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Don’t Give Your Music Away Online – Ask for Something!

You can still make money from selling your music. It just takes more creativity nowadays.

Believe it or not, you can still make money from your music. It just takes a little more creativity then it used to. We’ve dug deep and what follows are our best ideas.

Before you begin raking in the dough, you need a couple of things first. One is your own website. Why? Because you have no control over those aggregators like ReverbNation, BandCamp, CDbaby, etc. Now we like BandCamp and believe it’s the best aggregator, but it’s not your home-base. The thing is,what happens to someone who might really dig one of your songs, but then gets side-tracked by another band on BandCamp? You’ve probably lost them forever. You won’t lose them in the awesomeness of your musical home! I’m a huge proponent of – some of the most usable sites on the web are run by

A lot of bands will tell their fans, “We’re on BandCamp, ReverbNation, Facebook, iTunes…” Umm, the problem is it can be hard to find anybody on these mass-social-media-band-hub sites. Plus, if they’re like me, when they login to Facebook, they get totally side-tracked by foolish photos of a weekend best left behind … and then they totally forget all about you. Use aggregators as discovery bases for people who are browsing through tons of music while online. But when you play live shows, tell people the best place to find you is your website!

Before you start thinking I’m a hater of mass music sites, I should let you know I think they’re kickass tools for indie musicians. But always treat them like hubs that direct soon-to-be raving fans back to your home-base. Place your domain in prominent locations on each page of these sites. If you have a website that you’re selling music from, you should start doing that right now! And if you have a website, but aren’t selling music from it, setup a PayPal or Intuit account right now so you can!

In that vane, here’s a great strategy to get people back to your website. Put in audiodrops before or after your songs that are hosted by the mass music sites. For example, “This is Harrison with MusicMunch! Thanks for diggin’ our tracks- visit us at for more!” Now some of you might be thinking, “This is just going to piss people off,” and some it might. But those people who get ticked are just looking for freebies anyway and aren’t the fans who are going to get you where you wanna be. In my mind, it’s quite simple. Anymore, you are expected to give your music away for free. But you spent hours writing, rehearsing and recording that music. You have the right to ask for them to go to your website, right?! And when they listen to your music on your website, they can do so without the audiodrops. Sounds good to me.

*One note* on albums, you certainly don’t need to put the audiodrops on every single track – the first and last will do. But for your singles, hammer it home that you don’t live on iTunes or ReverbNation. You have your own house thank you very much.

There are many more ways to make mulah with your jams, but these are some concepts we wanted to share. What creative ways have you found to work? Please share this article if it helped and let’s get the convo started! And as always, thanks for stopping by. Jam on!


This article was written by Harrison Welshimer. His believes in helping good musicians make a full-time living in music. That’s why he founded MusicMunch - the BRAINS behind music. You can jumpstart your music career by visiting him at

Reader Comments (2)

Ahhhh such good advice, thank your very much.. I personally have a bandcamp account, and finished an album before I was 18. It just became difficult to ask my friends/fans for money when I was just excited to share it. Now it's been a few years and I still have a lot of physical copies left, the recordings are from 2011 so now I feel I'm trapped because people want the "new, new"

June 5 | Registered CommenterMason Durst

Thanks for the comment Mason! With millions of minutes worth of content being posted by the hour on YouTube, fresh is more important than ever. But I still believe in timeless content too - if you make something truly artistic, it won't matter how long ago it was recorded. Are you working on any new recordings right now?

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