When you log on to Mixcloud and look at the charts of your favourite music genres, it can be disheartening to always see the top places dominated by the famous elite.
However, it is possible to gatecrash the party at the pinnacle and it is easier than you might think.
So how do you get your DJ set or podcast noticed on Mixcloud?
The following is a list of the fundamental things that you should be doing each and every time you upload a DJ set or podcast to your Mixcloud account:
- Tag your DJ set or podcast correctly
- Use an eye-catching, unique image
- Post regularly and consistently
- Add an accurate tracklist
- Write a captivating description
- Blog about your latest recording
- Share your DJ set or podcast on your social media channels
- Interact with your followers
- Interact with other artists
You may already be doing some or all of the above, but we will take a look at each point in a bit more detail below to ensure that you get the best results.
1) Tag your DJ set or podcast correctly
While this list hasn’t been created in order of importance, one of the things that you definitely need to do is tag your DJ set or podcast correctly!
I always make sure that my recordings are tagged with at least two different musical genres (sometimes three if the mix crosses over multiple genres).
With the remaining tags (the maximum is five) you can use other related musical genres or the names of the artists who produced some of the tracks that you included.
Whatever tags you may choose, make sure that you do not tag your own artist name! As I learn more and more about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), I realise that doing this is kind of pointless for two reasons:
- Until your name becomes more well-known, not many people will be actively searching for you
- Your artist name will already be associated with your Mixcloud account*, so that will provide all of the metadata that is needed.
*If your artist name is not associated with your Mixcloud account, make sure that you do this immediately. You can choose the URL www.mixcloud.com/*yourartistname* and best of all, it is free of charge!
2) Use a unique, eye-catching image
You may have heard the famous phrase “A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words”. This old adage really is so true when it comes to getting your DJ set or podcast noticed on Mixcloud.
If you are fairly confident in your own graphic design skills, then you might be able to create something yourself. Alternatively, I recommend paying someone to produce something professional for you.
If you work with something in black and white (or fairly neutral colours) then you can simply change the colour scheme of your mix cover with some basic image software each time you upload a new episode. This will create consistency with your branding and give your listeners and followers something to instantly recognise when scouring through the Mixcloud platform.
Also, remember to avoid adding too much text to your image as it can become almost unreadable when viewed on mobile devices or when it is embedded in the player widgets on Mixcloud or external websites.
3) Post regularly and consistently
It is important to post your DJ sets or podcasts regularly so that your followers have a steady flow of content which they can consume. A lot of famous DJs release new shows every week, but it is important to remember that a lot of them have no involvement at all with their podcast other than to record the voice-overs, with designated team members taking care of everything else.
Before committing to a publishing schedule, you should carefully consider the other commitments in your life. While you may think that it is easy to record a one hour show every week, it quickly becomes very time consuming and you will start to miss deadlines. It is much more beneficial to publish one or two good shows per month than to stretch yourself and end up putting out a mediocre show every week.
Once your schedule is finalised, it is important to try and post new episodes on the same day and at the same time. While this might seem pointless when you are first starting out, the benefit is that you will form a routine, so when your shows become more popular it will have become second nature to you and your followers will know when the next episode of your show will be published.
4) Add an accurate tracklist
Many DJs will keep all aspects of their tracklist as a closely guarded secret. Sure, if you are a record label boss trying to build a bit of hype about an upcoming release it can be useful, but for the average person, I recommend being completely transparent with your followers.
People typically go on the internet to learn something, buy something or to be entertained. By giving your followers and fellow DJs all the information about your tracklist, you are giving them a reason to return to your profile every time you upload a new episode.
I recommend adding the artist, title and remixer to your tracklist. If some of the tracks included in your mix are difficult to find, you will find that other DJs start to reach out to you to find out where you downloaded a particular track. This will enable you to make connections with these DJs and, if you help them, they are likely to help you in return.
5) Write a captivating description
Your latest DJ set or podcast could be the finest example of DJing that the world will ever witness, but no-one will experience this unless they click on it.
We have already discussed the benefits of using a unique, eye-catching image, so you should have already captured your audience visually. Now you need to ensure that they click on your mix by giving them several reasons to do so.
In the case of a Mixcloud playlist, less is definitely more. I would recommend a short paragraph as a brief introduction and then adding a bullet-point list of the stand-out tracks that are featured in your episode. If you include a track or remix from an up-and-coming name within the industry, you could give them a mention and send them a link to your mix or tag them on social media.
The description section is also a fantastic place to position links to your other channels such as your website and various social media accounts.
6) Blog about your latest recording
If you have your own DJ website, you may have realised that it is extremely difficult to gain traffic to it.
However, you can help to increase that traffic by writing a blog post each time you upload a new episode of your DJ set or podcast.
Writing blog posts can seem daunting at first, so start out by writing a small introduction and include the tracklist for your mix. You should start to feel more comfortable with each blog post and you can add more content each time.
Once you have developed your own individual writing style and have started writing longer-form content, you can target particular keywords and begin obtaining organic traffic from search engine results pages.
When blogging with popular platforms such as WordPress and Wix, you can easily add social sharing buttons and even embed the Mixcloud player in each blog post.
7) Share your DJ set or podcast on your social media channels
This entry on the list might be obvious to a lot of you, but the amount of DJs that fail to take advantage of this simple tactic is surprising.
While it is fairly easy to link several social media accounts together so that a single post reaches the audiences on each platform, I don’t recommend that you do this.
Instead, I suggest spending the extra few minutes to post to each channel individually so that you can optimise the content for each one. This will ensure that your followers receive a better user experience on that particular channel.
It is also a good idea to approach each channel individually. For example:
- Facebook wants you to stay on their platform for as long as possible, so unless you are paying advertising fees to increase your reach, they tend to suppress any posts that direct people away from their site. Using the Facebook Messenger platform to share your mix with your friends who have an interest in music will be more likely to yield better results.
- WhatsApp is a great way of sharing your mix links (either directly to Mixcloud or via your blog) to selected friends or contacts. Spamming everyone in your address book is likely to annoy people, so try to refrain from doing this!
- Twitter is possibly the fastest moving social media platform, with many users tweeting in excess of 30 times per day. As a result of this, any content that you post doesn’t remain fresh for very long, so you will need to be tweeting multiple times per day in order to gain any engagement.
- Instagram is great for sharing the image of your mix and you may receive a few likes from people who admire the artwork, but it is unlikely to generate lots of listens. Video content tends to gain more engagement than images, so a short promotional clip is also an option.
8) Interact with your followers
It may not happen all of the time to begin with, but eventually, you will start to get comments about your DJ sets or podcasts from your followers.
Regardless of whether the comments are positive or negative (I tend to get both types of comments in equal measures) you should always be courteous and polite to your followers. The reason for this is if you engage in a dispute with someone in the comments section of your mix, other people are likely to read it too. If you are seen to be rude or argumentative, it could cause people to unfollow you.
Once you start to build up a loyal fanbase, you can start to do giveaways and competitions to further engage your followers.
9) Interact with other artists
You can try and go it alone if you like, but building a following without any help from your peers is always going to be difficult.
Spend some time seeking out DJ sets or podcasts similar to yours from other artists. If you like what you hear, leave a comment or re-post their mix to show your support. Not everyone will reciprocate, but you will eventually find that you have become part of an unofficial circle of artists who all support each other and grow their shows together.
While some of the tips here might be a little obvious if you are a more experienced DJ, those who are just starting out should take some value from all of them.
Growing a following on Mixcloud takes time and you really need to put a lot of effort in if you want to get something out.
Do you have any hacks that work for you? If so, I would love to hear from you in the comments.