Making music? Well, that can be pretty tough and it’s definitely challenging on a creative level.
Putting music online? Way easier. In fact, just about anyone can do it, which is part of why there’s so much competition in the online music space.
But getting that music noticed once it’s actually accessible? Well, in terms of difficulty, it’s somewhere in between the other two tasks, and that’s why we’d like to talk about it here.
Plenty of working musicians in the early stages of their careers ask themselves to tackle the subject of, ‘how to get my music noticed online.’
The concept is simple enough. You just want to get more people listening to your work. If they like what they hear, maybe they’ll pass some links to their friends, and all of a sudden you’ve got yourself a pretty decent fanbase.
You might even start to play some shows or create some merch to boost your income. In other words, all kinds of possibilities open up.
But how can you actually get there? How can you rise above at least some of the competition so that your music gets more looks?
Well, read on and we’ll tell you.
Before you start trying to get some more ears checking out your music online, you should do some quality assurance work to make sure that the music you’ve already made is up to some basic quality standards.
For example, has your music been normalized? Are the mixes of your different tracks kind to the ears on a variety of different listening devices, from car speakers to headphones to built-in computer speakers?
You also might be too close to the work to be able to judge all this for yourself. In that case, go ahead and ask for some help from someone you know.
They’ll be able to tell you within just a few seconds whether it’s a pleasant listening experience for them. Take some notes of what they say and consider these points when you’re mixing and mastering old and new songs alike.
Of course, there are a few exceptions based on style. If you’re a harsh noise artist, then part of the experience is a certain level of unpleasantness or confrontation, but even in that scenario, you want your tracks to play at the appropriate volume on each streaming platform and not blow apart someone’s headphones.
You always want the music itself to shine through, and if some amateur mistakes are getting in the way of that, then people will be less likely to connect with your music and share it with others.
We already mentioned that getting your music online really isn’t that difficult, and it’s true. That’s why this is such a great tip: it’s not even that hard to implement!
At the absolute least, you should aim to have all the music you want to share uploaded to at least three major music streaming platforms: YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Music.
YouTube is definitely the easiest platform to upload to, and it also happens to be free. Just keep in mind that uploading videos of your music to YouTube doesn’t mean that the tracks will also show up for people who are using YouTube Music, which technically pulls from a completely different library of content.
Beyond that, uploading your music to Spotify and Apple Music is going to cost you, but don’t worry, it really won’t cost you very much.
All you need to do is go through one of the many online music distribution services out there like CDBaby or Distrokid.
If you pay them a subscription fee for the features you want, then they will handle all the technical details of submitting your music to the different streaming platforms.
Just give them high-quality files of all your tracks, some album art, and song details like titles and credits, or even lyrics if you’re feeling fancy.
When you have your content available through multiple platforms, that just makes it much easier for different people to actually find your music, even if you’re not engaged in specific promotional efforts at the time.
Just having an album mentioned by a music reviewer or a music website can give you a huge boost in terms of listens, fans, and maybe even outright purchases of your music.
However, for small-scale artists, it can take some doing to make sure that these outlets even know about your music in the first place.
You also shouldn’t come right out of the gate trying to get major outlets to review your work. Well, you can certainly try it, but rest assured these sites and reviewers constantly receive submissions of new work, and there’s only a slim chance that your stuff will even get listened to, let alone reviewed.
Instead, zero in on smaller music sites and smaller music reviewers online. You might be able to contact them through a business email and let them know that you just released some new music.
This is also your chance to do a very brief pitch about what kind of music it is and what sets it apart from other material in the same genre.
Music videos are, at heart, a marketing tool. Yes, they can also be very artful and beautiful pieces of filmmaking, but their main job is to bring people’s attention to a specific song or, sometimes, to an entire album.
You can make music videos on the cheap, especially if you enlist the help of some student filmmakers who will definitely have some ideas to throw into the pot.
Don’t worry about uploading them to anywhere but YouTube, preferably on the same account where you uploaded your music.
Even just a simple lyric video can really get listeners more invested in your music and wondering what else you’ve made.
Just be sure to link to different places where they’ll be able to find your other music and you’ve got yourself a nice little promotional cycle going on.