Hey guys, I've been a long-term reader of the Grime Forum, so thought I'd contribute back by writing up a small guide on selling your beats online and getting your audio out there. I hope you find it useful, if you've anything useful to add then feel free to include any useful tips you've picked up along the way.
I'll be adding this guide in parts, the first part being ready now. I'll only be writing the second part if there's a demand for it, so if you want me to add the sections I've outlined below (And possibly more), let me know.
But anyway, let's get into it. Mods, if you could sticky this thread that'd be great.
Why Should You Sell Your Beats Online?
While this may sound like a obvious question to some of you, I personally know that many producers don't initially think about selling their beats. The path many fall into are simply show casing them to friends and other musicians, and giving them away for free to the local talent. While there's nothing wrong with doing this to an extent, once you have instrumentals that are at even a decent level, you should consider selling your best material.
There are a few reasons for this:
- You deserve to be paid for your art. You've spent a long time learning how to produce, and you've put in time and effort into making each beat. You should be compensate for this time.
- You're offering a product. The beats you make have value to them, and therefore should be exchanged in the same way anything else of value is.
- You need money to advance your music career. Promotion, getting bigger contacts, studio equipment and the like all cost money. As well as investing in your music career, you should also aim to get something out of it. That way you can reinvest a % of that income back into moving things forward for you.
While there's nothing wrong with strategically giving out some of your beats for free, you should also aim to sell a percentage of them to keep this hobby of yours more sustainable. If you want to turn this into more then a hobby and want your production efforts to be a money maker, you need to start looking at yourself as a business.
Where Should You Sell Your Beats?
The best place to sell your beats is via your own website. You'd want to make it ideally .com as you'll be marketing your beats to musicians all over the world. A .co.uk is fine as well if you've already got that, but if the .com is still available, I suggest you snap that up as well.
If you haven't already got a website, I've written a guide on how to quickly and easily set up a professional looking one here:
The reason I advise to sell them on your own website, is you have complete control of price, distribution, what type of marketing is allowed, and the like. Furthermore, in future you could turn your site into a music stock website if you like and sell other people's beats too. That's outside the scope of this guide though, so I'll leave that for now.
A second place to sell your beats are stock music websites. Again though, outside the scope of this guide. From now on I'll be looking at how to sell your beats on your own website.
What Software / Programs Do I Need To Sell My Beats?
There are a number of different beat selling tools out there, all of which offer different features but generally do the same thing. Some of them are:
Each of these allow you to upload your beats, add samples over them to avoid copyrighting of your music, and allow you to publish the widgets on your own website. So if someone goes to yourwebsite.com and you've a widget there, your site will show up as your beat store. From here people can listen to your beats, and buy any which they like. You can set the price to whatever you see fit, but I'll give some advice on pricing later on.
Once people order your beats, they'll automatically be sent their beat. That means even if you're out visiting your grandma in Luton for the weekend, you can automatically receive payments and deliver beats without lifting a finger.
What If You Don't Have The Money For Monthly Fee Beat Selling Software?
All of the above options are paid ones (They all require a monthly fee). If you can afford that, great, go for it. If you can't however, there are cheaper and free (Yet more labour intensive) ways.
One such way is setting up a PayPal account (https://www.paypal.com/), and creating a music player to play your beats. There are a few free Wordpress plugins you can use which does this if you're using Wordpress. If you followed the above guide to making a site, you will be using Wordpress.
With this method, you have a music player (Be sure to manually add vocal samples to your beats so they aren't stolen) and put a PayPal buy button next to it. Once someone orders one of your beats, you'll receive a email from PayPal with the details. From here, you have to manually send them the beat.
While this method is a lot more time consuming and isn't 'set up and forget' like using beat stores, it is free, and PayPal only take a small percentage every time you sell something. So if you're low on cash, you may want to try it. I suggest you get a beat store going asap though.
We're Half Way (Or There Abouts)...
Ok, so that's it for now. I'll be finishing off this guide if I get a good response and see the information is needed. Let me know if you want me to continue writing this guide, and leave any questions if you have them. If I can answer I will.