Soundcloud has increasingly become one of the most important tools in an artist’s toolbox.Most of the blogs we work with prefer a Soundcloud link over any other streamed audio file for several reasons. One is simply the ease of use. There is no hosting on their part; the file is typically hosted through the artist or record label’s account, so there is little risk of copyright infringement. In addition, a strategic alliance between Soundcloud and Hype Machine means a bit more exposure for their blog, as those links receive a higher ranking for potential charting with the music aggregator
In order to take full advantage of these opportunities, it’s important you set a firm foundation to maximize your exposure.
Create a great description with a call to action that would make potential fans want to click on your songs to hear more. This should not be, “________ band has the most amazing indie rock songs in the world.” “Dig into the haunting ambience and sweeping melodies” would be on the right track. And while you’re at it, include contact information so media and the industry can get a hold of you if they have an opportunity for you.
Include a compelling publicity photo that clearly defines your sound and makes fans want to hear more.
Social networks and website links
Make sure you’ve linked back to all your social networks and website in your profile so people can keep up to date with what you are doing when they fall in love with your music. While you’re at it, include those links in your song and playlist descriptions.
Title your tracks so they know who you are
Always include your band name in the title with your song title so it reads “Artist Name – Song Title.” The reason being is that when someone adds you to a playlist (which we hope they do), your band name doesn’t appear in the playlist widget if you solely have the song title alone. Also, if there is a guest artist on your track, you should include them in parenthesis and tag them as well to improve listens.
If you really want to be found, you need to tag your tracks with as many search options as possible. Possible ideas include:
Tags with more than one word
If your tag is more than one word, then you should place quotes around the name so it appears in one tag vs. being separated and losing its validity.
I.e,. The White Stripes would be “The White Stripes”. If you don’t include the tag, then each word would be separated as The I White I Stripes.
If you are releasing a single officially, have cover art locked and loaded to help brand with a visual to make you and your song more memorable. You should do the same with your album art.
Streamed vs. downloadable
The hard cold truth is that you need to give something away to expect a better return. Although you don’t have to do this with every single, you should pick one with the best hooks to release as a single and offer it as downloadable. Back in the day, a hip indie blog wouldn’t even consider posting an mp3 unless it was downloadable. Thankfully they have eased up on that, but having a downloadable track vs. streamed audio can still play a big factor in your success rate.
Song/album playlist descriptions
Always include a short description of your sound, contact information, links to your website and social networks and buy links to iTunes or Amazon if you have them.
Green Light GO: Go through your existing Soundcloud songs and make sure you have your title listed with both your artist name and song title and add one new mood to your tags.
Sharing is Caring: Have a band you love who isn’t getting the attention they deserve because of a shoddy Soundcloud profile? Send them this article to get them on the right track.