Thanks @Tristan, you definitely put me in good company with those other guys. I actually didn't really start selling beats online till a little over a year ago, but I've been producing and engineering for over 10 years. I got some decent credits where I'm from (Bay Area) and some credits outside The Bay, so I think the fact that I had kind of built up my brand that way helped when I took it online because some people had heard of me already.
Some things that have worked for me:
1. I love Soundgine for all the reasons everyone else does, but I also use other sites to sell beats. SoundClick has given me the most customers of any site. I use my soundgine player there (soundclick.com/thisisthelegion ). Soundclick ads are expensive, but I’ve gotten a huge return on investment there.
2. My beats with hooks sell way more than just instrumentals. This is actually the same way I was able to get a lot of placements. I usually don’t just play or send rappers beats, I give em beats with hooks that already sound like a great song. All they have to do is fill in the verses.
3. I stay active on social media. Twitter is big for me (twitter.com/thisisthelegion to see the kind of stuff I post). I use crowdfireapp.com to gain followers and send an automated DM offering free beats for their email address. I try to send out newsletters often with mailchimp.com (I really should be sending more). I use bufferapp.com to automate posts.
4. I upload beats to YouTube. Lots of artists find their beats by going to YouTube and typing in “____ type beats.” You can use something like tunestotube.com to post up an mp3 with a static image, or you can get way more creative with visuals. I’ve found people on fiverr.com that can do some cool things for pretty cheap
I’m sure there’s a lot more stuff, but that’s a few things to start with. Oh, and I guess step 1 would be to have beats that people like. I’d love to hear some ideas from other producers too! @OxygenBeats runs some really cool contests that I'd like to know more about...