Musicians are driven by two things – to create and the desire to have their work heard, and SoundCloud is a great place to try to achieve the latter. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as uploading something amazing and hoping for the best, as with so many others doing the same thing the competition for listeners is pretty fierce. 

To get real SoundCloud plays you need a strategy, and that’s what we look at here – or to be more precise, five effective ideas on how to increase the number of real people who choose to play your music.

1 - Don’t overlook the importance of visuals and text

It may seem natural to focus on your music and let everything else come a poor second, but that means missing out on potential listeners. Attractive artwork gets attention so make sure it represents your music, is engaging and high quality, then use the text descriptions to be creative. You can give a mention to people you’ve worked with, tell the back story of the track, or add the lyrics. If design isn’t your thing then find the budget to hire a designer to help – there are plenty around on freelance artist sites.

2 -Tag well

Tags are so useful when you want people to find your music, whether on purpose or not! Just make sure they are honest and clear to avoid disappointing people who find you through them. Choose the main genre each track falls into, and build the rest of the tags around it, covering mood and any users on Instagram who were involved or you want to mention for some reason. Don’t add too many for the sake of it, or you risk confusing people.

3 - Max your waveform out

So you already know that SoundCloud gives listeners the chance to leave a comment on your waveform, and that’s great, but you can do the same thing. This is a unique opportunity to involve your fans and the wider community with your creative process. You can also discuss particular sections and ask for feedback on specific sections – a great way to encourage interaction and have listeners feel they have a real connection with you. In turn that helps attract fans who will become active followers of your music.

4 - Consider upgrading

If you upgrade from the free option there are lots of great extras on the table. For example, you can make changes to your work without losing all the existing interaction and stats on likes and plays attached. This means you can even upload unfinished work and get feedback on it before editing it some more.
5 – Be social

Adding your work to SoundCloud then walking away isn’t going to get you more plays, so keep your page interesting by re-posting the work of others that you really like, and give new artists a hand up the ladder too. Building networks with other artists brings lots of benefits so don’t neglect the need to be social.