Search the Blog

Get Feed via Email

Music Success in Nine Weeks ~ Week 2: Your Perfect Pitch

Posted in A Day in the Life, Music Blogosphere, Music Success in 9 Weeks, Videos | 1 Comment »

Wave 3 of the Music Success Blog Challenge Begins Oct 11th!

Posted in A Day in the Life, Music Blogosphere, Music Success in 9 Weeks | No Comments »

Wave 3 of Ariel Hyatt’s Music Success in Nine Weeks Blog Challenge started this week on Oct 11th, and there’s still time to join! As the moderator of Ariel’s Musician’s Mastermind, I’m also one of the judges. I’ve been having a great time, meeting and interacting with the musicians blogging about Ariel’s book. I’d even say that I’m learning as much as I’m teaching, so that means I’m having a ball!

To get into the swing of things, I have recorded a new set of videos for Music Success in Nine Weeks, so you’ll be seeing more of these. Enjoy!

Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Musicians

Posted in A Day in the Life, Articles, Music Blogosphere, Musician Resources | No Comments »

Local SEO for Musicians

Local SEO for Musicians
by Carla Lynne Hall

Hundreds of people go to search engines like Google every day seeking musical talent in your hometown. While they might not be looking specifically for you or your band, they are using music-related keywords to find a local band or music teacher. By optimizing your band’s website or blog for certain keywords, you can attract new visitors to your site.

After learning this little-known technique, I couldn’t wait to test it out. To find my own local keywords, I began by brainstorming musical categories related to my local area…

Click here to read the rest of my article as a guest blog post on Greg Rollett’s Gen-Y Rockstars Blog

The New Music Seminar Meets David and Goliath!

Posted in A Day in the Life, Guest Bloggers, Indie Music, Music Blogosphere | No Comments »

David vs Goliath 400px

Last week I attended New York City’s New Music Seminar, and even wrote a little wrap-up article about it. I called it The New Music Seminar Meets David and Goliath.

The ever-resourceful Greg Rollett has posted it as a guest blog on his Gen-Y Rockstars Blog, and I’m totally excited!

Click to read The New Music Seminar Meets David and Goliath.

Online Music Marketing for Indie Musicians

Posted in A Day in the Life, DIY Diva, Indie Music, Music Blogosphere | No Comments »

Online music marketing is one of my specialties, and I’ve created a new dedicated blog (yes, another one ;-)) at to showcase my articles on the subject, as well as become the new online home for my music marketing specialist work.

This new site is currently under construction, and will eventually take the place of all the other music business related blogs that I have floating out there in the blogosphere. I’ll be consolidating all of the various online music marketing content that I have on this site, and I’ll eventually delete the rest. Future plans include a new newsletter and e-courses for musicians, and I’m very excited!

Best to keep my online music marketing issues in one basket, as opposed to scattering them around. I’ll keep you posted.

Check out Online Music Marketing at

Take The Music Success in Nine Weeks Blogging Challenge!

Posted in A Day in the Life, Indie Music, Music Blogosphere | 1 Comment »

Music Success in Nine Weeks Blogging Contest

To commemorate version 2.0 of her book, Music Success in Nine Weeks, Ariel Hyatt of Ariel Publicity is launching a blogging contest.

Basically, you read her awesome book, Music Success in Nine Weeks, follow its 9 Week Program, and blog your results. The winner of the contest gets one full Headliner Cyber PR campaign from Ariel Publicity. This campaign is worth $1,595 and will get your music into the hands of bloggers, podcasters and online radio station DJs, plus it will help you organize your entire Social Media attack plan (Twitter, Facebook, etc.)

And why am I blogging about this, you may ask. For one thing, I am a fan, friend, and affiliate of Ariel’s (You can read my in-depth review of her book). I believe in what she does to help musicians build their careers. I’m also a former client myself, in addition to being a moderator on her online forum.

Most importantly, I am also a JUDGE in this contest, so I’ll be checking out participating blogs.

The first round of musician bloggers has been listed. Judging closes March 10, 2010 – Good luck, Everyone!

Save a Prayer – Duran Duran

Posted in A Day in the Life, Music Blogosphere, Songs I'm Grateful For 2009 | No Comments »

Duran Duran’s “Save a Prayer” is a late addition to this month’s Songs That I’m Grateful For”. While today is Monday, November 9th, I admit that this month’s blogs have already been written.

But after reading on the Hypebot blog today that Duran Duran’s John Taylor believes that Twitter dilutes musicians’ creativity, I was reminded of their song “Save a Prayer”, which I still have to admit IS a song that I’m grateful for.

Of course, after reading John Taylor’s article for the BBC, I then had an internal debate of whether or not to add this song to this month’s blog. While my pride did not want me to give any attention to his backward-thinking remark, I learned that my Twitter friend @marjae was unfamiliar with Duran Duran. So while she’s probably a bit younger than me anyway, the teacher in me insisted that I add this song.

And of course, it’s always good to remember that we do not have to like a teacher in order to learn from him.

Save a Prayer – Duran Duran

The Indie Maximum Exposure List by Ariel Hyatt & Friends

Posted in A Day in the Life, Articles, Future Legends, Indie Music, Music Blogosphere | 2 Comments »

Indie Maximum Exposure List 300px

Ariel Hyatt has done it again! After laughing at Billboard’s recent “Maximum Exposure List” (marketing strategies that only the superstar musicians could even pray to attain), Ariel reached out to her dream team of indie music rock stars to compile a list of tactics that the rest of us can actually use!!!

I’m not above mentioning that I’m on her dream team, and that my tips are included in this amazing white paper. Especially as I’m in good company with other cool indie music peeps like Rick Geotz, Derek Sivers, Lou Plaia, Tom Silverman and more! And it’s FREE!

Visit HYPEBOT blog to learn more about this indie music breakthrough white paper.

Get your Indie Maximum Exposure List in pdf format now!


Ariel Hyatt is a Hottie!

Ariel Hyatt is the founder of Ariel Publicity & Cyber PR, a New York-based digital firm that connects artists, authors and filmmakers to blogs, podcasts, Internet radio stations and social media sites. Educating musicians is her passion and her philosophy is: combine social media with internet marketing to help artists grow their fanbases and increase their income. This is the subject of her book, Music Success in Nine Weeks, which has helped hundreds of musicians navigate the Social Media landscape.

If You’re a Musician, You’re an Entrepreneur. So Act Like It.

Posted in A Day in the Life, Future Legends, Indie Music, Music Blogosphere | 2 Comments »

Will Sing for Food 350px

One issue that comes up when talking to musicians is that many of them don’t believe that they have a business until their music makes money.

If you consider the bad habits that some musicians are known for (being late, flaky, intoxicated, etc), it’s not a surprise why their anticipated success does not come. And when I think of the musicians who are getting ahead, they usually have their business together, even if their musical peers don’t believe that they’re musically talented.

In my opinion, the reality is actually the other way around: Only after you deal with the business side of things will your music make money. When you (not your manager, agent, or mother) are the one managing important day-to-day details like organizing your time, following up with contacts, and evaluating your progress, only then can you expect that your music business will grow.

While percolating on this idea for Musicians Lunch New Orleans, I was inspired to ask Derek Sivers for a different kind of interview. As the creator of CD Baby, he’s had a bit of success over the years. Curious girl that I am, I wanted to know what makes success like his possible: What in his mindset enabled him to start the first online CD store for indie musicians??? Interviewers usually ask him about indie music and musicians, and he’s generous with sharing what he’s learned, but I wanted to dig deeper.

So for the past few days, Derek and I have been emailing back and forth questions and answers on having a success mindset. As usual, he gives answers I never expect, and blows my assumptions out of the water. Regardless of his unexpected responses (which will be featured soon here in the blog), it’s obvious that he has a success mindset.

At the ripe age of 14, Derek decided that he was going to be a professional full-time musician, and gave serious thought to what that would mean: no salary, no insurance, no security, no guarantees, etc. Because he understood these facts, he made decisions accordingly in order to be successful in pursuing this goal. He started making money from touring when he was 18. When he was 27, he was able to buy a house in Woodstock, NY from touring.

By the time he had the “one-in-a-million brilliant” idea to create CD Baby, he had already mastered the entrepreneurial skills needed to run a successful company. He makes it sound so easy, but in reality,
Derek Sivers honed his business skills while he was a full-time musician.

If you don’t believe me, read his latest blog post What do musicians and entrepreneurs have in common?

If you want more ideas on how to grow your music business, check out the blog posts from November’s “Recession-Proof Musician” series! Featuring awesome guest blogs from folks like Seth Godin, Bob Baker, Hugh MacLeod, there’s a lot of inspiration to be enjoyed!

To a Mother Concerned About File Sharing

Posted in A Day in the Life, Articles, Carla and Goliath, DIY Diva, Indie Music, Music Blogosphere | 3 Comments »

Today’s post is inspired by a letter received from the Musician Wages website. A few music bloggers, including myself, are chiming in today for a group blogging event.

I have a teenage son who tells me his pirating music is no big deal. Since he is a musician himself, I point out to him that someday that’s going to be his money people are stealing. But he remains unphased.

He tells me the record sales make money for the record label, not the artist. He says that the artists make all their money from touring and live concerts. He thinks the pirated music promotes the concerts and therefore helps the artist make more money. I still don’t allow pirating in my house.

But tell me what you think – as artists out there having your work “shared,” are you just glad to have it being enjoyed, or does it bother you? Admittedly, he is stealing music that is recorded by major record labels, so maybe its different than the independent musician working for his living. But I’d still like to hear what you think.


Hi Valerie-

First of all, let me commend you for supporting your son’s desire to be a musician, in addition to expressing your concern about the potential consequences of file sharing. Supportive parents for musicians are not a dime a dozen – thank you!

As Dave Hahn and Cameron Mizell from Musician Wages have mentioned, listening to lots of music is quite important for musicians. As a Studio Music & Jazz (and Music Industry) major at University of Miami, I had the benefit of a large music library where the students were required to listen to well-known, more established musicians in order to learn from them. Some of my favorite memories were from times spent at a library table with headphones, sharing vinyl albums with other students. But I also know that this musical education experience is not the norm for most aspiring musicians. And for the price I’ve paid (and continue to pay 😉 ) for my education, I probably could have purchased that music at the store. If file sharing had existed then, I probably would have participated.

The music industry is currently in a state of transition and confusion. The “old school” music business model provided that a record label would pay recording artists an advance to live on, and pay for marketing, distribution, and other promotion costs. The artist was then expected to sell enough “product” to recoup those expenses back before the label would give the artist more money. With this enormous overhead, only a small percentage of artists could actually recoup those expenses, so most labels would have a handful of Superstars (such as a Whitney Houston or Celine Dion), a few up & coming “baby bands” that were poised to break through the Billboard charts “with a bullet”, and a number of indie bands that most people have never heard of, but are big in their hometown or region. Many of those indie bands were unable to break through on a major scale. Furthermore, those indie bands were often dropped, disillusioned, and in debt.

Today’s “new school” music business model actually came to power because of digital file sharing. Previously, record labels had the advantage because they could control the distribution of their artists’ albums through stores, record clubs, etc. Today’s technology now enables music to be shared online with one person (or many) with a single click. While this is very convenient for the music consumer, this new way of distributing music enables those indie bands to actually make a living from selling music – without a record label. What a concept!! The downside is that these indie bands are not receiving an advance, so they’re on their own to raise money to record and go on tour. The upside is that the overhead for indie bands is now much lower, so they can actually make a profit from their music, or at least break even. Amazing!

As an indie musician, I also understand the importance of file sharing as a promotional tool. Without a traditional record label promotion machine behind me, one of my indie music promotion tools is giving away lots of free mp3s. An advantage that indie artists have is that recording costs are lower, thanks to home recording studios. We can offer alternate versions of tunes as free mp3s, and build our fanbase. Before we can sell our mp3s, people have to know that our music exists in the first place.

So in my mind, after creating good music, music marketing is Job #1. As CD Baby’s founder Derek Sivers warns musicians, “Obscurity is your real enemy. Fight obscurity until you’re a household name, then piracy will be more of a problem than obscurity.” There will always be piracy in the music industry, but I couldn’t honestly say that I’ve been a victim of thousands of people stealing my mp3s. But even if that were the case, I could live with that because that would also mean that a number of people are buying those mp3s as well. When you’re hot, you’re hot, and I don’t think you can have one side without the other.

Having said all that, I hope that recording and touring is something that your son may try himself one day. I heartily recommend it actually, because as an indie artist myself, there’s nothing like reviewing your sales stats, and knowing that you’ve made money from your music. And there’s no better way to understand and appreciate the business of music than to do it yourself. I wish you and your son the best.

Thank you for reading.

Carla Lynne Hall aka “The DIY Diva”

CLH, Cameron Mizell, and David Hahn
Me with Cameron Mizell and Dave Hahn from