What’s Your #1 Tip for Podcast Hosts?

What’s Your #1 Tip for Podcast Hosts?

I was at a podcaster networking event just the other day, and this question was asked:

What’s your number one tip for podcast hosts?

Obviously, there are a lot of things to be aware of as a podcast host, whether it’s preparing your notes, audio quality, knowing when to interrupt guests, or otherwise.

My number one tip is a little different. Check out the video below to find out what it is.

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11 Tips for Improving the Poetry of Your Songwriting

11 Tips for Improving the Poetry of Your Songwriting

If you Google, “How to start writing a song?” you will get about 3 million results in 0.56 seconds. There are a lot of options to choose from, but you know what? There is a high likelihood most of those options will not be helpful.

There are some songwriting exercises that will always work. These include writing as few lyrics as possible or writing from experience.

But, the tips we have provided are special. They put your ideas first. They open up your time for to focus, experiment, and come up with spectacular songs.

Songwriting is a deep and personal process. It involves diving into yourself to pull out a masterpiece. These tips will also teach you how to get better at poetry or find samples on WriteMyEssayForMe.co.uk. Here are eleven useful songwriting tips to get your songs on track.

1. Start with Research to Generate New Audiences

Research is crucial when it comes to writing an enjoyable and meaningful song. The proper research will also allow you to better connect with your listener. Write about something you know, care about, or have observed and then uncover those little details that will bring your subject to life.

For example, if cases of poverty in India move you, read up on the facts of the country before you write. After conducting research, you will be in a better position to compose a meaningful song.

2. Open Your Mind and Refine Your Craft

Open your mind as you go about your day-to-day activities. Keep your eyes open for anything that grabs your attention. These include:

  • Your responses to individuals or situations
  • Anything interesting you observe on TV
  • A sudden encounter with a friend that makes you think about life

All these are materials can help you refine your craft.

3. Understand Your Listeners

Understanding your listeners is among the most important music writing tips. Understating your listeners’ behavior will give you direction. It will also help you know what kind of songs to include in the playlist. As a beginner:

  • Note down what genres or artists trigger the most engagement.
  • Determine which time your audience visit your music the most. If it is in the morning hours, a playlist filled with happy songs is ideal. If it is after work hours, include relaxing/calm music in the playlist.
  • Use a music data service to unveil the demographics of your fan bases. Such services will help you identify what to focus to efforts on.

4. Dream

Not all your songs should be about Gucci bags and shoes! Cognizance and drifting into a daydream can be good for songwriting. Sometimes you can even jot down a real dream if possible. All these serve as excellent materials for your songs.

5. Lyrics

Lyrics should come first before you start composing your song. The instrumentation, song arrangement, and vocal lines follow suit. If you want bright, dynamic songs, the instrumentation must match the lyrics. So, always start with the lyrics.

6. Do Not Rewrite

Some individuals might be tempted rewrite existing lyrics. Rewriting is comparable to Mills and Boon writing. If you want to rewrite, you can call upon an Essay Kitchen. A credible writing service has writers who know the production value that goes into a song. They also know what sells. If you rewrite, you might either get contempt or get sued. It is advisable to come up with original pieces to avoid such instances.

7. Line by Line

If you are not a natural rhymer or wordsmith, you can develop your songwriting by:

  1. Finding your subject
  2. Writing down the important points in lines
  3. Transforming those points into the lyrics of your songs

To rhyme words at the end of a line, run through the alphabet and find relevant words that match. This is a bit tedious, but it will help your songs turn out more melodious.

8. Who to Write For Others

Are you interested in writing for others? Or do you want to be a singer-songwriter? Writing for others is a professional pursuit. You can advertise yourself as a songwriter using a LinkedIn profile writing service. But, if you are confident in both your musical talent and songwriting prowess, you are the best person to deliver your songs.

9. Put Yourself Out There

If you are a skilled musician but have not showcased your material, do not fret. There are many places where you can showcase your music. You can visit friendly venues such as open mic nights where you can get up on stage and present your music.

Individuals who go to open mic events will most likely be in the same position as you. As such, they understand the pressure that comes with being a new and upcoming musician. There is no competition in such crowds.

10. Make Your Style Special

If your style works for you, who cares! If you only want to use two instruments or make your album acapella, go for it. Trust in the uniqueness of your music. Do not shy away from writing about subjects that drive listeners out of their comfort zones.

11. Trust Yourself

A lot of famous musicians were not amazing when they first started performing. But, they believed in their performances. The audiences listening and watching loved the authenticity of their performances. Trusting yourself is essential. Remember, you will not always hit the mark on the first try.

Conclusion

So, there you have it. With these 11 tips, you should have a stronger idea on how to compose a song. These tips will help you write poetic and meaningful lyrics, with melody and authenticity. Go ahead and start writing your song. You will love the results you get after following our tips.

7 Things You Should Know Before Buying a Ukulele

7 Things You Should Know Before Buying a Ukulele

Are you saving up money for your very first ukulele? You might assume that your local music store is the best bet. But there are some things you should consider before you spend your hard-earned income on a musical instrument.

The Ukulele is a good choice for beginners, but in our experience, most music stores do not have inventory to accommodate every situation. For example, you might have heard somewhere that cheaper instruments are better for beginners, but that isn’t necessarily true. It’s better to have a broader range of options available to you, as the wrong instrument can negatively affect your learning journey.

Some brands like Diamond Head might be more prevalent, but there are plenty of stores that only carry Mahalo Ukuleles. And while Mahalo instruments might be colorful and fun, that doesn’t necessarily make them the best place to start.

There are obviously more options available online. But if you’re going to buy online, you should certainly do your research first.

In this guide, we’ll show you what to avoid and what to look for in your first ukulele. Here are the five criteria you must consider.

#1: The Size of Your Ukulele

Ukulele body size

First, you need to know which particular ukulele size that is right for you. Although the Soprano is one of the most popular body types, you would do well to get acquainted with the different sizes available.

Even tenor and concert-sized ukuleles are easy to handle for those with small hands. And if you have bigger hands, you should certainly consider a bigger sized ukulele too.

#2: Budget

Once you’ve figured out the perfect size, it’s time to consider the price. We believe it’s essential that your budget fits the level of performance you require.

For instance, if you’re a complete beginner or a hobbyist and don’t intend to practice and perform all the time, we don’t suggest buying a high-priced instrument. A suitable entry-level soprano ukulele can easily be found in the $25 to $125 range.

The one thing we suggest avoiding is spending money you don’t have. Don’t go into debt for musical gear!

#3: Acoustic or Acoustic-Electric

There are basically two types of ukuleles. There’s acoustic and acoustic-electric. An acoustic ukulele is just as it sounds. It’s a standard ukulele with nice projection. An electric-acoustic ukulele, on the other hand, has built-in electronics. And that means your uke can be plugged into an amplifier or PA system. That said, acoustic-electric ukes usually have solid projection without being plugged in. And that means they’re more versatile.

Acoustic-electric instruments are often considered “gigging” instruments. So, if you plan to jam with friends, attend open mics, or play gigs, you might prefer an acoustic-electric. That doesn’t mean you can’t put a mic on an acoustic instrument, mind you.

You can save a bit of money by opting for an acoustic instrument. Acoustic instruments are also more than adequate for general practice, at-home, and even campfire use. Some say acoustic ukes also have a nicer sound because no cavity was carved out for the pickups / electronics. Not sure whether that’s true, but purists might prefer the acoustic ukulele as well.

#4: Tuning Pegs & Hardware

Ukulele tuning pegs

Hardware is another important piece of the puzzle. One of the most important pieces of hardware on a ukulele is the tuning pegs or machine heads.

Although there are many factors affecting your ukulele’s tuning stability, it’s fair to say that the tuning pegs are the most significant. Cheap ukuleles are often unstable and may even have bad intonation, so going the cheapest route isn’t always the right move. Constantly having to tune is more annoying than you might think. Thus, it’s best to choose an instrument with quality tuning pegs. It might even be the top consideration affecting your overall satisfaction with the instrument.

Understand that even if you do buy a cheap ukulele, you can still have the tuning pegs swapped out. Unless you’re a luthier or ukulele tech, though, we don’t suggest changing the tuning pegs yourself. Expect to spend somewhere in the range of $75 to $200 to buy new tuning pegs and to have your stock ones replaced by a tech.

#5: Accessories

There are many beginner oriented ukulele bundles out there, especially on Amazon. So, is it worth springing for the extras? Should you buy a uke that comes with a gig bag, tuner, picks, extra strings, and so forth?

Basically, there are a few essentials. A proper case will protect your instrument from potential damage and wear and tear. A stand is a great thing to have for setting up your instrument in your practice room. An electronic tuner is also a great thing to have, even as a professional.

Not surprisingly, though, if you buy a ukulele bundle, you usually end up with poor quality accessories. They’re just bonuses to help close the deal. So, while it’s always nice to have everything you need at the outset, you should not expect bundled products to be of a high quality.

Picks are optional, as ukuleles are usually played with the fingers, but there’s certainly no rule against practicing both techniques.

#6: New or Used?

Should you buy a new ukulele or a used ukulele?

Well, a nice used instrument is probably going to help you save some money. And you might end up with a better quality instrument for the same amount of money. Of course, you might not be aware of potential issues with the instrument. If buying second-hand, in addition to the above, you should also look for cracks and holes in the body (other than the sound hole, of course), intonation issues, and loose hardware components. Any other issues, like missing strings or tuning pegs should be obvious!

A new instrument probably won’t have any wear and tear. Likely, it will be ready to play out of the box (after a quick tune-up), and while it’s an intangible, you also tend to have a sense of ownership over ukuleles you bought brand new. That said, even new instruments can come damaged in the mail (especially if ordered online), so contact the manufacturer or seller immediately and get these issues resolved fast.

Like most, I own both used and new instruments. There is nothing wrong with either. It just depends on what you need right now, and budget will probably be a factor!

#7: The Brand

People do like to talk about the best brands. And while certain ukulele brands are prestigious, have more history behind them, or have more notoriety overall, the bottom line is that you’ve got to compare apples to apples. For example, it’s an act of futility to compare a premium level ukulele to an entry-level one. From craftsmanship to materials and hardware will all be distinct from one instrument to other!

That said, here are some of the brands we know and trust:

  • Kala
  • Hola! Music
  • Mahalo Ukuleles
  • Diamond Head
  • Hricane
  • Donner
  • AKLOT
  • Lohanu

That said, ADM, Everyjoys, HUAWIND, honsing, and Ranch are also well-known brands, and if you’re looking for something with a little more “oomph” to it, you might seek out the many custom ukulele makers out there!

Best Overall Choice for a Beginner:

Before we introduce our favorite pick, we want to make sure you’re aware of one thing:

There’s no such thing as a catch-all solution. What works for one doesn’t always work for another.

With that out of the way, our favorite selection for a beginner ukulele player is…

The Kala LTP-MH!

Kala LTP-MH ukulele

What do We Like About it?

Here’s what we like about the Kala LTP-MH:

  • Quality instrument. It’s not a top-of-the-line uke, but it’s much better than many instruments costing in the $25 to $50 range.
  • It looks amazing. It instantly catches your eye!
  • Its body size. The tenor is still a very manageable size and weight for any player.
  • It comes with a gig bag. And it’s not bad!
  • Its price point. It’s not the cheapest, but it’s certainly not going to break the bank either.

Have a closer look at the Kala LTP-MH.

Final Word:

Ultimately, picking the perfect ukulele is about getting the one that’s best for you. So, while online demos and reviews are helpful, if you can go to a store in person and try out a uke for yourself, that is still the best thing you can do. There is a wider selection online, though, so it’s always a bit of a balancing act.

Either way, we wish you all the best during your shopping journey.

If you want to learn more about the best ukuleles available, sign up for access to the PDF Vault now.

063 – SEO for Musicians: The Best Tips & Tricks I’ve Come Across

063 – SEO for Musicians: The Best Tips & Tricks I’ve Come Across

Search engine optimization isn’t everything, but it can still be an important aspect of your digital marketing as an artist or band.

In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, I share some of the best SEO tips and tricks I’ve come across.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:14 – Search engine optimization for musicians
  • 00:20 – How people generally find bands
  • 00:38 – SEO tips and tricks
  • 00:49 – Building your website
  • 02:24 – Listing your tour dates on your site
  • 03:10 – Your branded keywords
  • 03:47 – Links – internal, outbound, inbound
  • 05:40 – SEO can be complicated
  • 06:11 – Resources referenced

Transcription:

Thanks for joining me. Today I want to talk about SEO or Search Engine Optimization for musicians. Generally, people don’t find artists or bands via search engines. They first learn about you via word-of-mouth, social media, streaming sites like Spotify, YouTube, at venues and so forth, and only then do they search for you using a site like Google.

Here are some worthwhile tips and tricks I’ve come across. SEO for musicians is important despite the fact that it may not be how people find you in the first place.

My first tip is to build a website. You’ll want to refer to episode three of the podcast with Ross Barber of Electric Kiwi to learn more about the importance of having a website as a musician.

When people search for you online, the first thing they should see in the search results is your website. So, building your way towards the number one position in Google may take time, especially if you already have established social media profiles, because those can sometimes be prioritized in search results.

But blogging is a good way to boost your rank overtime. If you keep updating your website with fresh content and pay attention to the keywords you’re using in your tittles, over time Google should recognize you as the authority on the content that you create as a band or artist.

Building a sitemap for your website is always a good idea. This is a page on your website that basically offers your visitors an overview of the different pages they can find on your site. Every primary page on your website should be highlighted on the sitemap.

Make sure your website loads fast and is mobile responsive. This is another important point as far as search engine optimization is concerned. Generally, just keep your site updated. If you are regularly touring and then keeping in contact with your fans, this should be relatively straightforward.

And one last thing you can do is to hold on to your domain name. It seems Google over time trusts domain names that have been registered to the same person for many years. So, aged domains tend to be pretty good as well.

Another thing you should definitely do is list your tour dates on your website. Google seems to place an importance on specific days and times when events are being held and will sometimes prioritize them in search results as well.

Be sure to optimize the tittle of your tour page. Don’t just call it “Tour”, because that’s not necessarily what people are looking for. Call it something more descriptive, like “View Upcoming Tour Dates and Purchase Tickets”. This result more closely reflects what people are searching for, and also lets them know they can purchase tickets on your tour page.

Creating separate pages for each of your tour dates can also help with SEO, but make sure those pages contain valuable information. If you’re using one of the AudioTheme WordPress themes, they automatically create separate pages when you add a gig date.

Another important consideration is your branded keywords. Your band or artist name should be considered a branded keyword, so make sure it’s unique and not something that’s already out there online. The names of your band members, the name of your albums and songs, the lyrics to your songs, and other relevant words can all be considered branded keywords that you should emphasize on your website.

Try to see things from the perspective of people who are searching for you. They are probably interested in your tour dates and lyrics and specific songs, so creating pages around those specific branded keywords can help your SEO as well.

Now I’m going to talk a little bit about the power of links. Links are important in a number of ways. One of them is internal links. Basically, you want to link between different relevant pages and blog posts. This passes a little bit of link juice onto relevant pages on your website that have something to do with the topic that you’re discussing. It’s important to link naturally.

The next category would be outbound links, and Andrew Dubber of New Music Strategies suggests linking to other similar websites, especially bands or artist that may be similar to you. I don’t know how applicable this is today, but his theory is that this sends a signal to Google about the type of website that you have, so it could help on that level.

And then there’s inbound links, which has been a major topic in the SEO community as of late. Basically, you want to get as many links as you possibly can pointing to your website, especially from high-quality sources. I think this is probably another topic for another time, but for starters, you can have all your social media profiles point to your websites, whether it’s from Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud or another site.

Another great thing you can do is get your music reviewed by music bloggers, since they will likely link to your site. It can be helpful to register your band with as many relevant music and social media sites as possible, including Wikipedia. This gives you a way to point more inbound links to your site.

When people search for you band in search engines, the first few pages could be dominated by relevant results. Naturally this is an effort-intensive process, so if you don’t have the resources or the manpower to be able to do it, then it’s not something that you want to put all of your time and attention and focus on.

Ultimately, SEO is kind of complicated. It would be a full-time job keeping up with all the changes. As search engines continue to update their algorithms, best practices will also change. Old spammy tactics just don’t work anymore, and the best approach is just to create quality content that your visitors will likely be looking for.

Now, there is so much more I could cover here, but you may be overwhelmed already, so I will talk more about SEO on another occasion. There are a couple of resources I referred to in creating this podcast episode. The first is an article by Moz which is Music SEO – 7 Lessons in Brand Optimization for 2015. This gets into a lot of detail and can be a very handy guide. Another is a little bit of an older eBook but still a good one. The 20 Things You Must Know About Music Online by Andrew Dubber. To learn more about SEO tools, you can check out the definitive SEO tools and software list.

That’s all from me for now. I look forward to sharing more in the next episode.

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