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How to Write Better Song Lyrics in 6 Steps

If you’re a subscriber to our YouTube channel, you saw that we recently chatted with famous Nashville songwriter Steve Leslie! If you haven’t seen them yet, what are you doing here? Take a break and go watch those videos right now, then come back. Join us as we take a look at the finer takeaways of Steve Leslie’s guide to how to write a hit song, from songwriting exercises to songwriting tools to keep in your arsenal.

 

 

1. Treat songwriting like a full-time job.

A lot of the advice on how to write song lyrics can be boiled down to one essential truth: treating this artform like it’s a full-time job. Steve Leslie recommends that singers or songwriters block out time every day to just write. It doesn’t matter if what you write is absolute crap, what matters most is that you’re exercising that creative muscle. You don’t necessarily need to dedicate 8+ hours like an office job, but by being consistent with your daily songwriting...

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Making Cents of Music Streaming Services

The payments doled out by streaming services are a hot button topic in the music industry. Taylor Swift made waves when she removed her music from Spotify, citing that the platform didn’t pay artists fairly. While she eventually allowed her music back onto the platform, her initial decision exposed the dark side of the streaming trend that can hurt artists. Especially those who rely on music sales to get by and further their career. There are pros and cons to these accessible music platforms, and we’re taking a closer look at:

  • Who the big players are.

  • How payments are determined.

  • What you can do to increase your number of streams.

  • How to totally conquer the music streaming world!

Who Are The Streaming Giants?

Spotify, YouTube, and Apple Music are the top tier streaming giants, with Google Play Music, Tidal, and Amazon Music right behind them. Lower in popularity, but still paying out, are Pandora, Deezer, and Napster. Spotify leads the pack with number of paid...

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How to Make Your Own Merch

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: man cannot live on music royalties alone! At least not at first in your budding career. In the past we’ve talked about taking advantage of other types of revenue, such as songwriting, video content, and paid content, but today we want to talk about something that your fans will demand in time: merchandise!

We’re going to break down the three essential steps: how to make the merch, where to sell it, and how to engage with your fans through your merch. Let’s jump in!

Step 1: Make The Merch!

Alright, before you jump on these websites and start ordering, the very first step is to make a design. We recommend finding simple visuals that represent who you are as a musician. These could be lyrics from your popular songs, a symbol on your album cover, or even a commissioned art piece.

Once you have your design chosen, it’s time to choose what type of merch you want. The most popular route is T-shirts, but...

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How Does The Music Industry Work?

To become a successful artist, it often takes more than talent. You’ve heard it time and again, and by now you might be spinning in circles trying to find the best way to launch yourself into the circle of success. Well, wonder no more, because today we’re breaking it down into a few areas of improvement that guarantees a turnaround for you. We marry your talent with the business know-how to build your brand and gain popularity. Pay attention.

Audience Growth

Before the record labels, before the big contracts, and before the sold-out arenas, it all starts with your core audience. Just hoping that someone will listen to your music is often not enough these days. While there are “tips and tricks” out there to help you get started, it’s often difficult to find that long-term strategy.

The best route is to become more invested with your fans, no matter how many or how little you have. Make content creation your number one mission, alongside music creation:...

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Demystifying YouTube Monetization

Music royalties and backyard performances don’t have to be your only sources of revenue in the music industry. Thanks to the almighty power of the internet, artists today can pull revenue from all sorts of areas in the market. One of the most powerful platforms out there is YouTube, and through the YouTube Partner Program, you can get money for views! We break down what it takes to get your channel up to snuff, and more ideas to help diversify your content.

How Do You Qualify for Monetization?

YouTube is probably the most commonly mentioned untapped resource in the musician’s toolbox. Maybe you’re already posting your own music videos, giving behind the scenes tours, or vlogging, so why not make a little money off that content while you’re at it? The steps to monetization are surprisingly simple:

  • Review the YouTube Partner Program terms.

  • Sign up for AdSense on your account.

  • Set your monetization preferences.

  • Reach the milestones of 4,000 watch hours...

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How to Make an Electronic Press Kit for Musicians

Back in the day, when an artist was petitioned for a performance, radio playtime, or an interview, a folder of vital information would be forwarded by the managers. Think of it as a resume, with background information on the artist and music files to give bookers an idea of what to expect. But we’ve long since gone past the physical pamphlets in this day and age, and the best press kit that a manager can put together can all be done digitally. Enter the “EPK”, short for Electronic Press Kit, essentially providing all the same information as the ones that came before, but without killing the trees in the process.

If this is your first time hearing of such a thing, have no fear. We’ll break down the essentials of the EPK so that you or your manager or prepared to pitch your sound.

What Does an EPK Look Like?

Paper resumes are one thing, but you may be asking yourself what exactly an EPK would look like online. They can take many forms: a password-locked page...

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10 Indie Music Labels You Should Know

With the vast amount of information and record labels available in the music world, it can be daunting to search for the right label that fits you, let alone petition yourself to an independent label. We’ve listed our top ten favorite labels that you should know about (and maybe one extra you may not have known!), each of whom boast notable, award-winning artists. Some of these record labels are looking for new artists too, so keep on the lookout!

Don’t see your favorite on this list? Comment below and let us know who your favorite indie music label is and why they rock!

Carpark Records

Notable Artists: Young Magic, Safety Scissors, Beach House

Carpark Records planted their roots as a small record label in 1999 in New York City, relocating to Washington DC in 2005.They’re best known for their experimental psychedelic electronic, as well as their alternative rock. They’ve since expanded with subsidiary labels, Acute Records and Paw Tracks.

Get in touch with...

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Top 4 High-Paying Music Careers That Don’t Require a Degree

Whether you’re in the industry and looking for a new job, or getting your feet wet right after school, it may come as a surprise that not every career in the music industry requires advanced degrees. Sometimes, all it takes is the right certification, self-taught skills, or communication savvy to make an impact on the industry.

Record Producer

The record producer is the head at the controls. It’s the man or woman who oversees the entire production of an artist’s album, EP, or single. It doesn’t take a four-year degree to learn the ins and outs of a recording studio, only some time studying how it all fits together: you must become familiar with tracking, mixing, editing, mastering, and everything else that’s part of making a record. If you’re a musician or songwriter yourself, you’ll be able to make yourself more valuable by offering to help artists with the arrangements (or even songwriting!).

How to Get Started: This is the ultimate...

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An Artist's Guide to Spotify

Spotify is one of the largest, affordable, and most accessible music streaming services offered to the public. To fully take advantage of the benefits of Spotify, any current or future artist should understand how Spotify works “behind-the-scenes” on the artist end of things.  

1) Check Your Content

Spotify is a massive platform open to all kinds of artistic expressions, making the process of getting music on it an easy one. Most all content is welcome on Spotify unless it’s infringing, illegal, or hateful. Should you find yourself wondering if Spotify will allow your music, it would be beneficial to check out their list of prohibited content.

2) Choose a Distributor

Once you have the content you’re putting on Spotify, you will need a distributor. Usually if you are signed to a label, the label will add your music onto Spotify for you. If the you don’t have a label or aggregator, Spotify has deals in place with a number of companies who can...

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How to Cover a Song Legally

As an independent artist you may be cringing or rolling your eyes at this title, but hear us out. There was a time in my life where I hated learning covers and just wanted to showcase my own stuff. Trust me, there are still benefits to creating covers of popular songs. 

Cover songs are still a tried-and-true method for introducing listeners to your style and retaining them with good production quality and that shared connection for the song. But even more beneficial are the royalties that come with it. Yes, you can make money from covering the hits! By following the right methods, from composing to licensing, you can stream and sell your cover songs legally.

Except “Let It Go”. Please, no more Frozen covers.

Why Bother With Cover Songs?

Cover songs are not only profitable for the artists, but can be meaningful to fans as well. If you’ve seen the recent Singapore-centric rom-com “Crazy Rich Asians”, you’ll remember that pivotal point near the...

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"How to Grow a Music Fanbase
…Even If Nobody’s Ever Heard of You"

  • Video 1: How to Use Spotify and Social Media to Blow up Your Fanbase and the Secret to Earning Their Trust After They Discover You
  • Video 2: My Exact Revenue Streams and Why Income Diversification Lets Me Do More with My Music Career
  • Video 3: Establishing Your Artist Brand and How to Create a Lasting Impact with Your Music