How To Get Popular On SoundCloud

SoundCloud is the number one music collaboration website, so a presence on it is mandatory for musicians.

Why You Should be on SoundCloud

Infographic - SoundCloud company profile

Many major artistes have a presence on SoundCloud however the majority of musicians are hobbyists. It is egalitarian and most of all FUN.

I've got over 1 million plays on SoundCloud and have learnt some tips to becoming popular that I can share with you.

1 million plays on SoundCloud screenshot

I you have serious intent to launch a music career it is probably the easiest platform to break through on. It is much easier than YouTube to become popular on, because that platform has no community at all and way more competition. Lesser known but ambitious individual musicians can raise their profile by the relatively small effort required to create and release music here.

New acts should be on SoundCloud if for no other reason than to get noticed by agents, managers, and record companies who won’t even look at you without a healthy social presence.

I post mainly instrumental guitar tracks on my SoundCloud channel, which you must agree is a bit niche, nevertheless I found an audience. Some of my music regularly gets 100,000+ plays - such as with this track here It's a very competitive track to play on yet I am #1 here

I learnt some tricks along the way that I will share with you here including the secret to getting engagement. My advice can stop you making the same mistakes I made - so don’t upload another track until you’ve read this.

Building a following on SoundCloud

Like all social platforms what you are trying to impress is something that isn’t even human. Even if you do, it may not stay impressed. SoundCloud changes its algorithms weekly.

You should focus your efforts to become popular on real people. Unlike YouTube there is a real community you can become part of. They are like minded people, musicians like you so don't try and BS them - they'll see through you just like you would see through them!

Remember, always follow the SoundCloud Rules when you interact with others

Algorithm ranking, or ‘juice’ as it is popularly known is something mysteriously granted. You will be bombarded by companies who want money to promote you. Most are charlatans.

You don’t really need them. You will gain many of their hacks just by reading this tutorial. The learning curve is not steep, and I guarantee without personal understanding of the SoundCloud basics you won’t get far.

The good news is that the SoundCloud algorithm is predictable on the basic levels.

She's Out of my Life Michael Jackson cover
She's Out of my Life Michael Jackson cover

Get popular with the community, the algorithm will follow.

Everyone thinks they will go viral, but you won’t, and will soon give up if you set that as a goal. Patience is required. Organic growth of your channel over time is what you should be aiming for. You need to set goals e.g., 1,000 followers. This will require discipline to regularly upload and curate.

First, set up your SoundCloud channel.

Follow the current sign-up directions on

Take pains to establish your theme and the musical niche you occupy. This will drive qualified traffic. You don’t want country music fans if you’re Punk. That sort of mismatch will impact your authority by increasing bounce rate, a metric based on how quickly people click off your tracks/channel.

Within your channel you will be able to diversify by creating playlists, these are subgroupings and will logically be used to present your albums.

Current advice is here community

Now all you need is a track to upload!

The Ideal SoundCloud Track

I won’t go into detail about the intricacies of recording a track for SoundCLoud here, just make a couple of observations.

Hook people within the first ten seconds. No long intros, go straight to the ‘money’ (the most important section, usually the chorus). It is like life generally, first impressions count.

How long should a track be? There’s a reason why the Beatles songs were all three minutes long. We live in a world where attention spans are decreasing so you need to get to the point quickly.

Retention, how long a user stays on your track is definitively a factor for gaining juice.


You can create a popular SoundCloud music channel to showcase your tracks if you follow this simple advice. Be patient, grow organically, hook visitors early and retain them.

Next... Upload an MP3