1. Sell your beats and songs on Beatstars or Airbit
Beatstars and Airbit are popular for producers and musicians to sell their music to artists or fans in general. These platforms are very easy to use, and both have a huge client base for you to sell your music to. It’s not just beats that you can sell here, even complete songs and albums if you like.
This is probably the fastest way to make money with your music right now. You can choose to sell your music under different types of licenses: exclusive and non-exclusive. An exclusive license usually sells a at a higher rate than a non-exclusive license, since an exclusive license can only be sold to one person, group or label. A non-exclusive licensed track, however, can be sold to an unlimited number of people.
Note: before you start using Beatstars or Airbit, watch these tutorial videos on YouTube, just to make sure you don’t miss any important steps.
2. Distribute your music to online streaming services
Luckily today, online music distribution is easier than ever! A few decades ago, you would have to go to a label, hoping your music would be good enough to get signed. Then you’d be offered a deal, which usually meant giving up more than 50% of profits made by your music.
Nowadays, all you need to do is go online, find a distributor, like Distrokid.com, Amuse.io or CDBaby, and upload your music through their platforms. They will send your music to stores like Spotify and Apple Music who, in turn, will pay you for the number of streams your music gets. Also, most of these platforms let you keep 100% of your rights, meaning you receive 100% of the money earned with your music.
3. Become an (online) music teacher for others
You might give teaching a shot. You can use your experience and skills to train other musicians and artists. This can range from instruments to music theory or a combination of the two. It’s a fun way to earn money, since you get to talk about something you love doing and you get the chance to inspire and help young artists and musicians.
It’s pretty easy to start teaching. You can choose to teach people online or have them come to another place. You can use your instruments to play on, students can bring their own instruments, or perhaps you can borrow them from schools or friends.
4. Start performing at (small) venues
Of course, this is where you get to show people what you’ve got. It’s fantastic way to make money as a musician and lots of fun to do. Just don’t expect to become a millionaire after one show, that’s not how this works. If you don’t have a great track record on pulling in audiences, you won’t be able to demand large fees. You’ll have to start small and build yourself up to the point where you can fill entire clubs and venues just by dropping your name on the invite.
Everybody has their own way of building their name up, so get creative and do as much as you can to build your audience and reputation. After some time, you might even be able drive ticket sales through your own website, eliminating the commission that’s usually charged by booking agencies.
5. Become a music producer for others
Making music can be more than just a hobby. As a producer you can find tons of clients. Use Instagram to brand yourself and your music, so people will be able to find your name and your style as a producer. Beware that it’s a bit of a saturated market, so you’ll have to stand to attract attention.
Luckily, we have platforms like Beatstars and Airbit today, making it easier to present yourself and your product online. But that’s not the only way to make music for others. Many producers prefer working with artists in a studio, so they can get to know the artist and figure out what works best for them. A producer’s job is not just to make the beats, it’s the whole process of translating an idea into a song and helping artists to find the best way to represent themselves in their songs.
If you can find artists who are willing to collaborate, you might just find yourself with a whole new stream of income.
6. Work as a DJ
DJ’ing is a very popular way to make money in the music business. If you look at some of the popular guys like Armin van Buuren, Afrojack, Martin Garrix, you’ll see there’s serious money to be made. Again, just like these guys, you’d have to start at the beginning. You’ll have to be talented, dedicated and work yourself up in the business. This way you’ll build a network, increase your amount of shows and you might just reach the stars in 5 years!
DJ’ing is not only a great way to make money, it’s also a great way to get exposure for your own music. Since you’re the one deciding what music gets played, you might as well throw in some of your own songs and see how the crowd reacts. This learns you how people respond to your music. Maybe you want to drop a mixtape in the future, but you’re not sure which songs you want on there. This way you can test your songs with a live audience and decide what would work best for your mixtape.
7. Sell your music services on Fiverr.com
Fiverr is an online marketplace where anyone can basically sell everything to anyone. As a musician, this is the place where you can offer your specialty, whether it’s playing bass guitar, mastering a track or experienced vocals.
The key to maintaining a sustainable business on Fiverr is to start by offering your service for a low price. Once you’ve got positive reviews from clients and have built a reputation for yourself, Fiverr will recommend you to more people on the platform, meaning you get more potential clients to sell your service to. Once you have a steady client base, you can increase your rates gradually and start making real money for yourself!
8. Get your music played on TV or Radio
You can get your music on TV or Radio by sending it to Sync Catalogs. They will make it possible to get your music added to films, tv shows and radio. They don’t take ownership of your music though, so usually there’s no upfront money or production budgets. You only receive money once your music is used.
To get into a Sync Catalog, you need to send an introductory email, telling a bit about yourself and the songs you worked on. This should also include a link to 3 of your best tracks. Sync Catalogs are looking for high quality only, so your tracks will need to consist out of a solid production!
9. Launch a YouTube channel
It’s also possible to record videos and post them on a YouTube channel, this includes your own music videos or videos that teach others whatever you’d like to teach. You’ll have to be consistent in uploading these videos to build up a strong audience, but once you attract enough people to watch your videos, you can make some nice bucks from this, either through ads or premium content.
If a video contains ads, YouTube will pay a small percentage of the advertisement money to you, the person that hold the rights of the content. Also, there’s this thing called YouTube Content ID, which is like a digital fingerprint that identifies you as the creator and copyright owner of the content you provide. So, if your song plays in the background of someone else’s video, and you hold the rights to that song, YouTube will have to pay you as well!
10. Sell your music on Bandcamp.com
Bandcamp is a marketplace where musicians can sell their music and merchandise. It has a great recommendation system and makes use of daily selections, meaning you might just be on the frontpage one day.
As a musician, you can sell CDs, Vinyls, posters, tickets, merchandise and whatever else you have in store for us. You also get to set the price yourself, so you are the true owner of your own business here.