How to Make Money as a Musician: 39 Proven Ways to Earn an Income

Summary:

Do you love making music? Are you looking for ways to make money from your passion? If so, you’re in luck! In this blog post, we will discuss 39 different ways how to make money as a musician. Some of these methods are more common than others, but they all have the potential to bring in some extra cash. Your final goal here is to generate multiple revenue streams. So whether you’re a singer-songwriter, a session musician, or a band member, read on to learn how you can start making money from your music!

Collect Royalties From Streams

If you’re a musician, you likely already know that royalties are one of the most common ways to make money from your music. Whenever your song is streamed or downloaded on major streaming platforms like Spotify or Apple Music, you earn a small amount of money. These mechanical royalties can add up over time, especially if you have an extensive catalog of songs or if your songs are popular. The best part about streaming revenue is that you don’t have to do any extra work to earn them – once your song is out there, you’ll start earning money from it automatically.

Of course, it does take a substantial amount of streams to generate a decent payday. But that’s where getting your music playlisted on Spotify comes in handy. This is a great way to get more out of these streaming services and give your music career a boost. Not sure where to start? Here is a great step-by-step guide on how to get your songs playlisted.

Play Live Gigs and Shows

Playing music venues is another great way to make money as a musician. Not only do you get paid for your performance, but you also have the opportunity to make merch sales and earn income from tips. Gigs can range in size from small club shows and private parties to corporate events and large festivals, so there’s definitely something out there for everyone.

Don’t forget that if you are playing your own music you are entitled to live performance royalties too.

Merchandise

Selling merchandise is a great way to make some extra money on the side. And it’s not just limited to physical items like t-shirts and CDs. You can also sell digital products like e-books, sheet music, and tutorials. If you have a large following, you can even create and sell your own branded merchandise. Merch sales can be extremely lucrative and easy.

When proposing your merch think creatively, beyond the obvious t-shirts and CDs. If you’re a DJ, for example, you could sell USBs of your mixes; if you’re a producer, how about selling drum kits or sample packs?

Selling merch is also a great way to connect with your fans and build a stronger relationship with them. After all, they’re the ones supporting you and your music career!

No matter what type of merchandise you sell, make sure that it’s high-quality and that your fans will actually want to buy it. Otherwise, you’re just wasting your time and money.

Sell your music courses & tutorials

If you’re a skilled musician, why not share your knowledge with others and make money while you’re at it? In your online music lessons, you can teach music theory, composing music, how to write songs, etc.

You can easily create music courses and tutorials on sites like Skillshare and Udemy. All the tools are available for you online. Alternatively, you can sell your own courses and tutorials on your own website, but in this case, consider the strategy to drive qualified traffic to your it.

Creating and selling your own courses is a great way to earn a passive income – you can continue to make money from your courses even while you’re sleeping!

Not only is this a great way to make some extra money, but it’s also a great way to build your brand and get your name out there. So if you’re looking for ways to monetize your music career, selling courses and tutorials is definitely worth considering

Sell 1-on-1 music lessons and coaching

A complementary strategy to selling music courses online is offering coaching and mentorship to other up-and-coming musicians. You can offer coaching sessions online or in person, whichever you prefer.

This is a great way to share your knowledge and expertise with others, while also earning extra income. If you’re not sure where to start, consider offering free trial sessions to potential clients. This will give them a chance to see if they like working with you before committing to anything.

If you’re thinking about starting a coaching business, now is the time to do it. The industry has been booming recently, and there’s no doubt that it will continue to grow in the music industry as well. You can get ahead of the competition by starting today.

Sell beats and samples

If you’re a producer, there’s a good chance that you have a library of beats and samples that you’ve created. And if you don’t, there’s no better time to start than now. You can easily sell your beats and samples online through sites like Beatstars and Splice Sounds.

This is a fantastic approach to produce some additional money while also increasing your exposure and branding. So, if you want to make money from your music career by selling beats and samples, it’s definitely worth thinking about.

Selling beats may be a major source of income. Many producers make their living this way, so why not you?

Physical music sales

Do you sell music online in digital form and think that selling music in its traditional form is completely obsolete? Not just yet.

While it’s true that digital music sales have surpassed physical sales in recent years, there’s still a market for forms like vinyls, both in music shops and online. In fact, vinyl sales have been increasing year over year for the past decade.

You can sell online directly from your website, or through sites like Amazon and eBay.

Selling physical music is a great way to connect with your fans as you give them something they can hold onto and cherish.

The verdict? Selling physical music is not a thing of the past just yet, so don’t write it off as a viable option for monetizing your music career.

Sync Licensing of Your Music

There are a few different ways that musicians can earn money from sync licensing. The first is through upfront payments, which is when a music producer or publisher gets paid a one-time fee for the use of a song. The second way is through royalties, which is when the artist or songwriter gets paid a percentage of the profits generated by the use of their music.

Both of these methods can be extremely lucrative for musicians, and it’s becoming increasingly common for them to partner with music supervisors to help get their music placed in films and video games. If you’re looking to get your music placed in some high-profile content, it’s important to build relationships with these supervisors and pitch your music to them directly.

Become a playlist curator

You’ve heard a lot about playlists and playlist curators. But have you considered becoming one?

Some playlist curators can charge for adding tracks to their playlists. While it’s a highly controversial topic, it is the reality of things and it is also another way to use streaming services to generate income.

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is a great way to raise money for your music career. You can create a campaign on platforms like Kickstarter or Indiegogo to fund the recording of an album, go on tour, or do anything else you might need money for.

Fans who believe in your music will be more than happy to support you financially, and you’ll be able to offer them some great rewards in return.

Propose a subscription service for fans

This is a great way to get some recurring income from your fans. You can offer them exclusive content, access to your music before it’s released, or anything else you can think of that would be valuable to them.

In order to make this work, you need to have a strong relationship with your fans and give them something that they can’t get anywhere else.

Patreon is the most popular subscription service for fan subscriptions, but there are other out there as well.

Sponsorships and brand partnerships

Sponsorships and brand partnerships are becoming more and more common in the music industry, even for indie musicians. If you have a large enough following, you can start working with brands to promote their products or services.

These deals can be extremely lucrative, but they’re also a lot of work. You need to be able to create high-quality content that will appeal to both your fans and the brands you’re working with.

If you’re lucky enough to partner with a brand, make sure their image aligns with the type of musician you are.

Collect Public Performance Royalties

If you’re a songwriter or composer, you can earn money from public performance royalties. These are royalties that are collected when your music is performed in public.

The best way to collect these royalties is to join a performing rights organization like ASCAP or BMI.

You can gain monetary rewards for performing on stage too. If you perform original music at an authorized place, you are given a performance royalty. It includes bars, club theatres, and all licensed venues where live events are offered.

Monetize music videos on your YouTube channel

Got your YouTube channel and keep on creating music videos? Why not work toward monetizing it?

YouTube is a great way to reach new fans and make money from your music. You can monetize your channel by selling ads, merchandise, or tickets to your live shows.

You can also use YouTube to drive traffic to your other websites and platforms. If you have a website where you sell music or merch, you can include a link in the description of your YouTube videos.

To enter YouTube Partner Program (that’s the program that lets you earn money from ads on your channel) there are some pre-requirements requested by YouTube.

Sell your music on Bandcamp

You can make money from music on Bandcamp. Bandcamp is a great platform for selling music. You can sell digital downloads, physical merch, and tickets to your live shows.

The best part about Bandcamp is that you get to keep 80-85% of the revenue, which is a lot higher than what you’d get from other platforms.

Transcribe Music

If you’re a skilled musician, you can make money by transcribing sheet music and lyrics for other musicians. This is a great way to earn some extra income, and it’s also a service that is in high demand.

There are a few different ways to go about this. You can work with an established transcription service, or you can start your own and market it to musicians.

Session Work for hire

One way to make money as a musician is to do session work. This involves playing music for other musicians or bands, either in the studio or live. Back in time, it used to be only in the studio as a studio musician or live, but nowadays with the power of the internet, you can do it from home for anyone in the world.

Perform Covers Live at Weddings and Parties

This is a great gig for local bands, and it can be quite lucrative. Weddings and parties are always looking for professional musicians that can provide live entertainment, and if you can play a wide range of covers, you’ll be in high demand.

To get started, create a list of the songs you know how to play. Then reach out to local event planners and see if they’re interested in hiring you.

You can also market yourself as a solo act or band. If you’re good at what you do, you can make a decent income playing covers at weddings and parties.

VIP Experiences & Packages For Fans

If you have a dedicated fan base, you can offer VIP experiences and packages. This could include anything from backstage passes to meet-and-greet sessions.

The sky is the limit when it comes to VIP experiences, so get creative and see what you can come up with. You can also offer different tiers of packages, so there’s something for everyone.

Create Custom Jingles For Vloggers and YouTubers

If got good music production skills and you’re good at writing jingles, you can make money by creating custom jingles for vloggers and YouTubers.

Create original music that no one else is doing and sell it to influencers. The market of influencers on all social media platforms is in constant growth, so this can be a great way to make money in the long run.

Writing Articles and Reviews For Music Publications

If on top of being a musician, you’re a skilled writer, writing for music publications can be one of your revenue streams. This could include anything from album reviews for music blogs to think-pieces about the industry.

There are a number of ways to go about this. You can work with an established publication, or you can start your own blog and pitch your articles to other websites.

Make Money With Tipping On Live Streams

The epidemic prompted many musicians to stream live shows in order to entertain their fans, which altered the way we think about music performances being monetized. If you missed the live streaming back in the pandemic time you can jump in now.

If you perform live music on streaming platforms like Twitch or YouTube, you can make money through tips.

Viewers and music fans can donate money to you while you’re playing, and this can be an easy way to generate revenue.

Sell Old Gear

If you’re a musician, chances are you have a lot of old gear and music equipment that you don’t use anymore.

Instead of letting this stuff sit around and collect dust, why not sell it? You can list your items on sites like Reverb or eBay, and you might be surprised at how much money you can make.

Become a Music Manager to Help Other Artist’s Music Career

Do you know how to navigate the music business? Sell your knowledge and help other bands manage their careers.

If you’re good at promoting and marketing music, you can become a music manager for other artists. As a music manager, your job will be to help promote and market your client’s music. This could involve anything from booking gigs and handling social media to dealing with record labels.

If you’re successful, you can make a percentage of your client’s earnings.

Write Songs For Other Musicians

If you write great songs, you can make money by writing songs for other musicians.

There are a number of ways to go about this. You can work with an established songwriting agency, or you can reach out to artists directly.

You can also submit your songs to music libraries, which is a great way to get your work heard by a wider audience.

Charging for Recording Other Musicians

If you have a home studio, you can make money by recording other bands and musicians. This is a great way to get your name out there and make some extra cash.

All you need is a good-quality recording setup, and you can start charging for your services. You can find clients by advertising online or through word-of-mouth.

Creating Guides and Reviews of Products in Music Industry

If you’re passionate about music, you can make money by creating guides and reviews of music products.

This could involve anything from writing reviews of musical instruments to creating tutorial videos on how to use different types of software. Creating content like this on your channel will allow you to add a new source of income through affiliate links, sponsorship, and other monetization possibilities. (An affiliate link is a URL that lets you earn money when someone who clicks on your link makes a purchase.)

Becoming a Voice Actor

Got a good voice? Becoming a voice actor may be your next revenue stream. This could involve anything from recording audiobooks to providing voice-overs for video games.

As the content creation industry evolves, there’s a growing demand for voice actors, so this is a great way to make money from your passion for music.

Writing Music for Video Games

The Video Games industry is growing day by day, and with that, the demand for video game music is also increasing. If you’re a composer or musician, you can make money by writing music for video games.

This could involve anything from creating the main theme to composing background music. The sky’s the limit when it comes to game music, so get creative and see what you can come up with.

Get signed by a record label

One of the most traditional ways to make money in the music industry once was to get signed by a record label. While a record label is no longer needed for you to succeed as a musician, the budget a label can invest in marketing your music is a great thing. If you’re lucky enough to get signed, you’ll be receiving an advance.

Podcast Editing

Podcasts are becoming more and more popular, which means there’s a growing demand for podcast editors.

If you have experience editing audio, you can make money by offering your services to podcasts. This could involve anything from removing background noise to ensuring the audio is clear and concise.

Mixing Music

If you’re good at mixing music, you can make money by offering your services to fellow musicians. This could involve anything from creating custom mixes for DJ’s to mixing tracks for recording artists.

Mastering Music

Similar to mixing, if you’re good at mastering music, you can make money by offering your services to other musicians. Mastering is the process of ensuring a track is ready for release by making sure it’s the correct volume, has the right EQ, and sounds its best. You can learn more about Mixing and Mastering here.

Music equipment repair

To continue in line with charging for the service for other musicians, another way to make money is by repairing musical equipment.

This could involve anything from fixing guitars to repairing PA systems. If you have experience repairing musical equipment, you can start your own business or offer your services to music stores.

DJ at events

Another stream of income for musicians is DJing at events, which could be anything from a friend’s wedding to a major corporation’s holiday party.

If you have a good setup and know how to work a crowd, you can start charging for your services.

Renting out rehearsal space

If you have a large enough space and the necessary equipment, you can make money by renting out rehearsal space to other musicians.

This is a great way to earn some extra income, and it can also be a great way to meet new people and network with others. Remember that building your network is an important part of being a successful musician.

Music grants

While free money sounds too good to be true, there are actually a number of music grants available to musicians.

Grants are typically given by organizations or government agencies and can be used for anything from recording an album to going on tour. If you’re looking for ways to fund your next project, definitely look into applying for a grant. Check out what is available in your country and area.

Write music for the music library

If you’re looking for a more passive income stream, you can make money with music you write for music libraries.

These are companies that provide music to businesses and individuals for use in their projects. And new music is always wanted. The great thing about this is that once your music is accepted, you can continue to earn royalties every time it’s used.

Music Video Distribution

If you have a music video that’s doing well, you can make money by distributing it.

This involves finding places to showcase your video, such as on websites or television channels. You can also approach businesses and individuals who may be interested in using your video for their own projects. There are also music video distribution companies that can do it for you.

NFTs

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are a new way for musicians to make money from their music.

NFTs are digital assets that can be sold, traded, or auctioned. They’re unique and can’t be replicated, which makes them valuable.

With NFTs, you can sell digital assets such as songs, albums, or even concert tickets. The great thing about NFTs is that they’re unique and can’t be replicated, so you can be sure that you’re getting paid for your original work.

You can include the possibility to get the percentage each time your NFT is re-sold. If you’re interested in learning more about making money with NFTs as musician, check out this quick guide.

It’s not always easy to make money from music, but there are a number of ways you can do it if you’re creative and willing to work hard into building multiple streams of revenue.

Try to think outside of the box. There are multiple ways to make money with music beyond usual methods like Spotify and Apple Music streams, digital downloads, sell CDs, etc.

The important part is to get started and keep at it. The more you work at it, the more opportunities will come your way. Experiment with different ways to make money from music, and eventually, you’ll find what works best for you.

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