or tweet about the show? Read more »

Lighting & camera tips for online gigs (and video shoots)

By Guest Blogger
August 28, 2014{ No Comments }

Live streaming concert Lighting & camera tips for online gigs (and video shoots)[This article was written by guest contributor James Wasem from]

One of the best things about live online gigs is the audience interaction and participation with the broadcaster – you, the host of the event.

While the live online audience can certainly enjoy your performance, the music, and your interaction with them, nothing really brings fans “into your space” like good lighting and camera placement.

You spend a lot of time crafting your presentation, look, and feel for the event. Use some of the simple tips below to make sure that vibe translates well on camera. (We’ve discussed creating the right “vibe” for your events in other DIY posts here.)

The Audience Point of View

When placing the camera for your online broadcast, make sure you consider the online viewer’s perspective. Read more »

Get your music covered on blogs

By Guest Blogger
August 27, 2014{ 2 Comments }

Headphones Get your music covered on blogs[This post was written by guest contributor Dave Kusek of The New Artist Model.]

Music bloggers have overtaken the music industry, and many of them are totally accessible for indie musicians and smaller bands looking to get their name out there. The subject of music blogs can be anything from music reviews to industry commentary, but individual blogs tend to focus in on a specific niche like alternative rock reviews, EDM concert reviews, or music marketing.

Because most bloggers don’t have the following or the capital of some of the big music magazines, they tend to focus on more independent artists. This means you have a much better chance of getting coverage for your music!

The coolest thing about blogs is that they tend to have a really dedicated following. These are people who trust the bloggers’ opinions, and if the blogger recommends something they will most likely at least check it out. On top of that, their following is usually very niche specific – people wouldn’t follow a rock and roll blog if they didn’t like rock and roll. This means you’re guaranteed an audience that already likes the type of music you play. This is niche marketing at it’s finest. Read more »

4 royalties you’re probably missing (even if you’re registered with ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC)

By Chris Robley
August 25, 2014{ 1 Comment }

iStock 000011108083XSmall 4 royalties youre probably missing (even if youre registered with ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC)If you’ve affiliated yourself as a songwriter with a performing rights organization (such as ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC) and registered all your songs, you’ve taken an important first step in collecting the publishing royalties you’re owed.

That being said, PROs such as ASCAP and BMI only collect one form of music publishing revenues: the performance royalty.

In order to collect ALL of the royalties you’re owed, you either need to have a publishing rights administrator working on your behalf, or spend hundreds to thousands of hours each year tracking down this money yourself (in every corner of the globe); oh, and you’ll also need to speak dozens of languages and be absolutely psyched about paperwork.

In case my sarcasm went undetected, I’ll repeat it plainly: it’s nearly impossible for independent artists to collect all the music publishing revenue they’re owed — while also having time to make music — without the help of a traditional publisher or a service like CD Baby Pro.

If you’re only signed up with a performing rights organization such as ASCAP or BMI, here’s what you’re missing:

Read more »

How to remain upbeat despite low album sales

By Guest Blogger
August 25, 2014{ 1 Comment }

shutterstock 11171026 How to remain upbeat despite low album sales[This article was written by guest contributor Praverb.]

Every artist deals with declining album sales. It usually happens after the buzz that follows your album release fades or all your new content dries up.

Some believe that piracy plays a role while others suggest that the new music industry thrives on streaming singles.

Maybe obscurity prevents you from selling more albums, or maybe the mixing and mastering of your music was off. Maybe your inability to sell more is based on your lack of money for promotion.

Whatever the cause of your low sales, one thing is certain: the process of recording, releasing, and marketing your music is stressful.

Below I will detail five reasons you should remain upbeat despite low or declining album sales.  Read more »

The AmpHanger: build a DIY mic stand for your amp in seconds

By Guest Blogger
August 25, 2014{ 1 Comment }

OnAmp 1 The AmpHanger: build a DIY mic stand for your amp in seconds  [This article was written by Alex Andrews of Ten Kettles Development. Find them on Twitter at @tenkettles.]

If you’re an electric guitar player and have played a show or two, you probably know (or can guess) how much easier it is to move a smaller amp around, compared to a big stack. But many musicians might worry about the sound quality they’ll get through a smaller amp. Or, that the gig they’re playing won’t have that precious extra mic stand needed to mic it!

That’s where the build-it-yourself AmpHanger comes in—you can literally build a mic stand for your amp with stuff you already have around the house. I came up with the idea one day before an impromptu gig—I didn’t know what gear to expect at the venue, and wanted to be sure I had a back-up plan. The AmpHanger ended up being a great back-up solution: quick to build, very portable, and it fits popular microphones like the SM57 (pictured). All you need is a spare hanger, some pliers, tape, and you’re good to go!

But first, why use a small, miked amp instead of your giant stack?

Read more »

8 pro tips from accomplished musicians

By Chris Robley
August 21, 2014{ No Comments }

… and now you know.  Read more »

No, really, how should I go about getting airplay on college radio?

By Guest Blogger
August 21, 2014{ No Comments }

tumblr inline n987h1Zv2G1rk2gr2 No, really, how should I go about getting airplay on college radio?[This article was written by Michael Corcoran and it originally appeared on the MusicSUBMIT Blog.]

We’ve written a handful of articles on college radio and how hard it is for an indie artist to get considered for airplay. And so when we read Patrick Hertz’s piece “How to Get Your Music Played on College Radio,” we felt there’s still some room to expound on the topic.

As a music promoter/publicist, we can certainly appreciate and agree with Mr. Hertz on many points made in his article. For starters:

»Yes, absolutely, college radio airplay still does matter, maybe even more than ever.

»Yes, it’s a challenge maintaining an updated database of college DJ and Music Director contacts.

»And yes, college stations still primarily deal in CDs, even as the rest of the world goes mainly digital EPK, especially for screening purposes.

Now, as a music promoter that submits musicians and bands in all genres, and can atest to the number of bands out there who would love to be considered at a college station, let alone receive substantial airplay, we have to disagree with a few points in Patrick’s article. Here is where we part ways on the basic philosophy of college radio promotion. Read more »

How to make more money from your music

By Chris Robley
August 20, 2014{ No Comments }

2013 650x464 How to make more money from your musicModern music revenue: don’t bet on one stream!

Digital Music News recently posted a slideshow of charts showing the shift in music industry revenues over the last 30 years.

It’s interesting to watch the rise and decline in the popularity of certain formats (vinyl, cassettes, CDs, downloads, etc.), but obviously most relevant to a discussion about today’s music economy is the pie chart for 2013. Take a look: it proves that artists must… diversify.

No matter what your bread-and-butter may’ve been a few years ago (CD sales, downloads, live concert fees, etc.), you shouldn’t rely on any one revenue stream to carry you along these days. The landscape changes rapidly. There are more ways than ever before for fans to engage with your music, and more ways for you to earn money from the usage of that music.  Read more »