|Do you want to make money selling music on the Web? First, don't limit yourself to selling only your own music on-line. You can also recommend other music and music-related products and earn a little pocket change on the side. Following the strategies outlined here, my Web site generated $612.87 in one month. Could you use an extra $600 a month, over $7200 a year? Read on ...
Jeffrey P. Fisher is the author of three best-selling music books: "Ruthless Self-Promotion in the Music Industry," "Profiting From Your Music and Sound Project Studio," and Find Web space You need a place to host your Web site. Chances are your Internet Service Provide (ISP) provides server space as part of your regular Internet connection fee. Remember audio and video clips can eat up a lot of server space quite quickly. Make sure you have enough space to meet your needs. The downside to an ISP site is it's bound to have a weird URL name.
Get a virtual domain
With your space and URL set, go to Network Solutions and register your own domain. They cost $35 a year, but for an additional $35 you can have your "virtual domain" routed to any weird address you have. This way people type in http://www.jeffreypfisher.com and are automatically taken to the weird URL. After that, use navigation links on your site.
Put together a basic site
There are several good tools for designing and programming your Web site. I use HoTMetaLPro (http://www.softquad.com). Plan your site carefully before your start designing it. Make your site a store that includes detailed product sheets, articles, reviews, newsletters, audio and video samples, pictures, and more. Keep it simple, easy to navigate, and content-rich! Start with these:
* Home page that serves as an introduction and table of contents to you and your site.
* Page(s) with the full description of your products and links to order them (see below).
* Page(s) with your recommendations for other products with links to order them (see below).
Sell your own music products
It doesn't really make sense to pursue this income-producing idea unless you already have something to sell. Bands and artists should have CDs ready to go. I sell my music books along with my own music library from my site. When you sell your own products on-line, you will need to accept credit card orders. CCNow (http://www.ccnow.com) provides a custom, secure on-line order form that your buyers access from your Web site. They even create the appropriate links to place on your site. Your clients choose your products by adding them to their shopping cart and checking out. This takes them to the CCNow site where they enter their address and CC payment information. CCNow processes the order and sends an order confirmation e-mail to the buyer and another one to you. You then ship the products yourself. CCNow takes 9% percent of each sale and pays you the remaining amount regularly. Make sure you carefully read and understand their agreement before signing up with the service. To see this in action, visit my main order page: http://www.jeffreypfisher.com/order.html
Sell other music products
Brainstorm and choose other items that complement or augment your own products. To make money selling these items, join the free Amazon.com Associates program and just place order links on your Web site and in your e-mail. Amazon pays up to 15% on orders that you originate through a "click-through" system. The best part? Amazon processes these orders and handles everything! You just get people to click from your site and sit back to collect the checks. To see this in action, visit my review page:
The best way to make such a program work is to closely tie in the products you recommend -- and therefore sell -- with the content on your site. Don't just plaster your site with ads for products. Write a music review and include a link to buy the CD from the review. Write a tips article about a software product you used for a project and provide a link to buy the software within the article. Text links are usually more effective than graphical links in these cases.
Get people to your site
Obviously, you need to generate traffic to your Web site to reap the most benefits. Promote your site on-line and off-line. Send news releases, post to applicable newsgroups and mailing lists, send direct mail and e-mail to clients and prospects, add your information to business cards, letterhead, brochures, and ads. Also, provide an e-mail signature that explains what you do and directs people to your Web site location.
Give something valuable away -- a tip sheet, helpful article, free MP3 music, etc. Make sure your full contact information (such as a link to your Web site) goes with the free item. There should be no strings attached to this free thing, but it must be good enough to get people to want to see what else you have to offer. Essentially you want these people to BUY more from you right away after hearing, seeing, and/or reading the free stuff. One obvious drawback, you don't get any money from the free thing. Its purpose is to generate sales of other music products you offer. To really benefit from your promotions, get and use my "Ruthless Self-Promotion in the Music Industry" book: http://www.jeffreypfisher.com/rsp.html
How you make money
You make your money in two ways:
People see your products, place orders at your site, you ship them, and collect your checks from CCNow.
People read your reviews and recommendations, click through to Amazon, and place their orders. Amazon sends you commission checks on the orders placed from your site.
What could be simpler?
"How to Make Money Scoring Soundtracks and Jingles." He is currently working on a fourth title due out during 2002. Get more information on his "Moneymaking Music" Web site at www.jeffreypfisher.com
For even more profitable music industry advice, subscribe to Fisher's FREE Moneymaking Music Tip of the Week by sending an e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org with "subscribe tip" in the subject or body.
Back to articles index