[UPDATE: I'm now GIVING AWAY my Bandcamp Secrets eBook! See details at the bottom of this post]
Bandcamp, if you don’t already know, is a platform that allows you to sell your music directly to your fans. You are in complete control of pricing (unlike iTunes, Amazon mp3, etc) and can do things like offer sales, free download codes, and much more. If you haven’t considered using it for your own music, I’d really recommend you go give it a good look.
I’ve been selling my own music on Bandcamp for about 2.5 years now, and I’ve been able to experiment with it and learn the best ways to use it. So let’s get into it, shall we?
1. Good banner design
Bandcamp allows you to create and upload your own banner that is displayed at the top of your page. This is what mine looks like:
As you can see, mine is just a slice of my newest release’s album cover with some simple text on it. Take some time to make sure that yours is clean, simple, and not an annoying affront to people’s eyes.
2. Use an image map in your header
This one is so easy to do and so helpful, but so many people seem to miss out on it! As you can see in my image above, I’ve put text on my header directing listeners to different places where they can connect with me. They act as links, even though they’re part of the image. This is done using an image map. To make an image map, put the text (or images, whatever you want) in your header image. Then upload that image to this site (or any other image map creator website). That site will then allow you to create regions on top of your text or images for your links. It will then give you back some simple HTML code that you can enter into the ‘Custom Header’ section on your Bandcamp profile page. That’s it! Now your header will have whatever links you want and you’ll greatly increase the chances of people connecting with you on other places.
3. Set up a custom domain
This is another little thing that will separate yourself from most others on Bandcamp. Instead of using the default yourbandname.bandcamp.com URL that you initially receive, set up a custom domain for your Bandcamp page. Bandcamp has a help page on how to do it here. My custom URL is music.lowercasenoises.com. If you’re just starting out and don’t have an official homepage, you can even set www.yourbandname.com as your Bandcamp URL. Take the time to do this, it’ll make it obvious to a listener that you’re taking yourself seriously!
Edit: since posting this I’ve discovered that using a custom URL is a feature only available to those who purchase Bandcamp Pro, which is $10/month. Personally, I think it’s worth it, especially if you’re using Bandcamp as your main website. Hosting another homepage anywhere else is going to be at least $10/month anyway.
4. Choose the most ear-grabbing featured track
For each album you upload, Bandcamp allows you to choose a featured track. This track will be the first to play when people visit your page, but more importantly it’s the track people will hear when they stumble across your music in Bandcamp’s relatively new Discover section. By default your first track is featured, but you can choose a different one by clicking the star next to it in the album edit view (as seen on the right). Think about which track would draw you in the most within the first few seconds!
5. Choose your tags wisely
When you upload an album, Bandcamp gives you the ability to tag your album with a few genres. Enter all the tags you feel appropriately describe your music. This will obviously increase your chances of being discovered by someone searching for music of a specific genre.
6. Always let people pay more for your music
Regardless of whether you’re “giving away” your album or selling it for $13, it’s my opinion that you should always allow people to give you more money if they’re so inclined. You might be pleasantly surprised at how generous people are! On the album edit page just check the box that says “let fans pay more if they want”.
7. Point people to your page
Now that you’ve spent all this time and energy making your Bandcamp page the best it can be, make sure it’s the first place you send people who want to hear your music! Use the Bandcamp Facebook app. Make it the main link you share when you release new material. List it first on your website, above iTunes and Amazon. Don’t forget that Bandcamp collects the email address of each person that downloads music from you, so it’s in your best interest to send as many people as you can there instead of to iTunes or other services!
That’s it! Bandcamp is truly an awesome service for musicians like you and me. Hopefully this helps you take full advantage of everything it offers!
I’m now GIVING AWAY my Bandcamp Secrets eBook!
In this eBook I go into much more detail about how to use Bandcamp’s underused, but extremely important features. I’ve been using Bandcamp for a long time and I’ve done all the hard work of figuring out it’s most important features for you. In this content rich eBook you learn:
- How to design a custom Bandcamp header using an image map
- How to take advantage of your Bandcamp Profile Page
- How to feature your best tracks
- How to stay connected with those that download your music (even your free music)
- How to integrate Bandcamp with Facebook
- How to run effective promotions with Bandcamp
- What you need to know about Bandcamp Pro
- and more!
Just fill out the form below for INSTANT ACCESS to Bandcamp Secrets for Independent Musicians.
The Music Passage"Learn to Effectively Promote Your Music & Grow a Fan Base with an Active Community of Motivated Musicians"
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