|Since MP3.com's move to end its Payback for Playback promotion
on January 15, 2003, a lot of artists have been wondering if they can
still make money through their music, online.
Yes. It is possible. Here are five ways to make you a better marketer --
to help you monetize your online efforts.
1. Sell MP3.com CDs. Yes, you've had this power all along but how
many artists believe that those small links under the artist image or the
small inserts under the songs are enough to move the CDs? You need to actively
promote your CD. Use the HTML area on your artist page to promote your latest
CD. Use the thumbnail CD graphic and insert it in your HTML area, link it
to the CD shopping cart. Insert favorable reviews about the tracks on the
CD. Your artist page is a store. Don't bury your CDs in the back when they
should be out front in the display window.
2. Sell Your Own CDs. Do you have a CD burner at home? Do you have
manufactured CDs lying around waiting for a buyer? Sell them yourself. While
you can always go through a site like CD
Baby that will do a great job of handling the fulfillment, now you can
do it yourself and keep all the profits. Just go to
PayPal and create
a free personal account -- they actually give you $5 just to sign up so it's
actually even better than free. Then you can use the HTML area on MP3.com
to tell visitors that they can buy your CD directly from you, by depositing
funds -- instantly -- into your PayPal account. Not only can you promote
the superior quality of the homemade CDs, but you can also offer to autograph
them for free.
3. Sell Merchandise. Thanks to
Press you can set set up a free online store to sell as many as 50 different
products. From t-shirts to teddy bears to lunch boxes, you can become a
merchandising master. If you're popular you may sell stuff on your artist
name alone. But even if you're not ubiquitous you can still drive sales if
your logo stands out as a fashion statement. Just make sure that your artist
image or logo is something that you can picture folks longing to wear or
own. Think like a merchant.
4. Feed the Tip Jar. What? You don't think that folks will value your
free music and reward you with a little coin? A street musician without an
open guitar case is pro bono work. You never know who you might impress.
There are three online options to create automated tipping.
TipJar.com was the original. It's a little
rough around the edges and it does not allow for credit card transactions
or automated bank deposits but it is geared toward artists.
PayPal is the
free alternative -- and if you open an account the free $5 can always be
your first tip. Amazon Honor
System takes a bite out of your tip transactions, but it has the benefit
of having a large installed based of users who are already set up to pay
through the Amazon interface. If you're uncomfortable with the tip jar concept,
that's fine. There are other ways to make money. Just keep in mind that even
some of the world's greatest museums run on optional contributions. Art is
art, even if it's pan-handled.
5. You're online. You are a global celebrity. Well, you are -- by
definition. There is no shame in approaching area record stores or music
gear shops to ask for sponsorship. Offer to note the area merchants as sponsors
on your page in return for a small contribution, or at the very least to
promote your online page in their stores. You don't have to stop at music-related
stores. Any company that likes to show it cares for its community is a
possibility. Approach them. You will learn something even in rejection. Who
knows? You might earn something along the way too.
Want More? Don't worry, we'll have five more ways to make MP3.com
pay for you next month. So, stick around. Enjoy the rest of the
and come back again.
Share - You have an MP3.com page. You have traffic. Why not generate
some ad revenue?
LinkShare is a collection of hundreds of online stores who will pay you for any customers
you send over. They will give you the full text link and graphical link to
stores like Buy.com and Sony Music. It's pocket change, but it's your
Friend - Hey, you're online. You don't have to pay up for
music and recording gear locally. Try the Internet leader, Guitar Center's
online biz, Musician's Friend. Look for great deals on exclusive closeouts.