5 Ways to Promote Your DJ Mix on SoundCloud

How to use SoundCloud

SoundCloud has been a game changer, not least for the number of CDs that haven\'t been burned & binned since it came along.

Just last week our making a mixtape series got loads of feedback proving how popular mixtapes are with DJs wanting to promote themselves. Of course, they're not mixtapes or even CDs a lot of the time nowadays, and it was obvious from your comments that your favourite place for posting digital mixes is SoundCloud.

But after spending so much time getting your mix just-so, the last thing you want is to post it online for it to sit there, unlistened to and unloved, for eternity. So how do you make sure it gets the attention you know it deserves? Time to get your promoter's hat on.

What is SoundCloud?
If you really don't know, SoundCloud is a place for musicians and DJs to upload, download and stream their music. Although it is a bit vague as to how much you as a DJ can legally get away with (after all, it isn't usually your music...), the shifting moral ground hasn't stopped DJs using it to promote their mixes right since it first appeared.

So assuming you're up for some SoundCloud mixtape promotion: how do you get it right?

1. Use it!

SoundCloud is not just a place to post your mix and let people listen to and download it. If you just post there, or go through the motions but only pay lip service to the many functions and features it gives you, you shouldn't be surprised when you don't do well.

Just as you have to be a loyal user to get the most out of Twitter, MySpace or Facebook, you really owe it to yourself to get involved on SoundCloud before you upload a mix and expect something back. Taking the time to learn about it, get a feel for it, and explore its features first is time well spent.

2. Be professional about it

You spent a lot of time on your mix, right? You want to be taken seriously as a DJ, yes? Then be a professional on SoundCloud, too.

Put your money where your mix is
To start with, you should pay for a subscription rather than go for the free, limited service. What is $40 or $100 a year to get your music out there? Think of the money you're saving not burning CDs.

The free version limits your music to only 100 downloads, and to two hours - that's two DJ mixes at best, and hardly enough downloads to get you up there with the kid in the next street, never mind with deadmau5.

SoundCloud SOS

From samples to artist tracks to royalty-free loops to DJ mixes - it\'s all on SoundCloud, so make friends and join in. It will pay dividends when you want attention for your mixes.

Looks count
Once you're one of the minority of users who have shown they're taking it seriously by paying, make sure you look serious. Get a good designer to make your logo, and ensure it's someone who understands the web, too, because your logo is going to have to look great at full size and as a thumbnail.

Look at other users and you'll instantly see who is to be reckoned with and who's just messing. Don't be on one of those DJs who are just messing.

3. Join in

SoundCloud is social. Make sure you "favourite" any mixes you like. Just like on Twitter, if you spread the love you'll get it back. Join in at groups that are about your type of music. Comment on other people's mixes. If you come across as interesting, people will follow your comments back to your mix.

And tag away! Make sure every track in your mix is tagged, so people searching on SoundCloud for the tracks you've used stand a chance of finding your mix. In the wise words of Gregg Alexander, "you only get what you give".

4. Get out a bit

There's more to the web than SoundCloud, great though it is (and that iPhone app is addictive...). It comes with widgets galore, and so get out there to where you hang out and round the online crowds up. It's easy enough to add it to Facebook (and customise your widget), and also if you have MySpace and Twitter accounts, or your own blog or website, advertise your mix there too.

Another time-tested trick is to use your SoundCloud mix as the signature in forums you post in - but be careful not to join up and post your mix without first joining in, or you'll be accused of spamming, which is of course what you'd be doing.

SoundCloud sticker

If SoundCloud can promote itself with stickers on corridor walls, why can\'t you promote your SoundCloud mix the same way?

5. No, really, get out a bit!

Whenever, wherever, you've got to promote that mix - and we're talk ing away from the web now. Here's how: get a business card made (by the same designer who did your avatar, probably), that features your SoundCloud address prominently.

Give it out at gigs, parties, bars, school, on the street; leave piles on shop counters; leave them in DJ boxes; pop them in flyer racks when nobody's looking; pin them to noticeboards...

Getting offline people online and to your mix is one of the most powerful things you can do to promote it. Shyness never got anyone anywhere, so be smart and make sure you give your mix the best chance that you can by shoving it in people's faces whenever you get a chance.

Do you have a mix on SoundCloud? Where else do you promote your mixes online? How do you do it? Let us know in the comments below.

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Comments

  1. james holden says:

    soundcloud totally isn’t the best place for mixes – mixcloud is 100x better – with lots of really neat features that introduce your mix to people who like similar music – linking up similar tracklists for example. a lot of influential people are already on there, as well as a lot of really very good bedroom djs.

    also mixcloud are paying prs/mcps/whatever, supporting the artists you’re trying to build a dj career on.. i don’t know if soundcloud do, do they, as they’re not really targetting themselves as something for mix sets?

    • Hey James, thanks for the guidance. Loads of people here prefer SoundCloud for posting mixes – looks like they’re missing a trick…

      I also believe Mixcloud is free for unlimited uploads at the moment, which also helps. So there you go, folks – try Mixcloud – and help the people mho make the music (like James) to get something back a bit more easily.

  2. No, no ,no, the main reason people prefer Souncloud is because the listeners can actually download the mixes as opposite to Mixcloud where you can only listen to them.

  3. I believe mixcloud and soundcloud are the same people…can’t understand why they don’t allow downloading.

    They stated this though:

    “Mixcloud is a legal platform for on-demand radio shows, Podcasts and DJ mixes which contain copyrighted music. The only licensing option available at present is a streaming format, and Mixcloud is committed to providing a legal option which supports artists and ensures they receive royalties for the shows and mixes which contain music. In addition, the site can keep track of what you (and your friends) listen to, so we can make better recommendations and provide a more personalised site tuned to exactly what you like to hear.”

    Anyway, I like Mixcrate, although it doesn’t have the widgets. No fees, it’s all about mixes, and people can download.

  4. I have been researching this area recently. My recommendation for mix hosting is http://official.fm/ (formerly known as Fairtilizer).

    The lowdown:

    Public or Private tracks to stream and download.

    MP3 files only but I believe the file size is unlimited (Mixcloud has a 100MB limit, this sucks, bigtime).

    Artwork and Widgets.

    One click sharing on Social Networks.

    Stats.

    The website states: “LEGAL
    Official.fm is licenced by SUISA which works in cooperation with a network of local and international rights management societies.”

    Pro accounts are also available offering customised Widgets and email capture.

    Check it out!

    • Actually the limit on Mixcloud is probably higher, I managed to upload 220MB track, but assuming they increased it over the two years since you wrote your comment here ;)

  5. Oops, Correction: the upload limit for http://official.fm/ is 500MB.

    And it appears I missed the point with the Mixcloud file size. If mixes hosted by Mixcloud can only be streamed, not downloaded the 100MB limit allows for 106 mins 40 seconds of music at 128kbs. Soundcloud streams at 128kbps, I’m guessing most other services do too but cannot find confirmation of this. Doubling the allowance to 200MB is marked as “under review” in the Mixcloud feedback forum.

    @D-Jam For the record Mixcloud and Soundclound are NOT the same people. http://www.mixcloud.com/team/

  6. If you reckon the mix is good enough, why not email some like-minded blogs?

    Make sure you include genre, a short bio, full tracklistings, high-res artwork and links to download/embed the mix.

    Even better, if you are a producer, include a free track to further entice the bloggers.

    Also, you could try posting your Soundcloud mix in blog comments. Like, erm, this:

    http://soundcloud.com/knobjockeys/knob-jockeys-kjs-festival-mix

    :P

  7. the soundcloud community is amazing. It gives you the ability to throw a mix up on the site in a simple and visually easy to follow format. you can set whether or not others can download it or not and you can upload to other groups.

    For production I feel like I’m tapped into a real time feed of all the great music that others are working on but still isn’t out yet. Sure producers also use it as a place for people to download/buy tracks, but the internal dashboard and feedback everyone provides on their tracks in progress is a great creative push. And since its so easy to upload mixes along with individual tracks i’m working on, I can offer free mixes as a take-away while the tracks are still in progress.

    Art

    http://soundcloud.com/oceanfactory
    twitter.com/oceanfactorymus
    http://www.facebook.com/oceanfactorymusic
    http://www.myspace.com/oceanfactorymusic
    http://oceanfactory.bandcamp.com/

  8. I have been using SoundCloud for a little over a year now, and I did a pile of research before I started paying for the Pro account. I have to say the people that operate it, and keep it up to date are very cool to work with and they get back to you immediately when something goes wrong. I have nothing bad to say about them, and my experiences have been amazing. I don’t always take the promotion side of things as seriously as I think I should, but hey… you live you learn.

    If people have other tips that they would like to share to increase the number of hits on your mixes… please share your secrets to success.

    Mark Schouls
    http://www.markschouls.com
    [email protected]
    http://www.soundcloud.com/mschouls

  9. Thanks for the tips. I like soundcloud a lot. Really do need to upgrade soon. Mixcloud is cool too. Takes more time to share though, because they require a track list. I like the comments in soundcloud so much, and that you can make it a free download.

    http://soundcloud.com/intuitivebeats
    http://mixcloud.com/djstory

  10. try mixcrate..I put my mixes on there, awesome website! you can upload as many mixes as you choose and there’s unlimited downloads and on the homepage they promote you if you get a lot of listens you get promo-ed if thats correct but yea I like mixcrate a little more than soundcloud and i’ve used tumblr, facebook, twitter, soundcloud, mixcrate and so far mixcrate is really good for my uploading my mixes

    mixcrate.com/illegalcubandj
    alwaysincharge.tumblr.com

  11. My This Mix only Got 150 plays….
    http://soundcloud.com/user6277825/futurastic-lover
    I have Only 9 Followers…..

    What to do….

  12. Here’s some music that I’m trying to promote on SoundCloud and Facebook. Any other suggestions? I don’t tour or play live.

    http://soundcloud.com/rhodesianpoet/much-less-push-pins

    http://soundcloud.com/rhodesianpoet/excessive-individualism-is

  13. usually to promote single songs i use soundcloud.com/iseph-1 but when i do wanna do DJ mixes then of course ill want to use mixcloud because of the upload length and all that good stuff and make sure to like facebook.com/isephmusic

  14. Hey guys, I know that you can get a lot of followers on the Cloud by sining in to Cloudkillers. Only problem is that they easily ban you from their service without a good reason. You have to comment on a certain amount of Soundcloud pages and if you done so your own track will be promoted by them. Try it maybe you are more lucky than me :)

    Grtz. Harko – Catch33 (http://soundcloud.com/catch-33)

  15. The easiest way when you’re starting off on Soundcloud is to comment other peoples tracks, show a genuine interest in the track and make a proper comment otherwise you won’t be taken seriously. Other than that follow people with similar music to you and they will often follow you back.

    http://soundcloud.com/brentyoussef

  16. Just wondering if there was any specific forums that you think would be great to promote on

  17. For me its Not easy to promote my mix. For sure its Not perfect. But there is no one who downloads it. I asked my facebookcommunity for feedbacking my mix. But there was no reply at all. 0 likes 0 hears 0 downloads :((whats wrong. Am I that bad?!

    http://Www.soundcloud.com/moksterj

  18. Your profile doesn’t exist anymore karsten, I was going to give you some feedback!

    I would really appriciate it if anyone reading this excellent blog post took the time to listen to my mix.

    Thanks in advance.

    KayFace

    http://www.mixcrate.com/kayface/progressive-regretno-191804
    http://soundcloud.com/kayface/progressive-regretno

  19. First I wanted to be grateful to you guys because I find these tips really helpful guys!
    Indeed, I want to promote my mixes and finally living and breathing the Pro DJ experiences.
    Otherwise, to promote my mixes I use Soundcloud, I have an account in mixcloud too & PromoDJ but I don’ t use them often.

  20. I have only been using Soundcloud and Mixcloud combine with facebook, twitter, stumbleupon and myspace to promote my mixes. But it’s really hard. I’m going to try the mixcrate website and see what happens.

    By the way, if someone wants to listen a nice mix of progressive house here’s the link!

    http://soundcloud.com/spiritualexpander/expander-summer-love-effect

  21. Ethan Thompson says:

    http://soundcloud.com/ethanthompson/lsed Very interesting about mixes, this advice will help when promoting

  22. Podr

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