What to do with your song next depends entirely on what stage your song is in...but here's some guidance (just some opinions):
Have a song idea? ---> Get it out of your head, and record the idea on your phone, or whatever recording device you have. Listen back a day later to see if it's an idea you want to turn into a full song next, or save for a later time.
Ready to write the song? ---> Choose the purpose of the song. Why are you choosing to write it? Are you intending to pitch it to another artist to record? Are you going to pitch this to film/tv/game opportunities? Deciding the purpose of the song at this stage can help you when you're writing. Choosing the melodies, words, how it's produced, etc., may be contingent upon what your purpose for the song is. You can of course just write from the heart, and let the song tell you what its purpose is. That works too.
Also, decide whether you want to write the song yourself, or if you want to collaborate with another writer, artist, or producer. Even if you choose to start writing the song yourself, you can decide to collaborate later in the process if you choose. If collaborating, strive to have everyone own an equal portion of the song. That's my suggestion but a beautiful thing to share equally in a song.
(Option: Some writers/artists choose to write and record at the same time. Choose what's most fun for you!)
Have your song written? ---> Decide if it's ready to record, and here is where you can revisit the song's purpose (or decide what the purpose is now that it's written). Decide what aspects of the recording you can do yourself. For writers and artists who have home studios, if you can get a polished recording from your home, do it. Whether it's just for demo purposes, or if you are making a master recording, do as much as you can before spending a dime. Only if/when you come to the realization that spending money is worth the experience, and/or worth something you can't do for yourself (or don't want to do for yourself), then you should decide to pay for someone's services to assist you in recording your song.
I say this because many writers/artists (myself included) have spent a good deal of money on demos or recordings that may never be heard because we exhaust our monetary resources on solely creating the music, instead of promoting the music (more on that later). Stop that. If you want to produce the song yourself, but you can't produce music, decide to take time to learn those skills and hone your craft by taking classes (in-person or online), getting a mentor, or even watching videos from professionals who "get" the sound you are after. Build your skill set, and in-turn, make yourself more valuable to yourself, and potentially others. Of course, you can absolutely choose to hire someone to provide the services you need for your song, but make sure it's the right time, that you understand the value you are getting, and that you have a path to recoup your investment. Overall, you should enjoy the experience, whatever you decide.
At the very least, I'd recommend you get a full recording of yourself (if you sing), even it's a rough recording, and then seek out reputable professionals who can give you feedback on the song and/or recording before spending money. You may realize that the song itself may not be worth the investment, and perhaps you want to invest your resources into another song.
In Part II of "What To Do With Your Song Next" well dive into what to do once you...
Have your song recorded....
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