Brand new to the site? Visit our about page to find out who we are, why we’re here, and what we mean when we say Bandcamp puts artists first.

This guide covers our recommendations for how to achieve financial success on Bandcamp. If you’re seeking advice on a specific feature, or experiencing a problem, please visit our Help Center. Otherwise, read on to learn how artists use Bandcamp to sell 74,000 records each and every day.

Connecting to the Bandcamp Community

Bandcamp isn’t just a bunch of isolated direct-to-fan storefronts, it’s a marketplace and community of millions of music buyers discovering and supporting hundreds of thousands of independent, but interconnected, artists. And that community — via features like discover, tag hubs, artist recommendations, fan collections, and the music feed — drives 30% of Bandcamp’s monthly sales, so it’s definitely worth tapping into. However, your connection to the community doesn’t happen automatically. There are a few things you need to do to make it happen.

Punk is Not Kids

First, it’s important to tag yourself and your music properly, so that fans can use Bandcamp’s search and browsing tools to find you. If you’re metal, punk, or some other similarly badass genre, we understand the temptation to categorize yourself as kids or devotional, but doing so only means fewer people will discover and buy your music. To correct this, visit your profile page, where you can update your genre, and also add more tags for other genres or subgenres that apply to you. Similarly, when adding a track or album to Bandcamp, it’s important that you fill out the tag field with any additional tags that are specific to that release.

The Virtuous Circle Awaits

Second, recommend your favorite albums by fellow Bandcamp artists. We show those in a footer on your album pages and in discover, and notify the artists you recommend. Your radical act of kindness not only secures your spot in Valhalla, it also leads to reciprocal recommendations that boost your sales.

You Light the Spark

Third, because most of Bandcamp’s community features are driven by sales, you need to jump-start things by telling the world you’re here. It works like this: 1) you tell your fans you’re on Bandcamp (many of whom are likely among the millions already using the site), 2) they follow you, which means we automatically notify them when you add new music or merch, 3) you add a release, they buy it, and we notify their followers about their new purchase (via email and the music feed), 4) your release appears in every buyer’s public collection, where still more fans discover it, 5) your release starts appearing in “people who bought this also bought this” recommendations, 6) you start showing up in the recent best-sellers sections of tag hubs and discover, and 7) before you know it, you’re knee-deep in the emotional and monetary affections of the Bandcamp community.

But how do you tell fans you’re here, and how do you convert them to followers? And is there something else incredibly useful about followers that we have not yet told you, and which you will be astounded to discover in the very next section of this guide?

The Importance of Followers

Followers are key to your success on Bandcamp. We notify them automatically when you release new music or merch, and you can also message them using the Bandcamp Artist App, even targeting those messages by fan location and level of support. Followers receive your messages on Bandcamp, and also via good old-fashioned email. In other words, Bandcamp followers are not your typical social media audience that you have to pay to reach lest they miss your message because it coincided with a Pomeranian doing something adorable. Instead, Bandcamp followers are more like an enhanced mailing list. And building a following on Bandcamp is risk-free, because every time someone follows you, they’re also invited to opt in to your mailing list, which you can export from your tools page at any time.

To get followers on Bandcamp:

  1. Add a basic Bandcamp button next to the Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and GeoCities icons in your email footer or site sidebar:

    You can find a further 1.2 billion button variations and logos here.

Making it Personal

Bandcamp is designed to feel like buying something directly from an artist at a show, where a fan gets to connect with someone whose work they love, and experience the satisfaction of supporting the creation of more of it. So when a fan arrives on your Bandcamp site, it’s important that they immediately sense that it’s yours, a place where they’re directly supporting you. The most successful artists on Bandcamp do a few simple things to underscore that direct fan connection.

Customizing your site’s design is one of the strongest ways to convey that your Bandcamp site belongs to you. Check out our design tutorial for details, but here’s a glimpse of some page designs that are getting it right:

It’s also important to add an artist image. A few of our favorites are below, but almost any image is better than none at all, provided it conveys who you are (people are understandably less inclined to financially support empty rectangles, logos, or recycled album covers). You can add your image from any album page on desktop, or use the Artist App to add one from your phone (no duck face plz).

Take the time to write a concise bio, and add it via the sidebar on desktop, or the Artist App. Don’t just copy/paste your Wikipedia entry — your Bandcamp bio is intended to quickly convey a bit about who you are, and anything beyond 400 characters will get cut off. HTML isn’t supported, but just below your bio there’s a separate section for links to your other sites, which you can edit from your profile.

Add your lyrics. Lyrics help fans discover you via search, and strongly indicate that Bandcamp is your site, where fans can support you directly. If you’re instead letting the internet document your lyrics, not only are you inviting unfortunate misinterpretations, you’re also letting cheeseball lyrics sites profit from your work instead of you.

Good liner notes are crucial. Liner notes add value to music. They signal that a record is a work of art that’s worthy of the listener’s time and money. They provide biographical context, making the listening experience more personal by telling people who they are listening to, and how the music came to be. And they’re another indicator that you, the artist, are present, and that this is where fans can express their support.

Offering Merch

Once you’ve established that Bandcamp is where fans can support you directly, the next step is to activate that support by offering them things they want to buy. And what fans want to buy most these days is physical merchandise, like vinyl, cassettes, and t-shirts. Digital music is still an essential source of artist revenue on Bandcamp, and you should absolutely start by uploading your albums and tracks, but merch now makes up half the sales on the site and is growing quickly. Vinyl sales, for example, are up 613% in the past five years, cassettes 349%, and t-shirts 492%. To date, fans have purchased 18.5 million merch items through Bandcamp, totaling $319 million USD. Part of this growth is attributable to overall industry trends1 but the particularly dramatic growth on Bandcamp is because we’ve done several things to make the site an ideal place to sell your merch:

  • Unlike the isolated sales of a typical storefront, merch sales on Bandcamp beget more merch sales on Bandcamp.
  • We provide merch-specific browsing tools, so fans can check out the best-selling hip-hop on vinyl, newly-arrived alternative cassettes, and so on, which of course drive more sales.
  • Hundreds of thousands of fans have their credit cards and shipping addresses stored with Bandcamp, making it easy to buy your merch in just a few clicks. Over the course of the 10 years we’ve been in business, and the 121 million transactions we’ve processed, we’ve earned the trust of millions of fans and honed our checkout completion rate to 88% (which is excellent, just ask your neighborhood e-commerce payments flow specialist).
  • You can include a digital album or track with any physical item on Bandcamp, so that when a fan purchases, say, your vinyl, they get instant streaming via our apps, as well as an optional high-quality download.
  • We report merch sales to the charts. Physical format sales (vinyl, cassettes, and CDs) are reported to Billboard/MRC Data (formerly SoundScan) in the US and Canada so long as you provide a UPC for the item. We report physical format sales as digital sales to the UK Official Charts, ARIA Charts, and The Official New Zealand Music Charts, in accordance with their specific guidelines.
  • We provide powerful tools for order fulfillment. Our merch backend lets you see all your orders at a glance, mark items as shipped, search and filter orders, update customer addresses, and print shipping labels and packing slips. You can do it yourself (and the Artist App lets you do much of it from your phone), give a fulfillment partner direct access to it all, or tap into our Merch API to integrate with your own fulfillment system.
  • Our merch player lets you promote your music and merch in a single embeddable widget. People can listen to your album and browse your vinyl anywhere you, your fans or the press place the player, they’re easy to make, and they look fantastic:

  • And finally, Bandcamp’s forthcoming vinyl pressing service makes it risk-free and hassle-free to offer your music on wax. Your fans’ orders finance the pressing, and we handle the manufacturing and fulfillment.

This is how to add your merch to Bandcamp. To maximize your sales, be sure to include a digital album or track with your merch item, indicate limited edition merch by ticking this box in the merch editor, and most importantly, upload lots of good-looking images. You can use the Artist App to add photos of merch right from your phone, or if you don’t yet have your merch in hand, use our templates to create high-quality mockups. Here are a few inspiring examples:

1 Only a few years ago, industry sourpusses could plausibly dismiss the growth of vinyl, cassettes, and so on as a likely-to-be-short-lived burst of hipster nostalgia for obsolete formats, but it is now a long-term trend with a more uplifting explanation: at a time when all the world’s music can be guzzled through an impersonal firehose for a suspiciously-low monthly fee, more and more people want to possess physical evidence of their fandom, connect more deeply with their music, and directly support their favorite artists.

Promoting Your Music

When it comes to promoting your music, we believe you should act in your own best interest, and not be shy about asking a little of your fans. So on the day of your release, rather than simply telling fans your album is “everywhere” and linking to all conceivable places to consume it, let them know where you would prefer they go (while still giving them a choice, naturally). Fans want to support the artists they love, and if you tell them where the best place to do that is, many of them will act on that information, and you will see the financial reward.

We of course think Bandcamp is that best place, but don’t take our word for it — talk to other artists and labels, and learn what they do and what’s worked for them.

If you happen to run your own online store, you may be inclined to send fans there first, to avoid Bandcamp’s revenue share. We humbly submit that this will actually net you less money, not more, because unlike isolated storefront sales, sales on Bandcamp can snowball. In fact, Bandcamp’s community drives 30% of overall sales, so even taking the revenue share into account, you come out ahead, with more fans, and retain your customer data (just like your own store).

Finally, if you’re hesitant to express a preference for one outlet over another for fear of a streaming service banning you from its Chill Metal Podcasts playlist, consider the last time you were on such a list, and whether its short-term benefits outweigh the value of building a sustainable and direct relationship with your customers. We hope we have not overstepped our bounds, and that you are now ready to hear...

How to Promote Your Release on Bandcamp

When you release an album, track, or merch item on Bandcamp, we notify your followers automatically (and by “notify” we don’t mean “show them an alert in some corner of Bandcamp’s interface” — we send them an email, and those emails are one of the biggest drivers of artist revenue on the site). But to reach everyone who does not yet follow you on Bandcamp:

  1. Share the link to your release via social media and email. And when you do, let your fans know that their direct support is crucial, and helps make your art possible.

  2. Embed one of our players on your own site, or share it with media folks for their use. You can also create exclusive embeds that sites can use to offer their readers an exclusive first listen of your music, complete with a link back to Bandcamp to pre-order or purchase.
  3. If you have videos for your album on YouTube, add your Bandcamp link to the video description, but make sure you include it early in the description. Otherwise, rather than appearing directly below your video, it will end up buried beneath the “read more” link that very few people click.

If you also publish your music to SoundCloud, you can add a "Support" button to your profile that links to your Bandcamp page.

Bandcamp Daily

If it’s at least a few months before your release date, consider submitting your music to our editorial publication, Bandcamp Daily:

The Daily exists to shine a light on the expansive world of music that’s on the site, and focuses on emerging artists right alongside established acts. Above are some examples to give you a small sense of our coverage, but know that we’re equally excited by indie rock, digital cumbia, doom metal, trap music, afropop and everything in between. To submit your release:

  1. Contact us as early as possible to let us know about your upcoming release. Eight weeks before your release date is ideal, but we do understand that some albums have a much shorter turnaround time than that. Send us the link to your music on Bandcamp, saved as a draft or private release. Don’t send us links to your music on other platforms.
  2. Follow the advice in this guide. We’re more likely to feature music that represents how best to use Bandcamp, so make sure you’ve read everything above and below this very sentence and implemented as much of it as you can. If, for example, you’re linking to another store in your liner notes, you probably haven’t read this yet.
  3. Tell us a story. If you have an interesting angle for your release, please share it with us. Send it to us in your email, and include it in the “about this album” section in the album editor. Don’t just send us a press release, or link to another site to read about your record.
  4. Accept that we just can’t cover everything. There’s a lot of great music on Bandcamp and we receive around 1,000 pitches a week. We do our best, but we’re at peace with the fact that we’re constantly missing amazing music. Once you are too...
  5. Contact Us. Just fill out this form, and your submission will automatically be directed to an editor at Bandcamp Daily, who will consider your release for coverage.

A Few Final Tips

Pre-order Setup

If you’ve set up your release as a pre-order, be sure to tick this checkbox to include at least one track for streaming/download during the pre-order phase. Doing so boosts sales for the simple reason that fans are more likely to buy or wishlist albums they can listen to, and also because only albums with at least one streaming track appear in Bandcamp’s discovery tools.

Leveraging Stats

Use Bandcamp’s rich, up-to-the-minute stats system to see where your sales are coming from, so you can see what’s working, what’s not, and refine your marketing efforts in real time. From the Artist App, go to the Stats tab, select Sales, and tap on any album to see how the people who bought it found it. You’ll see how many sales you’re getting from social media, search (along with the specific terms people are using), and Bandcamp’s own browsing tools. We also show you the blogs and other news sites driving sales, and you can tap on any of those to read your coverage and engage those communities (from desktop, you’ll find similar functionality in the Buzz tab of your stats section).

Engaging Your Followers

As mentioned earlier, followers are key to your success on Bandcamp, since we automatically notify them whenever you release new music or merch, and their purchases lead to more purchases by the community. But to really maximize your sales, you need to do more than focus on your follower count, you also need to engage those followers using Bandcamp’s messaging tools. By talking with your followers now and then, you’re emphasizing that Bandcamp is where they can directly support you, and consolidating your most ardent supporters in a place where audience directly translates into sales.

But what should you say to your fans? We often see artists sharing (and fans loving) photos from the studio, excitement about an upcoming album, details about a new merch item, and updates from a tour. We also see artists simply thanking fans (you can message a single fan from the Fans tab of the Artist App’s messaging section), telling fans in a specific location about an approaching tour date, or extending special offers to fans who have spent over a certain amount. And finally, it’s common (and effective) for artists to message fans with a discount code (easily generated from your tools page), either to everyone, or just those followers who have not yet made a purchase.

Did we miss your favorite tip for making more money on Bandcamp? Let us know!