The Bandzoogle Blog

10 years of advice, inspiration and resources for musicians navigating the new music industry.

New: Faster music + photo uploads using Dropbox

Dropbox has been integrated into Bandzoogle

Small but handy update if you're a Dropbox user: you can now upload tracks, photos, and other files directly from Dropbox to your Bandzoogle website.

Since files are sent directly from Dropbox's cloud to ours, you'll find it's much faster to upload big files (even if you're on a fast connection).  

It's also useful if you're editing your site on a tablet, since you'll have access to all your photos and files on Dropbox.

Enjoy!

Beats Producer Website Inspiration: Simple Design to Sell Beats Online

Beats Producer Website Inspiration: Beats by Ced

Who: Beats By Ced

What: Beats producer

Where: Miami, Florida

Why their website rocks: Beats by Ced is a great example of a beats producer website.

[Learn how to build a website to sell beats online]

His focus is on selling beats, with a simple website design that works well to showcase his instrumentals. His theme features a white background and black font, plus clear content area sections with pops of red. It’s a nice example of an uncluttered, sleek website that sells beats.

Right on the Homepage, he has our music player for selling beats (commission-free!). This makes it clear to interested buyers right away that they can click to listen and then buy beats. He’s also offering a free beat to anyone who signs up for his mailing list.

[Why Email Newsletters Are Still a Vital Marketing Tool for Musicians]

Beats by Ced Website Terms

Beats by Ced includes a Terms page, laying out the leasing and exclusive rights of his beats. He also adds an FAQ page to make sure customers are clear on his policies, including how beats can be used on mixtapes, albums, or EPs.

A website that is updated often is the sign of a dedicated producer, and Ced adds content regularly to his Blog page. He also displays a Twitter feed, giving people constant updates and a way to connect via social media.

Check out Beats by Ced at http://www.beatsbyced.com

Build a professional website in minutes and start selling beats online commission-free. Try Bandzoogle free now!

How to Build a Website to Sell Beats Online

Website to sell beats

As a beats producer, you’ve got lots of tracks that you want to sell. A well-organized website is essential to offering your beats all in one place. Plus, you can control and promote your content, and with Bandzoogle, keep 100% of your sales. Let's get started!

Key Elements for a Beats Website

Homepage

Add a short paragraph of bio text, and remember to add some keywords here. This will attract interest from people looking for certain types of instrumentals (think: electronic beats, house music, video game music, etc.). It will also help your website rank better for those things in the search engines.

[SEO for Musicians: 3 Tips to Optimize Your Website Content]

Sell beats website Homepage

You should also highlight some of your newest beats, or a special promotion right here on the Homepage. Using our built-in music players, where you can use the sale pricing feature to offer beats at a discounted price. You can also embed an external widget from a source such as SoundCloud or Myflashstore using the HTML feature.

Buy Beats or Beats for Sale

This page will be the go-to for your full catalog of beats. Separate them into different music players per album, or per style, so that the songs are easy to browse and buy.

[How To Sell Music Online With Bandzoogle]

With our built-in music feature, you can include a custom, watermarked preview clip for any track for streaming. When someone buys that track, they will receive the full version. You can also include a digital copy of the license, or contract, stating how the track can be used.

Already have tracks uploaded in bulk at SoundCloud but want to sell them here, commission-free? You can quickly import your beats to our features here with just a click.

[How to Import tracks from SoundCloud]

Another thing to note in text on your Catalog page, is how your tracks can be used, with exclusive or non-exclusive rights. Your customer will receive the files once they've made a purchase.

Beat Maker website to sell beats

About

Create a page talking more about you! Write about your interests, how long you've been producing beats, and how you got started. Add a few images, in a gallery, or use our Instagram feature to connect and display your feed.

Blog / Videos page

The purpose of this page to to promote your beats. You can do this with a blog feature, giving inside tips and a look at how you create your beats. Add some video features as well, to showcase your tracks. Then add an image with a 'Buy Beats' link back to your Beats for Sale page.

Contact

Do you take custom orders? Add a contact form with custom fields so that you can give an accurate quote. You can also add your social media icons here using the My Sites feature.

Other features: Store feature, mailing list

If you want to sell tracks in a .zip or .rar format, you can add them to a Store feature as a file download. You can include a digital copy of the license in the file as well. When a customer buys a beat, you can also use our discount codes feature and email them a discount code to use on future orders to encourage them to buy more.

Using a mailing list signup form to collect addresses ensures you’ll have a way to advertise when you release new beats. You can even give one away to get people to sign up to your mailing list.

[Why Email Newsletters Are Still a Vital Marketing Tool for Musicians]

Website to Sell Beats online

Build a professional website to sell beats in minutes with all these features and more. Sign up free with Bandzoogle now!

[VIDEO] How to sell music online with Bandzoogle Part 2- CDs & Vinyl Records

In Part 1 of this series, we showed you how to sell Digital Albums. In this video tutorial we show how easy it is to sell CDs and vinyl records online through your Bandzoogle website.

Using our Store feature, your fans can shop securely using their credit card, debit card, or PayPal account. All music sales go directly into your PayPal account and are commission-free!

With Bandzoogle’s Store feature, you can:

  • Sell CDs and vinyl records commission-free

  • Combine CDs & vinyl records with a digital download

  • Charge shipping or use PayPal’s shipping settings

  • Report sales to SoundScan (Pro members)

  • Offer sale prices (Pro members)

  • Track inventory (Pro members)

  • Choose between List & Grid display formats

Ready to sell CDs & Vinyl records online commission-free with Bandzoogle? Sign up free now!

10 Ways to Make More Money Selling Music Lessons on Your Website

10 Ways to Make More Money Selling Music Lessons on Your Website

In one of our more popular blog posts ‘18 ways musicians can make money’, we rounded out the list with Music Lessons. Offering music lessons can be a great way to make extra money, and you get to hone your craft at the same time!

So here are 10 ways to make more money selling music lessons through your website:

  1. In-person music lessons - The most tried and true way of making money is through old fashioned teaching! We make this easy by giving you the tools to build an effective music teacher website. [Learn How to Build a Music Teacher Website]

    On the payment page you can have students prepay for their lessons through our built-in Store feature (commission-free!).

  2. Online lessons - Teaching lessons to locals is great, but can be limiting depending on your location. To expand your music lessons business you can offer lessons by live stream. Use free services like Skype, Facetime, or Google Hangout to interact with your students over the internet.

  3. Group lessons - To generate even more money, consider offering group lessons. This allows you to charge a slightly lower rate but maximise your profit instead by volume. If you offer the group lessons at a fun venue you can even sell tickets from our Events feature like member LearnBluesGuitarNow.com does on their Classes/Schedule page.

    Learn Blues Guitar sells group guitar classes through Bandzoogle ticket sales feature

  4. Audition prep - Many musicians and actors need to prepare for roles they’re auditioning for. Some have specific requirements such as song range, length and style. You can promote your music lessons to acting agencies and schools for more exposure.

  5. Cover songs - With YouTube covers all the rage, you may get requests from students wanting to learn to play songs to make them stand out using different instruments. It might be fun to offer a ‘Learn to play hip-hop covers with your guitar’ package or ‘Learn to play death metal covers with your violin.’

  6. Practice tapes - Your students may have specific songs they need to learn for community functions and festivals. You can sell accompaniment tracks of their songs for them to practice to. This is especially valuable if the event has given them a modified version of a popular song they need to learn.

  7. Warmup downloads - Nobody likes to warm up, but it’s important to help preserve your voice. [Simple Tips for Preserving Your Voice Between Gigs

    As a music instructing professional it’s a great idea to develop your own set of warm ups exercises. Go into a studio, record them, then sell them in sets. 

    For example, Daily vocal warm up, Vocal warm up for gigs, Vocal exercises while on the road, etc. Member Susan Anders dominates this idea with many various vocal warm up downloads and much more. You can do this for all sorts of instruments as well.

  8. Video file sales - Why not try promoting your teaching skills by video? You can sell the videos using our file sale feature. Or you can even set up a password protected page on your website for students who’ve paid to access all the videos you offer. Topics can include tips on technique, reading music, tuning your instrument, keeping time, practice habits, improvisation, and more. 

    To reach even more followers, YouTube is always a good option. You can offer some content for free, and embed videos on your website to show you’re an expert in your field.

     

  9. Sheet music, guitar tabs and more - Bandzoogle member Gary of grdrumming.com does a great job selling drumming method books right from his website. Another idea is to sell sheet music like member Matt Riley has done for holiday music. And if you end up selling items during the seasonal rush, how about giving your customers an extra special treat by putting it on sale for holidays.

  10. Product packages - If you have a variety of music lessons to sell, why not create several options to make it easy for customers to buy many items at once? Our member Troy Wright does a great job with this by offering a package that includes an HD video lesson and a PDF.

    You can even offer a discount for anyone who signs up to one-on-one or group lessons. We make it easy to do with our discount codes feature in the Store. When a customer buys a product, you can email them the discount code to use on future orders.

    Tony Wright, drummer sells drum lessons from his website

Make more money by selling music lessons from your own professional website. Bandzoogle has all the tools you need built-in, and we don’t take a cut of your sales. To date, our members have racked in $17+ million in commission free sales!  Sign up free with Bandzoogle now.

Band Website Inspiration: How to use your website to connect with fans

How to use your website to connect with fans

Who: SAVVIE
What: Brooding, infectious pop-rock
Where: Vancouver
Why their website rocks: Big and bold, SAVVIE’s site definitely makes an impression! The biggest benefit to having a website for your band is to communicate what you’re all about for new fans getting into your music. SAVVIE does this with great graphic design and content.

SAVVIE uses the Blog feature, keeping fans up to date about upcoming tours, showcases, and more! An added benefit is that these updates help SEO rankings, so search engines see the fresh content here and index the site more often. [Read 3 Tips to Optimize Your Website Content]

She also makes use of the mailing list signup feature, so she can connect with fans for exciting new updates!

Another way she makes it easy to connect with fans is by using the site-wide MySites feature. This features her social media links front and center on every page of the site. With the site-wide version of this feature, once the links are added, they’re automatically populated across every page - no need to add them more than once!

Plus, we totally dig how the feel of the photography on her site and the 70’s inspired background match with the tone of her music!

Check out SAVVIE at http://savviemusic.com

 

8 songs by Bandzoogle members to get your day going #MusicMonday

Bandzoogle staff, Music Monday

Mondays get a bad rap because for most, it's the start of a new work week. The team here at Bandzoogle combats that by starting the day with good music. Better than that, it's music from our very own members. We make it easy to import your Soundcloud tracks directly into your website music player and here's a small sample of some great songs we've found to get you going this #musicmonday

Bandzoogle Staff Picks Playlist:

Who's listening to what?

Allison (Support) - ”Never Will Die” by Daniella Watters (Figure skating with Sasquatch!)

Stacey (Operations) - “The Only Son of the Widow of Nain" by Mudhoney

Melanie (Support) - “This is How I Let You Down” by The Franklin Electric

Josh (Design) - “Rosey” by Duane Eubanks (Featured Artist!)

Justin (Support) - “Celestial” by Steve Boudreau

David E (Development) - "Harom Skarum" by Saxon Moon

Adam (Support) - “Floating” by Bakersfield

Dave Cool (Artist Relations) - "Mudfoot" by Money Mark (...yes, of Beastie Boys fame!) 


What are you listening to today? Post a Soundcloud link of your favorite tune to beat the Monday morning blues. We love hearing new music and who knows, you may be featured on a future #musicmonday post. Oh happy day!

Artist Website Design Inspiration: Create a visually remarkable brand

Website Inspiration: Branding Details

Who: Dannie Marie
What: Pop Country Singer-Songwriter
Where: San Diego, California
Why their website rocks: As a whole, the website is great. But if you dial in a bit you'll really appreciate the attention Dannie's put into her branding.

For starters, look at the cute bow and arrow logo in her header title. Such a nice little detail and something she can use on anything she puts out to her audience for them to quickly identify her with. From there she's chosen a premade theme with muted green wildflowers and a rustic worn background image. The colors of this theme pair nicely with the bright flowers, muted green vase, grassy field and hay in her main header image. This creates a seamless look that creates the perception that this is a custom made theme. 

The little nuances continue throughout the rest of her pages as well. Notice the western boots at the bottom of her home page for collecting tips, then again in the header image on her Photos page. Also if you look at her Articles/Reviews page "Dear Hollywood" (the name of her newest album) is written on the vanity mirror. Now head over to her Original Videos page and that same vanity mirror is framing her pretty face for a great promo shot. These little touches gives the site a feeling of consistency and familiarity.

Country Singer Dannie Marie

As you pull back from the finer details to the website as a whole, you see it's equally as impressive. Dannie includes a good deal of information to keep her fans locked in on her website. Her Video and Photo pages display high quality music videos and images for captivating fans. She includes all the standard pages in her menu, as well as a few extra we recommend like Press and EPK

All-in-all, Dannie has created a consistent, visually remarkable website. Great job!

Check out her website at www.danniemarie.com

Shifting the Money Talk: 8 Pieces of Advice All Independent Musicians Need to Hear

Money Talk: 8 Pieces of Advice All Independent Musicians Need to Hear

This article originally appeared on Living on Gigging.

Money. At times just the mere thought of it (managing it, finding it, and keeping it) can bring out the worst in me. As a touring musician, a singer/songwriter, and a freelance composer, I have struggled with my relationship with money and all the anxiety I let it breed in my life for quite a while. I decided that it's time for it to no longer get the best (or worst) of me. Here's how.

1. Stop treating money like it's scarce

Of course it feels scarce on a personal level, but part of that is caused by a common social idea that there isn't enough for everyone to be rich and happy (and then that little voice kicks in, "…so why should I be the one to deserve it?"). Realize that there is enough of it to go around. I heard a great analogy once: money is like air. The more and more you try to preserve one breath, the less and less you can breathe. Let it flow in and out; there's enough for you and everyone else to do this for a lifetime.

2. If you're struggling with a budget, don't

Just keep track of every dime you spend. This has been the most useful advice I've ever been given. Kind of like when you're trying to lose weight and you keep a food diary – you think twice before eating that third cookie, knowing that you have to actually write it down and put it into existence in the world! For six years I used an excel sheet to categorize my spending (I have since moved on to Quickbooks), and I record every single dollar, from coffee to keyboards and Skittles to studio speakers. It's amazing how much less I spend just by recording my purchases.

[How to Create a Music Marketing Budget in 4 Simple Steps]

3. Figure out how much you need to live every month

This means rent, food, utilities, phone, paying off debt (not in big chunks but in one predictable, controlled amount), etc. Some people are very unaware of this number, and it's a good one to know.If you can manage to make just a little more than you need, you're on the track to saving and becoming financially free. Take away that feeling of being in the dark by figuring this out ASAP.

4. Split and save

Get rid of the story in your head: "I'm not making enough money to save yet." Or, "I have too many credit cards/school loans/other debts to save." Set aside a percentage of your income every single month (I'd start at five percent and increase it in six months if you're able) to go into a savings account. I actually have several accounts that I split small amounts (usually five percent of my monthly income) into – one for long-term spending (for bigger purchases like furniture or gear), one for retirement savings that will eventually go into my IRA account (if you don't have one, head into any full bank branch and ask to talk to a financial advisor – most banks like Citi, Chase, and Bank of America have this service and offer it for free), and one account for education and gifts (so I don't need to pull from my necessities, spending, or savings accounts when the holiday or wedding season comes around, or I decide to take a class). It adds up over time. Give it a whirl.

5. Beat down debt

Credit card companies want your business. Especially if you've been with them for a while. Every six months, call the number on the back of your card and ask them to lower your rate. I do this religiously twice a year. I usually get the rates down by at least one percent. But if you've never tried, you could get a lot more! I recently told a friend about this and she got her rate from 18 percent to eight percent! And like I said in number three, plan to pay off your debt by setting a monthly payment (slightly higher than the minimum), pay that every month, and then stop worrying about it.

6. Don't spend what you don’t have

Especially if number five is interesting to you, if you don't have it in your bank account, don't spend it with a credit card, unless you're planning to pay it off immediately. The lack of immediate impact is a dangerous trap when "buy now, pay later" offers haunt us everywhere. Be strong and resist!

7. Look outside the box for income, and be okay with it

Every once in a while you may need to take that babysitting gig, teach a semester of piano lessons, bartend, wait tables, or go scuba diving for mussels for a government research project (true story). It's okay. Cut yourself some slack and do what you need to do.

[18 Ways Musicians Can Make Money]

8. Do your thing

The biggest thing I have learned about money is that it shows up when you need it, as long as you're working hard and doing what you know to be doing (which includes number six). It's tough as a musician having lots of costs and unpredictable sources of income. But worrying about it doesn't help. Anxiety wastes energy. Take in that breath and let it flow.

Everyone has a different money situation, so this list is merely a guideline that you can use. Mold and cater to your personal needs.


Cheryl B. Engelhardt founded CBE Music, a music creation and sonic branding firm, and has produced her own piano pop records, toured around the globe, has had dozens of TV placements and scored multiple films and commercials. Passionate about supporting musicians, Cheryl hosts popular workshops, video trainings, and other valuable resources on her website, In The Key Of Success. Get her free PDF for insider tips on how to make it in the music biz.

[VIDEO] How to sell music online with Bandzoogle Part 1- Digital Albums

In this video tutorial we show how easy it is to sell your music online with your Bandzoogle website. Using our Music feature, your fans can shop securely using their credit card, debit card, or PayPal account. All music sales go directly into your PayPal account and are commission-free!

With Bandzoogle’s music players, you can:

  • Sell digital albums, EPs, and individual tracks commission-free

  • Add lyrics to each song

  • Set custom preview clips

  • Set the price

  • Offer free downloads

  • Offer free downloads in exchange for an email address

  • Let fans pay what they want

  • Report sales to SoundScan (Pro members)

  • Accept album pre-orders (Pro members)

  • Offer sale prices on albums & songs (Pro members)

  • Easily share albums & songs to Facebook and Twitter

Build your own website in minutes and start selling your music commission-free with Bandzoogle. Sign up free now!