In this age of digital revolution, there are multiple ways to make money as a musician!
The internet is massively growing, with new daily opportunities for music producers, songwriters, audio engineers and everyone who wants to make a living with their music.
In this post, I will teach you how I am generating a full-time income online from my passion for music and I will share with you all the best resources I found over the years to make money as a musician!
Table of Content- Categories
Music download -and streaming websites sure have had a bad influence on record sales over the last years but these sites are a great deal when it comes to gaining exposure and even to make money as a musician.
Though it gets tougher to sell an album or track (you can now download almost everything for free), you can still take the advantages of digitalization and use it for your own benefits.
Because even if it’s getting easier to get exposure, it’s also getting more difficult to get noticed between the millions of musicians you have to compete with on the net.
If you are a music producer, your ambition is to make it as a musician!
Sign a contract with a record label, sell your songs, perform and why not get famous and travel the world!
I feel you … This is what we are all tending to and this should always stay your priority!
But … if you are reading this post, chances are big that it’s not the case (yet!)
Maybe you are still working a 9 to 5 job using your savings to build up your home studio?
Maybe you are still studying and it’s even harder to find the money to buy the latest gear or software?
Or maybe you start getting some exposure already but you are just not making enough right now to pay the bills?
A couple of years ago, I was just like you!
I had a crappy call center job and I made music in my free time but I always dreamt of being my own boss, work from home and make a living from my passion.
And you know what?!
”I succeeded in living the life I always wanted!”
No, I am not a famous music producer but that’s ok since kinda forgot about the idea when growing older.
Time has offered me different opportunities to make it without being in the spotlight and for me, this is such as great! Who wants to become famous anyway … sigh… but…
Whatever your ambitions are, earning money from your passion is still better than not making money at all!
So let’s dig into the world of opportunities for music producers!
I will tell you the methods I used to make money as a musician and I will share with you everything I have learned so that YOU TOO can make an extra with your passion for music or even leave your 9 to 5 job and make a living out of it!
Use your creative spirit and find the perfect way to make money as a musician!
Create a Music Website, Blog or eCommerce Store
Not the shortest way to make money but most definitely one of the most efficient ways on the list to make a passive income from your music in the long run AND get exposure.
Why create a music website?
The reason why I am starting my post with ‘creating a music website’ is because of the endless opportunities that open up to you when you have your own website.
I will share a lot of different methods with you but as you will continue reading you will see that a lot of these methods can be easily applied on your website.
There are many ways you can monetize a website, such as:
I will go more into details about all the different methods to make money with a website as you continue reading.
Even if it’s not the shortest way and it takes quite some work, the possibilities of earning a passive income over time are real!
Creating a website has never been easier! No more coding and design skills needed!
You can easily create a website from scratch by using a Site Building Platform like WordPress, Drupall or Joomla, in a few easy steps.
Choose your platform:
For beginners, I’d recommend WordPress.
Choose your domain name and hosting platform:
Bluehost is one of the better hosting platforms.
The main difference between a website and a blog is content management and interactivity.
A website has static content and is more professional/business related while a blog’s content is regularly updated and has more of an informative and educational purpose.
But these differences might be more subtle and it’s sometimes hard to even notice the difference.
It is possible to make money both with a website and a blog as you will read in the examples below.
Creating an online store seems too difficult?
Yes, It will need some work in the beginning, especially if you have no experience with it what so ever.
But imagine the money you can make in the long run with selling physical or digital products online!
Maybe you have some products you can start to sell, like T-shirts or software you created?
If not you can run an online store from the comfort of your home by working with a retailer, that owns, sells and sends the product, so the only thing left for you to do, is promoting the products through your online store.
Most of the E-commerce platforms like Shopify teach you how to easily build and run your online store,
These websites also make it possible for you to create a shop on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, so if this is something that interests you make sure to have a look.
Shopify is helping people who don’t necessarily have the web development skills to connect directly to consumers. I see that as a real shift in the opportunities available.
Patrick Buckley Co-Founder of Dodo Case
Monetize your Website
There are many ways you can monetize a website or blog!
I would take a whole website just to explain a few of them so I will try to give you a short overview of the most common methods used by online marketers and bloggers to make money with a website.
# My Number 1 recommendation!
One of the best ways to monetize your website or blog is affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is the process of earning commissions by promoting products online.
If Amazon is one of the best-known affiliate platforms, there are several other affiliate programs that are music related.
If you are visiting music websites yourself, chances are that you came across some affiliate programs without even knowing it.
Some examples of Music related affiliate programs are:
Some of these affiliate programs are linked to bigger Affiliate Networks.
Internet advertising and Google Adsense is the main source of income for many bloggers!
There are many ways to generate an income with ads ( Pay per Click advertising, selling ads on your blog, popups,…)
Now, before you will start to make an income, you have to be aware that this method of monetizing a website has some shortcomings as well.
It’s often said, that the money is the list!
Get subscribers, by installing an opt-in form on your website or blog and promote products by regularly sending out newsletters with your latest blog posts, product reviews, and affiliate offers.
I won’t go further into detail about creating an email list as there would be too much to say and it really belongs to the realm of online marketing, though feel free to ask me more information about how to create an email list and I’d be happy to help you out!
Did you know that your favorite social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram can make you earn cash?
Instead of wasting time on your favorite social platform, why don’t you use it to make money!
If you have a website or blog, you can create an FB-or Twitter page related to your website or blog.
This way you’ll get more exposure and followers.
But these platforms are also a great way to get subscribers to your list and make money with adds.
You don’t need to have a website or blog to make money because you can promote affiliate programs directly through adds, though I recommend having at least small website or landing page because people are not keen on buying from someone they never heard of or has nothing to show.
You can even create online stores through your favorite social media. ( See create an E-commerce store)
I haven’t been too much in detail about creating and monetizing a music website because there is way too much to cover!
The purpose of this post is to give you an overview of all the options available to musicians to make money.
Now, since you are reading this post you are aware that this IS a music website and like I told you before I am able to make a living from my online endeavors.
Do you want to learn everything about how to turn your passion into a thriving business?
And how I did it?Join Me Inside!
If you are really interested in creating a website and you’d like to learn everything about how to monetize your website, get access the most complete training on affiliate marketing and connect with thousands of like-minded striving online marketers, then meet me inside!
I’d be more than happy to help you out!
It’s Completely free to start with and you can have a running, hosted music website by the end of the day!
I’ll meet you there if you have any questions!
Write about Music
What if you used your experience by making product reviews about your favorite DAW, Midi controller, Synth, mic or audio interphase?
If you already have a website, there must be thousands of products related to your niche that you can write a review about.
Product review + Affiliate Program= $$
On Dooyoo for example, you can get paid by reviewing product or services after testing them. Some websites even pay you to write product reviews on their website.
Another great website is sponsored reviews. It connects bloggers SEO’s, marketers and advertisers looking to build links, traffic, and buzz.
Their system allows you to write articles or post advertiser provided content to your blog in exchange for cash.
They have thousands of advertisers looking to have articles posted for many different industries!
Now you think, ok, this all sounds great but if nobody finds my website, how the hell will be able to sell anything?
Now there are different ways to get your website exposed.
SEO techniques and Keyword research can teach you how to get ranked in the search engines and social media ( as you will see below) can help your website get noticed.
But creating great content is still the best way to get ranked, create a brand and gain followers!
In fact, you need your blog posts to go viral!
If you already have a passion for music, I am sure you can up with a topic that you know well.
Talking about something you know and you’re passionate about will be much easier.
” It’s much easier to gain loyal followers when you speak from your heart!”
”Anyone can start a blog but the real test is getting readers”
Jon Morrow CEO of Smartblogger
An awesome way to get exposure is to write for other websites or blogs.
A lot of quality websites are looking for talented people to write blog posts for them.
You’ll gain notoriety and some websites even pay to get guest posts!
If you type music + guest blogging in the search engines, you will be able to find some websites that accept guest bloggers.
It’s not easy to get accepted if you have nothing to show, though.
Having your own website or blog already will definitely help you get a gig.
There are other platforms where you can apply as a freelance copywriter and get hired and paid to write for websites but more on this later….
Musicians are creative people! Usually, we tend to be creative in other forms as well, such as writing.
You can use your experience to write an Ebook and sell it online or if you have some money aside, you can invest into hiring someone to write it for you.
It doesn’t have to be a bestselling novel of course, but if you can teach beginners how to make music, give some production techniques and tips or why not write your BIO.
Here is an article with a list of websites where you can sell your Ebook: Hongkiat.
If you don’t feel like you should get paid for your writings, you can still use your e-book as a freebie to get people to subscribe to your email list.
Video Tutorials and Courses
If you are an expert in music production, an audio engineer, a singer or if you can play an instrument, you can use your experience to teach others!
Teach others online and monetize your expertise!
The way we educate people has changed a lot of the years and the internet has opened many ways for experts to share their knowledge.
Of course, you will need to be comfortable in front of a camera but if you are not you can still create an audio podcast.
I am of number 1 recommendation to sell your online music courses is Udemy.
Udemy is the largest marketplace for online courses.
There are more than 12M hungry students eager to learn and more than 20K passionate instructors who are making money every day by selling online courses.
They give you all the tools you need to create your own online course, create a brand and inspire and teach students all over the world!
Create a Youtube channel and monetize your videos!
There are several ways to monetize your videos on Youtube, by using the Youtube Partner Program, with ads or whenever your music is used in a video ( licensing).
A lot of famous websites such as Loopmasters, Future Music Magazine, and Point Blank Music School have created Youtube channels to promote their online courses.
Another way to monetize your tutorials is to create a few free tutorials to teach the basics and redirect your ‘students’ to your website where they will pay to get the full course.
How I just love Fiverr!!!
There are so many possibilities to make money with Fiverr that it’s almost impossible NOT to make money once you get involved.
I will talk a lot about Fiverr in the next paragraphs and give you some ideas about how to make money with Fiverr. With a little bit of creativity, you might even be able to get a full-time income just by selling gigs!
Basically, you can create a gig and sell your gig for a tiny basic price starting from 5$.
Actually, you can earn a lot more by offer premium service or more related gigs. It also depends on the time it took you to perform your gig and the type of service you are offering.
With a little bit of creativity, you might even be able to get a full-time income just by selling gigs!
Some of the weirdest gigs I came across are:
”I will dance in a music video on any music style”
”I will be crazy in love with you in a prank video”
”I will sing depressing happy birthday as a mouse”
”I will be your girlfriend on social media”
But more seriously, try to find out what other musicians are offering and get ideas of what service you could offer regarding your experience.
Create and sell a Product
You are probably using music applications yourself to listen to music or even to create music.
All the main music websites like Youtube, Soundcloud, Spotify have smartphone applications.
There are tons of applications related to music like beat making apps, Piano apps, music production apps, and even karaoke apps.
When I think about my favorite music apps, the one comes in mind in Shazam!
The guys who invented Shazam were pure geniuses! They came with up with a simple idea which was something that everybody wished they had: An application that helps you figure out a song you hear, wherever you hear it!
Dig some ideas and be creative. I am sure you can come up with some innovative app that will make the day of thousands of music aficionados just like you!
Maybe a bit more complicated but creating an Audio Production Software can be a great idea but you need the skills or connections to do so.
The same DAW ( Digital Audio Workstation) you use has been created once by someone just like who!
It will be difficult to compete with the big names like Ableton, Logic Pro or FL Studio but you don’t have to make it as complex either.
Many producers are on the look for some cheaper and less complex alternatives!
Sell Digital Products
There are plenty of websites where you sell your creations and make money as a musician!
The advantage you have as a musician is that you are in number 1 position of selling a digital product you have created yourself!
Another huge benefit is that digital products don’t need investment, space or shipping, you can sell them in just 1 click!
You only need to create it once and you will be able to sell the same product over and over again!
If you have been making music for some time, you probably have created a lot of Melodies, Drum Loops, Leads, One-shots, FX and/or Vocals.
Some of them you used in your productions and some you didn’t.
What if I told you that you can sell them online!
As an audio engineer, you can create Sample packs and why not create an online store to sell them.
Or, you can sell them through other existing websites without having to bother creating a website yourself.
Same goes for DAW, Synth or other presets you have created.
There is a huge demand for custom sounds!
You can try to sell directly to software companies such as NI Massive or NI Kontakt or find resellers that will buy and sell your packs for you.
Beats and Drum Loops are still the best selling products in Sample Stores.
Some people manage to get a steady income just by selling their beats online!
Sound effects can be used for a variety of purposes such as gaming, commercials, cartoons, …
Nature sounds, industrial sounds, human sounds, and Urban sounds sell very well and there are a lot of specialized websites offering free or paid sounds.
If you check this post, you will get a list of the 8 best websites for free sounds. Uploading your sounds and give them away for free is a great way to get exposure, but some of these websites are also selling them.
Uploading your sounds and give them away for free is a great way to get exposure, but some of these websites are also selling them.
Creating background music is also a great way for musicians to make an income!
background music can be licensed for movies, cartoons, games,…
My number 1 recommendation to sell sound effects, background music, and even sample packs is AudioJungle.
I have heard of people that are able to make a living just by Audio Jungle
If you are a singer or vocalist you can sell your vocals or a Capella’s to specialized websites. ( see sell lyrics).
You can upload your vocals indaba music which is an online community for musicians and a great place to find opportunities.
You can also connect with other artists.
ccmixter.org. is a very cool website that helps musicians, vocalists, and DJ/ Producers connect.
Musicians upload original samples + vocalists upload a Capella’s = Producer or DJ creates a remix
If you wrote some music lyrics or even poems, you can sell them online.
Songbay is a cool website that allows you to buy and sell lyrics of every style.
They are the world leader in original music and lyric sale and they massively promote the work of sellers and buyers.
Songbay is also an awesome marketplace to connect musicians together to collaborate on songwriting projects.
Do you have a hot voice?!
Why don’t use that voice to create DJ drops for radio stations, DJ intros or commercials?
If you already own the rich software, it will be a piece of cake to put together a short message, catchy sound or brand signature for any kind of podcast.
You can also create a gig on Fiverr and sell your drops from there!
Sell Physical Products
If you have been a musician for a long time you have probably a lot of music gear or software you are not using anymore.
Some retro synths and instruments have increased in value and you will always be able to find collectors or passionate people to pay for it.
If you don’t feel like selling your gear ( I completely feel you), you can rent it out and make some money that way!
You can also buy gear and material and try to resell it for a higher price.
I know a guy who is specialized in Roland Synths. He is buying damaged synths, repairs them and resells them for a good price.
The vinyl is back and what great news that is!
I have always liked vinyl and I think it’s been a great loss when people started to mix digitally.
If you have been a DJ in the ‘early’ stages or if you still have a collection, you can sell them for a good price.
Collectors can go for hot prices these days and there is a huge demand for this kind of items.
DJ turntables, like the famous Technics SL, can be sold for prices up to 300$!
If you don’t have any vinyls, you can still dig into your parents or grandparent’s attic and find some hidden gems!
If you have a professional studio you can rent it out to other musicians and make a nice income and return on investment of your studio.
Sell Your Music Online
What better way to make money as a musician than to sell your own music!
You can start by getting exposure on streaming websites like Youtube or Soundcloud but if you want to make money from your music you will need to bring it out there!
You don’t need to be signed or have a record deal to get your music on Spotify.
If you have a label or aggregator they can easily get the job done for you.
If you don’t you can use one the aggregation companies ( Like TuneCore) that Spotify works with to deliver the music for you, handle the licensing and collect royalties.
For more information visit Spotify.
And again for Amazon Music.
My recommendation would be to use Tune Core , like I already mentioned above.
Tunecore is an independent artist community that helps you sell your music on several music platforms such as Spotify, Itunes, Amazon Music and so on.
Same goes for Itunes and other music streaming websites!
Music Related Freelance Jobs
Getting a Freelance job is a great idea to make money as a musician because it allows you to make a steady income by offering your music skills on may levels.
”A music synchronization license, or “sync” for short, is a music license granted by the holder of the copyright of a particular composition, allowing the licensee to synchronize music with some kind of visual media output (film, television shows, advertisements, video games, accompanying website music, movie …” Wikipedia
Start making money by licensing your songs for videos, TV, movies, video games and much more and get paid every time your song is used as part of a project.
CDBaby is a website that manages sync licensing for you! It’s the web’s biggest independent music store but it has so much more to offer!
Their Licensing program is a free add-on so you can start making money by licensing your songs too, from YouTube ad revenue and micro-sync licensing.
“CD Baby is a great source for music. On several occasions, the only place I could find an obscure artist’s recording was on CD Baby. CD Baby is a place that values the smaller bands and by doing so, performs a very important role in keeping independent music alive.”
Henry Rollins singer-songwriter, spoken-word artist
Imaging composing the music for your favorite movie or tv series?
Sounds too good to be true?
Though you need a strong musical background and skills such as music notation, sight-reading, active listening, critical thinking and an awareness of both music history and current trends, you don’t have to be the next Hans Zimmer to make a living out of it.
You can make music for websites, independent film studios, local theatrical performances, art expositions and more.
It’s useful to have connections with broadcast networks or advertising agencies but you can still put your creations on specialized websites in order to have professionals to buy from you.
There are other careers in movie scoring than just composing.
Use your skills to become a music editor, copyist or sound designer.
Video game composers write music scores by watching the game and create evocative music to bring emotions to the characters and happenings of the game.
Although it’s not required to be a professional music composer to be hired as a video composer, you must have a solid understanding of music theory and music scoring techniques.
You must have to ability to write any kind of genre and experience with video games is required.
Wake up, sync up computers with [the] latest game builds, eat breakfast, create music and sound until lunch, eat lunch, feel drowsy and haphazardly work, read and respond to email, make sure my team is doing what they are supposed to, repeat.
Chris Rockwood Video Game Composer
Advertising agencies often employ musicians to compose melodies and songs for commercials for radio, television, podcasts or local advertising.
”Voice-over is a production technique where a voice—that is not part of the narrative —is used in a radio, television production, filmmaking, theater, or other presentations. Wikipedia”.
Or you can use freelancer websites such as Fiverr, Upwork or Freelancer to get hired for a voice-over job. ( More on that later)
Ghost Producers create a music production for a certain DJ without being credited for this creation. The track will be released under the DJ’s name.
Now, as you may know, I am not a huge defender of ghost producers as you may have read in my post.
But, some people don’t like to be in the spotlight and have a real passion for creating music without wanting to become a Super Star Dj/ Producer.
If that’s your case and you can live with the idea of never being credited for your productions, ghost producing is definitely something to consider, especially if you are into EDM.
Audio engineers can make a living by offering mastering and mixing services to clients.
There are plenty of ways for engineers to generate an income online and most engineers are able to live from their skills.
You can create songs, offer feedback on songs, make arrangements, do some basic mixing or offer full packages to your clients.
Creating tutorials, videos and writing a book to teach others can be a great way to get exposure and earn money.
Opening a record label won’t be an easy task unless you have a degree in music business or if you don’t have serious connections in the music industry or with artists.
If do have some connections and you want to promote your own music, it’s a good way to get exposure but it might take some time to make money from it.
You need to establish your sound and presence, find artists and have a solid business plan.
If creating your own record label is something that you consider, you can have a look at this post, which gives an easy to follow overview of the steps to take to get started.
In the Real World!
If the online world isn’t really your thing, you can still make money as a musician the ‘old fashioned ‘ way.
New careers and opportunities open every day as the music industry is in constant progress.
New technologies appear almost every day and some non-traditional methods have emerged from the healing sector.
Music therapists use music to help people that are dealing with emotional, physical or social problems.
You can work in the private sector or as a freelance music therapist.
A Music therapist is an established health profession and you will need personal qualifications that include a genuine interest in people and a desire to help others empower themselves and a strong knowledge of music.
You like to teach others but you are not too much into creating a video tutorial?
Becoming a music teacher can be the perfect job for you and it might be more rewarding for you to be face to face with your students.
Music sponsorships include all musical types from classical to jazz to experimental.
Music sponsors provide a means by funding by which musicians may provide their audience with live performances while showcasing the best aspects of their talent with possibly millions of people who love the individual or group.
Music sponsors provide a means by funding by which musicians may provide their audience with live performances while showcasing the best aspects of their talent with possibly millions of people who love the individual or group.
If you like traveling, you can use your experience as a musician or singer to find a job on a cruise ship.
There are a lot of jobs available for DJ’s, singers, and entertainers!
A couple of years ago I worked for a local dance radio station.
It was a lot of fun and even though I hardly got paid for it, it opened doors for me!
I met a lot of interesting people and I got hired to be the lead voice in a house music track.
Gaine some experience and exposure by starting to work for a local radio station and who knows, you might just find your path into the world of radio animation on a bigger scale!
If you are an electronic producer, the easiest way to get your music noticed is by being becoming a DJ/ Producer.
You will gain money as a DJ but even better, you will be able to play your own creations and get your music get noticed.
While you might not always make money by winning a music contest, you can make a chance to win a price such as Music Production software to build your home studio and make a name in the industry.
It’s also a great way to share your productions and get more skilled as you produce music for a contest.
Hang out at local music stores, go to events, parties and try to meet the right people.
By getting out there you might just meet the right people to maybe connect or collaborate with later.
Get your music out there and spread it to the world!
Some websites pay you to listen to music.
You won’t get paid a lot but if you are working at home or if you can have access to streaming websites, you can put the music on and just get paid to listen to your favorite genre.
Now I see you think … but a good street act can make you make more money than your think.
I live in Barcelona, where street acts are everywhere. Some are even paid by the city to perform in metro stations or on the streets.
And… good street acts are often filmed and put on Youtube!
Crowdfunding campaigns can be a great way to raise money for their projects.
First I’d like to thank you thank you for reading my post.
Since I started making money with music online, I had this blog post idea in mind, so that I could use my experience and research into helping others achieve the same.
We, musicians, are not made for boring 9 to 5 jobs, let’s admit it ( and who is anyways)!
When I first started to look for opportunities for musicians and music producers, I never thought that I would manage to quit my job and be able to earn a living from home.
I used some of the methods above but not all of them of course.
It’s up to you to find out which of these ways to make money as a musician suits you the best!
I like to write, I like to learn and I can spend hours doing online research so was looking for a way to share my creativity and experience to help others.
Since I wanted to use my skills to help others, creating a website was the most obvious direction to take for me and affiliate marketing the best way I found to monetize this website.
Discovering Wealthy Affiliate has definitely changed my life!
And it could change yours too!
So, join me inside and we can work on your future together! It’s completely free to start with!
I am using several methods to make money from music but creating a website and share my knowledge is the way that fulfills me the most!
That the fastest way to make money would be through Freelance websites such as Fiverr, Udemy, and Upwork.
I am also doing some freelance jobs on Upwork ( which are not directly music related but bring a steady income from home) and I have some gigs on Fiverr.
So, whatever it is you decide to go for, don’t think it’s not possible not make money from your music skills but it IS possible!