Few things in life are harder than making a living as an artist. Musicians in particular often find it difficult to earn a living by doing what they love. However, you don’t need to hit the top of the charts to make money with your music. Here are 9 excellent ways to make your music pay.
While mainstream record sales are down, online music sales in general are very much ascendant. The most obvious and direct way to sell your songs online is through iTunes, Google Play and Amazon. While promoting your tracks is tough work, you’ll retain a larger cut from each sale.
Otherwise known as busking, street performance can actually net you some serious cash. For performers who feed off of a live audience, it’s also a lot of fun. To clean up at the busking game, you’ll need to stand out from other performers without being gimmicky.
Mentoring the Newbies
While anyone with a little bit of initiative and curiosity can teach themselves how to play an instrument, nothing beats having a teacher by your side in the beginning. You can advertise lessons for students of all abilities on Craigslist or Google+ to earn a healthy side income.
Live performances in clubs and other venues are certainly electrifying for any musician. However, you can sometimes make more money by cutting out the middle man and throwing a block party or private show. Many municipalities are surprisingly accommodating if you fill out and file the necessary paperwork in advance.
Doing Session Work
Depending on how well you work with others and how musically proficient you happen to be, session work is within your grasp in even the smallest markets. Check out local music studios for jobs recording advertising jingles, songs for local access TV shows and even albums for local bands.
Even if you have no formal training in the field of audio engineering, the ear of an experienced musician can be an asset to any project. You can quickly build up a lucrative consulting business in the field of sound recording by aggressively promoting your expertise and musical know-how.
Composing for the Web
With so much multimedia moving online these days, it’s not uncommon for popular programs to be exclusively broadcast on the Internet. These low-budget start-ups always need a little background music to flesh out their content. Musicians can earn a tidy sum by writing short tunes for online shows.
Using It To Promote Merchandise
Even if your music isn’t going gangbusters on iTunes or at your shows, you can use it as a way to move music-related merchandise. T-shirts are one popular route to take. You can also use your music as a tool to sell equipment and instructional materials.
Live Streaming Your Tracks
Live streaming performances on the web is all the rage these days with solo artists and underground indie bands with rabid followings. Sites like StageIt make it easy to set up a virtual concert, stream it to your fans and earn a profit while you’re doing it.
The Shotgun Approach
What works for other musicians might not be particularly lucrative for you. Every artist’s work is appealing in a different way, after all. That’s why it’s important to take a shotgun approach and explore all avenues when you seek to monetize your music in the 21st century.