Automating the monthly issue

I used to run my monthly newsletter, Ryan's Music Mail, via very old-school methods - signups via a simple form and emails from my Mac's Mail. So many pitfalls however, including the ever increasing list of people in my Address Book. There must be a better way?! On one rest night in Argentina at the end of last year, I came across MailChimp and was entirely impressed with all of the features. It is extra safe for subscriber's information, extra easy for them to unsubscribe or update their information, signups are completely automated, statistics are incredible including full integration with Google Analytics (YES!), it basically runs itself and on top of that it creates beautiful HTML emails. This is brilliant and means I can focus more on what really matters, creating some music.

Sign up here to Ryan's Music Mail.

If you're not subscribed yet click on the link above and keep in touch with all of my music, projects, favourite resources and latest news. I should mention that the MailChimp monkey is the friendliest monkey I've ever met - ah never mind, you wouldn't understand ... seriously!

Online music marketing & promotion

I thought I'd let you know what I've been reading up on lately and have got very interested in. ... Online music marketing and promotion, specifically relating to indie artists. I've subscribed to two podcasts and read a few books all which I thoroughly recommend. Before I mention the podcasts, note that you can subscribe through going to the site or just find it through iTunes. The first podcast is Online Music Marketing with Jay Moonah. He is based in Toronto and has so many great ideas, tips and guests which make his podcasts fantastic. Examples include search engine optimization for artist websites, financing and fan incentives, using flash and videos, through to using MySpace and last.fm, through to owning your own (web) destiny.

The second is Artist Empowerment Radio brought to you by Bob Baker. He is absolutely full of knowledge on many areas and is dedicated to helping creative people of all kinds get exposure, connect with fans and increase their incomes through their artistic passions." I'll get to his books soon, but his podcast covers similar topics to Online Music Marketing, but also leans towards Artist Empowerment, such as feeling good about your music, taking action, growing your career etc.

I've also been reading some books that I've found very interesting and full of great stuff. Three by Bob Baker (all books and much more available here: www.bob-baker.com):

"Branding Yourself Online""MySpace Music Marketing""Unleash the Artist Within"

And one by David Nevue (lots of resources and book available here: www.musicbizacademy.com):

"How to Successfully Promote Your Music on the Internet"

I won't go into the books too much cause the titles kind of explain it all, but they are all definitely worth a read. There definitely was alot of information in them that I already knew (as most people would find who have an established MySpace account ... for example), but there were always many more exciting things to discover. Both their websites are full of articles and resources also, so definitely worth checking out.