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Music lovers everywhere are asking one burning question: “How can I make money with music – doing what I love?”
Your first thought might be to set up a “stage” on the corner of the busiest street or in the subway with a hat or bucket for coins. But that’s definitely not the way to go about making money with music.
I’ve made good money teaching piano lessons in the past, for example, and that’s just one of many ways you can advance your career in music.
How Much Money Do Musicians Make?
Because music is such a diverse topic, it’s almost impossible to say you can earn as a musician. PayScale averages $39,431 across all musician jobs plus bonus, profit sharing and commission of an additional $23,000 per year. So altogether, musicians could see a yearly salary of $62,431.
But here’s the catch. Earning money with music is what you make of it. It boils down to how much time, money and effort you can invest. The more you put into your music career, the more returns you will see.
17 Ways to Make Money with Music
These ideas are the most common ways to make money as a musician, but you can adjust them in any way you like in order to find what works for you.
Just like in any career, making money with music is not likely to happen overnight. But many of these can be started on the side and later scaled to a full-time career in music!
Let’s get started.
1. Start a Music Tutorial Blog
The internet is never going away. In fact, it will only grow and become more information packed over time. That’s why it’s important to consider starting a music blog no matter what other ways to make money with music you may choose to pursue.
Let me explain this with an example. In 2015 I started a web design business. I created a nice website to show my portfolio, shared it on social media and hoped that Google would bring in the clients.
But it didn’t happen. Yes, I connected with clients on social media and filled my work schedule over time, but it was not due to my website. To this day, I receive maybe 5 views to my website per day (and no clients through it).
Then I started this blog. I share about work from home experiences, how to make money online, tips to save money and I often share topics that bring attention to my services. And that’s when I started receiving more client inquiries!
It’s all about providing fresh, unique content that attracts and helps your target audience. If you hope to teach an instrument one day, then write helpful tutorials about the instrument on your blog!
If you hope to sell your music one day, then write content that attracts your target audience!
Let’s say that you sing like Celine Dion and think that her audience will love you – then write about Celine Dion (and other similar musicians)!
If you’re not ready to sell your own songs, but hope to one day, you can still make money by displaying tasteful advertisements and affiliate music products on your blog.
Another music blog example would be to compare instrument brands. Partner with different brands that you love and write comprehensive guides to choose the best violin, trumpet or flute.
You can also go as far as to teach music lessons right on your blog. Gaining valuable readers and subscribers is what can help you monetize a blog with affiliate marketing.
The sky is the limit with blogging about music. You choose the route you wish to take and you make money doing it.
The next 16 ways to make money with music can be incorporated into your music blog to fully take advantage of your dedicated followers and earn money helping others while doing what you love.
2. Sell an instructional music course online
Create an online course that teachers others everything you know about music. Choose a specific topic to teach such as an instrument, voice, music history or even how to become a music teacher.
Once you’ve put in the time creating your educational music course, you can sell access to the course over and over to earn an unlimited amount of money from a single course.
A music blog is a perfect place to advertise your music course, whether on your own blog or on other music blogs. When using a platform like Udemy to create your music course, other bloggers can advertise your course for a commission of the sales they bring in. It’s a win-win for both you and your advertisers!
3. Create music webinars
Creating webinars online is another way to share your music knowledge in an instructional way. Webinars are far less detailed than online courses, but they still provide a ton of value in themselves.
Offering free webinars is a popular way to attract potential students to your paid online course or other paid product or service.
4. Pick up paid music gigs
If side gigs are all you have time for, you can still make money with music and put your talents to work. Sign up with Fiverr and list your talents there. Peruse the existing musicians to get an idea of what others are offering. You can pick up paid gigs for music voice-overs, song composition, lyric writing and much more.
5. Write a book about music
If you love to write even more in-depth guides, informational studies or stories, consider writing an eBook. History, theory, autobiography or fiction are just a few book genres that fit into the music industry.
6. Sell sheet music and songbooks
You can also write music songbooks for your instrument(s) of choice. Sell your sheet music digitally on Amazon or straight from your blog to rake in some residual cash!
7. Buy/sell used instruments
If you have a passion for old instruments, you could scout local music stores for deals and sell them online for a profit. With the internet at the tip of your fingers at all times, it’s never been easier to search the true value of an item on the spot.
8. Start a YouTube channel
YouTube is a great place to create and publish instructional videos or music videos. YouTube channels are monetized with advertisements or you can link to your blog or digital music listing for viewers to purchase.
9. Sell digital music on iTunes
Add your recorded music to iTunes and earn money for each download. Once you’ve listed multiple songs, you could see residual income when your music becomes popular.
10. Record a CD and sell copies
Get in touch with a studio to see if they will record your music. If you’re not ready to be signed by a record label, record your own music with high-quality music recording equipment that’s ready to sell.
11. License your music to earn royalties
Your music could be the perfect main or background song for an upcoming movie, show or YouTube artist. Set up your own website and sell licenses for your music and earn royalties for life.
12. Write songs for other artists to perform
Perhaps you love to write songs rather than perform them. If this is the case, market your talents for songwriting so that existing musicians can find what you offer.
13. Teach music classes at a school
If you prefer a more face-to-face approach, check with your local and surrounding school districts to see if there is a position open to teach a music class, start a school band or teach individual lessons to students.
14. Play or DJ music at special events
Charge by the hour to handle the music at weddings, restaurants and parties in your area. Schedule these events around your full-time job or replace your income when you’re ready.
15. Teach music lessons in your home or students’ homes
Advertise your expertise in your town and offer music lessons to locals. If you know how to play and teach an instrument or voice lessons, you can charge anywhere from $15 to $50 per lesson.
16. Set up a group music class for kids
Local moms might love the idea of sending their kids to a group music class. As long as you require parents to stay at each class, you can teach as many kids as you’d like at one time. This would keep the cost to each family low while giving you the opportunity to earn upwards of $100 per hour.
17. Start a local band
Starting a local band would definitely be more fun than lucrative, but that doesn’t mean you can’t gain enough popularity to charge for a night of your services. Have fun with this and make money with music while continuing to work your full-time job.
Related: How to Sell Feet Pictures Online
Making Money as a Musician is Simple
If you haven’t found the perfect way to make money as a musician, consider enrolling in an online course to learn more. You can learn how to use your musical talents to earn a living with a little extra effort and instruction.
It’s definitely possible to make money with music doing what you love most!