Monthly Archives April 2019

Grow your email list and make a profit by GIVING AWAY your albums for free

How to build your audience (and NOT lose money) by giving away free CDs. Last year I started doing something kinda unusual. I offered to mail fans a FREE signed CD of my album The Great Make Believer if they’d help me cover the shipping and handling. Even after factoring in advertising costs to share the …

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How an indie hip-hop artist, Call Me Ace, charted on Billboard and iTunes

This direct marketing strategy helped me chart at #3 on iTunes and #50 on Billboard. It was all a dream: “I believe I can chart on Billboard with this album!” I convinced my producer, engineer, mentor, and—most importantly—my wife to buy into the dream. The odds of charting Billboard were clearly stacked against me. No …

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How an indie hip-hop artist charted on Billboard and iTunes

The direct marketing strategy that helped me chart at #3 on iTunes and #50 on Billboard. It was all a dream: “I believe I can chart on Billboard with this album!” I convinced my producer, engineer, mentor, and—most importantly—my wife to buy into the dream. The odds of charting Billboard were clearly stacked against me. …

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Why nobody is noticing your music

Why can’t I get any recognition for my music? Why do other bands get the gigs when we’re clearly better musicians? Why can’t we book more gigs? We should be famous by now! These are just a few of the things I hear on an almost daily basis. It’s almost like a broken record. I …

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Ad-supported streaming is contagious, and coming to your smart home device soon!

Free streaming tiers available to owners of two popular home devices. Amazon announced plans to make Amazon Music available for free — with ads — to Echo owners. Now Google has made YouTube Music available for free — with ads — to people who use Google Home smart speakers and Google Assistant-powered speakers (in select …

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Get EVERYTHING you need to properly distribute, monetize, and promote your album online!

CD Baby’s Total Monetization Package (distribution + publishing + monetization) is just $49 — including a free UPC barcode. Do you have a new album that’s ready to meet the world? Don’t fret over a-la-carte monetization options, weird platform delivery fees, or the prospect of an annual bill that grows every time you put out …

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How to deal with stage fright without booze or drugs

The healthy way to confront stage fright as a performing musician. Beta blockers. A shot of booze. A couple beers. Sure, those can all have some effect when battling stage fright. But they all have their downsides. Those downsides are well-documented, so we don’t need to get into them here. Instead, let’s check out… Ellis …

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5 ways you don’t understand your fans (and that’s why they’re tuning you out)

Do you really “know” your fans online? I don’t mean, like, having a clear picture of your target demographic or creating some fan avatar. I mean YOUR ACTUAL FANS. Are you communicating in a way that shows you know who they are, what they want, and what they’ve done? Your fans want to be seen …

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How a songwriter in his 60s broke back into the music industry

Independent musician Daniel Antopolsky started building a music career in his 60s. I’ve written before about age in the music industry. In many respects, age isn’t an asset: the big and little music machines are obsessed with youth and newness. And yet regardless of your age, your genre, your location, there are more opportunities today, more …

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Ellis Paul’s editing tips for songwriters

The Incredible Editing Wheel for Songwriters. This was designed as an inspirational poster for people attending my songwriting workshops and retreats. It’s a visual representation of what I teach about editing, which is where a good song idea can really get crafted and become great. I wanted people to go home with something they could …

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