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How to sell your own music

Updated on October 4, 2014
Exposure for musicians is important
Exposure for musicians is important

Sell your music

In the old days making a tape and sending it to the record labels was the way to go. The music stores would sell vinyls, tapes and even discs where the public would pay good money for it and the record label would give you a small percentage.

Today is the age of something new and you do not need a record label to ensue that you have sales for the music that you have created.

Online digital sales is where the future is and people download music every day, so why should it not be you?

There are a few things that you need to do before you decide to sell your music and cash in on it.

Digital distribution is the future
Digital distribution is the future

Test your music

You might be sure that you have a fantastic sound and a song that will go viral but you need to be sure first.

After you have recorded and you are ready to sell your music you need to get people to hear it and give you honest criticism before you spend any money on promoting and marketing your music.

There are a number of ways to do this:

Get friends and family to listen to it and write down their comments about each song.

Join reverbnation to get some feedback from thousands of people around the world.

Submit your music to " Slicethepie" to be reviewed by musical ears all over the world. They give good feedback about every little detail of your music.

Once you have had your reviews and your music is ready to sell, you then take the next step.

Get people to listen to your music
Get people to listen to your music

Digital Distribution

Firstly you need to have your music in the correct format and if you do not have it ready for digital distribution then have it converted to digital file formats.

Have a look on line to see how to convert your files to CD, MP3 orFlac.

The Internet has such variety and you could be earning money from your music on no time at all.

Once you have converted your music you need to have a cover for your CD. Design the cover art yourself or get an artistic friend to do it for you.

How to sell your music online

You tube, itunes, amazon, CD baby, reverbnation, emusic and google play are many of the resources to sell your music.

Which ones should you go for? CD Baby is not cheap and you have to pay a once off fee of $49 and then they take $4 for everything that they sell, regardless of how much you make your music.

Itunes is not easy to sell on as you need a usbn code and that is difficult to get. There is so much music and this is one of the most popular sites for people to use but yo have to really promote yourself in order to be noticed there.

You need to be very careful when selling your music online as there are so many fees that you might end up with nothing.

Read the fine print before you submit your music. Being an aggregator is better than selling your music directly on itunes but they might not accept you and there is a fee for you.

Awal will also sell your music for you and take 15% of the sales but remember that this fee is deducted after the stores have taken their cut too.

Ditto music takes a once off fee and you get to keep all the rights and royalties. There is a fee of 22 pounds you can add 20 of your songs into 200 stores and streaming on "spotify" which will make it easier for listeners to buy.

Reverbnation also sells your music for you and they help promote it! There is a fee and you need to read the fine print with everything that you do.

Selling your music online is a great way to get you started and introduced into the big, competitive music world!

How to sell your music at a gig

The best way to sell your music is at a gig or concert that you are playing at. If you have joined reverbnation then they will have a usbn number for you and you can have merchandise made but you can do all this yourself anyway.

Get someone to make merchandise for your band; t.shirts, caps, banners and your cover art for the CD. At each gig you have, sell your merchandise which will advertise your band and the name.

Createspace is a self publishing site affiliated to Amazon, which will allow you to create a usbn in order for you to sell your CD'S at a gig or in a music store.

Instead of the band selling music, get a friend or someone to market your merchandise while you are performing or after the gig. Make the price reasonable enough for people to be able to afford it.

Market and Promote your music

Naturally people will not buy what they don't know and marketing, promoting and getting your music out there is important for you to be able to sell your music.

You can have a website that is free to build and sell your music on there too.

Join every single social media site there is to find on the Internet and have someone manage your pages for you on a daily basis. BUILDING a fan base is extremely important in order to sell your music.

Let people have a sound clip of your music to listen to so that they know what it is you are selling.

Sound cloud is a good platform to promote your music and you tube is also the most popular Internet site.

With you tube to add your music it needs to have a video in order for it to be published.

The idea is for musicians to become known, exposure is the only way you will get noticed.

There are millions of musicians all over the world trying to get their music heard and you need to be ahead of the game in order to be heard and to sell your music.

You also have to keep it fresh and communicate with your fans on a regular basis.

Have a concert and sell your music there
Have a concert and sell your music there

Don't forget Radio

Selling your music is so much easier if you can get your music onto the radio station for everyone to hear. Before you do this you need to have a website and any information on your band for people to go and have a look or listen.

Getting your music onto the radio is difficult but it can be done without a big record label.

Don't send your music to a country radio station of you are heavy metal, so use your head when trying to market yourself.

Which digital media is your best tool for selling music?

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Get the word out about your music

Exposure is the only thing that you are missing as an artist without a label. Big labels give you that exposure but why not do it yourself?

Get the word out there about your band and your music and if you need to spend all your time doing it, then do it!

Nobody is going to know you if you do not let them know that you exist.

Build a website

Make cover art for your cd

Get onto all the social media platforms that you can

Introduce people to your music

Get a video onto you tube and promote, promote, promote!!

Tell the world that you exist and let them listen to your music.


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    • Tashaonthetown profile image

      Natasha Pelati 3 years ago from South Africa

      Thank you and hope it works

    • GreenPrince profile image

      Prince Edike 3 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks for empowering music enthusiast. Great hub.

    • Tashaonthetown profile image

      Natasha Pelati 3 years ago from South Africa

      Thank you! It is a tough business to be in and making money whilst being good at what you do can be hard.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I have a former student who does this, and my step-son has a band and they are busy selling online and experimenting with electronic I'm familiar with this information....well done!