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When Songwriting Meets Search Engine Optimization

Stashed in: SEO, Monetization

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Farley's approach is to create minimum viable albums. He plays his keyboard and sings from his basement, skipping expensive studio sessions. Many lyrics he improvises, and none aspire for lyrical genius. Cover art mostly consists of pictures of Farley's face with photoshopped text on top. BDCwire describes his bare bones process:

He records the songs on a Tascam Digital 24-track recorder he bought in 2009, mixes directly to the CD-R burner built into the unit, forgoes the (quite expensive) mastering process, and snail-mails the finished album to CD Baby (an online music distributor for independent musicians) to its headquarters in Portland, Ore. A few weeks later, his new compositions are available digitally to anyone in the world with an Internet connection. CD Baby charges $50 per album and that dollar figure is, literally, the only financial risk Farley takes with each album.

Farley admits, "I can get 100 of those recorded in a day. It's not fun at all." But it's been remarkably successful. He reports that 90% or so of his albums make more than their $50 cost, and he spends only 3 days a week making the albums and netting around $23,000 a year, leaving the rest of his time for creative pursuits.

What a strange way to make money. He's clearly talented but this is what he chooses to do.

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