Getting the word out is hard!

Interesting stuff…

I installed Google Analytics on my website, and one of the things that tells me is traffic from referring sites.

The results are interesting, if not a little disheartening.

So, the thread I posted here about the launch of the CD, on a community where I’ve been hanging out for nearly a decade has around 200 hits currently.

That has resulted in around 10 click-throughs, about 5%. That’s where I’m KNOWN!

I posted the same on a huge forum with daily traffic (not something we have here) and surprisingly, despite being just another unknown poster there, the click-through percentage is almost the same.

In other words to get a significant number of people to even know what you are up to (let alone translating that into actual interest) would appear to involve placing that news in a vast number of internet channels.

The conclusion is… This is bloomin’ hard!

But am I daunted?


Whoring, aka self-publicising, is the tough bit Mark. Dunno if you’ve made any EPs but they need to get to DJs at radio stations replete with press pack. Then you pray that they’ll like what you’ve done. Radio 6 will definitely give you a listen but it could be far into the future so don’t hold your breath. You should also do some work locally in the same vein. Hospital radio might appreciate a CD and you’ll likely get played but whether the patients actually remember what they’ve heard is another matter :laughing:

I dumped Google Analytics in the blink of an eye. Utterly pointless. Blog away at your website. Keep up your twitters but don’t overdo it, you ain’t Stephen Fry. Facebook and MySpace will get you noticed but sufficiently to buy? Hmm…

Are you on iTunes yet? That’ll happen for you.

Physically shifting CDs is getting increasingly difficult and I’m seriously thinking about not bothering with em unless folk ask for them specifically.

Just some thoughts. Best of luck :sunglasses:

In this day and age, you have to be a dingbat with big knockers, a mass murderer, or athlete turned criminal etc. to attract national or world attention to yourself. Talent is at the bottom of the list. :wink: :laughing:

I think clicks improve if your link is a flashing rectangle on the screen that ultimately downloads your song as malware - so it plays back at full volume, randomly throughout the day.

Malware seems to get the general public out there to click more than genuine links do :mrgreen: jk, jk, jk

Got my copy of the CD in the mail today!
I can see where the customs form was signed on April 6.
Those are dangerously good sounds that took awhile to clear.
Or to set up surveillance on me

Hard… bordering on impossible I say. There’s SO MUCH music out there - it’s everywhere. Supply far exceeds demand and if you’re not in a position to make a BIG (and a very expensive) noise about yourself then the best you can probably hope for is the odd random sale via the likes of CDBABY or maybe the occasional download via iTUNES. Apart from that initial ‘burst’ of word-of-mouth sales when you first launch you might get a small trickle each month… for a while, a few $$ at best from online sources. But these days I’ve personally found physical CD sales have dried up completely, digital sales have now headed the same way (and I’m talking 10 albums in my case). Haven’t seen a dollar for anything for many months now.

Of the small number of passers-by that actually drop by websites hosting and selling our music I suspect only a fraction actually stop and listen and only a very small percentage of those - a number closely approximating zero, actually then part with some cash and make a purchase.

It all comes down to marketing and promotion and without a HUGE budget and the ability to do it in some spectacular way where you can’t help but get noticed above the noise then there’s no way you’re going to stand out from the VERY HUGE online crowd.

It’s been said that gigging is the only way to go these days. Well, that used to be how it was in the past too I guess. Start by building up a local fanbase. But even looking at it at a local level I see plenty of artists/bands perform live and then wave a CD around after their gigs/sets. Lucky if they sell 1. :confused: If you’re not out gigging then I suspect you have almost no chance of creating any kind of income stream from music sales. If you ARE out gigging regularly then you still have almost no chance of creating an income stream from your music… unless of course you get ‘discovered’, and then there’s still probably no chance even then that you’ll earn a dollar - unless you’re another Justin Bieber or Laday Gaga!

I noticed a lot of folk now are looking for sync opportunities - one of the few areas where there is perhaps still a chance to make a bit of money from your musical endeavours, but again there’s a heck of a lot of competition out there and the online avenues into film & TV that are available to us online (Taxi, Broadjam, Sonic Bids etc) are considered highly dubious at best by many - simply cashing in big time on artists hopes and dreams :confused:

Regardsless, we’ll still be waving a CD around in the nearish future whenever we perform live. If it pays for a couple of beers well - I reckon we’ll be doing very well indeed. :smiley:

A gloomy outlook perhaps, but here and now in 2011 based on my own and others experiences I’d say its a very realistic one. :sunglasses:

But all that aside… good luck anyway! :smiley:

Mark, I want to buy your record, but I don’t see a download option? I just want the music, I don’t care about any artwork, etc

Hire a promoter. Will cost a grand or 2, but…

Promoter? lol… thats so , yesterday…

Today all you need is to go to Rehab, get stopped by security with a gun or some other notorious crime against nature or something…

EVERYONE will know you and get your music if that happens…

jk, jk, jk… haha…


:laughing: :stuck_out_tongue: :astonished:

The iTunes deal is still in the works. I’ll post an update when it’s sorted. ( I.e. I’ve figured the most cost effective channel)


+1 on Ian’s summary. There’s no magic bullet to achieving online sales. My “Interim Reports” was released in 2006 (“Uneasy Listening” in 2008) and I’ve gone through all the various stages of engagement with the process since these releases from euphoric optimism to paralyzing self-doubt. What keeps me going is grim determination which has more to do an obstinate streak in my nature than with any deep conviction that I’ll “succeed” in ever selling that many CDs and downloads. I’m also lucky in that as a solo acoustic player it’s easy for me to play live and sell a few. But as for self-promotion online – well, I’d echo Phil’s statement that it can feel like “whoring”. But, then again, I’ve rationalized it away as not being able to afford being too proud to pimp yourself (within reason) for a good cause.

I’ve got Google Analytics installed and – unlike Phil –find it informative to find out the trends of folks coming to my site in terms of geography, keywords used in search engines, returning / new visitor numbers, etc. It helps in optimizing your website to target your niche audience.

Anyway – just keep going. You owe it to the worth and value of the music itself.

(My partner called my last night and said your CD had arrived at home. Really looking forward to a great listen this weekend! :sunglasses: )


Just a comment.
I think realistically you need to allow your songs to be streamed in their entirity on your website. Unless you’re sufficiently well-known you just can’t expect people to be interested enough to buy something they haven’t heard. I also think that pricing matters. Given that digital distribution can be virtually cost-free, independent artists should consider selling at a major discount (50%-75% off) to established artists. Finally, I’d like to see more mini CDs out there. A band I saw in a pub recently had just five songs on a CD for £3 - less than a pint in that particular establishment. I didn’t think they were great but bought one anyway because it seemed like small change.


Suggest you send a CD to these folks. Maybe they will review it. Getting some ink will help you promote sales.

Progression Magazine:
All promotional/review materials (CDs, LPs, DVDs, books, etc.) should be sent to:

P.O. Box 485
Shirley, MA 01464 USA

You might also inquire what their ad rates are. If affordable, an ad for Fantasy Bridge placed there will reach the exact target market you’re looking for.

Advertising Contact Email:
progmagads at

Also getting some ink in your local proximity newspapers will spread the word. Creating a “buzz”, as you have said, is hard work. I think it’s work it to promote Fantasy Bridge; but don’t break-the-bank to do so. Slow and steady wins the race!

Got my copies in the mail. Sounds fantastic!

Interestingly Nick, I’ve had ALL my past CD’s reviewed by a widely read local mag that’s distributed nation wide. One CD in particular recieved the comment “Rushton has a masterpiece on his hands”. Most, (but not all) reviews of the other CD’s were generally favourable too. :slight_smile:

And, the net result of these favourable reviews on my sales was…


I don’t mean to be negative or gloomy about all this, and as you know it hasn’t put me off doing what I love to do, but rather, I’m just sharing MY experience…which if anything has been a major reality check for me.


I would say “Getting the word out is easy” getting anyone to take notice is nigh on impossible…

One should always deverify before restoring…

Hi Ian,

I must be an anomaly. I still buy CDs on the basis of reviews from critic-writers that share my affinity for certain genres of music. The more off-the-radar the artist is, the more likely I am to buy a copy before they disappear into the Great Sea of Obscurity. However, they don’t always disappear. Sometimes they transcend, with much hard work.

Sales numbers notwithstanding … the world would be a poorer place without your music, and Mark’s, to enrich it. I thank you both for the sacrifices you made to create and distribute it.

Best Wishes,

No comment. :mrgreen:

…the world would be a poorer place without your music, and Mark’s, to enrich it

But that’s the problem, the world doesn’t know, or seemingly isn’t the slightest bit interested in us enriching it further! :smiley: (Well, the world outside Swamptone that is… :wink: )

I fear I am becoming far too cynical these days!


I agree. I particularly feel uncomfortable and tend not to pressure my mates (online or otherwise). I don’t mind announcing a release amongst friends but I’d feel too much like an Amyway saleman if I started to ‘pressure’ people into buying my CD’s by playing on their sense of obligation etc. And I don’t really regard my peers as the primary ‘fans’ to be targeted. While fellow musos/producers etc might like what I/we do and we’re generally mutually supportive of each others efforts through these forums etc, it’s the non-musician, music lovers and collectors that I reckon we really need to be trying to connect with…somewhow.

Facebook and MySpace will get you noticed but sufficiently to buy? Hmm…

As a ‘social experiment’ I occasionally post a tune up on Facebook. You can guess the result. Bandcamp stats tell me the number of listens via embeds - usually a number close or equal to zero.

Physically shifting CDs is getting increasingly difficult and I’m seriously thinking about not bothering with em unless folk ask for them specifically.

This is the way Jet has been working with his last few releases. Made to order. I think his first CD ‘Shimmer’ sold hundreds… subsequent CD’s only a handful. I’ve tended to get 50 duplications made each time, 5 for CDBABY, 5 - 8 for promo purposes (sent to indie friendly radio, mags for reviews etc, and the compulsory two copies to the National Library Archives), then there’s the giveaways to close friends and family, and the rest remain in boxes collecting dust in a cupboard somewhere.

And meanwhile I have a friend here in NZ who has sold around 15,000 copies of one of his CD’s and still takes the occasional order for hundreds of copies at a time. He stumbled into a niche market when he was living in Sweden: Music for Reiki which is distributed through Reiki centres aroiund the world. Maybe that’s the answer… find a niche…

Must be an age thing… :wink: