How to market your music online

One could say that these times are both the easiest and the hardest for upcoming musicians: while there’s plenty of ways to gain recognition and spread your music, there’s also a lot of competition – so much so, in fact, that many young artists get discouraged after their heart’s work doesn’t generate as much buzz as they’d like.

If you’re making music of any kind, it’s important to remember to take it slow – as long as you’re good enough, you’ll get discovered eventually, which is all that matters, right?

To help speed up the process, though, here are some ways through which you can market your music and have fun doing it. There are several ways that will help. Getting links from other popular music places, optimizing your website, and having the ability for people to buy online.

The standard ways

First and foremost, you’ll have to figure out what genre your music belongs to. Are you an aspiring DJ looking to make it big and go on to collaborate with some of the world’s biggest stars? Or are you more of a lone pop icon hoping that his or her vocal chords will brighten up the days of thousands?

While it might feel a bit constricting, figuring out where your music fits and sticking to that niche will help you get more recognition – less competition in your ‘field’ means more chances of being heard.

Once you’ve got your style down, you’ll have to scout the web and scoop up all the most prominent figures associated with independent or up-and-coming artists who make the same sort of music that you do. This can be anyone with a decent amount of reach: blog writers, owners of music review sites, online radio voices… Try getting in touch with each of them and see if they can help promote your newest album (or your music in general) – even a single post from a high-ranking music blog can get you tons of recognition.

Speaking of radio, try and get yourself onto as many online radios as possible. Yes, everyone wants to play in the cars of their home town, but baby steps and all – online music streaming is more popular than ever and is very accessible to musicians, making it a terrific way to gain some traction.

Thinking outside the box

A good way to separate yourself from your ‘competition’ (whether different musicians can be called each others’ competitors is up to you) is to give some focus to your brand rather than just being all music all the time.

Most upcoming musicians are only interested in recording – if you can make a little effort here and there to gain more popularity, you’ll get ahead in leaps and bounds. While the steps outlined above will establish your name just fine, you can also try working the search engines so that people reach your music website more easily.

You can do this on your own, but if you’re really looking to make an impact, consider hiring a SEO company to spread your name – not only will this be tremendously effective, but it’ll also give you a glimpse into how successful musicians stay ahead of the game.

Prepping your home to sell

If you’re selling your home and can’t bother cleaning it one bit, don’t get too hard on yourself – you’re among the majority of home sellers. After all, what use is cleaning something that will soon no longer be yours? Doesn’t it basically mean you’re working for free?

Well, not quite. In truth, taking necessary steps to get your home ready for a sale can have a tremendous impact on the amount of interested parties and the best price you can get. That’s right – your cleaning efforts will likely pay many times over come selling time. Here are some ways to get your home ready for the big sale.

Picking the right layout

Have you ever been in two different homes of equal size yet one seemed considerably bigger than the other? The secret behind this has nothing to do with magic and everything with manipulating perception. More specifically, it’s about using home decor to free up space and make an indoor environment seem much larger than it is.

If your home seems to be suffering from clutter, you should do some careful rearranging before having potential customers over. Think about all the ways through which you can rearrange furniture, even if the new layout would be the exact opposite of what you’re used to – we don’t have to tell you that bigger trumps smaller when talking home buying.

Those lacking a talent or drive for interior decoration can choose to work with a professional designer instead. Find the right person and you’ll see your home transformed in no time, seemingly gaining a room or two’s worth of extra square meters in the process. Again, putting in all this work for a home you’re about to sell might feel odd, which is why it’s important to remember that the extra money will make it all worth it.

Cleaning up the place

Of course, it’s not all about moving the TV to the right and the sofa to the left – a big part of getting your home to look nicer ahead of a sale comes down to good old fashioned cleaning.

The amount of work that awaits you here heavily depends on how much cleaning you’ve done in the past. Have you been neglecting your cleaning duties for months or years, finding them a waste of time? You might very well be forced to pay your dues before putting that ‘For Sale’ sign up.

It’s best to start with hard surfaces: scrub those hardwood floors and tiles, take care of any marks on the walls, polish the furniture, wash the glass and so forth. Then, move onto fabric: have the carpets and upholstery thoroughly cleaned and don’t forget any textile decorations, either. If this feels like too big of a task, consider having professionals clean the home’s fabrics ahead of the sale – you’ll save time and effort and get much better results in return.

In the end, prepping your home for sale boils down to one thing: getting it look as nice as possible – possibly even nicer than it really is – before having any buyers come over and inspect the loft with curious eyes.

3 top places to buy furniture online

Not everyone’s a fan of furniture shopping online: similar to clothing, there’s no way of telling whether the piece will ‘fit’ or not until you’ve seen it in person. Yet buying online is certainly more convenient: from easier transportation to a much-greater palette of options, it pays to check out some online retailers together with real-world ones or even focus on them if you’re unwilling to travel dozens or hundreds of miles looking for that perfect chair to go with your decor.

For your convenience, here are 3 top places that sell all kinds of furniture online – if you can’t find what you need here, you’ll probably have to look for more-specific shops instead.

 Top places to buy furniture online

Target: Target’s everywhere – you might not have realized it, but the hugely-popular clothing and accessories retailer also sells some great furniture to boot. One great thing about Target is the sheer amount of items to choose from: whether you’re equipping your bedroom, kitchen, kids’ room or garden, Target will more than likely have you covered. They don’t offer the rarest and quaintest pieces out there, but they make up for it with affordable prices and a quality guarantee. Target could easily be your one-stop-shop for all your furniture needs – whether you end up choosing it as such probably depends on your past experiences with the retail giant.

Overstock: Another massive retailer that readily dabbles in furniture sales, Overstock has an inventory that rivals Target’s in terms of quality as well as price. If you’re dealing with more empty rooms than you’d like, Overstock is a great place to start: their collection of basic furniture is impressive and covers every room in the house one could think of. Likewise, their prices are pretty much what you’d expect from a massive online store that can afford to sell everything at a discount – attractive and bound to pique your interest. Throw in the frequent actual discounts on top of the already-low prices and you’ll understand why it pays to bookmark Overstock and check it periodically until you’re fully satisfied with the furniture arrangement in your home.

Design Public: Here’s a specialized site you’ll fall in love with if you like contemporary furniture: Design Public is all about edgy pieces that will turn your home into a true 21st century abode. If you can look at a piece of furniture and think it might have been designed two decades ago, it probably won’t be found here – instead, you’re treated to edgy furniture for the entire home that never compromises in its near-futuristic appeal. Have you ever seen the inside of a penthouse or similar high-rise high-class establishment with plenty of odd shapes and sharp finishes to the furniture? Well, the landlord was probably buying from these guys – Design Public sells modern furniture and has no qualms about making it obvious. The prices aren’t as affordable as with some of the more generic retailers, but can you really put a price on style? If you answered that with a ‘no’, you’ll feel right at home browsing Design Public’s extravagant collection.

Best music streaming services

Everything’s moving online – whether you’re looking to do serious business or trying to sit back and relax with some good entertainment, you can no longer afford to ignore the internet’s massive influence.

Music is very much the same: record labels are fighting piracy by making music videos available on YouTube for free, iTunes are more or less the most popular way of purchasing music and online streaming services are quickly replacing traditional forms of radio.

Because of how easy it is to stream music online, picking the right service can seem difficult. Here’s an overview of the top 3 music streaming services and what each of them brings to the table.

Best Music Streaming Services

Spotify: There’s no doubt about it: Spotify is big, and it’s only getting bigger by the minute. Popular with both U.S. audiences and listeners from abroad, Spotify offers an impressive amount of features without really taking too much out of your pocket. For starters, the streaming service boasts the option of letting you “play any song, anywhere”, which is true enough – Spotify’s music library is certainly impressive and ranks among the best on the entire web. By default, the app comes in a free and premium suite – the latter costs $10 a month and opens up offline listening, provides better mobile integration and grants a higher music quality. Throw in a decent internet radio in there and one thing becomes clear: Spotify isn’t going anywhere and very few music lovers will regret getting a monthly subscription.

Pandora: You won’t be opening Pandora’s box by getting a cheap monthly subscription to this service – instead, you’ll be getting access to one of the best music streamers on the internet. Pandora has been around for a while and has refined its features considerably, although it still gets some criticism for focusing on one thing: user-powered internet radios. If you’ve always wanted to host your own radio show, now’s your chance – Pandora lets you run a constantly-updated playlist that anyone can listen to, comment on and like. You can also check out other people’s playlists and subscribe to them if their tastes mirror your own. With a little online searching, you’ll have no trouble finding a couple of playlists that are perfectly to your liking and constantly updated with new and hip songs you wish you’d heard sooner.

Google Play Music: The biggest streaming service coming in last on the list? The reasoning for this is simple: despite the company’s famous do-good policy, many people feel that Google is everywhere and prefer to limit their exposure to the tech giant whenever possible. If you don’t mind seeing the ubiquitous brand in yet another facet of your life, Google Play Music has some neat features to it: a huge amount of top-notch music to listen to and download, the option of ‘upgrading’ your collection with better-quality tracks and the all-important integration with every other Google service, such as cloud storage. Indeed, integration is likely why most people will opt for Google Play over its competitors – it’s just so convenient to have everything in one place, isn’t it? While its internet radio and auto playlists aren’t the best, Google Play nevertheless manages to give its competitors plenty of trouble and is here to stay.