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CD Baby gives you more tools than any other distributor to sell your music the way you want.

In fact, we’re the only distributor that gives you an easy way to sell vinyl, CDs, and hi-res downloads worldwide — all from the same place.

Here are some quick tips for maximizing your selling potential with CD Baby:

[Note: these tips are specific to boosting your sales directly through CD Baby. If you’re looking to increase your streaming or download revenue through any of the platforms CD Baby distributes your music to, check out some of the articles linked at the bottom of this article.]

1. Use CD Baby’s music player

  • Create an unlimited number of customizable, mobile-friendly music players to embed on your website and share online
  • Build playlists from any of the tracks in your CD Baby account
  • Sell your songs on any site, and reach a wider audience by encouraging reviewers and fans to embed the playlists you create

Create your music player in minutes!

2. Use CD Baby’s Link Maker

Make it easy for the fans who visit your website to find your music on CD Baby.  The CD Baby Link Maker Tool helps you create buy buttons (choose from more than a dozen design options) and put them on your website. Just type in the album name. CD Baby generates the graphic link. Copy the code and paste it wherever you want fans to see that your music is for sale.

Check it out at www.members.cdbaby.com/link.

3. Analyze and Understand Your Web Traffic

Who’s checking out your music? Where did they come from?

You can easily view this valuable info in your CD Baby members account. Just go to the dashboard page for a specific album or single, go to the “Selling on CDBaby.com” section, and click “web hits.”

This data makes it easy to assess the effectiveness of your promotional campaigns and make adjustments based on real-time data.  Maybe there is a blog or website out there that you’ve never even heard of that is generating significant web traffic for you. If so, you’ll see it in the hits tracker and be able to establish an online strategy to engage those fans directly.

On a related topic, CD Baby also provides free trending reports from iTunes and Spotify, so you should definitely check out that data too!

4. Set a Quantity Discount

Your music makes for an excellent gift! Sell more by encouraging your fans to buy multiple copies of an album for a percentage off the selling price. Choose and change the discount at any time within your CD Baby members account.

5. Set a Partner Discount

You can also set a discount for our physical distribution partners, which will make your CDs more attractive to them AND customers.

Think of it like a wholesale discount, which is important because each stop along the retail chain will mark up your title. Our distribution partner will mark it up when they order the CD from CD Baby. Then they’ll send it to the record store, who also marks it up for the final customer (your fan).

Setting the partner discount helps keep your music in that sweet spot for pricing.

6. Offer a Free Track

Allow fans and prospective fans the chance to download a song for free as an enticement to purchase the whole album. If they like what they hear, they might come back for more. Try giving away a few different tracks and see which one does the best.

7. Run a Limited-Time Sale

Since you can change your music’s selling price at ANY time, it’s easy to run sales and special offers you can announce to your fan list. Once the offer expires, simply go back into your account and raise the selling price again.

8. Write a Compelling Description

Thousands of people are searching for new music on CD Baby every day. That’s why it’s important to describe your music in an enticing way that makes strangers want to hear it. People see the words before they hear the music. Make sure your album description isn’t too cryptic or aloof, but rather is descriptive enough that it might change a semi-interested browser into someone who will click to listen, and then hopefully hit that “buy” button.

Read more about how to describe your music so it sells.

9. Tell Us Who You Sound Like

The data you provide in your members account feeds our search engine. Make sure you’ve accurately filled out your sounds-like section in your account. Choose three well-known artists that you sound like. When CD Baby customers search for one of those artists, your album could appear in the results!

Be realistic, though. Just because you love Radiohead and the Beatles doesn’t necessarily mean you SOUND like them. It is usually valuable to get a friend or fan’s slightly more objective opinion before deciding.

10. Use Download Cards

Never get caught empty-handed. These convenient little cards can fit in your wallet and come customized with your album artwork. You can even purchase download cards that come in the form of stickers and wristbands.

Sell them at shows and give them away to industry contacts. The recipient can redeem the card at CD Baby for a hi-quality download. You keep all the money!

Get your very own CD Baby Download cards here.

Bonus tip: Make Use of the Customer Information We Provide

Unless one of your customers on CD Baby requests to remain anonymous, you can view their contact info. Send them a thank you. Ask if they’d like to be added to your fan list. If they’re okay with that, you’ve just greatly increased your chances of selling MORE music down the road, because — most likely — your mailing list is still your most effective marketing tool, and the people who are on that list have already proven to enjoy your music.


Those are a few of the things you can do to boost your sales on CD Baby. Got any good ideas to add to the list? Let me know in the comments below!

In this article

Join the Conversation

  • Does this mean the affiliate program is back up and functioning?

  • can't find anything about the affiliate program… I've been thinking of something like that and I think it could be really helpful.
    can't find the hits tracker either… am I just blind or is it hidden somewhere?
    thanks
    A

  • I am also trying to find (unsuccesfully so far) the CD Baby hit tracker….

    thank you

  • admin

    Hey guys,

    The hit tracker is on each album dashboard. Just click the edit/view link next to an album listing and that wioll take you to the album dashboard. From there, click on the WEB HITS link and that will display your hit info.

  • John

    I am not finding any links or information about the CD Baby affiliate program. Could you tell us where to find it??

  • brandon

    say something about the affiliate program! where is it and how do we promote it to the fans?

  • I'm still dumbfounded how many artists have never heard the baby or do not use it as a tool. I know one cat who pulled one of his cd's because it did'nt represent where he was at in his life. WTF ?
    So as opposed to giving consumers 24 oppurtunities to find your music, now they only have 12.
    Brilliant.

    Long live the baby.

    DC

  • i would like to know how to get my cd distributed around the world and get a link to the cd baby affiliate program. could you tell us where to find it?

  • How Do you offer a free track on CD baby?

  • Ash

    I too would like to know more about this affiliate program, what a great idea!

  • admin

    Hey guys,

    Just a quick note. We've been getting a lot of questions about the CD Baby affiliate program. It is moments away from launching, and we thought it would be live by the time this post went up. We'll be sure to let everyone know when it's live, because it's definitely a cool way to get people to help spread the word about your music.

  • Everything you said Works,I've been with CDBaby for years, and it's a fantastic place to sell CD's.

  • joseph

    Could someone please clearly tell us step by step how to find "Hit Tracker". I can't find it at all and I've spent a lot of time looking.

    The Admin. instructs the following:

    —The hit tracker is on each album dashboard. Just click the edit/view link next to an album listing and that wioll take you to the album dashboard. From there, click on the WEB HITS link and that will display your hit info.—

    I follow those instructions and don't get anywhere. I don't have an "edit/view" link on my account.

    Thank you

  • This is great site to have ones music sold on.I love your work.

  • Give it away I say

    Songs from our catalog have been played by hundreds of radio stations and podcasters worldwide and it didn't cost them a penny, in return we got exposure and promotion…..sounds like a good deal to me, that's why many of our tracks have been released under a creative commons license and are free to download. So what if you lose out on lost sales, you gain more in the long term by increasing your fan base (If you can survive that long)

    With such an overcrowded market place giving away your music is essential in my opinion. The biggest problem for emerging indie artists today is obscurity, not piracy. To find out more listen to The Antiqcool Podcast
    http://antiqcool.podbean.com/2010/01/22/the-antiq

  • Does CD Baby still require packaged CD's to get started? When the packaged CD market is all but dead why require us to send in a CD? I am pretty sure you can attach a virtual barcode to a download just as easily.

  • admin

    The Nature Sounds Guy – No, you don't have to send in a CD. We have an uploader where you can upload your music and artwork. You'll see the upload option when you sign up a new album.

  • just asking

    can a artist get a weekly trending report from CD Baby for there iTunes Sales

  • MARK CONRAD

    How can I offer a free download of one of the tracks from one of my CD's I am now selling on on CD baby?

    I don't see anything in the CD Baby FAQ area on how to do it.

  • CDbaby should have a search where you can find free tunes, maybe a search on price would be nice. Or you guys could even have a free song of the week type widget like emusic.com has.

    "How can I offer a free download of one of the tracks from one of my CD’s"
    set your song price to $0.00 I think

  • How do you track the downloads from download cards?

    • Chris R. at CD Baby

      Those show up as free cdbaby.com downloads in your members account. Since you've already been paid by the customer for the download card (or given it to them for free), the download code changes the price to zero for that transaction.

  • clear thinking for a creative man
    who ever comes next can be my fan
    find me on facebook twitter youtube
    link comment sub and will for you 2

  • Anonymous

    "4. Set a Quantity Discount" CD Baby needs to add the ability to set a quantity discount for several different CD titles by the same artist. Make a little icon with several different CDs stacked on top of eachother with a Ribbon tied around them, and significant savings. I'm sure the technology to do this is within the scope of what the CD Baby programmers could easily implement.

  • Douglas Bischoff

    I'd love to take a look at the web hits to my CD Baby pages…. only the "web hits" link mentioned in item #3 seems to be extremely well hidden. Can someone provide an exact URL?

    • Well, it's https://members.cdbaby.com/WebHits/Albums/Monthly…. BUT… you're really only going to get there, I think by logging into your account, choosing one of the albums from your account dashboard, and then looking in bottom right hand corner of the album dashboard. Click "web hits."

      • Promos

        hidden! pleae improve a good woeking analytic system, it’s the only thing really missing on cd baby

  • How do I get the link maker to work on Facebook?

    • I believe you'd have to use an iFrames app that allows HTML. But you could also post our widget on facebook: http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/2011/05/how-to-sell

      • iFrames seems to be a sticking point for 'social networks' and the use of widgets.

        I can't seem to get FB to let me use the CD Baby widget since I have another iFrames widget in place.

        (The other lets me collect email addresses and delivers a free song for me plus other functions.)

  • Summed up well.

    #12 Should be "Market yourself via unrelated post comments" like..

    CLICK MY NAME. Haha, wait, that's MySpace. ; )

    • And say something like "Hey, check out my new music!" without leaving an artist name or link.

      • I know, right? Guess that works on MySpace, though, since everyone’s name IS their artist link… which I suppose I did on here as well…by using my FB account which links to my art page. Bad karma! ; )

        Heheh, and much love.

  • I'm impressed that CD Baby took the time to reply to each comment.

    • Well, then I guess I should reply to this one too! Thanks.

  • Robert of Prague

    I've got a friend in a rock-band who is selling their CD on TuneCore & CDbaby; isn't that redundant?
    Also, CDbaby claims to put Indie bands on iTunes "in as little as 48 h". Are you kidding me?! iTunes is loaded w/ 100s of stars. TuneCore is honest: 2-4 weeks. So, whom is an Indie, DIY musician to trust, huh?

    • Regarding our 48 hour claim, no we're not kidding. If your CD Baby submission is paid and complete, you've uploaded artwork and audio according to our specifications, you've provided thorough and accurate publishing information for each song and finalized your release for digital delivery, then yes, we can deliver your music to iTunes in 2 business days. iTunes makes no promises about when they post the release once they've received it. But normally they're very quick about that.

      Regarding the Tunecore/CD Baby thing, it's not necessarily redundant. CD Baby also handles physical distribution to 2500 retail stores, warehousing and shipping of CDs, download sales from your cdbaby.com album/single page, etc. So it is possible that your friend is using Tunecore for digital distribution and using us for the rest.

      • Russian Ivan

        I downloded an album with artwork. But I really don’t understand how to pay CD Baby submission and all you demand like bar code or something… Is there any instruction? I didn’t find any

      • David Porter

        I’m a client of CD Baby (David Porter). I can testify that my music (and some of my other artists music) was on iTunes, Napster, Emusic and several others in LESS than 48 hours. I have another friend who shares the same testimony!

    • Regarding our 48 hour claim, no we’re not kidding. If your CD Baby submission is paid and complete, you’ve uploaded artwork and audio according to our specifications, you’ve provided thorough and accurate publishing information for each song and finalized your release for digital delivery, then yes, we can deliver your music to iTunes in 2 business days. iTunes makes no promises about when they post the release once they’ve received it. But normally they’re very quick about that.

      Regarding the Tunecore/CD Baby thing, it’s not necessarily redundant. CD Baby also handles physical distribution to 2500 retail stores, warehousing and shipping of CDs, download sales from your cdbaby.com album/single page, etc. So it is possible that your friend is using Tunecore for digital distribution and using us for the rest.

  • Rhonda Lehman

    Your number 5 point is to offer a free track. I sent an email to cd baby just this week asking how to do that. I was told cd baby does not allow you to offer a free track through them. ????? So – how do you suggest I do that? I would love a download card that is good for only one or 2 tracks – or even to be able to set the price of a particular track download as free. Any suggestions?

  • Gussy102615

    I have a children’s cd about all of the states… http://www.singandsaytheusa.com Is this something that I could put on your site and make money?

  • Dktavern

    tried the affiliate thing to link an artists album to my personal facebook page, but I don’t understand how to add the link to my facebook page for my friends to click on.

  • We sell a lot of instructional children's music on CD Baby. But before you sign up (at http://members.cdbaby.com), did you get permission to use the Jeopardy song in your music? If not, you should contact the publisher first before attempting to sell the song.

  • Sorry for the confusion. I think you talked to one of our brand new customer service people. We'll make sure they're properly disciplined, hazed, and humiliated for their error. Just kidding. I simply told them that YES, you CAN give away free tracks through CD Baby. Basically, the way to do that is to set your MP3 selling price for a particular track on cdbaby.com to zero. This will not change anything in the digital distribution realm (iTunes will still charge 99 cents, and so forth), but it will allow customers on cdbaby.com to "purchase" an MP3 of your music for free.

  • If you're using our HTML links, you'd need to use a Facebook app such as iFrames that allows HTML embedding, then set that as a tab on your Facebook page.

  • Hello, you can pay for your submission inside your CD Baby member account. Add the submission to your "cart" and then click to go to the checkout process. You can pay by credit or debit card or paypal. If you need any help, please feel free to write cdbaby@cdbaby.com

  • Frank Craven

    all this marketing and hi tech stuff is reality but nothing beats the zone of good music jammin.

  • Jam on, Frank!

  • Mggilbe09

    You spelled "lose" as "loose" under number 10

    • Thanks. I don't think you want to lose or loose sales.

  • Mpotter8

    Is there a way to add the link to an email? Specifically for Mac Mail?

  • I'm not that familiar with Mac Mail, but I know if you use a email-newsletter service like ListBaby or MailChimp, there is an HTML mode where you can input code that displays graphically in the emails you send out.

  • FELON-E BEATS

    how do i keep track of my itunes sales?

  • Simply log into your CD Baby account and go to the "accounting" section. All reported iTunes sales will be listed there.

  • T.N.R.

    Can use CD Baby to release my album for free on itunes? Atleast for the first month or so?

    • You cannot set your price for iTunes. (Which also means you cannot offer your songs for free.) They use their standard pricing model (typically 99 cents per song).

  • Angelo Benjamin

    I Like THat Anything to boost CD Sales Im all for it

  • Giulio

    Let’s say one would want to put the widget of my tune on his website;
    how can I track the sales obtained by him?
    My site is a DotNetNuke site…
    thanks

  • Unfortunately, you won't be able to see which sales were generated from the Widget, since we end up handling the transaction the same way as if it had been done directly on cdbaby.com.

  • The facebook music store doesn’t seem to be showing up? Please help

  • Hmm. Would you mind giving us a call at 1-800-Buy-My-CD? That way we can see exactly what’s happening to find out what’s going on.

    @ChrisRobley