Monthly Archives: December 2016

My Top Music Affiliate Programs

Recently, there was a discussion on the MusicThoughts list regarding how to develop passive income as a musician. Of course, there are many types of passive income open to musicians, but this discussion in particular involved using affiliate programs to earn money.

For the newbie, affiliate programs are program online that allow you to earn money by selling products or services that you do not own. Companies like Commission Junction, LinkShare, ClickBank offer a variety of a affiliate programs on every subject. While companies like Amazon.com (books, music, and more), MP3DownloadHQ (free music downloads) offer more specific products or services.

Building a successful affiliate income is NOT easy. And as internet companies come and go, they are also not a hugely reliable source of income for the long-term. I prefer to focus on offering products and services for my active websites, but most of my websites were created with affiliates in mind. Consequently, I’ve learned the affiliate game quite well.

Most people don’t like sharing how much they earn from passive income. So finding those stats Will be difficult. But frankly, I prefer helping folks with facts.

So, here’s a couple notes on the various passive internet income sources I earn or have earned in the past:

1. Google Adsense.
Google CAN be great, but a lot of it depends on what keywords your site is focused on. Head over to PixelFast offers a great Overture Keywords and Bid Amounts Tool and you can find out how much people bid on certain types of keywords through overture.

Having done testing which got me banned from Google I learned a few things when I was using Google Adsense. I found on the average, I made about pittance on each of my random websites. Some however, did MUCH better. Namely the ‘free music downloads’ websites.

You’ll note at PixelFast that companies bid heavily for those keywords with clickthrus averaging at about 45c per click. Seventy percent of the income I earned on Google was from one free music download website that somehow made it high on the search results. I’m not allowed to say how much I made, but you can do the math when a site gets approximately 500 unique visits a day and has a 5-10% clickthru rate.

The point is if you create and promote webpages with high impact keywords, you will do fairly well.

2. Affiliate Programs.
Since I’m no longer with Google, I’ve sense learned to find other alternatives using Google style ads. You can those on my Directory of Free Music Downloads as an example.

I’ve found other affiliate programs to fill the gaps lost by Google through:
Clickbank. I’ve focused primarily on free music downloads. The big problem I have with Clickbank is that my Mozilla browser at home doesn’t like their redirects. But I still earn about $500 per month from Clickbank.

MP3Dollars. This is a free music downloads site for MP3DownloadHQ. Their affiliate links are good redirects. So I’ve made them much more prominent so as not to lose income that might’ve been lost from Clickbank. The affiliate program is solid paying 50% of the money they earn. So I earn about $500 per month from them. Best of all, it’s paid weekly!

Amazon.com. Usually earns me about $50 a month. And this comes from a lot of heavy referrals from my Celtic MP3s Music Magazine.

Commission Junction. Their redirects seem to have the same problem as Clickbank. I mainly use them for web hosting services that earn about $150 per month.

Linkshare. I’ve used it for years. Earned no money (like the vast majority of affiliate programs I’ve tried). I did sign up for iTunes earlier this month. And we’ll see if that changes matters at all.
I also earn another $100-150 per month from the Bards Crier Music Marketing and Promotion Ezine’s various affiliations with IMHO some of the best music marketers out there. Course, I also have a decent online CD sales income, and other artistic projects that earn me money (and I still have a day job for at least another year).

3. The Key to remember when you’re making money with affiliate programs is really to blend it into your website.
For instance, if you go to thebards.net. You can download our MP3 “Tolkien (The Hobbit & Lord of the Rings)” on the homepage. It downloads from amazon.com using my affiliate link. So it creates another cookie which hopefully will earn me more income from future amazon.com orders from that customer.

Prominent ads also work like at my Directory of Free Music Downloads. Meaning, Google has really hit upon a great style of advertising. Oh, and Vertical ads out perform horizontal ads.

I’m also a big proponent of creating a website that will earn you income as well as popularity. Again, check out the Celtic MP3s Music Magazine. The site is designed for two purposes:
Promote independent Celtic music by luring in signed Celtic music fans of Enya, The Chieftains, etc. It’s a technique I learned from David Nevue’s How to Successfully Promote Your Music on the Internet and has proved exceptionally profitable, and
Promote my music. You’ll see a lot of links and information about the Brobdingnagian Bards and my own solo Celtic music recordings.
There is one other aspect I would like to point out that will make whatever you do more money. It’s sales letters. Quite honestly, I detest hard sales. I don’t typically care for sales letters online. But they DO perform well.

Some of the best-selling webpages are composed of one long sales letter like some of the stuff you’ll see at indiebiz.com. I’ve no doubt that David makes well-over $3000 a month for any of his webpages just from some of his passive income sales letters. By learning about copywriting, you can create webpages to perform just as well to promote your affiliate programs. It’s an amazing skill to have.

One Last Important Note: I have NO Faith in most of my internet affiliate income. Sure I think Amazon will be there for years to come. But the passion for ‘free music downloads’ will die with the next internet fad.

My suggestion is to create a hard product that you can sell. For instance, create and sell ebooks using your knowledge and those sales letters I mentioned. People are willing to pay fo your knowledge of the most mundane things. It’s not about being stupid, it’s about ease. If you can compile that knowledge and sell it, more power to you!

You will constantly need to fine tune everything. And learn how the search engines work.

Passive money on the internet is not unreasonable. But it’s also not easy. It takes quite a bit o’work and a lot of patience because it can take months for search engines to find out if you’re website is important.

Music Artist Promotions For Indie Bands Over the Internet!

If you are a “Music Artist” desiring to have “Major Exposure” for your Band and Songs, but you only have little Promotions and Marketing funds as a budget to promote yourself and your music, Internet (the super highway) Promotion is the way to go.

There was a time India Bands had to have Major Money from Major Sources to get Major Exposure for your music… not anymore! Independent Artists can now promote and market your own music through many Internet Outlets such as; Radio, Social Sites, Blogs, Communities, Web Directories, Digital Distribution and more. But if you as a band don’t have the time to promote yourself, or perhaps you just don’t know how to, then consult with a reputable company that can help you achieve your “Major Marketing Goals” at affordable India prices.

It’s a big help in promoting “Music Online” when you can find Internet & College Radio Stations that will play your songs on the Radio. For the “Independent Musicians and Singers”, Internet Radio is definitely a savior! Your “Original Songs” can now be heard throughout the Whole Wide World. But remember, radio is only one portion of many other outlets for the Music Artists to use, especially if their plans are to have a successful Promotions Campaign that gets Major results.

Placing yourself and your music on every site possible may sound like a tab bit too much, and for many it is. But if you really want to see Major results with only having low budget money, then you need to write articles, upload your music to social sites, to communities, submit to web directories, blogs…find digital distribution that will place your music in Major Online Retail Stores etc… There is no excuse! The Internet has made Major Resources a lot more accessible for Music Indie Artists to grasp, and the playing field has become more of a common ground for both the Indie and the Major labels alike. The internet is the stepping stone used now to reach Millions of possible fans, friends and music industry contacts!

For example, Independent Record Label “Bell Time Records” released R&B Artist “Tamalaneh”, and took her new Cd “I Know You’re Gonna Like This” and promoted it on just about every music related website, blog, social site, community site web directory on the internet. Anybody can do it if you’re willing to do the time consuming work it takes to get the job done. Here are a couple of free music outlets you can submit your articles and songs to for starters: Current.com has now The Indie Music Show, another outlet!! Thank you current. L.L Cool J. has BoomDizzle etc… these music sites are free!

How to Organize a Recital For Your Music Studio

Select music: A few months before recital, help students chose what they will play at recital. Recital pieces should really interest the student, and motivate them to keep playing! Consider a theme – for example, have several students play a Mozart piece, or a particular style like ragtime. Or pick more than one theme and group students together by theme.

Consider how the recital will flow: Will it be too long (say, longer than 2 hours?). You may need to divide up the students into two or more groups. Decide if you will introduce each student or have them introduce themselves. Consider giving out awards or special recognitions at the end.

Select a site: Some obvious places to hold a recital include churches, libraries, and school auditoriums or music rooms. Some music stores also have space for recitals. While some of these options may be expensive, you may be surprised at how little some organizations will charge for the use of their space for a recital. Ask around – where do other teachers in your area go for their recitals? Some students may even be willing to host the recital in their own home. Be sure the space has enough room for all or your students, with all the equipment you need (a piano, sound system, etc.).

Select a date: Weekends tend to be a busy time for families, so try a week night. Ask your students what night might be best for them. Be sure to schedule way ahead of time.

Calculate costs: Estimate the total cost to you (site rental, programs) and decide on a recital fee. Your time is valuable too, so consider adding additional costs to compensate for your work!

Inform your students: As soon as you have a place, time, and fee, inform all of your students via email and newsletter. Remind them all again about 3 weeks from the recital.

Print a program: Anyone can make up a simple program at their home computer, or take it to a printer for a more professional look. Be sure to also hand out business cards or other information on lessons – a recital is a great time to promote your studio!

 

Shoutcast Hosting – Music 24×7

According to Edison Research, a well known firm in media research, more than 42 million users were tuned in to online radio stations in October 2009. This is more than double the 2005 figures. This surge has been attributed to the emergence of shoutcast hosting technology. Shoutcast hosting enables users and professionals to set up and run internet broadcasting services. With this technology, an individual can relay live streaming audio from his computer through the internet. This technology is a viable and cost-effective alternative to AM, FM, or community radio stations.

Shoutcast Hosting: How it Works
Hosting on a shoutcast server is based on client-server architecture. The broadcaster’s computer acts as the client, while a remote computer is the server. The usual inputs for shoutcast are MP3 and AAC+. You can use any MP3-compliant player, such as Winamp, iTunes, Real player, VLC player or XMMS, to listen to the live streaming.

To broadcast through the shoutcast server, you have to install compatible players in the system and a shoutcast DSP plug-in. The plug-in allows connection to the server using a dedicated IP address. Now, you can create an audio file directory by uploading songs on the server. While broadcasting, the client computer can make a selection from the directory that is relayed through the server IP address. Through multiple channels, the client computer can broadcast on-demand streaming music for all users.

Shoutcast Hosting: What to Look for
Ask your hosting provider whether they provide a trial service. This will allow you to check the streaming services and monitor service interruptions. Under ideal conditions, there should be no stutter when the music is playing. If you find any stuttering in the transmission and streaming, opt out immediately.

Create multiple versions of your favored tracks in your hosting library, i.e., high-bit rate for faster, uninterrupted broadband connections, and low-bit rate for slow internet connections.Make sure you have support for both ftp and ssh protocols on your host. Having access to both will help you toggle between the two according to available bandwidth when uploading tracks to your server.

Always opt for a managed,dedicated shoutcasting service. Why? Because you get the best maintenance plans and constant, uninterrupted availability of bandwidth. 24shells, the leader in the hosting industry, offers high quality shoutcast servers.

Music Download Reviews

Come on, we all know you love downloading the newest hits from your favorite bands. Reading music download reviews is one great way to boost your chances of finding the best tunes available from any genre of music you fancy. Ever been in that situation where you just couldn’t remember the name of a musical artist? Through music download reviews, all you music lovers can have something to sing about yourself.

Benefits of finding music through music download reviews:

o You’ll not only be able to seek out various services to compare online music, you’ll actually be able to sign up for a service you can afford.

o Music download reviews offer you the newest information on different features and promotions.

o If you’re one of those people who needs assistance in setting up even the most basic software programs, through reading music download reviews, you can find which music download’s customer support matches your needs.

o See simple, easy-to-grasp charts of online music comparisons.

o Find out who really has the best song selection.

One site that offers comprehensive music download reviews is 6StarReviews.com. They note Real Rhapsody as being one of the top contenders in their search for the best online music service in their music download reviews.

Real Rhapsody gives the Internet-wary crowd a feature that’s hard to ignore. For those who aren’t comfortable with the idea of downloading files from even a trustworthy source, this online music directory offers a streaming service. On-demand streaming is another word for Real Rhapsody’s online jukebox-to-computer function. No files actually make their way into your PC, which can give you some peace of mind.

Brand-new technology and features like ad-free radio stations make this a great choice in online music downloads. Amptonic.com is also another great source reminiscent of 6StarReviews.com’s music download reviews.

This site is a music search engine that allows fans to search out their favorite artists or songs and instantly compare prices and online music download services that provide what they want. Be it music download reviews or music search engines, many sites are stepping up to match consumers’ demands for quick, affordable and easy-to-find music.