Tech Tip:Digital Bliss: Using the Web to Slingshot Your Music Career into the Future

by John Dawes


John DawesZen and the Art of Internet Music Promotion: Four Golden Rules


Hello again! This month I'm going to discuss how to get online and stay there. I'm sure you've heard this pitch a dozen times, but hear me out. I constantly receive complaints from new clients and online artists that no one visits their sites. The first thing I ask is, "Have you submitted to search engines?" I usually get a resounding, "Yes! And with keywords too!" Then I ask, "How often do you get online and seek out new resources for exposure?" The usual answer, "What else is there beside search engines?"


Four Golden Rules to Remember while Treading the Right Path

What these artists don't realize is that the Internet is dynamic and changes everyday. They did their homework once and expected long-term results. So here is the first golden rule of online music promotion:


Promotion is an ongoing process.
It is important to spend a little time every week to educate yourself on trends. This is because an independent artist can implement new technology and redefine marketing strategies overnight. This is not a bad position to be in while the music industry is downsizing, fighting piracy and trying to gain a foothold online! Now for the second golden rule of online music promotion:


Ditch your mentor.
This may sound harsh but there is a Zen thing going on here that I want to burn into your brain. What I'm really trying to say is... learn the fundamentals and put your own twist on them. Although you still want to submit to search engines, place songs on, etc., don't sit back fat and happy. Find new resources to exploit and build up your momentum. Otherwise, my grasshoppers, other artists will pass you by. Many of the great marketing gurus study Zen and The Art of Warfare. Just like the Martial Arts, marketing is practiced in hundreds of different styles that are developed from the same fundamental exercises. So, my grasshoppers, your fundamental exercises are these:


  • Learn the basics of online music promotion.
  • Exploit them.
  • Find new resources - Ezines, CD Reviewers, etc.
  • Ditch your mentor.

(You didn't expect to get all the answers here did you? Every good mentor makes you think before explaining how to proceed. They live longer that way... keep reading!) And now the third golden rule:


What works today may not work tomorrow.
Every online company that has become successful never followed traditional business models. For example, Yahoo! keeps on top of the cyberheap by constantly launching new features on their site like "My Yahoo!", daily news, free email, personal calendars, and even a credit card. They aggressively advertise offline with TV commercials, print ads, sell merchandise and display their logo during sporting events. All of this comes out of careful monitoring of online trends and creating new methods of promotion to exploit them. You don't have to pour this kind of money into your web campaign. What you should do is come up with new gimmicks that build repeat visits and also serve to attract newcomers--contests, giveaways and merchandise.

And now... golden rule number four:


What works for others may not necessarily work for you.
There isn't a perfect formula to online marketing but there is a golden path. To put you on the golden path there are two resources available. The first is the Music Promotion Network-- -- which provides free online tutorials, publications and resources that help independent artists promote their music on and off the Internet. The other is the Musician's Guide to Web Promotion which covers the basics and then shows how to stand alone. Both are services provided by Taco Truffles Publishing.


Well, that's it for this month. See you here next time on


The mentor has left the building... Hey... where did everybody go?




John Dawes is the author of A Musician's Guide to Web Promotion and has written many informative articles on the Internet and MP3 format. In 1996, he founded Taco Truffles Media to help independent musicians get online and promote their own music. He consults Cheap Trick in the multimedia content of their web site, Nairobi Sailcat, formerly of Parliament Funkadelic and The Space Cadets, and Canadian Country sensation Richard Samuels. He has also appeared on Talk Radio, held online "chat lectures," and speaks regularly and the Musician's Institute (Hollywood, CA) and the Urban Focus Music Foundation (L.A., CA). John is also a Music Technology and Composition graduate of UCSD and a former employee of IBM. When he is not lecturing or writing he composes music for TV, film, and multimedia. Be sure to visit: to get more FREE tips on music promotion.