“Musician Advice” Articles

4 simple steps to creating a killer press list

November 21, 2014{ No Comments }

press 300x224 4 simple steps to creating a killer press list[This article was written by Janelle Rogers and it originally appeared on the Sonicbids Blog.]

When I built my first press list, I put every small town paper on there, including journalists who covered genres we would never consider promoting. Since then, I’ve created press lists with 500 media contacts and ones with as few as 50. One thing I’ve learned is that your results with a small, highly targeted, and individualized list are just as great as one that has every media contact under the sun. I’ve never believed in the “throw it at the wall and see if it sticks” approach. It’s an inconsiderate use of time for everyone involved: the journalist, publicist, and band members. Today at Green Light Go Publicity, we ask ourselves these four questions before adding a new outlet to our press list.

1. Does the outlet currently cover bands at the level of the artist we represent?

This is the first question we ask before adding someone to a press list. Bands often want magazines like Rolling Stone on their list, but there aren’t any current coverage opportunities for an emerging bandHuge publications’ focus is on the big-name artists, so to place the outlet on an up-and-coming band’s list would simply erode trust with the media outlet and the artist we represent, who’s left with an expectation that can’t be delivered. Read more »

If you only do one thing to promote your music this holiday season, email your fans

November 21, 2014{ No Comments }

email2 298x300 If you only do one thing to promote your music this holiday season, email your fansThe best way to get your fans to buy your music this holiday season is… to simply ASK THEM to buy your music.

The easiest way to promote your music this holiday season is to email your fans. After all, email is still the most effective form of online marketing. But if the only thing artists say when they send emails is “buy music,” fans learn to tune out pretty quickly. There’s got to be an extra hook, something in it for THEM.

Well, in case you haven’t heard already, we’re offering 1¢ shipping on all CD sales on CDBaby.com between December 1st and 3rd, so there’s a great opportunity right there to remind your fans where they can purchase your music — and give them an extra incentive to do so.

To make things super simple for you, we’ve even written an announcement you can email to your list (just copy and paste the template).

But what if you want to include more than just the details about CD Baby’s shipping deal in your email? What if you want to send multiple emails throughout the holiday season? What if you want to give something extra to your fans?

Here are some tips for sprucing up your holiday emails:

Read more »

5 tips for sending better holiday emails to your fans

November 21, 2014{ No Comments }

shutterstock 159686798 300x200 5 tips for sending better holiday emails to your fansHow you can create an email newsletter that drives engagement and boosts sales this holiday season

Did you know that 20% of all music sales happen in the last six weeks of the year?  That makes sense, since similar end-of-year sales spikes happen for books, clothes, and almost every other product on the market (except for bug spray and bathing suits).

With the boom in sales, of course, comes a huge increase in marketing emails, too. Why? Because email is still the best ways to reach people online — and everyone out there with something to sell knows it.

To make your email newsletters as effective as possible this season, they’ve got to cut through the rest of the noise in your fans’ inboxes.

Here are five ways to make sure people are seeing, opening, reading, and acting on the info in your holiday emails:

Read more »

Send this email to your fans by Sunday, November 30!

November 20, 2014{ No Comments }

shutterstock 156724856 285x300 Send this email to your fans by Sunday, November 30!

1¢ shipping is almost here, and we’ve made it easy let your fans and friends know.

For the first three days of December, standard domestic and international shipping for all CD sales on CDBaby.com will be just 1¢. Whether the customer buys 1 disc or 100, shipping is just one penny – total!

People go nuts over free shipping during the holidays, so this could really encourage more sales — especially among folks that already love your music.

If you only do one thing to promote your music this holiday season, copy and paste this text into an email you send to your fans by Sunday, November 30!


Subject: Get 1¢ shipping on any of my CDs Dec 1 – Dec 3!


Still trying to find the perfect gift for the music-lover in your life? I wanted to let you know that CD Baby is charging only 1¢ for shipping when you purchase my music on CDBaby.com between December 1st and 3rd.

Whether you buy 1 disc or 100, it’s only ONE PENNY for standard domestic or international shipping – TOTAL.

You can find my music right here: [paste a link to your artist or album page]

Here’s to a music-filled holiday season! Read more »

Be thankful you’re not in a band 20 years ago

November 19, 2014{ No Comments }

Steve Albini at Face the 021 300x180 Be thankful youre not in a band 20 years agoRock’s resident curmudgeon is ecstatic about the current state of music — and you should be too

Legendary recording engineer Steve Albini (well, legendary if you love bands like Nirvana and The Pixies) doesn’t think the sky is falling on the current music industry. Far from it. In fact, he thinks today’s music industry is healthier than ever.

Albini recently gave the keynote address at a music conference in Australia where he talks about how the Internet, the end of the major label stranglehold on distribution, and rapid changes in our cultural attitudes towards copyright have helped create efficiencies that empower musicians in ways the old, broken system could never, and would never, have dreamed of.

It’s an optimistic, even celebratory assessment of an industry that Albini famously compared, 20 years earlier, to “a trench, about four feet wide and five feet deep, maybe sixty yards long, filled with runny, decaying shit.” Read more »

Why you should be using Instagram as a musician (and all its dirty secrets)

November 19, 2014{ No Comments }

instagramIcon 400x400 Why you should be using Instagram as a musician (and all its dirty secrets)[This article was written by performing songwriter Joe Marson. It originally appeared on his blog.]

Authors note: I do not work for Instagram nor am I endorsed by them (believe me, I wish I was). In fact, I don’t particularly like social media of any kind. But the passion I have to play music for a living supersedes my distaste for the oftentimes vapid world of selfies. And I’m glad I pushed through that, because music brothers and sisters, I have seen the light! 

I have spent the last months learning the ins and outs of Instagram. I took a couple of lessons from a New York marketing firm, read endless blogs, and, through trial and error, found the right ingredients to grow my Instafanbase to just over 3,000 real followers. I have had a lot of new fans buying my music, coming to shows and sharing my music, and unlike Facebook, I have not had to pay a cent for it!

I just wish I’d known how to do all this a lot sooner, because I feel like Instagram is a great way to break through the glass ceiling of your friends and family and actually reach potential new fans. So I’ll spread the wealth of knowledge I have gained with you. Read more »

6 ways to earn more money from your music on YouTube this Holiday Season

November 18, 2014{ No Comments }

shutterstock 197254988 6 ways to earn more money from your music on YouTube this Holiday SeasonPrep for the holidays; reap the benefits year-round!

Aunt Sue is wondering whether she really wants to buy you the album you asked for for Christmas this year, the one by Sexy Demonic Wombats from Beyond the Gates of Oblivion (“SDWBGO” for short).

If she’s like most people with Internet access, she’ll turn to YouTube for a minute or two of “research” first.

Much to her surprise and relief, Demonic Wombats is a mostly harmless polka band that performs 1970′s prog-rock covers — so you’re all set. She orders the CD and everyone (Aunt Sue, you, the Wombats) is happy come Christmas.

This is just one of countless examples of how people use YouTube these days. The video streaming giant is now the world’s jukebox, a customizable replacement for both MTV and radio, a deep musical archive, the #1 search engine for music, the #1 music discovery tool online, and much more — all available on your smartphone.

So it’s hardly surprising that artists are now earning so much in YouTube ad revenue. CD Baby pays an average of $250,000 a month to indie musicians for the usage of their music on YouTube (and that figure will continue to rise).

One interesting and encouraging thing about that $$ is that artists who’ve monetized their music on YouTube are actually earning more from fan-created videos (also known as “user-generated content,” or U.G.C.) than from the official music videos they’ve uploaded to YouTube themselves. Read more »

Tom Petty takes controversial stance; suggests artists should have to work for their success

November 17, 2014{ No Comments }

tompetty Tom Petty takes controversial stance; suggests artists should have to work for their successLooks like another classic-rock dinosaur has reared his head to spew gibberish at young whippersnappers while shaking his fist from the rocking chair on his  rickety porch.

Tom Petty, who has sold millions of records through hilariously archaic methods like “touring constantly” and “being good at playing an instrument,” had the gall to suggest in a recent interview that taking the quick route to fleeting fame might not be the way to go for today’s up-and-coming musicians:

“A lot of people get famous now very quickly, and then they seem to have a turnover where they weren’t famous for that long, but someone else steps in to fill the slot. They’re sort of disposably famous I suppose. But I can’t keep up with who’s famous anymore … I know in my time, in my generation, if you had come, if they tried to offer my generation music by someone that had won a game show, it would have been hysterical. You would have been laughed out of the room. I mean we were suspicious of people that had hit records. I mean it was that different of a time.” Read more »

Artists, are you ready for 1¢ shipping??

November 16, 2014{ No Comments }

To help you sell more CDs on CDBaby.com this Holiday season, we’re going to offer standard domestic and international shipping for CD sales for just 1¢.

Starting December 1, 2014 (Cyber Monday), and running for 3 days, we’ll take the hit on shipping costs to encourage your fans to buy more of your CDs.

It doesn’t matter if they order 1 CD or 100, standard shipping – domestic AND international – will be $0.01. And the (almost) free shipping will NOT affect what you make from your CD sales or the pricing you have set. This is coming completely out of our pocket. Read more »

Frustrated with live streaming concerts? You’re not alone

November 14, 2014{ No Comments }

shutterstock 88937638 Frustrated with live streaming concerts? Youre not alone[This article was written by Stephen Backer, co-founder & CEO of 2ndLine.tv.]

Just the other week, I was at a fantastic music festival down in Louisiana. One of the stages there promised a live-streamed broadcast to fans tuning in from across the country. The organizers had run extra cables, arranged for a special Internet connection, and set aside precious space in the intimate venue for additional gear. I thought: This is perfect… I can invite a friend from home who couldn’t afford the plane ticket to sit down and watch with me! But, when show time rolled around, I saw the event’s producers slam the laptop shut in frustration upon finding their connection had gone dead. Ugh!!

There is a powerful appeal to delivering a live experience for fans that might never have a chance to see you play in person. When you get a community of people watching all in the same moment – no matter what the context – it allows for spontaneous, passionate interaction around your performance that enhances the energy of the music itself. There is a special quality to the give-and-take, the unexpected questions, and the insights into your work that you are able to deliver when you’re there, sharing time with supporters. It’s the reason people have been trying to get the live-streaming concert businesses to work since the mid-90’s! Read more »