Clearly if you're here, you've already become addicted to the wonder that is SliceThePie (if you haven't, please check out the link at the bottom of this hub). The ability to influence the current music industry and get paid for it, is a powerful feeling that just about anyone could love. So it's no wonder that you're looking for the best ways to make the most of your STP reviews.
Thankfully, you got little old me here, to give you the best insider tips to earning more money faster, and giving fantastic reviews to the starving artist of the world (and some famous ones as well).
Tip 1. Write While You Listen
Trust me, while I do understand the point behind listening to the whole song through before writing the review, though I can guarantee you that you won't capture all the elements of the song that you enjoyed, disliked or would change - if you don't at least take notes while you're listening to the song.
Tip 2. Mention ALL Elements
If it's a techno song, formulate a response for every midi and synth instrument or sound that you hear coming out of the song. If the music focuses on the traditional guitar-drums-bass-vocals, talk about what brought you joy and what just plain old annoyed you. Were the drums to loud? Or were the vocals so good you want to run out and buy that guys album right now? If so, mention it and be honest. Then go back and comment on the other elements that you hear. Was the guitar to quiet throughout most of the song, but bold and beautiful during that well placed guitar solo? Tell them!
Not only does this give the artists a FULL review of their song, but STP pays MORE when you give DETAILED reviews that include EVERY element of the song. So make sure you review the:
Tip 3. Paint A Picture
Use your creative imagination to paint a picture of the music you're hearing. Does the song reminds you of a sad sunset by a sandy shore? Or does it bring back memories of that fun summer you spent with your high school sweet heart? Or maybe it bring you the image of a modern day Bonny and Clyde, just trying to stay together against all odds.
Every song paints a picture in the mind of the listener, and if the artist was passionate and put the right emotion in their song, then the same image they had when the wrote the song, will be the most common image brought to their listeners. So by sharing the image the song brought to you, you're not just providing a great review, you're helping the artist understand how well they're meaning came across to their audience.
Tip 4. Use Feeling Messages
Yup, the same advice I would give to a couple in trouble, is the same advice I'm going to give you right now - Use FEELING Messages. It helps to correct problems in human communication, by opening up to our most human side and in your review, it will be an additional help to the "painted picture". Not only that, but it will help lengthen review.
So let the artist know, did their song make you want to vomit? Or did you find yourself having a hard time writing the review because you wanted to get up and dance around the room? Did the artist nearly bring you to tears with their sad melodic song? Or did you feel the passion and persistence of a hopeless romantic trying to chase down his/her soul mate? Tell them how the song made you FEEL.
Tip 5. Compare
I've heard several fantastic songs on STP that sounded like a cross between Dolly Parton and Mandy Moore - to artists I'm rather fond of, which I made sure to put in the review. Another song that sticks out in my memory, was one that sounded like a unique cross between Stained and the Plain White T's, with a vocalist that made me melt like butter as I listened to him weave his web of emotion into the song.
Does the song you're listening to remind you of any songs you've heard before? Do you recognize the genre and other songs that might be on the same radio station as the song you're listening to? If you can, compare the song to something you've heard before.
Tip 7. Be Articulate
Seriously, aside from the fact that you don't want all your reviews to say pretty much the same thing over and over again, STP actually takes you down in rank for lack of genuine reviewing - which can be mistaken for a lack of articulation. I've already talked to several other STP'ers who didn't understand why they were losing in rank when they were putting out reviews of a decent length. Though after a quick conversation, it was easy to see that it was mostly a lack of new and interesting things to say about the songs being reviewed.
So brush up on your grammar and vocabulary, so that you're reviews are all as unique as the songs you're reviewing.
Tip 6. Relate
There are two ways to relate to a song:
Through the memories it triggers.
Through any personal experience you have with the instruments being played, vocal style being song, the genre or the art of music production.
I want you to use both ways to review the music, if you're able. Really listen to the lyrics and get a feel for what memories it brings up. Happy times? Sad times? Weird days? Long days? That time when you couldn't find your car keys, which made you late and ruined the rest of your day? Whatever memories the song brings up, whether they're relevant or not, should be added to the review.
Then, if you have any experience with the instruments played or any other aspects of the song you're currently reviewing, talk about how you might have done it differently, or praise them for being able to do something you haven't yet accomplished - you get the idea.
Tip 8. Write LENGTHY Reviews
Now, with all the above tips, you should already be in the range of two to three hundred words at least, though I'm going to challenge you to write MORE than that. You see, STP only offers a small base pay for each review (under Level 3 is only .02 cents per review guaranteed), HOWEVER, they do pay more for WELL WRITTEN and DETAILED reviews. And I've tested that theory, as well as had several conversations with the STP staff about the way the pay works.
The best way to maximize your time on STP, is to make sure your reviews are as long as possible, without getting boring or irrelevant. The tricky part is making sure that you are not just adding in extra words, symbols or characters just to try to trick the word counter. Not only is it tacky, but the STP reviewer box is equipped with the knowledge to know if you mentioned most of the elements that would exist in nearly all songs, and the STP staff personally reviews each review you write before they pay you. So it will do no good to cheat on this one, they've got their eyes open for cheaters, bots and sockpuppets.
In fact, they are serious about offering their artist quality reviews, so besides being on the DEFCON4 for cheaters, they also pay the most for those quality reviews. I've received as low as .08 cents for short and light reviews, and up to .27 cents for detailed reviews up to 300 words. When I use all of the tips that I've given you here, I've been able to consistently write detailed reviews in length, that earn me at least .25 per review. Now, if you have decent typing skills, that means that if you can spit out thoughtful reviews quickly, you can being into the $$$ in no time. I can type an average of 40 wpm while listening to the music (thank you ADHD!), and since most songs are less than four minutes long, I can finish a 400 word review in just about ten minutes - which is roughly ten songs per hour.
Now, here is the important element to know about - STP only allows each submitted song to be reviewed ten times, which means that songs will be quickly rotated in and out of the review system. That means that you can only review the songs that have not reached ten reviews yet, and even though there are hundreds of songs submitted every day, there are more reviews joining up everyday and sometimes the reviews get gobbled up - meaning that you will only get so many songs to review some days. So by writing lengthy reviews, you'll make sure that you get the most compensation for your review, even if you only get a few songs to review on some days. If you get a lot of songs, you'll make even more.
Tip 9. Develop a Style
Personally, I would relate my review style to a cross between Simon and Mary Poppins. It's rare when I'm not thoroughly criticizing and breaking down every piece of a song that I can wrap my ears around. If it's good, I'll say so (and usually very enthusiastically), but if it's my taste, I'm not afraid to honestly tell them why. Though regardless of my personal taste for the song in question, and like Mary Poppin's and her magic bag of tricks, I always have a suggestion to offer that can help bring the song around, raise the quality, heighten the production or make it radio ready. Some of my reviews are hellishly harsh, and others are over-the-top with passionate praise. That's just my style. I've heard of other reviewers who like to compare songs to food or who like to only focus on all the good elements of a song, that's their style.
What's your style?
Tip 10. Review EVERYDAY
Aside from the obvious notion that the more you review, the more you'll make (duh!), you'll also have more chances to make the most of the days when the songs are just flooding in, and there have been some days when there were more review available then I could stand. There have also been other days when I could have really used the income and the distraction from other work (did I say that?), and there were only a few reviews to be had.
So by checking in everyday at various times throughout the day, you'll make sure you're getting a BIG Slice of that Pie.
If you're not on Slicethepie yet, you need to be! It's the only site on the web that ACTUALLY Pays You to review music. Not only that, but the reviews you write, will actually influence mainstream music today and in the future!