What’s Appropriate for a Small Label to Ask of Their Artists

Originally Published on September 20th, 2017.
Property of Dozmia.com.

Originally, I planned on calling this article “Things No DIY Label Should Ask of Its Artists.” What I realized in doing research is that, contrary to what I had previously thought and as is common in life, there is two sides to every thing and almost always an exception to rules that I had thought were clearly black and white. So I want to give this article space to start and encourage a discussion about how labels treat their artists and vice versa. Let me give a little bit of background first though.

A friend recently approached me and asked about a deal his band was being offered with an independent record label. The label was not going to press physical copies for them and in exchange for only promotion and digital distribution was going to take the masters of their record. To me, this seemed like a bad deal. If you’re a small label that no one has ever heard of — which this label was — why would you ask a band to give everything they have to you, with little no physical return? I suppose if each party makes a lot of money because this label is somehow magic at promotion, but I still don’t think it’s worth your masters.

This got me thinking and I reached out to some people — label owners primarily — to see what made them cringe when they heard about dealings of fellow labels and artists. Here’s what they came up with.

The rest of this article is available to read here.


Why Tracking Attention and Awareness is Important in a Digital Age

Article is property of Spin Sucks.
Originally published on July 31st, 2017.

Products flop.

They just do.

In the digital age, brand loyalty and awareness techniques have had to change and adapt because people are always engaged with their digital devices and involved online.

You need to go where your customers are, not the other way around.

So how do you track overall success when something goes awry?

It’s about visibility in front of potential customers, who ultimately determine what the market looks like.

Read the rest here.

The Toll Of Debt On A Relationship

Article is property of Marriage.com.
Originally published on July 6th, 2017.

In my personal opinion, material wealth, riches, and greed of any sort should not be a factor in who you love. However, with great money comes great responsibility. If you’ve ever been in a serious relationship you know that there are consequences for unwise choices that affect both people involved, especially if the said couple is married. Suddenly, one person’s bad spending affects the other and stability becomes a thing of the past.

Money is one of the top reasons why people get divorced. Getting past greed, jealousy, and the like are important, but when one spouse’s irresponsibility is hurting the other or their family, it’s not hard to see why that so often becomes trouble in paradise. There’s no doubt that unwise spending habits, debt, and financial instability can break down the trust and comfort in a relationship.

Read the rest right here!

In Defense Of Video Games

Article belongs to Geek Girl Con.
Originally published on July 5th, 2017.
Shoutout to my college roommate who helped me through the Ocarina of Time since I didn’t own it when I was younger.

I can’t count how many times in my life I’ve heard video gamers referred to as “lazy.” And I guess I get it–I’ve skipped class to play video games. I’ve found myself staring at a screen instead of taking care of responsibilities. It’s natural to be lazy when something is entertaining you.

But that’s the point: anything that entertains you can be a distraction. I reject the notion that all or even most gamers are couch potatoes that don’t get enough sun or can’t socially function. I reject the notion that gamers are less than athletes, artists, or whatever else one might do with their spare time. And I reject the notion that gamers can’t be athletes, artists, etc., as if one hobby has complete say over their total identity.

GeekGirlCon attendees, readers, and those involved know this more than anyone, as a girl gamer is looked upon much less favorably than a male gamer. While it’s still “bad” to be a male gamer, a double standard continues across the board as it does in all things. So for all gamers everywhere, I want to defend gaming–as a practice and a community.

Read why I think video games are a positive thing here!

Explaining the Severity of Debt to a Stubborn Client


Article is property of finance.alltheanalysts.com
Originally published on June 29th, 2017.

With the radically changing political climate the United States is now experiencing, the economic spectrum hasn’t gone untouched. Any given year, experts will debate over whether economic changes are good or bad, but all change needs to be weathered wisely. Financial advisors know this all too well.

In light of these changes, it can be easy for some to get swept away in optimism and to forget their heads while living in a potential future that hasn’t happened yet. Yes, taking risks as a business is necessary but these risks shouldn’t be approached without some sort of faith that one can come out on top.

If you have a client who’s acting overly optimistic about the future, stop them before it’s too late and you’re both out of a job. Approach them how they will best receive it and godspeed!

Read the rest right here (sign in with twitter first)!

5 Signs It’s Time For an Office

Property of careermetis.com.
Published on June 26th, 2017.

Are you wondering how to know when you need to move on to a bigger office? Take note, because it might be coming up sooner than you think!

1. You’re Out of Room

Is your entire house stuffed from floor to ceiling by boxes of the products you sell? Are your employees shoulder to shoulder on your couch, or are their desks so close they can see all too well what each other are doing? Does your kitchen have more computers, printers, or other work technology than it does eating utensils?

If your answer to any of these is “yes,” it may be time for a larger place.

A house or apartment can typically only fit so much success before it starts invading too much into the owner’s daily life. I’d say if you or your family are uncomfortable and unable to relax in your home due to work equipment and assets lying around, it may be time to move, though it could make it harder to balance your work and home life when the two are physically separate.

But it could be easier as well, and will change person to person. Consider this: do spouses, roommates, and kids have trouble getting privacy or space? Are you able to relax without physically staring at your work? Adjust accordingly.

Read the rest over here!

Judging an Album By Its Cover

Article is property of Music Think Tank.
Originally published on June 12th, 2017.

“I know you can’t judge a book by its cover, but I’ve found you can judge an album by its cover.”

My friend recently said this to me and while I kind of hate to admit it, I also have found a positive correlation between good music and aesthetically pleasing packaging. If nobody’s heard your music before, the artwork may be the difference between skipping over it or checking it out – especially in the digital age where there’s so much music available for free. Here are some tips I drafted up for creating and choosing the correct album art.

Read about my favorite album covers and how ska bands shouldn’t use comic-themes in their artwork here.

How America Does Payroll Differently

hell yeah mofo
Article is property of Symmetry50.com.
Originally published on June 12th, 2017.

Legal Requirements (and Consequences)

Let’s talk about legal restrictions and requirements for payroll in the United States, so it’s clear what can and can’t legally be done. Things differ state by state, but in general, whichever is stricter – that is, the federal law or the state law – is the one you are required to follow.

Cloudpay wrote a great article about this, but to summarize a few of their main points: unpaid leave is required for those with certain medical positions, there is no federal rule on how companies should pay their employees or how frequently (meaning the responsibility lies on the states), federal income taxes are required and in most states a state income tax is required, and as one’s wage increases, so do taxes – including Social Security and Medicare.

It’s true that payroll must be done with the utmost caution, because lying or mistakes on your taxes can cause incredible legal damage and may potentially ruin a company. The amount of trouble one gets into lies in the results of the “responsible person” test, which weighs the motives behind a tax “mistake” by analyzing the power those submitting information have. You can learn more about payroll accounting by reading this guide.

Read the rest of this article here.

Taking Cues from Britain’s Top Entrepreneurs

Article is property of Businesszone.co.uk.
Originally published on June 12th, 2017.

The business world can be cold and disheartening. Making money as an entrepreneur is no easy task and sometimes it feels like it’d be better or easier to give up. Only you know if that’s the case in your situation, but I would caution against any quick conclusion of defeat. People have come back from worse, and we can learn from their stories, triumphs, failures, and more.

Take (Calculated) Risks

Richard Branson has talked about the necessity of taking risks more than once. My favourite quote by him is ‘Continue to take chances. In the future how “lucky” you are in business will be determined by how willing you are to take calculated risks.’ I am naturally of a much more cautious mindset, but his words have made me second guess myself. Failure is ultimately inevitable, but success is often earned after many failures.

I think there’s something to be said for the word ‘calculated’ in his quote as well. A risk may result in a loss, but it shouldn’t break you. Predicting business trends and navigating your decisions around them is a necessity. Meaning, you should have faith that you can be successful from the risk you take, and you should also be able to bounce back if that doesn’t happen. For instance, despite my cautious nature, I like to play slot machines. Slot machines are always a risk and I’ve made a lot of money from them at times, but also lost a lot at others. But I’ve never bet enough to live on. No loss has ever been unmanageable.

Calculated risks can take you new levels if they go well, but they shouldn’t put you out of the game if they don’t.

You can read the rest of this article here.

How To Not Get Burned Out When You Are a Writer

Article is Property of Contentop.com.
Originally published on June 6th, 2017.

Writing for a living is something I’ve wanted to do ever since I was a Junior in college. Now that I’m actually doing it however, I’ve realized what challenges it brings. For instance, even though I have to do it for a living, writer’s block is still pretty easy to come by. I’m not sure if it’s from a lack of creativity as much as it’s from just getting burned out. My brain gets tired, man! Recently though, I’ve made myself a system to help me keep writing great stuff without exhausting my brain power. This might not work for everyone, but for now it’s what keeps me going.

1. Choose a Topic Out of Your Comfort Zone

I had gotten into the terrible habit of writing about the same thing over and over again. This doesn’t please me as a creative or a writer. I took a topic that I love very much, music and touring, and created it as a fallback for when I needed to write something and thus the articles themselves became sub-par, far below the quality I’m capable of.

Now I’ve started choosing topics that I’m not particularly familiar with, but am interested in. History and politics are two I’m exploring right now, but who knows what I could do in the future! Maybe I’ll write about medicine or television. Even movie reviews! It doesn’t matter, as long as I’m challenging myself and putting myself in writing situations (for websites and blogs that like freelancers) that challenge me.

Read the rest of my tips over at Contentop.com!