SEO for Musicians: How to Write About Your Music Online and Get Heard

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    chubes
    HMFIC
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    Points: 10582.25

    SEO for Musicians: How to Write About Your Music Online and Get Heard
    Published: April 23, 2024

    There are a lot more ways to promote your music than you might think. How often do you use Google? Probably every single day, for most readers. What if I told you that you can leverage the power of Google to promote your music online?

    Music SEO is a long-term plan for presenting your music in a way that it can be discovered by people who are actively seeking out new music that they like. Sounds dope, right? Despite my own personal feelings about Google’s monopolistic business practices, I have to agree, it’s pretty dope.

    This article gets a little bit technical, but bear with me, because I’m going to make it very clear and easy to understand.

    What is SEO?

    SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. In normal people terms this means “writing things in a way that gives them the best chance at being found on Google.”

    If you’d like an example of this, just check out our Song Meanings section. We rarely share any of those posts on social media, but there are hundreds of them, and they have fueled the economy of this entire website for quite some time. People find them on Google and then share them in other places for us. Not to mention they’re all pretty great, if you asked me (the person who writes them).

    How Does This Apply to My Music?

    You can leverage this same thing to promote your music online. The best place to do this is on your own website, but there are plenty of other places where you can post about your music for free and get discovered.

    For the purposes of this article, we’re going to focus on your own website and the Extra Chill Community.

    Tips for Music SEO: What to Write About

    It really is as simple as the words you use when writing about your music online. Let’s take a look at some concrete things you can mention when sharing your music to help you get discovered.

    The reason for all of these tips is the same: people search for these things, and placing your music in context with them can help it get discovered.

    1. Your Influences

    This is the most obvious and also the easiest way that you can use this. If there are specific artists that influenced you, you should absolutely mention them. But, you should even go a step further.

    More than just listing influences, you can write about why you like a certain artist and how they influenced you. Mention specific songs of theirs that inspired you, and why. The more the merrier, if you space them out and present them properly (we’ll get to that).

    2. Your Gear

    Do you have a really cool guitar pedal that you love? Maybe there’s some production software that was instrumental in the creation of your music? Do you prefer a certain brand of microphone over another?

    Just like you went into detail about the artists that inspired you, you can also expand upon these things and integrate them with your music.

    So, if someone is looking for information about that brand of microphone, guitar pedal, or production software not only will they find your music, but they will also have an example of something that was recorded with that gear right there beside it.

    3. Your Style

    Is there a specific vocal technique or musical movement that you really like? Do you enjoy lofi music for a certain reason? Do you think that the 70s were the best? Do you like to wear a red dress?

    All of these are descriptive things that you can use to enrich and enhance written content about your music. It has the added benefit of increasing intrigue about it, and connecting with listeners before they even reach the point of deciding to listen to your music.

    4. Your Story

    Where are you from, and what does it mean to you? When did you get into music? What are some early memories that shaped your path towards becoming a musician? Answering these questions crafts a narrative around your music, and creates a genuine connection between you and your fans.

    Okay, But Where Do I Write About This?

    Here’s a an action plan for you, as someone who wants to start with music SEO.

    1. Make A Website

    First step, if you don’t already have a website, you need to make one. If you can’t or don’t want to make a website, the next best thing is to join a niche music forum like the one I created, which is specifically designed for independent artists to connect with their fans.

    P.S. – If you need help building a website, I can do that for you. Hit me up via my personal site at chubes.net.

    2. Write Your Bio

    Your bio is the entryway to your music. On your website, this will be its own dedicated page. On our forum, this would be your Independent Artist Space.

    You don’t want to get into too much detail in your introduction because people will get overwhelmed and stop reading. It is meant to be a brief overview that mentions your band members, where they’re from, your origin story, your genre or style, and anything that makes you unique.

    Then it should provide links to listen to music, or find you on tour. That’s all for the bio.

    3. Create More Posts

    When you have a new song, video, or release to share, that means it’s time to make a post. Now, if you have your own website, you can decide how to do this (I would do it with a blog post), but on our forum this would go inside of your same independent artist space where you wrote the introduction.

    In this post, is where you include the descriptive elements I mentioned above. This will enrich the story of your music and give people as much information as they would desire, before deciding to listen. While also increasing your chances of being found on Google.

    Examples

    Here are a few examples outside of Extra Chill of artists who have used music SEO on their own websites effectively.

    John Mayer

    Massively famous artist John Mayer used to maintain a personal blog on his website where he posted musings about music, creativity, and success. As he gained recognition, magazines started to publish blog posts about his blog posts, causing him to go viral.

    John Mayer’s blog is no longer active, but here’s the archived version of it.

    Sufjan Stevens

    Sufjan Stevens has a Tumblr that also serves as his official website. Not only does he share updates about his own music on there, he also just posts about his life. This serves to humanize him to his fans, and attracts visitors who may be searching for topics he posts about. I don’t need to explain to you how famous this guy is… he’s an indie hero.

    Amanda Palmer

    New Zealand-based songwriter Amanda Palmer runs a blog on her website with 164 pages of posts, about various music and non-music related topics. Then, we go over to her Spotify, and we see 19 million streams on her top song.

    Advanced Music SEO Techniques

    The process outlined above is your foundation for music SEO, but this rabbit hole goes as deep as you want it to. Without going too deep into anything, here are some more advanced-level techniques that you can implement if you’re willing to put in the work.

    Blogging About Music

    This really might sound absurd to some of you, but this can be an incredibly powerful way to get your music heard. For example, on your artist website, you can create blog section that goes into greater detail about your descriptors.

    Meaning, if you record a new EP using an 8-track recorder, you can write an article about your experience with that equipment, the challenges that it presented, and how you overcame them to create… drum roll … your latest music release!

    Not only that, but blogging about topics that are indirectly related to your music can attract potential fans who are interested in the other things you write about, too. This part goes really deep, and I won’t go into it here, but just check out the Grateful Dead section on Extra Chill for ideas.

    Niche Music Forums

    You can do the same thing in other internet places, outside of your own website, like Reddit and niche music forums like the Extra Chill Community.

    For example, you create or join a discussion about recording to tape, and tell about your own experience and include your music as an example. Other people will join in, and then all of a sudden there is an entire discussion happening that is centered around your experience recording your music, which is linked right there in the post.

    The more you integrate within a community, the more powerful this becomes, because you can establish a reputation and rapport with certain community members. Guess what? Those community members become your fans.

    AND people searching the internet for the topic of your discussion will also discover the forum and your music embedded within it.

    Backlinks

    Okay, we’re getting really deep now, and this is where I’ll stop, but I want to explain the concept of backlinks. A “backlink” is a link from another website back to your website, post, or even music streaming link. Each one of these, if it comes from a relevant, trustworthy place, causes your content to become more powerful and rank higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

    So, if you have a writeup on a blog or forum and it includes a link back to your work, then your work will get a boost. It goes way deeper, and I think it’s outside the scope of this article, but it’s a good thing to keep in mind.

    Tools for SEO

    This is also an advanced technique, and you really don’t have to go this far, but you can if you want to. There are countless SEO tools out there that can help you find out exactly what people are searching for, and who is linking to what. I’m just going to share a few of them, that I have used and enjoyed.

    1. Keyword Surfer (FREE) – this is a Google Chrome extension that shows search volume directly in the SERPs for anything that you personally search for.
    2. Lowfruits.io (CHEAP) – allows you to search for related, low-competition keyphrases related to your music.
    3. Ahrefs, SEMrush, Moz, etc (EXPENSIVE) – these tools are all excellent but they will cost you an arm and a leg. Only buy them if you get really into this stuff.

    Closing Thoughts

    I hope this helps some artists learn new ways to promote their music online. Music SEO is definitely a lot of work and strategizing, but it can also be fun. Remember, as a musician, your greatest asset is the power of connection. As long as you don’t lose sight of that, implementing a strategy like this one can only help you in the long run.

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