When you put so much care into writing your songs, you want to be sure the world hears them. With the landscape of releasing music constantly shifting, you might be thinking about releasing a single track.
You can do this by putting out a single from an album or EP - as a lead-in to the rest of your songs. This is a great strategy to help make the most of your music marketing efforts.
You can also record a single and get it out there into the world as a standalone track. This is a good way to test the waters and see how your music fares in the world. If it does well, and you’re up for it, releasing more music in this way, more regularly, will help engage your fans.
You might be wondering why you should sell a single from your website directly. With your own website, you control the experience completely. There are no ads or distractions, and you can really cultivate a story that goes hand-in-hand with your music.
Anyone who lands on your website is interested in finding out more - pitch your single and the story behind it, then make sure it’s heard. It’s a great way to close the deal and make a true fan.
So how do you release and sell a music single from your website? These 4 phases should give you some ideas to make selling your single a success.
Preparing to sell a single
In the era of social media and short attention spans, releasing music regularly is a good strategy. With this in mind, you’ll want to start off by doing some prep work to sell your single.
Sketch out a timeline for your song - make sure that you’ve got a release date in sight, and an idea of the content you'll create to go along with it.
You’ll want to start preparing to release your music by prepping some promotion right from the get-go. Document as much as you can, and feel comfortable with, throughout your songwriting and recording process.
Make your music website a landing place for your promotional efforts by adding photos, text, and bits of information about your upcoming single. Then promote these same bits of content through your social media channels to increase engagement back to your website.
Setting up a pre-order on your website is a good strategy, whether you’re planning to release just one track, or the lead track from an album. This gives your fans the chance to buy your music every time you send them to your website. You can also collect email addresses on your website, giving you the best chance of keeping in touch with your fans.
If you’re trying to think of ways to promote your single, visual options work well. You can talk about your album artwork or take new photos inspired by the music. You can also focus on the song itself in a few ways: talk about your inspiration, your writing process, plus how and where it was recorded. If you have the means to create video snippets, add those as well.
Artist: Crystal Bowersox
Releasing a single
Once your release date arrives, you’ll want to be sure that your website is ready. Putting your music in multiple places will give your fans more chances to listen to it, and buy it.
Add your new single to your Homepage in a call-to-action that contains a button leading to your music page. On your music page, put your single at the top with a clear description. Add details about the track to give it context. Make sure it’s easy to listen to and buy quickly.
You can also add an EPK for your music that focuses on your single. This page should be solely focused on promoting your single. It’ll include specific information about your music that can be easily used and shared by press.
Choose a few ways to announce that your single has been released. You can post on the social media platforms you’ve already been using, and be sure to email your mailing list.
If you’ve also decided to put your single on distribution platforms, make sure you list these clearly on your website so that your visitor can determine how to listen to your music. While streams don’t tend to put a lot of money in your pocket, there’s some value in music discovery on those platforms, You can put your single to work in both places - just be sure that your true fans know how to support you by purchasing it directly.
Selling a single
Let’s be honest, selling your music online can be a lot of work. If you’re selling a single, you’ll have to put in the work over and over. But selling more music, more often, has its benefits: you will likely make more in the long run from fans that really want to see you succeed.
Plus, you’ll go through the exercise of marketing and selling your music more often, which will help you to become better at it.
Another bonus to selling a single directly from your website is that it’s commission-free. Letting your fans know this may drive more of them to purchase; many fans want to support their favourite artists directly, without a third party taking a cut.
You can also allow fans to support you even more by setting your single to be ‘pay what you want’ - you never know how much your art is worth to someone. Letting your fans choose the price they want to pay might mean you end up making more money.
When you're selling your music online, it can be easy to lose your overall focus and become too sales-y, always pushing the track. Try to be genuine. If you feel strongly about your music, promote it creatively, then sell it, in an authentic way, this should resonate with your fans.
Learn more: 7 ways to sell more music online
Artist: Tara Craig
Re-promote a single after release
Once your single has been out in the world for a while, your work still isn’t quite done. You’ll want to re-promote your single to give it new life and a jump in streams or sales before you move on to promoting the rest of your music.
To do this, set a schedule that includes additional posts on social media and email campaigns that drive buyers back to your website. You can thank your fans for listening and buying, note your sale numbers, or mention another interesting tidbit about the song.
Make sure to update your website regularly so that you can promote and sell your single directly from a space that is all about you. When you go to re-promote your single, your website should be optimized to make you money.
Artist: Tyler Kealey
Selling a single can be a great exercise for any DIY musician to go through. See what worked for you (and be honest about what didn’t), and recalibrate your music marketing efforts with each release. You can make money with your music through your website, and selling a single is a great place to start.
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