8 Great Ways To Make Money As A Music Artist

By adamack on Sep 08, 2016 in Advice , Artist Tips , Marketing And Promotion , Music Business - 2 Comments

Times have changed from the way things used to be. There are far more avenues and opportunities to earn money as a music artist today than there were in the past. If you are a music artist or musician, you don’t need to rely only on selling your music in order to make a living. You can sell your talents, skills, and services as well. Here is a list of ways you can earn money as an artist which will hopefully give you some great ideas of how you can support yourself in your music career.

  1. Session Work: As a rapper or singer, you can utilize ads and sites such as Craigslist to find musicians who are looking for your services. Many other artists are looking for features on their projects and producers are looking for artists to lay a verse on their beats, and they are willing to pay you for your work. In addition, you can work out your publishing numbers with them so you can earn a piece of money from their sales of the song you are featured on. Alternatively, you can perform as a “work-for-hire”, in which you surrender any publishing but are paid a greater sum of money up front.
  2. Service-Offering Sites: A fantastic way to earn money as an artist is to offer your talents on service-selling sites such as Fiverr.com. Create a gig in which you write lyrics, record your vocals, sell tutorials – pretty much anything music-related. Many artists dismiss Fiverr, as they believe that they would be underselling their work. But what most people do not know is that prices can be adjusted, and you can greatly increase the cost of your work for $500 or more for each “gig”. The reason these sites are a great place to begin is because the sites themselves do most of the marketing for you, and bring tons of prospective buyers to you. From there, it is up to you to provide top-notch work and customer service, and your rankings (and thus, sales) will increase exponentially over time.
  3. Offer Lessons: If you are an artist who has mastered your craft, you can earn a lot of extra money offering lessons to aspiring artists. This is a great option, because it allows you to stay in tune with music as you show others how to learn what you’ve become so good at. Vocal lessons are an obvious choice here, but I’ve seen some ads lately offering rapping lessons as well. Even if you don’t wish to do this as a full time gig, you can always teach 3-4 students per week (30, 45, or 60 minute sessions are pretty standard) and make some extra money to help fund your career.
  4. Sell Hooks Online: If you are a singer or rapper, you can earn great money selling hooks to producers or artists. There are thousands of producers looking for talented artists to create hooks for their beats, and the same goes for artists who need hooks for their latest single. Beats with hooks on them have become popular over the years, and singers or rappers can make good money creating the hooks. Soundcloud is a good place to start, where you could upload demos of your work for listeners to hear. From there, you could make custom hooks for your clients, or even sell pre-made hooks which producers or artists could craft their beat or song around.
  5. Songwriting: There are more aspiring artists these days than ever, but most of them are not songwriters. Many artists, including mainstream ones you hear on the radio, do not write their own songs. Instead, they are written by songwriters who specialize in crafting the right words and melodies around a beat. If this happens to be one of your skills, you can sell your songwriting skills online or to fellow artists you may know.
  6. YouTube: If you are having trouble selling your original songs as an artist, there is great money to be made offering free content on YouTube. Create a channel which offers your songs, lessons, video blogs, tutorials – basically anything related to music that you can think of. Keep updates frequent, and develop a strong subscriber list. Your content will be free to them, but you can monetize your videos and earn money from advertising. As long as your content is 100% original, you won’t need to worry about any copyright infringement on monetized videos. It is important, however, that you do some research before you begin. If you are using a beat created from an online producer, you may run into some copyright issues if the producer has the same beat uploaded to his or her YouTube account.
  7. Create A Product: If you like the 3rd idea of offering in-person lessons, another idea is to create a product around teaching your musical craft. Create an e-book, video lesson series, or even a monthly subscription service which you can sell to those who want to learn how to sing, rap, create songs, etc. While this idea may take more up-front work than the rest of the ideas here, it has potential to earn you some great income in the future if you can create a quality product.
  8. Sell Intros Or Promotional Songs: A large amount of YouTubers today are looking for personalized intro songs to their videos, and need a song written and/or performed. This can be a great way not only to earn money, but to promote yourself. As long as you ensure that the client you work for credits you and links to your webpage/social media accounts, their YouTube videos may end up being seen by thousands (even millions!) of people over time, and this kind of promotion can catapult you into a totally new niche.

The possibilities don’t end here. There are endless ways to earn money today doing what you love, and this list is just the tip of the iceberg. I hope you gained something from this though, and wish you the best of luck with your endeavors!

If this article makes you inspired to write some new music, don’t forget to check out the beat store for some instrumentals to write to!


Kendric December 20th, 2016

great article

leasing beats March 3rd, 2017

Hey! Thank you for your Post.
It really helped me to start my own Beat-selling!

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