Artists have to get creative nowadays to earn a living from their musical passions. And with the world on hold, getting in front of paying ears is no longer as easy as booking a tour. If you’re an artist, band, DJ, or music producer searching for new ways to make some cash from your creations, you might be surprised to learn that you can do so right from your own house. Read on to learn how you can profit from your music without booking a show.
Thanks to modern technology, we have the tools to reach our fans in tons of new and exciting ways. Through platforms like Twitch and Youtube, you can receive direct feedback and payment from your followers through donations and tips – but the opportunities don’t stop there. So how do you get started, and what kind of content should you make?
Here is where you can get creative. You can review past projects, produce live on stream, show off your latest tunes, mix music, and more. The goal with live streaming is to keep your viewers entertained, so the more engaging you can make the stream, the better! If you have an existing fanbase that recognizes you for a specific sound or technique, highlight that process on your stream. If you’re starting out, experiment with a few ideas until people begin to latch on. Whatever it is, be sure to do it consistently. The 8BitDrummer is an excellent example of someone who streams regularly and is rewarded for doing so with many monetization options and over 4,000 subscribers!
Streaming isn’t limited to what you can do in front of the camera, either. You can also host or participate in virtual concerts. People have even used video games like Minecraft to organize events, so get out there and virtually party!
Best Streaming Sites
But where should you host your digital fiesta? The Amazon-owned site Twitch remains at the top of the list, especially when monetizing your live streams. Once you become an affiliated partner, the door opens up to several ways to cash in beyond the average donation. You can collect ad revenue, receive paid subscriptions, partner with companies, and more! YouTube’s live streaming platform has similar options – allowing donations and advertisements. Facebook, Instagram, and several other sites will also enable users to make a buck from their live streaming content. It’s important to remember that you can also direct your viewers to external platforms like Patreon, where they can also subscribe and donate to show support.
Some people only have time to listen to your music, and that’s fine as well. The chance to rake in some dough is alive and well with today’s music streaming platforms. As of 2020 , Spotify was paying close to 3 dollars for every 1,000 plays. That adds up as your following grows, so be sure to update your Spotify Artist Profile and that your music makes its way over to as many streaming platforms as possible!
To get your music onto your desired platforms, you have two options. Option one is to use a distribution service like Tunecore or Distrokid to handle most of the work for you for a fee. Option two is to go the genuinely independent route and manually upload to each platform. No matter which method you decide to approach, you’re going to need some artwork and a solid marketing plan to accompany your song or album to make sure you get as many ears as possible to your music.
Twenty years ago, social media and promoting yourself online were often overlooked as ways to earn an income as a musician. Now, you’d be foolish not to have your project on as many platforms as possible. Like streaming, social media is a chance for your music to work for you outside traditional means. Content creators need music, and brands need to advertise – so you should be doing a constant mix of networking and content creation to keep yourself in the loop. The more you put yourself out there, the more you can get paid!
There are tons of social media platforms out there, so which of them will be best for hosting your music and eventually making you money? Youtube stands out as a fantastic avenue to store your music for the long term and serves as a launchpad for your social endeavors. You can place short ads on your videos that will pay you over time, and you can also get feedback on your music in the comment section – win-win! A few other great social media platforms are Instagram, Twitter, and Tiktok. They all have unique features, but they all have in common the chance for you to post audio and video with links. With tools like these, you can be pretty creative with marketing via social media.
Merchandise is an obvious yet untapped revenue option for many artists. If you have a creative side beyond music, this is your chance to embrace it! Of course, you can sell clothing and accessories, but the sky is the limit when it comes to what you can create. You can make anything from sample packs of your favorite sounds to artwork that accompanies your music. And with emerging markets like NFTs , the possibilities to cash in are ever-expanding!
One of the best ways to earn a decent living from your music is to have it featured in entertainment projects. Video games, movies, and television are examples of projects that are always on the hunt for a fresh sound to match their vision. You can have your music scooped up by a project by hosting it on streaming services, social media, or by doing outreach on your own – you never know who’s looking!
Are you skilled with a particular instrument or piece of software? You can put your musical skills to use by tutoring others in areas where they may be struggling. There are tons of sites where you sign up to be a tutor, but you can also advertise your services independently online. Offering to record or mix in a studio is a great way to branch out as well. Some people are just missing an engineer, guitarist, or other specialties to get their session done. If you can fill in, there’s some more paper in your pocket!
Lastly, as we slowly return to normal and venues begin to open, more opportunities will pop up in your local area. Approach managers, send emails, and take any chance you can get to perform in your town safely. Bars, restaurants, and clubs are all great places to begin your search. Not only can this build you a nice recurring income without you needing to travel far, but it will help you plant roots in your city and grow your core following – getting you one step closer to earning a living from your music! Before you go out and make your music work for you, make sure it sounds as good as possible.