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How To Turn Up the Volume: Pro Tips for Selling Your Music Online

How To Turn Up the Volume: Pro Tips for Selling Your Music Online

So you've poured your heart and soul into your music, and now you're ready to share it with the world – and maybe even turn a profit! Selling music online can be a fantastic way to reach new fans and get your sound out there. But with so many platforms and options, it can feel overwhelming. Here's a breakdown of the key things to know to sell your music professionally online and get the results you deserve.

Mastering the Digital Marketplace:

  • Distribution is Key:  Think of music distributors like middlemen. They take your music and send it out to all the major stores like iTunes, Spotify, and Amazon Music. Companies like TuneCore, DistroKid, and CD Baby are popular choices for independent artists.

  • Royalties 101: Royalties are the small payments you get every time someone streams or downloads your music. Distribution platforms make collecting royalties easier, but it's important to understand royalty structures. Do your research to pick a distributor with a clear system that ensures you get paid fairly.

Investing in Success:

  • Quality Counts: People won't buy music that sounds bad. Invest in professional recording and mastering to make your music shine. Even if you record at home, there are online services that can help polish your tracks.

  • Artwork that Grabs Attention:  Great music deserves great visuals! Invest in eye-catching cover art that reflects your music's style. There are plenty of talented freelance artists online you can hire, or you can try designing it yourself if you're creative.

Building Your Fan Base:

  • Social Media Savvy: Social media is your best friend for connecting with fans. Be active on platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook. Share snippets of your music, behind-the-scenes content, and interact with your audience. Run contests and giveaways to generate excitement.

  • Creative Collaborations: Partner with other musicians, artists, or even YouTubers for a fresh take. Consider remixes, guest features, or even fun social media challenges to get your music in front of new audiences.

  • Live & Local: Don't underestimate the power of live performances. Play gigs at local venues, bars, or even online events. The energy of a live show can turn casual listeners into dedicated fans.

By following these tips "How To Turn Up the Volume: Pro Tips for Selling Your Music Online" and putting in the work, you can turn your music into a successful online business. Remember, success takes time and dedication. Keep creating, keep connecting, and keep your music out there – the world is waiting to hear it!

Distributing Your Music Like a Pro: A Step-by-Step Guide

So you've got your music ready to roll, and you've chosen a killer cover art. Now it's time to get it out there! Here's a step-by-step guide on how to properly distribute your music online:

1. Pick Your Distributor:  Think of them as your teammate who gets your music onto all the listening platforms. Research different music distributors like TuneCore, DistroKid, or CD Baby. Compare their pricing, features, and the stores they distribute to. Pick one that fits your budget and gets your music on the platforms you want.

2. Create an Account: Head to your chosen distributor's website and sign up for an account. It's usually pretty straightforward – just fill out their form with your basic information.

3. Prepare Your Music Files:  Make sure your music files are high-quality (usually WAV or FLAC format) and meet the distributor's specifications. Most platforms require specific file sizes and formats, so double-check their guidelines.

4. Upload Your Tracks: This is where the magic happens! Log in to your distributor's dashboard and upload your music files. You'll also need to add some info like your artist name, track titles, and album details. Be sure to double-check everything for typos before hitting submit!

5. Choose Your Stores & Set Your Price: Pick the stores and streaming services where you want your music available. Popular choices include Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and YouTube Music. Some distributors may offer additional stores for a fee. Finally, set your price per song or album. You can choose a flat rate or go with a per-stream option.

6. Pre-Save Power:  Take advantage of pre-save features on platforms like Spotify and Apple Music. This lets fans "save" your music before it's released, building anticipation and boosting your streams on launch day.

7. Release Day & Beyond: Once you've submitted everything, your distributor will handle getting your music onto the chosen platforms. Release dates can vary, so check your distributor's timeframe. When your music is live, celebrate with your fans and keep promoting it on social media!

Bonus Tip: Most distributors offer marketing tools to help you promote your music. Explore these features to expand your reach and get your music heard by more people.

By following these steps, you'll be well on your way to distributing your music professionally and reaching a wider audience. Remember, promoting your music is an ongoing process. Keep creating, keep connecting, and keep your music out there!

Step Up Your Earnings: Collecting Royalties with Performing Rights Organizations (PROs)

While selling your music directly brings in cash, there's another way to earn from your creations: royalties! Performing Rights Organizations (PROs) like BMI and ASCAP track when your music is played on the radio, streamed online, or performed live in certain venues. They then collect royalties from those plays and distribute them to registered songwriters and publishers. Here's how to get started with a PRO:

1. Choose Your PRO: Both BMI and ASCAP are major players, but there are others too. Research each one's fees, membership benefits, and international reach to see which best suits your needs.

2. Sign Up & Apply:  Head to your chosen PRO's website (BMI:, ASCAP: and find the signup or membership application section. Fill out the form with your information and agree to their terms.

3. Register Your Music:  Once you're a member, you can register your songs with the PRO. This usually involves providing details like song titles, writer credits (including yourself!), and publishers (if applicable). Some PROs allow online registration, while others might require you to mail in a form.

4. Keep Your Information Updated:  As you write new music, be sure to register it with your PRO to ensure you collect royalties for all your creations. Additionally, if your contact information or publishing details change, update them with the PRO to avoid missing out on payments.

5. Patience is Key:  Royalties aren't always immediate. It can take several months for the PRO to collect and distribute payments after your music is played. However, consistent promotion and getting your music out there will increase your chances of earning royalties over time.

Bonus Tip:  Explore "split sheets" with collaborators. If you co-wrote a song, a split sheet outlines how royalties are divided between writers (usually a percentage split). Make sure everyone involved signs a split sheet before registering the song with a PRO.

By registering with a PRO, you set yourself up to earn additional income from your music whenever it's played publicly. Remember, consistent music creation, promotion, and registration are key to maximizing your earning potential through royalties.

Building Your Legacy: Exploring Music Publishing Platforms

So you've mastered the art of online music sales and royalty collection. Now, let's explore the world of music publishing! Platforms like specialize in music rights administration, which can be a valuable tool for managing and potentially earning income from your compositions. Here's a simplified breakdown of how to publish your music with a service like

1. Research & Choose Your Platform: isn't the only player in the game. Research different music publishing platforms and compare their services, fees, and user interfaces. Look for platforms that specialize in your genre or offer features that align with your goals.

2. Sign Up & Account Creation:  Head to your chosen platform's website (for example, and find the signup or account creation section. Fill out the form with your information and agree to their terms of service. Some platforms might require basic verification details.

3. Prepare Your Information:  Gather the necessary details about your music, including song titles, writer credits (including yourself!), and any relevant publishers (if applicable). Make sure you have accurate International Standard Recording Codes (ISRCs) for your songs, which can usually be obtained from your recording engineer or distributor.

4. Uploading & Administering Your Work:  Once you have an account, explore the platform's options for uploading your music information. This might involve a bulk upload tool or individual song entries. Provide all the details you gathered in step 3, including the ISRCs.

5. Understanding Royalties:  Music publishing platforms often handle royalty collection for mechanical rights, which is different from performance royalties collected by PROs (see part 3). Familiarize yourself with the platform's royalty structure and how they distribute earnings.

Bonus Tip:  Be patient and proactive. Publishing platforms can take time to process and verify your information. Once everything is set up, keep your music catalog updated on the platform as you create new songs.

Important Note:  While some platforms offer free accounts, others might have subscription fees or require a percentage of royalties collected. Carefully review the platform's terms and pricing structure before committing.

By publishing your music, you give yourself additional avenues to potentially earn income from your creations. Remember, research is key, and choose a platform that aligns with your needs and career goals.


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