SoundCloud is a new tool that musicians and independent music producers can use to earn money online and get some free promotion. Below is how SoundCloud works for beginners that are not familiar with their service:
1.) It lets you upload your originally created sound (any sound, this includes your 40 seconds laughter or a 5 minutes well arranged/produced music).
SoundCloud takes copyright issues seriously, so make sure you really own what you are uploading to their site. I recommend you register your work with your government copyright office. You can read the following tutorials as a useful reference:
You cannot upload music if you are not a SoundCloud member. By the way the membership is free of charge and very easy. There is also a premium feature but I recommend upgrading only when you start earning some money for better investment returns.
2.) Once uploaded, you can then embed the SoundCloud player widget on any place in the Internet whether on your blog or some places. For example, I have used SoundCloud as the player for my audio files that is used for some tutorials in this blog.
For a free account, you have an upload limit allowance of around 2 hours (as of September 2011). This is the total uploading time for which they are limiting for free account. In my account I have around 19 uploaded tracks that average. And currently my used time is around 1 hour so I have one more hour left. This limit may change in the future. This is how you can see your limit:
As you have noticed in the above screenshot, you can also directly hit the record button and that directly record your sound to SoundCloud.
3.) SoundCloud will provide some basic statistics about your music such as how many plays etc.
4.) SoundCloud works like a combination of Facebook and Youtube, only that it accepts audio files. So this means SoundCloud is essentially a social networking website. You can post some updates, make friends and contacts as well as comment on somebody else work. One good thing is that comments for your uploaded music file can appear in specific timeline of the audio waveform such as shown below (this is called “timed” comment)
If you mouse over the profile picture of the commenter (enclosed in red box) the actual comment text will be shown. So in this way, users can easily interact with your uploaded work.
Tips to using SoundCloud for your Marketing and Promotions
Now for the interesting part, how you can use SoundCloud effectively? What are the ways in which you can effectively promote your music using SoundCloud and possibly earn some money?
For a beginner, it might appear elusive how to use these free services so below are some strategies how you can use SoundCloud (I have not tried all of them but I think it would work):
Tip#1.) If you want to be serious with your music business. Take advantage of the following SoundCloud Track features. These features are accessible by editing your track (after uploading it) and then under “License” click “Show more options”. This is how it looks like: