How to Write Songs That Have Commercial Appeal

Songwriting is a very personal process that involves sharing not just your talent but also your story and experiences through your own cultural lens. But if your goal in writing songs is to sell them to popular artists then you need to create music that also has commercial appeal.

Songwriting is a very personal process that involves sharing not just your talent but also your story and experiences through your own cultural lens. But if your goal in writing songs is to sell them to popular artists then you need to create music that also has commercial appeal.

  1. Be Mindful of Your Audience

The first thing you want to ensure is that you know which audience you’re writing for. Will you be going after teenyboppers who are into the high tempo stuff, or a more mature audience that likes slower jams? Whatever the case, you need to target specific audiences or you might lose everyone. Of course, there’s always a chance of crossover success, but you will need to impress your core audience first.

  1. Strive for Killer Hooks and Memorable Choruses

If you think of all the songs that you like and listen to on a regular basis, you will realize that many of them have hooks and choruses that you just can’t get out of your head. A good hook or chorus can mean the difference between someone falling in love with your song after just hearing a snippet and forgetting it after hearing the entire thing. Pretty often, you might decide not to like a song because of its theme or the artist who sings it, yet, long after you listen, you just can’t get the hook or chorus out of your head. That’s the power of writing a good hook and/or chorus, so this is one aspect you need to spend time on to increase commercial viability.

  1. Couple Good Lyrics with Great Melodies

Good melody and lyrics also get stuck in the heads of listeners and make them want to keep listening. No matter how strong your lyrics are, if the melody is weak the message will be lost because people will not be inclined to listening to the words. On the other hand, a good melody will shed light on your lyrics and if they are weak, you will probably have the same result. So, you need a good balance of both to enhance commercial appeal in your songs.

  1. Focus on Creating Workable Song Structures

Most pop songs have similar song structures and that is deliberate. Music listeners are naturally drawn to certain types of structures that allow songs to flow effortlessly, along with causing them to be easily remembered. To get an idea of song structures that work, you can do a simple task as listening to the top songs on Billboard and dissecting each to see how they are arranged.

  1. Invest in Good Production

Poor production can stifle any demo or full song, regardless of how well written and arranged it is. Whether you use a traditional studio, your own equipment at home, or an online recording studio, good production should focus on great harmony, rhythm, and chord progression, among other things that ensure a clean, professional mix that is pleasant to listen to.

  1. Take a Songwriting Class

Writing a commercially appealing song means being able to put all the right elements together the right way. Not every good lyricist knows how to incorporate melody; likewise, you may be able to craft good hooks but don’t know how to structure the rest of your songs properly so that they have mass appeal. Educating yourself on all the important aspects of songwriting can give you that extra edge.

Finding success in the music world is not easy. You have to be hungry enough to move past failures and keep going, and be on the lookout for new opportunities, even after finding success. That, and making songs that have commercial appeal.

The SongCat Team
About the Author
The SongCat Team

We believe in supporting artists of all levels of their musical journey, from the 40-year music business veteran, to the burgeoning songwriter who are looking to polish their craft. We also believe that creating professional, high quality, and expertly mixed recordings shouldn’t be limited to high budget record deals.

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