11 Ways to Increase Your CD Sales on CD Baby

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CD Baby, the largest online distributor of independent music, gives you tools to sell your music YOUR way. Here are a few proven methods to increase your CD sales.

It’s true, of course, that tools and opportunities exist now that did not in the past – for CD sales, music promotion, and discovery. Legitimate worldwide distribution is available through the web, shattering the barriers that existed a scant 15 years ago. Independent artists are empowered in ways that were inconceivable before, and that has shifted the balance of power in the music industry, giving music lovers and artists the ability to connect, interact, and transact without the need of a record label – or anyone else, for that matter.

But if it were only THAT easy. With this ease of fulfillment comes a lot of noise. Noise in the sense that you are competing against thousands (and thousands) of other indie and label artists who are empowered by the same technology. If you build a website, people will not necessarily visit you there. And if you simply set up a page on CD Baby, the same is true. Having the means to sell your music via CD and downloads online is the necessary first step. The next steps involve finding your market, broadcasting the news, creating a buzz, and driving sales. THEN it starts being easy.

CD Baby is the world’s largest online distributor of independent music. On top of that, CD Baby gives you numerous tools – and the control and flexibility – to sell your music YOUR way. Ready to increase your CD sales? Here are a few proven methods.

1. Use CD Baby’s Linkmaker
You’ve got a website, right? (If not, you’d better get one NOW! Check out www.Hostbaby.com). Make it easy for your fans and newcomers to your site to purchase your music by adding a customized graphic HTML link on your website, blog, AND social networking profiles. You just type in the album name. CD Baby generates the graphic link. You copy the HTML code and paste it wherever you want fans to see that your music is for sale. (Check it out at www.cdbaby.com/link).

2. Analyze and understand your web traffic
From your account page in CD Baby, you can easily assess the effectiveness of your promotional campaigns, make adjustments based on real-time data, and focus your energy on the places that are bringing in the most sales with CD Baby’s “hits tracker.” Maybe there is a blog or website out there that you’ve never even heard of that is generating significant web traffic for you. If so, you’ll see it in the hits tracker and be able to establish an online strategy to engage those fans directly.

3. Set a quantity discount
Your music makes for an excellent gift! Sell more by encouraging your fans to buy multiple copies of an album for a percentage off the selling price. Choose and change the discount at any time.

4. Offer a free track
Allow fans and prospective fans the chance to download a song for free as an enticement to purchase the whole album. If they like what they hear, they’ll come back for more. Try giving away a few different tracks and see which one is “the hit.”

5. Run a limited-time sale
Since you can change your music’s selling price at ANY time, it is easy to run sales and special offers you can announce to your fan list. Once the offer expires, simply go back into your account and raise the selling price again.

6. Remember, words matter
It’s important to describe your music in an enticing way that makes strangers want to hear it. People see the words before they hear the music. Make sure your write up isn’t too cryptic or aloof, but rather is descriptive enough that it might change a semi-interested browser into someone who will click the “preview” button.

7. Tell us who you sound like
Choose three well-known artists that you sound like. When CD Baby customers search for one of those artists, your album might appear in the results! Be realistic, though. Just because you love Radiohead and the Beatles doesn’t necessarily mean you SOUND like them. It is usually valuable to get a friend or fan’s slightly more objective opinion before deciding.

8. Offer physical CDs AND downloads
Offering choices is always a good idea, and plenty of folks might be interested in buying a few songs or your entire album via digital download. So why not offer it to them? This opens up a whole new world of opportunities as well, since you can also opt to have your music available on places like iTunes and Amazon MP3.

9. Use download cards
Never be caught empty-handed. These convenient little cards can fit in your wallet and come customized with your album artwork. Sell them at shows and give them away to industry contacts. The recipient can redeem the card at CD Baby for a hi-quality download. You keep all the money!

10. Get your fans involved
Not only can your fans use social media to spread the word about your music by re-tweeting, sharing blog posts, etc., but now they can make money doing it! By joining CD Baby’s affiliate program, your fans can earn $1 from every referred sale. And that comes out of CD Baby’s cut, so you make the same amount no matter what.

11. 15 more reasons
Need more encouragement? Check out our Top 15 Reasons to release your music with the CD Baby network.

Convinced?
Sign up for a CD Baby account right now.
Learn more about how CD Baby works.

Planning your album from beginning to end

Read More
The many ways to ask for the sale
Creative music product pricing – eight strategies that paid off
How to measure success (with key performance indicators)
11 Ways to Increase Your Sales on CD Baby
Planning your album: your CD release (and post-release)

21 thoughts on “11 Ways to Increase Your CD Sales on CD Baby

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  3. This new technology is incredible, as well as intimidating! Thank you CD Baby and Disc Makers for helping us get our music on line and for your ongoing education!  Danwood Run

  4. I’m 55. know nothing about the computer age…Where do I go to learn (hands on…No LIT..) about RECORDING…DOWNLOADING..PAGE BUILDING, MY LEGAL RIGHTS..??? Forty years of playing out and I’m ready to be Discovered…Help Me Mr. Wizard !!!

    1. Hambone, you should start by using your actual name whenever you leave comments on pages. I was going to go check out your music, but since you used the name “Hambone”, I can’t find you.

  5. As an artist, I feel that is is a daunting task to promote music correctly in addition to putting effort and care to create it especially in a very crowded market. You need to put a lot of effort to it and the outcome is selling some dozens of CD’s on cdbaby if you are lucky, not even to cover studio costs for the album. You need also to feel that the effort and time you put in promotion is worth it, which is not usually the case. The formulas and systems don’t work for everyone. And if someone sold thousands of CD’s on Cdbaby does not mean you will do the same using the same strategy. Oftentimes, the ideas that lead to success are unique or used for the first time, and they generate unexpected extraordinary results.

  6. As you use these great tips and begin to see your CD sales increase, something I have found to be inspiring is to celebrate every accomplishment – even the small ones. This will help you to maintain focus on your job at hand. You don’t need to spend a fortune on these celebrations – it can be as simple as a trip to Burger King. Just make sure that you treat it as a celebration and let everyone within the restaurant know why you are there! Pass out your business card or flyers for your next gig. Tell everyone (even the workers) that you are celebrating because… Enthusiasm is contagious, and who knows, the guy sitting across the room may be the best contact you ever made! The big-wigs at restaurants also sponsor private outings and could easily look you up in the future for a booking with the thought that you used their restaurant as a Celebration Spot – in return, they will support you.

    Don’t forget to promote yourself shamelessly at every opportunity.

    To hear some great music clips, please feel free to visit my website. (That’s my shameless self-promotion of the day) Blessings and Success to each of you. We are Family.

    Jack Brown – http://www.gospeltrumpetmusic.com

  7. I would like to set up a website and do the promotional things you are talking about. Can you recommend someone who would do it for me for a reasonable price?

  8. I only just discovered the web hits feature that cdbaby has. It’s been very helpful in determining where our traffic is coming from, which blog reviews have been most helpful to our sales and which have been duds. Great stuff, thanks for the helpful info.

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