5 Ways to Be Better At Bandcamp

Image via David Blakie on Flickr.

It used to be making your own website. Then everyone was throwing their music up on Myspace. And now Bandcamp has become the place where bands promote themselves. Or at least it should be. Free and incredibly user friendly, if you haven’t yet taken advantage of the site, you are missing out. But even if you are using it, don’t let its capabilities go to waste. Make sure you:

1. Prettify Your Page

Far too many bands throw up some music and go back to updating their Facebook. This is a huge mistake when Bandcamp offers so many choices to make the page pop with utilizing your logos, color scheme and artwork. And consider directing people directly to your discography. Show people how much of your rad music they can check out.

2. Link to Your Merch

A lot of bands seem to think that the site is just a place to hear music. But it’s just as easy to link off to whatever social media you have as well as your label’s site, a distro for your new record and a site where people can buy shirts, buttons, etc. (Yes, a place like Big Cartel can be just as user friendly to sell your stuff.)

3. Make All Your Music Available for Streaming

Sorry, but your songs are not so precious that they need to be under lock and key until someone forks over the cash. With so much flying at a listener every day, you need to muscle your way into their earholes, not hide your music until they open their wallet. When you don’t treat your listeners like consumers they don’t think of your band as salesmen. And speaking of…

4. Make Some of Your Music Free

It’s understandable if, after dropping a few grand on a recording, you would like to make a little back. Or maybe your label doesn’t want to risk losing any cash to your generosity. But you can spare something. If not a new track then your last record, or some rough demos. Something, please, anything. You may think there isn’t a huge difference between a dollar and free, and maybe that’s true when someone is on iTunes staring at the new Taylor Swift single. But you are not Ms. Swift and if that dollar keeps your music off their iPod, you only have yourself to blame.

5. Listen to Bandcamp

The people who put this site together are no slouches. They actually care about music makers and music lovers and they offer their own advice on how to make your Bandcamp page a success. They are also always updating the features and they offer a “Pro” page as well if you throw them some cash. Remember, more and more the Bandcamp page is becoming the first impression someone has of your band. If you’re not putting in any effort, you may as well go back to posting on Myspace.

Shane Mehling FOLLOW >

Shane Mehling is a freelance writer and editor who plays in noiserock bands.