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Selling Your Music on the Net:
Key Strategies to Success

Article by David Nevue - Midnight Rain Productions

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Music Promotion 101

So, you've got your own CD and now you want to sell your music on the net. You probably have two burning questions: Where do I start? and How many CDs will I sell?

There's no doubt that the WWW provides a unique music marketing opportunity for musicians. If you market yourself successfully, you could find yourself selling music to new customers all over the world. But how realistic of a goal is this to accomplish?

Just to give you some background, a recent
GVU web user survey states that 41% of all respondees had purchased music from the web. That's great news, right? That's a very large number when you consider there are estimates of well over 160 million people using the net. However, another survey of actual buyers indicates how this worked: 70% of the buyers searched for the item they bought, 16% searched for a topic related to what they bought, and 4% searched for the name of another product. Adding it up, 90% of the buyers used the Internet as a modern-day cross between the yellow pages and the mail order ads you find near the back of most magazines. So the question is, what does this tell you about selling your music on the net?

Quite simply, it means that creating a web page to sell your music is not going to be enough. Even if you submit your site to the search engines, you're not likely to see a significant traffic increase. Think about it. If 90% of the buyers out there already know what they are looking for and are searching for that particular item or topic, how will they find you, someone who's music they have likely never heard of?

Here's the slap in the face reality: In our experience, the typical musician sells between 2 and 5 CDs a year from their web site. That's it. Sales that low certainly do not justify putting your music online. Can you do better? Yes, you can do much, much better, but only if you have a good product and market it properly.

Before you begin creating your site, there are a few questions you should
to ask yourself:

1) What is unique about my music?
2) What general style of music are my fans most interested in?
3) What artists am I often compared to?
4) What information would my potential customers be seeking out?

The key to your own success as a musician on the Internet is to determine first what your target audience is truly interested in. What topic, or subject, would your target audience be likely to search the internet for? Once you have determined that, your site should be designed around that topic. This is the way you will bring visitors to your site; by offering them something they want, and providing them with the information they are looking for.

In our book, '
How To Promote Your Music Successfully on the Internet', we use the example of a Flamenco guitar player. This guitarist has a brand new Flamenco Guitar CD out. How could this musician bring Flamenco music fans to his site? What are Flamenco music fans interested in? Well, perhaps flamenco guitar strumming techniques, gypsy music, Spanish guitar, or popular flamenco artists like Jesse Cook or Ottmar Liebert. These are all topics potential clients of this artist are likely to search for. Thus, this musician should design a site centered around these or similar topics. In this way, this musician targets his audience, bringing in those visitors most likely to be interested in his music. Once he has their attention, then he pitches his music. You can do the same simply by taking the time to research what it is fans of your music are likely to search the net for.

Does that sound like a lot of work? Yes, you're right, it is, because you essentially devote your time to providing visitors with information. Not only that, but you have to consistently update that information. You want to sell CDs? This is the kind of work required. If you do it right, you'll find you're shipping CDs out on a regular basis.

This powerful marketing strategy is but one that we cover in our book, '
How To Promote Your Music Successfully on the Internet' which we highly recommend. Updated every three months, this easy to read guide gives you the details on what online music promotion strategies work and which do not. If you're going to make the time investment required to sell your music online, why not do it right the first time? Why spend money you don't have to? This book, written by a musician who's spent years testing music promotion strategies, will give you the opportunity to jump onto the internet with confidence.

You'll find a lot to think about, and enough to keep you busy selling music on the net as long as you wish.

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How to Promote Your Music Successfully on the Internet

How to Promote Your Music Successfully on the Internet
This easy-to-read guide to music promotion teaches you how to effectively sell your music online! Learn what works and what doesn't from a musician who's now promoting music on the Internet full time!

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