The 13 Biggest Mistakes Artists Make on Soundcloud…

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The following post comes Budi Voogt, an artist manager, label owner, and longtime user of all things Soundcloud.  His just-published book, The Soundcloud Bible, could become a reference for years to come.

Almost every active, relevant musician is now using Soundcloud.  And for those that aren’t… why aren’t you?  The platform is a great way to foster a community, to get feedback on your tracks and to interact and showcase with people that are into the style that you are.  It’s straightforward, essentially free and can’t be missed in the repertoire of any musician that’s expecting to make a name for himself.

As an artist manager and label boss, I’ve been using Soundcloud intensively for years.  Probably even more than most of my colleagues, as I’m a young dude whose helped push his first artists out to the world using Soundcloud as a primary marketing tool.

In this article, I’m going to outline the most common mistakes that I see musicians make on Soundcloud, and how to fix them.  We’ll talk about the simple yet crucial things, that if done wrong, can make the difference between rocking the platform, or sucking at it.

To tackle the topic, we’re going to tackle three different aspects of Soundcloud game.  Firstly, is the ‘set up‘ of your account.  Second is the ‘content‘, how you regulate and present it, and lastly is about your ‘conduct‘ towards your community and account.

The Set Up

Remember, first impressions always last.

You want to make sure that everyone that visits your Soundcloud profile immediately gets a good impression of you.  Therefore, it’s crucial that you make sure that all the account set-up details are set correctly.

The essentials should all be put in place, and presented nicely.

Mistake #1: Your URL Isn’t Consistent With Other Platforms

The extension that your profile has on Soundcloud should be identical to the ones you have on other social media platforms.  If you’re running with www.facebook.com/thebestbandever, then you want the same ‘/thebestbandever’ extension on your Soundcloud account.  You can edit this in your account settings, under ‘Basic Profile’.

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Mistake #2: Social Links Are Missing, Entirely

Increasingly more so, social media profiles have become the go-to of the younger generation.  The majority of people, and particularly the demographic of 15-25 years old, immediately looks to social media profiles when further investigating an artist they have just discovered.  I’m sure you’ve come across a band that you liked on Facebook, went to their ‘about’ section and discovered that there weren’t any links to their other social media profiles there.  Annoying right?  So straightforward, yet this key point is missed out on by so many acts.

Soundcloud has integrated the ability to add social media links to your profile, and even adds the correct thumbnail images to the links of the larger sites.  You can edit these under your ‘Advanced Profile’ settings.  When setting these up, I recommend that you restrict the amount of networks you use.  The essential links are: website (www.thebestbandever.com), Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Everything else is irrelevant, and the more options you present to people, the less likely they are to click any of them.

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Description and details

Soundcloud is a community platform that’s heavily focused on allowing you to discover new stuff, through what’s trending and by involving findings and content of people you’ve already connected with.  As a result, a halfway decent Soundcloud stroller will often come across a new act.

Mistake #3: Basic Bio and Contact Information Is Missing.

A common mistake I see bands make, is that they don’t provide a short and to-the-point biography, and some contact information, on their profile.  Now sure, we can all agree that if you’re an act with the reputation and following the size that deadmau5 has, you’ll get away with not caring.  But if you don’t, then better sort this stuff out.

Ideally, you place your content email address on top, or that of your booker/manager, followed with a short bio of who you are.  The bio should be about 50-250 words, and looks best when written in third person.  Include something about who you are, what you do, any labels you’re associated with, and integrate some achievements.  Some acts also like to integrate their gig agenda, or archive, however I feel that’s pointless as no one will look to your Soundcloud profile for that.

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Integrate these steps, and get your profile looking right.

The Content

People go to your Soundcloud profile to listen to your music.  When they do, they’ll either listen to the first track that’s on top of your feed, or to the one with the most plays and comments.

Mistake #4: The Best, Most Representative Work Isn’t Readily Presented.

What you want to do, is to make sure that these people have a good shot at listening to some of your best material.  And, that they’ll be easily able to identify the tracks, who made them, what type of mixes and recordings they are, and any sub-genres or influences they’re specific to.


Mistake #5: And don’t upload everything!

For people that are new to your band, and music, you only have a single shot at impressing them.  You know how it goes: if you discover a new artist, you’ll give one track, maybe two, a shot, and if those aren’t to your liking, you’ll move on.  Therefore, it’s essential that you don’t place everything you make on your Soundcloud account.

Sure, a Soundcloud upload is less definitive than a track distributed to iTunes or Beatport, however it’s still in the public domain, and fans you win on Soundcloud can certainly become paying customers for gigs and actual releases.  Ideally, your profile should become a showcase of all the amazing finished work you’ve made and released, so that every potential visitor can be amazed and impressed by your prowess.

Mistake #6: Uploading half-baked, ‘work in progress’ tracks.

When considering an upload, think of it like this: Is this ready for release?  Do I consider this a finished track?  If so, then go for it, put it up.

There will also be people that argue that they like placing ‘work in progress’ tracks on their profiles, and that Soundcloud is the platform on which they feel free enough to do this and get some live feedback from their friends and fans.  To that, I argue that the majority of the biggest acts out there don’t do it, and that the benefit of getting that live feedback will be far less than that of giving a great impression off the bat.

Track Details

Mistake #7: Simple mislabeling.

Your music should be instantly findable, based on the track title, your artist name, and the keywords and genres associated with it. That’s why it’s important that you label everything correctly.  With the new Soundcloud update, the platform now suggests that adding your artist name in a track upload is no longer essential.  I say that’s wrong.

Why? Because with the new re-post feature, people can now re-post your tracks to their own feed.  And the only way to then trace the name of the original artist is by looking at the miniscule reference to the original uploader.  Not the way to go.

For track titles, stick to the following format: “Artistname – Track Title (Mix Type)”


Mistake #8: Forgetting to Identify Your Genre

In terms of genre, always make sure to place the correct genre as the first ‘Keyword’ to the track. You want to do this, because Soundcloud has an explore function, which indexes all the ‘trending’ tracks within a particular genre.  Soundcloud’s only way to define the genre is through the keywords, and the first one that’s embedded in the player, is often the most valuable in determining that. Alternatively, the platform’s search function browses through keywords as well, so if you search for ‘electro’, it’ll find tracks who have that word embedded in its title, keywords and lastly description.

Other keywords that are important to include are the original artist, associated artists, record label and possibly the place where you’re from, or clubs you’ve played.

Apply a filter on what you upload, and when you do decide to put something up, make it easily findable and recognizable.

 

Code of Conduct

Apart from the music, the most essential element of Soundcloud is its community aspect.  If you manage to maintain and interact with these properly, you’ll be able to foster a growing community, establish new relationships and develop true fans.

There’s a few basic rules of conduct that would serve every artist on Soundcloud well to adhere to.

Mistake #9: Not using your account!

This is the most common mistake I see artists make on Soundcloud.  The majority of them use the platform daily, but don’t bother to log into their own account, and like and interact with the stuff they like.

An engaged and lively account is much more likely to foster a community, and will also force you to get a true feel of the intricacies of the platform.

So, every time you use it, log in, like the tracks you love, and keep it buzzing.

Mistake #10: Never spam others.

The whole idea behind the comment system, and the waveform players, is that people would be able to leaving precise and constructive feedback on people their music.  It’s supposed to add value, to help artists make better music, and to allow fans to praise what they think is great.  There’s always been a group of people on that platform that place comments along the lines of

“Great track! If you like this, I just made a new EP. Check it out!”

Never EVER be that guy!

Mistake #11: Not adding value in your comments.

When you comment on people their tracks (which you should actively do by the way… interact with the stuff and artists you truly appreciate), make sure to add value.  A simple ‘Nice’ or ‘Great drop’ works, but doesn’t hold as much value as actually giving some intricate feedback.  Don’t be hesitant to be critical either.  Usually, the more honest and critical feedback is more likely to get a dialogue started.

Elaborate and constructive comments can be conversation starters, and will also lead people to check out your profile.  And if you do it this way, it’ll actually be genuine, and not from screaming for attention.

Add value, to get value.


Mistake #12: Not replying to all comments

This is one of the most overlooked, yet most powerful ways to harness the community aspect of Soundcloud.Reply to EVERY comment someone makes on one of your tracks.  It’s by far the best way to get people to come back to your profile, and they’ll likely proceed beyond that (by checking your website or other social-media platforms), because it shows of genuine interest.

Doing this is simple: you go to one of your tracks, and you click on the little comment bubble indicator which shows how many comments a track has.  That’ll take you to a list of the comments, where you can click on each of them to place a reply.  When you do, place comments that actually make sense.

Mistake #13: Replying as a bot would.

A genuine ‘thank you’ works, but prevent yourself from typing the same ‘thank you’ responses to numerous comments. Personalize the stuff.

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These are essential basics that you should integrate in the way you work with Soundcloud.  Implement these consistently, and you will see cumulative results coming through in your fan base growth and engagement. You might even make some actual friends.

My experience using these tricks has been absolutely great, and I can truly say that I have fallen in love with the platform.  It’s such a good way to help people connect, and if used correctly, it can really contribute to a rising musician’s growth.

Now before I continue and tell you literally everything about Soundcloud that I know, I need to stop.

[insert shameless plug]

You’re in luck though… because there’s a lot more where this came from, and I’ve written it down.  My first book, The Soundcloud Bible, is launching today (November 19th).  You can grab a copy here, and make sure to sign up to my  newsletter for more content like this.

Thanks for reading!  Budi.

 

 

142 Responses

  1. Jonny broda Liverpool

    Ew soundclouds lame it’s got no real musicians like Justin b or Selma G.

    Reply
    • l.f.oszillo

      Maybe someone should tell you that selling stuff in the net needs clean payment links to trust your offer. your offer here has shortlinks and where paypal is written, there is no paypal link behind. so this is very bad practise.

      The main content of the “book” (where nowhere is explained it is a ebook or hard cover) is about the same information you can find in http://help.soundcloud.com

      text in product site packed in jpegs is even not a good practise, it just blocks search engines from recognizing your real informations.

      putting email accounts information direct in a social profile is like inviting spamers to tell you spam and is even like to tell your visitors that you want to make a big impression but most of your work is about spam filtering and muting accounts in soundcloud.

      Well i should write a track about that kind of marketing “guru’s” who ever tell us how to be.

      if you want to know more critics, write me in soundcloud.com/oszillo

      Reply
    • Mire

      this is all great and everything but it doesn’t say how you’re supposed to get people view your profile in the first place, which is what people need first & foremost before worrying about details.

      Reply
  2. Derrick

    Great advice, especially about adding where you’re from
    in the keywords section

    Reply
  3. Faza (TCM)

    Wow, that’s a blast from the past. And by that, I mean it’s the kind of article one saw a lot of in 2008 or so – the kind that got me blogging in the first place.

    Frankly, I don’t particularly care how I should be using Soundcloud. I’m a lot more interested in why I should be using it. Naturally, the author actually doesn’t bother justifying it, beyond a few unsupported assertions. I’d like to see some figures, thank you very much.

    I understand that the book is out and it needs promoting, but… really? I could, with little trouble, produce a number of such articles from the past several years. Just substitute “Facebook” or “Twitter” or whatever for “Soundcloud”. The idea that in many cases the whole excercise may be a monumental waste of time (compared to other things you might be doing to promote your music) never seems to be considered at all.

    Reply
    • N "Troller" P

      To piggyback off of Faza’s point….I’ve noticed a trend in artists opting for Bandcamp over Soundcloud. Has there been any comparative research performed on the benefits, flaws, etc.? What are other successful tools/platforms are artists using to promote their music?

      Also, like “DUDE” pointed out – is Soundcloud the preferred platform for trolling new music or is there a better one – not including blogs? I enjoy trolling 🙂

      Reply
  4. Anonymous

    Obviously the author like a good deal of people who want to use Soundcloud to promote themselves to become big stars is using this article to promote their book and probably has not spent a good deal of time actually engaging with the community on Soundcloud. Some of the points I agree have substance, however Soundcloud is now not the same community it was 3/4 years ago and it is really not a platform to build a following with as it used to be, but another example of a My Space in waiting with large developers and record companies paying big bucks to promote their artists. With this in mind I cannot help thinking that the author is about 3 years too late highlighting these points!!!

    Reply
    • Dirki

      Yeap, that’s true, they changed their appearance from a community platform to a kinda streaming blog. I stay with the classic style version, but this version is constantly reducing the features (searching, notification etc.). They press the community to change to the fancy version. It will end up in irrelevance, but as always, there are other platforms at ready. It sad, but that’s life.

      Reply
  5. Unmistakable

    The only mistake I see indie artists make is that they use soundcloud. All pro indie artists have already set up their own official websites and they host all of their files there. There is no point in creating a soundcloud profile. Nobody has ever been discovered through that site and I believe never will.

    Reply
    • Andrew B. White

      Just a note on this – one example is Lorde. You know her right? lol
      Anyway, late in 2012 as a complete unknown the tracks from her “Love Club” EP were posted on Soundcloud (also as free downloads). Through Soundcloud her music spread like wildfire to become what she is now, only a few short months later.
      As of today ‘Royals’ alone on her Soundcloud feed has had over ten million plays.
      Go figure – despite the fact she had some hefty major label support behind her it was the Souncloud platform that primarily served as a access for people to discover her music.

      In addition to this bloggers tend to like Soundcloud for embedding music into their blogs – this increases the snowball effect and its so easy to do.

      Whilst 99% of the artists on Soundcloud will never get the success of Lorde there are plenty of others who have been ‘discovered’ and making their mark through the platform.

      Reply
        • DirtySoapMusic

          Hey Curious, how much you make of zero plays? Or, maybe the 1000 plays got you a record deal? Just curious!

          Reply
          • Curious

            Can’t tell if you are being rhetorical or not. At a minimum, please clarify which of the two points you are trying to make:

            1. The 10,000,000 plays on SoundCloud ARE RESPONSIBLE for the money she has made off the song Royals in that it drove people to buy it on iTunes, drove people to sign her to their label, etc. i.e. places like SoundCloud and terrestrial radio shouldn’t have to pay to spin songs b/c it delivers sufficient promotional value.
            or
            2. Getting zero money for 10,000,000 plays is better than getting zero money for zero plays.

            If its #1 above, one of the things I’m curious about is why she would leave the song up on SC now that people are willing to pay for it on retail sites. Seems to contradict the foundations of the “windowing” strategy we hear so much about. Would love to hear anyone chime in on that.

          • RandomConvenienceStoreShopperInTheJackassMovie

            First of all, where in the article did it imply that the purpose of creating art is to make money. What percentage of artists make good money, and what percentage of artists care much about that?

            Moving on.

            If you can’t understand the benefit to spreading your art to massive amounts of people who care for it in adding to your potential (if we’re pretending that the goal in making music is to make the most amount of money possible) to bring in income, I don’t know what to tell you, other than maybe learn about the benefits of publicity. There are reasons that agents are hired to get someone’s name out. Soundcloud + the internet is a free to cheap agent, who gets your name out. It’s really pretty simple stuff here.

      • Spong

        Lorde has been ‘in development’ with Universal since the age of 12. Work it out yourself.

        Reply
        • GGG

          And as we all know every artist ever signed to a major label has gotten rich and famous!

          Reply
  6. Jon Wesley

    I use Soundcloud and there are things I do right and that I do wrong but it really has gone downhill. All people do is “Like” your music without listening, beg for comments on their stuff, send bot-like messages “thanks for following me check out our…” so I understand why a lot of people have accounts but they rarely engage with anyone. This is the same for all social networks so I guess it’s just the way things go. I used to be really active but it didn’t really feel social to me so I slowed down. Now I engage with a smaller amount of people and I do have good relationships with a few but it cracks me up when I see a regular user account with 10,000 listens and hundreds of comments and I wonder if they are mostly fake. I’m moving back to hosting my music on my own website so I can at least get some real engagement eventually. I’ll always keep Soundcloud but I will use it less and less as time goes on. Good advice in your article. I can definitely refer people back here so they know what they (and everybody else ) SHOULD be doing.

    Reply
  7. Andrew B. White

    The article by Voogt has its merits. I agree its probably a little ‘old fashioned’ in some respects but I wonder if we can consider Soundcloud users that aren’t stereotypical for a minute.

    Often ‘advice’ articles about Soundcloud focus on artist that are looking to further their careers, build audiences, sell music etc etc. These are all the traditional music ‘industry’ catchphrases and processes aligned to a digital music platform.
    How about the artists that use Soundcloud simply to showcase their music, interact with other artists ie. collaborations, remixes etc without any purpose other than they enjoy doing so.
    It seems everyone is expected to adhere to some kind of ‘career’ or monetization end-game when it comes to music – gathering as many likes, comments, friends and social networks as possible. That’s not actually the point for a lot of Soundcloud users (like me).
    I post music I make. I post music I make that is a work in progress. I post unfinished work that will never be finished. I post all types of stuff. It’s my choice and Soundcloud allows for that. I enjoy listening to people who do the same thing. I might get five likes on a sound but so what? I could buy 50,000 likes on a song if I wanted. But why would I? I’m not on an endless mission looking for fans, a record deal or whatever.

    What I’m saying is that we don’t have to tarnish Soundcloud users with the same brush of being ‘career artists’ who use the platform as a way in to the music industry. Some of us just want to share our original music and nothing more.

    Quite frankly having your own website to host music to get ‘real engagement’ I feel is quite a bizarre statement. Personal websites are fine in addition to anything else but generally they over zero interactiveness with the end user. If you limited yourself to that you’d be in digital isolation.

    I’m liking Soundcloud more than ever. By following the right people for me I am discovering so much great music and talent that you would never come across on blogs, magazines, iTunes, Spotify or radio. This includes users who are artists and users who simply discover and share great tunes. The latter to me are like proper A&R guys – they have a real sense of the good stuff and seem to be able to find it amongst the gazillion Soundcloud users.

    Reply
    • Jesse Hose

      Well said. I recently joined Soundcloud as an easy way to share my music with friends and family. Not expecting to get rich off my music, I just enjoy making it and am glad to have a place to share it.

      Reply
  8. Nick

    Interesting article. I use soundcloud not only to share my music with other listeners but also to share new compositions with band members. Its convenient because you can quickly upload and listen on any device even low bandwidth. My soundcloud account is one of a number of steps in the songwriting process but one which I consider very helpful.

    Reply
  9. Anonymous

    Just a quick note: when you actually type in a genre, this is atuomatically added to the tag list. You don’t have to specify it twice.

    Reply
  10. DUDE

    Does anyone actually troll soundcloud looking for new stuff though? The only time I go there is when I get linked from someplace else, or if someone embeds a link in another site — its a great file hosting service no doubt but I dunno about its merits as a method of discovering music

    Reply
    • ACap

      I use it for hosting and embed on my website. This way, my website doesn’t take forever and a day to load (I use YouTube to host and embed videos). I have gotten a handful of followers unintentionally. Some of them appear to be genuinely interested and actively searching out music; I think maybe 1 or 2 out of the 30 some-odd wanderers have posted the proverbial “nice track! follow me!” comment.

      Reply
  11. William

    Hey, this was most helpful, especially for someone who has just created an account. I’ve applied the techniques as I read them and (hopefully) will continue to update consistently
    Thanks again

    Reply
  12. Taiguer Wilson

    Soundcloud is a good place to load your stuff and direct your ‘costumers’ to it. The links are great and usually work without too many hicks-ups. I’m based in Angola and sometimes is hard to get a good signal here and even so, no problem. It’s very clear to me that Soundcloud will have difficulty with ‘live’ interaction. Call me crazy but I find the interface somewhat geeky. Eitheirway, I respect it and it’s the first place I load my material to. Easy peasy.
    PS: Jonh nad Paul, the embeded comment is definitely worth talking about…

    Reply
  13. Eric Porcher

    Great article. One thing I would add, from the perspective of a heavy user on the listener side, is to properly tag the music tracks themselves. When I download tracks from Soundcloud and open them in my iTunes library it’s a treat to find ones that already have the artist tag completed. But I find that’s pretty rare with Soundcloud musicians.

    Reply
  14. Phonophlux

    It would help interaction if the Soundcloud App would allow to reply on feed one got on a track. No such option on the app level yet. Thanks for your feed, will keep the hands-on info in mind 😉 greetz Phonophlux

    Reply
  15. tcrde

    music is serious business and aspiring artists should take it serious!!!. and avoid this pitfalls! lest one ends up in music grave’s!!!!

    Reply
  16. state

    another mistake is to just comment on other people’s stuff on soundcloud to get comments back instead of using a peer to peer commenting exchange network where they have to comment back eventually.

    the only one is cloudkillers and it’s free

    here’s a link that’ll get you a few bonuses to start you out

    http://www.cloudkillers.com/?aff=25109

    you’re guaranteed to get comments back this way and actually have the potential to reach real followers that’ll come back and listen more if you’re good…

    Reply
  17. Trystan Matthews

    Thanks for writing this article Paul! Mistake #2 and #8 were certainly news to me. I am very concerned with the limitations of the new SC and the phasing out of some of the older features. Having over 1,000 tracks uploaded (yes I know… mistake #5!), the lack of search function for your own tracks on the new SC is bewildering to say the least. And I’ve given up on getting any help (or even honest answers) from SoundCloud support. So I do hope that you continue to share more of these helpful articles with us.

    Reply
    • roberrt sumrall

      Trystan, you may find my comment down below helpful.. it may shed some light on something thats been under your nose the whole time

      Reply
  18. Pete Jones

    The article and the comments make interesting reading. I’m in the process of getting a website to put my music on and i’ve been advised to use sound cloud to host the files or whatever. I shan’t say the name of the site lest I should commit the worst crime ever. However, it doesn’t actually seem that bad to me once in a while to suggest to someone that they should listen to your stuff. Obviously i’m not ok with spam when people are doing it on as many tracks as they can just to get followers. But if you genuinely feel you’re music would appeal to someone else and that you are of a like mind, I don’t see the harm in asking them to check out your track. After all, isn’t that what everyone is trying to do? Spread their music? Having read all the comments here I have mixed feelings. I can see how using the sound cloud as a host makes it simplar. You don’t need to have your own media player etc. On the other hand is it the force it used to be? Indeed, was it ever? Lol. I definitely agree that you shouldn’t have too much stuff on there if you’re actually trying to get people to buy your stuff. After all, if the entire album is on there, who needs to spend money buying it? That said, I believe you can listen to complete albums on spottify without paying. And of course you can find whole albums worth of stuff on youtube. Although they are usually the people who have already sold lots of albums, much as the artists who get torrented have usually sold a few million copies already. Interesting. How to strike the balance between pushing your music and making it accessible, or down right giving it away. It seems to me that sound cloud could be a potensially useful tool, but probably inconjunction with lots of other strategys. Oh, and did the writer of the article call himself a young dude? Er, seriously? God I hope he was being ironic. I mean, who says that? 🙂

    Reply
  19. Jo

    Actually, when yer track is reposted it DOES show yer name clearly — you’ll have very long song titles if you add your name and that’s bad for when you share yer song on Twitter. Which is a tip that should be here — share via Twitter! Every single time I do that I get hits. Probably because people follow the hashtag #SoundCloud.

    Reply
  20. roberrt sumrall

    well one thing that isnt mentioned here is that soundcloud likes to limit the amount of people that you follow if you follow too many people in one period of time.. they consider it “spamming”, witch is bullshit. they just want you to pay for their services. the truth is, if you wanna boost your plays, likes, and comments, all you gotta do is hit follow follow follow follow follow ect.. it may sound ridiculous to some people, but it’s not. it puts your name out there, people see your following them, and a good percentage of those people will listen to your tracks, and then the people who like your tracks ofcourse will hit the “like” button, and also leave comments. it works…. but see it goes both ways, cuz when someone likes your stuff, you then go and check out theres, and if you like it, youll let them know just as they did for you, ive found some great musicians that way.. so its not just a “me” “me” “me” type of additude like some people might think..id also like to mention iv’e had two different offers to collaborate so far with some solid composers.. soundcloud considers this technique to be “unfair” to the community.. however i feel it’s pretty obvious they just want to make money off you, by offering a service for something you could just easily do yourself.

    Reply
    • roberrt sumrall

      yeah please disregard this message lol.. i feel like an idiot for writing this, ive had more time to figure out how soundcloud works, and i see how overfollowing is indeed spamming.. if the person who made this site could please take the post down that would be great, thanks

      Reply
  21. Anonymous

    Thanks for the tips. Here’s a Soundcloud link (not mine) that I’m trying to help promote. It got 600 legitimate views in less than a week, mostly through Reddit, Facebook and Twitter (in that order). But only one comment? I wish more people would comment. What genre do you think this is? How does it make you feel? Would you go see this music live? Any questions about how it was created? Please comment!

    https://soundcloud.com/dexterfairweather/vacation

    Reply
  22. Anonymous

    Thanks for the tips. Here’s a Soundcloud link (not mine) that I’m trying to help promote. It got 600 legitimate views in less than a week, mostly through Reddit, Facebook and Twitter (in that order). But only one comment? I wish more people would comment. What genre do you think this is? How does it make you feel? Would you go see this music live? Any questions about how it was created? Please comment!

    https://soundcloud.com/dexterfairweather/vacation

    Reply
  23. truth

    if an artist is really an artist – he/ she will not give a f*** about soundcloud, let alone it’s rules.

    Reply
  24. jay

    Tame Impala, Odd Future, Flying Lotus <—- big name artists who showcase their works in progress on soundcloud.

    Reply
  25. Esol Esek

    What this article achieved is mostly making me think Soundcloud blows now. It sounds like it’s mostly like Reverbnation, where the more activity you engage in, the higher your chart standing is, regardless of whether anyone is actually liking or even listening to your music.

    To me, this belies a profit motive based on

    1.payola by wannabes who think they can buy their way into the industry (if you’re going to do this, maybe you should just buy off radio or a distributor or buy a better PA),

    2. advertising based on clicks and views, irrelevant of anything else. Part of the scam Google calls advertising.

    I’m a musician, but even as a listener, I want to know a song is special, that others agree with me that it’s great, even though I pride myself on that decision. Music that has bought it’s way to the top is suspect, even if it’s good, and it’s usually not beyond glossy and unoriginal.

    Like I said, thanks for this article. I posted on Soundcloud in the past, then was out for a while. Now coming back in, it just sounds like a waste of time again. It’s amazing how much radio still seems to have great appeal. Youtube also of course, though they have also watered down their community in the last year.

    Reply
  26. john

    this article is written under the assumption that you are using your music to get rich & famous. i’m sure it’s applicable for those types who do behave that way, but for “hobbyists” (read: real artists) whose sense of gratification comes from the act of creation, not the social recognition, this is a fairly asinine read. anyway, the advice is pretty boilerplate – if you want lots of comments and views, go around posting comments and views on other peoples’ sites.

    i don’t think this author realizes, though, that the tone of his article is not going to sell this book very well. he takes the tone of, “okay, I’m the expert, and I’m here to show you what to do!” which is not really appropriate when you’re talking about a MANAGER advising ARTISTS. or anyway, no artist with a shred of self-worth will buy this guy’s book…. and no human being with a shred of common sense will need to anyway.

    these “big mistakes” this guy witnesses are not as mistaken as he thinks, I’m willing to bet…. more like, some people don’t care if their music gets super popular… some people are just happy to play. these people probably don’t have the instinct to make their soundcloud account super keyword-savvy, but that doesn’t mean they’re lacking for it. since when is a person’s soundcloud account the way you decide their worth as a musician? pretty sure if you’re disinclined to follow up on an artist because a link to their facebook was not readily available, right in fucking front of your face, you weren’t really that interested to begin with.

    basically, this article smacks of “ways to manipulate the data set to make your band look bigger!” this article smacks of “marketing!” this article smacks of society’s pointless little games attempting to insinuate themselves into the last free-standing vestiges of meaning & the human soul, like a virus which, instead of infecting, commoditizes.

    this guy seems to think people are pretty stupid if he thinks this book will sell. probably it will though – there are always hapless non-musicians, trying to pose as musicians because they haven’t realized yet it’s not their calling (these are the types who grow up to be dads who won’t buy their teenage son an electric guitar because “i had that dream once too, lemme warn ya now, it’s stupid”), and these types will always need some guru to pay to explain why they don’t have a natural ear for music. maybe it’s the marketing! it must be! yeah!

    i spent some time as a street performer and wound up getting gigs that way. zero fucking marketing. i was invited to do studio accompaniments, from sitting on the street. so don’t think I’m just talking out of my ass here. this article is an example of that WHOLE WORLD OF BULLSHIT which plagues not just art, but all life, attempting to impose some kind of puerile sense of order over the things it doesn’t understand.

    I’m sure this guy thinks he’s accomplished something by getting to know soundcloud. frankly i think it’s kind of hilarious that it took him this much experience to extrapolate these precious tidbits of advice. it basically amounts to “fill out all the forms, use keywords if you want people to be able to find you by searching keywords,” etc.

    i think the only mistake here is this guy trying to give artists any kind of advice.

    Reply
  27. Robyn

    Really helpful. Have passed on link to a songwriting friend. Thanks Budi!

    Reply
  28. Bruce Debow

    I do use soundcloud and I think it is a great tool and revolutionary concept of sharing music but I also think the best way to promote my music is by placing it in every store and streaming service possible. Being out there and being everywhere was the way to go for me and my band. This way we got many new fans who would never heard about us and our music. I’m using this music distribution service Cosmo Distribution which is operating more as an record label. They helped us big time. http://cosmodistribution.com

    Reply
  29. 100 GrandStan

    Good Article For Us Soundcloud Users You Keep This Up A Good Way Too Guide Us Young Artist Musicians & Songwriters Take A Look At My Page @ 100 GrandStan Hip hop Rnb Genre But Good Music For All

    Reply
  30. Justin

    I disagree with #6 for the most part. I follow a number of indie artists or hobbyists that make amazing music in their own time, and knowing what the good stuff is already, it’s always insightful to hear something unpolished or the original demo of the final product. A great example of this is Cloudkicker. Some of his guitar noodlings and throw-away tracks are just as good, or give insight into how the final riff was made for a particular song. Sometimes two riffs from two separate songs are in the same track, as he was fooling around. Maybe that’s not something everyone loves, but at the very least, they could be separated from the main material. I wish SoundCloud would do that anyways. I don’t like going to Tycho’s page to see a bunch of random tracks in a row, some remixes, some major release tracks. I want something a little more streamlined.

    Reply
  31. Why Should I buy Soundcloud Plays?

    […] People should gain soundcloud plays for the purpose of boosting their music careers by a long shot. It is truly the best thing to be famous a massive online music platform such as soundcloud and it surely tends to take the music career of all young and talented artists to a whole new level and that too, in a short period of time. Therefore, focusing on increasing plays as well as followers of soundcloud by purchasing them alone is highly recommended to all music lovers and artists worldwide. […]

    Reply
  32. The Observers

    I actually use Sound Cloud to find artists all the time for networking purposes (I’m a producer and recording engineer). I could give a sh*t about how many followers or views they have. In fact, I prefer it when others have fewer views because I find it more likely to get responses from them. Sure, there are plenty of flaws, but I think a ton of value can be harnessed from it as well – it just depends on your objective. Thank for the insightful article, as I am actually going to take more time to provide more meaningful comments with other artists.

    Does anyone have any more advice? Just curious…
    https://soundcloud.com/theobserversmusic

    Reply
  33. rapper g.I.

    Nah I dont use soundcloud as much anymore because they keep restricting the access, and dont buy everything they say about half baked songs, if you want to get your music out make a song.

    Reply
  34. Jacobpagemusic

    This is really useful, just hit nearly half a million plays on my cover of Say Something, soundcloud is one of the best platforms to get your music heard, I write my own songs but one tip I would give people is do covers! Preferably a track that has just been released and has a lot of interest this way people get drawn to you profile and you can rack up a good audience! Like I said I did a cover and not even that happy with it but half a million plays later im a happy man!!

    Reply
  35. Lake

    Stupid post. Lots of people post unfinished work and ideas, that’s part of why I like soundcloud. I can hear everyone’s finished work on the radio or youtube. You should have thought this one through a little harder.

    Reply
  36. FARTCOCK

    ELLO CHAPS THIS IS A BLOODY BEAUTY OF AN ARTICLE COME CHECK OUT MINE PLEASE.

    Reply
  37. Will

    Everyone check out Free Will on Soundcloud, Flashback (EP). I’ve released two tracks so far – Dancing with Lions ft. Free Willem is also mine

    Reply
  38. Anonymous

    These are great pointers. I think I read this once, a long time ago; and didn’t really follow through as much as I could have. Another thing (not sure if you mentioned) is to make sure to put a good eye popping picture on each of your tracks, to attract attention when sharing the tracks on social media (and other good reasons).

    The biggest thing that I think raises your fan base, true listeners, and even friends: is to go and listen to other artists’ music, and leave good comments… and maybe even send private messages to the ones you really like or would like to work with. I’ve asked several artists if I can remix tracks and generally 1 out of 10 give good responses.

    You can find me at soundcloud.com/theMuzzl3 and soundcloud.com/Pixelgasm — if you are interested in checking me out or interacting with me. I have reposted this page on twitter, tumblr, and facebook!

    Reply
  39. MaxyMax

    Well I use to get free followers from SharkStash.com , but for some reason that site just completely shut down. That site had gotten me almost 2000 real followers, but it just jumped ship one day. We need another site like that so we can all just follow each other back and forth. That was how I was doing so good on Soundcloud for the longest time.

    Reply
  40. ENERGY!!!!

    Check this out if you want to head-bang!!

    [soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/177935004″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]

    Reply
  41. tatsuya

    Haha, what a parasite. Yeah, everybody makes music to become major player in “the industry” and hit the big time like this deluded douchebag. Fuck off and stay away from art you megalomaniac patronising asshole, you’re the antithesis of creative minds. Good job encouraging total submissive mediocrity.

    Reply
  42. NinjaNatty

    Can you cite at least one artist (but preferably more) that has actually ‘made a name for themselves’ using Soundcloud as a platform to breakthrough?
    I’ve been a professional touring independent musician for years, and I like the usability of Soundcloud, but I don’t see it as a genuinely viable platform for musicians to create any sustainable career from, with the exception of perhaps a few specific genres such electronic music producers and DJ’s…

    Reply
  43. Mordorfucker

    This article in one word: Now you have no life. Your life is Soundcloud. Long life to the music!! Long life to netlabels!! F**k neoliberalism!! 😛

    Reply
  44. Anonymous

    My problem is the comment, “especially 15-25 year olds”. DEAR LORD!!! I DONT CARE ABOUT 15 to 25 YEAR OLDS! Yes I know the major labels went out their way to drop all others, thanks to the Beatles, and since then, the world has been trying to see how they can create another one with kid audiences….BUT THEY WERE STUPID for that, because kids have no money. Kids are tech smarter, kids will rip your product. Nabster was born, and the quality of music went along with it.
    Also Soundcloud is totally void of R&B ballads. All other white genres have a plethora of breakdowns. But Black artists? If youre not playing house,rap, or steppers (a chicago based format), then there is no audience. Yet everyone knows that r&b and love songs have went hand and hand since the beginning. This follows the radio formats. They had nice, love songs channels…but they mean white demographics. Black love songs? forget about it. Also classic soul? NEVER FAILS, it always has to include NEW music. Whereas white audiences, get to enjoy purely classic stations, and Im talking only songs from 1960s and back, or classic rock, country, jazz, etc. But blacks? we are forced to have to listen to new teenie bop music even on the “dusty” channels. And did I state that on the radio, black stations always turn gospel on sundays? Assuming everyone wants to hear that?
    So Soundcloud is pretty much behaving like the brainwashed public has experienced.
    So…I have a really nice slow jam.What group shall I place it in? OH THERES ONE THAT SAYS….HOUSE, RAP, R&B. CLub, Dub Step. Let me drop it in that, with the 90% rap posts.

    Reply
  45. khan flo mah

    As a producer, I play Bass, keys, Lead guitar, percussion, and do the vocals on songs. (I Hate the word tracks).
    So all of our music comes off with a better production quality, than people who create songs with a DAW program playing all the music. Besides Khan Flo Mah, which includes myself and Lead singer, keyboardist and producer, Tony Pickett, I have made a House music Band called “The Disco Hevvies”. My question is Wav format. I upload in wave, but obviously soundcloud compresses. I just wonder what people are listening with when they use soundcloud. Headsets or computer speakers? those are really the only two applications I feel one should worry about. For few people are playing on stereo systems. However many are using cars and cell phone blue tooth options.

    Because the genre is Chill out however, and house…I wonder do the people that listen to those two formats even care about ever downloading such songs. Do they actually just listen to long mixes and disregard individual songs that are house/disco or chill? Is the objective in those two formats, to get onto Dj long mixes and schmooze them?

    Lastly, if youre on tunecore, doesnt soundcloud have to pay mechanical rights to retain the ability to be in business, and therefore youre getting paid by streams via tunecore? Maybe the point is, to get as many people to spin your song as possible at this point. And who cares about buying it.

    Reply
  46. random nobody

    If this is article is just the start, then I wonder how incredibly bad your book must be. Horrible, just plain horrible. Apart from some basics regarding technicalities (like SC link integrity), you seem to not have understood true art at all. Just another mindless consumer-oriented zombie this world has enough of.

    Reply
  47. The Hobbyist

    The biggest SoundCloud mistake is starting with SoundCloud in the first place. Equal to all social media endeavors it is a waste of time. You spend hours and hours of networking and/or listening to music just to get a handful of listeners back. That is the principle. It’s like selling tomatoes to a tomato salesman and right after he sells you his back. There is no point. The platforms algorithm itself probably only generates traffic payola wise or for those who are already famous. They use SoundCloud as a tool and rather than the tool doing something for them they actually do for the tool. Again, no point.

    Good fun. That’s what SoundCloud can be, nothing more. Unfortunately it generates too much spam to be even fun. Marketing wise SoundCloud and social media are only important for douche bags who are trying to sell you SoundCloud and social media.

    You want traffic? Drag you sorry ass on stage and perform!

    Reply
  48. Joe

    I read in another article that you should keep your soundcloud account private when submitting to record labels. Maybe its to keep others from stealing your musical ideas. Any thoughts on this?

    Reply
  49. NoOneSpecial

    Nothing quite like necro posting on a 3 year old article. Oh well.

    What I think most people fail to understand in this article, is that soundcloud is one tool that is part of a bigger promotional scheme. I had not used SC up until two months ago (i had a couple of songs loaded, mostly as space savers and to make sure my name was protected) I have about 700 followers, a decent amount of plays, and have generated income for a couple of songs due to using SC for one thing – promotion.

    There are two ways of looking at how you are running your hobby or music career – 1st there is a promotion then revenue protection. The latter cannot happen without the former. SC is a good platform for promotion, but it’s only a single voice among a busy choir.

    If you only use it as your sole means of promotion, you are missing the bigger picture.

    Reply

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