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How To Get Your Music on the Net
by Phillip Walker

Today's technology offers tremendous opportunities for songwriters and composers. Using the Internet, songwriters can promote their songs and music around the world without spending a lot of money.

This article offers tips on how songwriters and composers can use the Internet as an effective marketing tool.

STARTING WITH THE BASICS

There are several basic ways to establish a presence on the Internet so others can find out about your songs and music.

First, create your own website. Go to your library and find a good book on how to build a website. Or Google the phrase "building a website" and you'll find countless how-to guides that can be very helpful.

Today there are many excellent web tools to help create web pages. Do some research to find which ones are well rated and which ones can help you do what you want to do.

PUBLISH SONGS / PUBLISH MUSIC

When you're ready to put your website on the World Wide Web, you must subscribe to an Internet provider. Do some research to find which ones have the best service and options you want.

Then publish your website! Include pictures, text and music.

{Note: Some providers have programs that allow you to create your webpages with little effort. The downside is they often do not allow much flexibility or expanded programming.}

GET YOUR MUSIC HEARD

The most common way of getting your music heard is to make your music downloadable to another person's computer from your web site.

From there they just play it back via from their Internet browser on their PC to speakers or save it as a file and play it later.

A second method is to use a service provider who allows audio streaming. Often there is an additional charge for this service.

With streaming, you do not actually download the music, but it is played in real time directly to your computer. This allows you to almost immediately listen to various parts of a song without having to wait for it to all download. This is a faster method.

Other techniques are available.

Placing information about yourself on someone else's website is another method. There are numerous music websites that would be interested in having you as part of their site. Some charge and others do not.

With this option you can email them your information and attached pictures, then they add it all to their website.

News groups offer another method. With news groups you do not need a web site, only need a connection to the Internet and an email account. You find out what new groups you are interesting in, become a member and go to work! You are allowed to post questions, read archives and interact with others. You then are able to find others with similar interested and broaden your music networking arena.

MAKE IT EASY TO FIND YOUR MUSIC

Whatever methods you choose, it is important to remain focused on exactly what you do and why you want someone to know about you. Surfers looking for music don't want to spend a lot of time reading details about an artist they do not know. They are looking for music or pictures that they can quickly find and download.

Some people use spamming (mass e-mailing) to let others know about their music. This is a BAD idea. It usually does more harm than good, and leaves a negative impression.

It's also a good idea to register your music website with search engines. This means you submit your web site URL (www.myprovider.com/~myaccount) to a search engine, i.e., Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc.

These search engines come to your site and index the information contained within it. This indexing helps people find your website when they use search engines.

Most people use search engines to find what they are looking for. The person who is looking for information about someone like you has to be fairly focused on what they are looking for.

If they are looking for a violinist who writes instrumental music, they would search for violinist AND instrumental. They would then be provided with a list of results found in that search engines database. If they searched for violin, then they would get violin makers, violinists, stories about violins etc.

Web pages with common interests provide another means via hyper text links (clickable text or pictures that transport you to a new location). Someone with another site may add your URL (home page) as a hyper link on their site. So, when someone visits their site, they see your link and can then directly be connected to your site to view or download information about you.

You can do also try direct advertising. This is similar to a magazine ad, with or without links directly to your site. Often it costs money, but sometimes you can advertise for free, especially if you're good at networking.

Good luck!

© Phillip Walker

Mr. Walker is a composer and recording artist from Oregon.

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