1. Sell Your Music
Digital distribution is a must; you need to be readily accessible through all media platforms, or find a friendly aggregator that places your music all over the net for you or you may choose to set this up yourself.
Selling music at shows is also important. You can sell CD-Rs, make sure they are reasonably priced to sell at all your gigs, or online. If you’re pressing physical copies, check out your local record shops to get them in on consignment. You can easily duplicate your CDs without spending much, including printing and a plastic-wrapped case, so most of each sale will be profit, even after huge discounts.
2. Sell Merchandise
Band merch is a big business, especially if you’re a musician or a band that is known for having a very loyal following.
Both indie bands and signed labels can sell their own merchandise fairly cheaply. If you’ll be playing live shows, printing a small batch to have at your merch table can help generate extra income. But don’t get carried away with expensive purchases until you’re sure there’s a demand.
Make your own t-shirts, buttons and badges, stickers and other merch and sell them at your shows and on your website. Merchandise does especially well at shows, after your fans have just seen you play and are all caught up in the spirit.
As long as you keep your overhead down, merchandise can give your income a nice little boost.
Merchandise sales is one of the most unreliable ways to make money in the music industry.
It’s very possible to end up selling no merchandise, even if you play at a packed venue.
But then, any advertising is good advertising, and maybe you can afford to have some giveaways.
3. Gigs / Play Live
Playing live is an obvious choice when it comes to making money as a musician. Most musicians enjoy performing live, and it can be a fantastic way to make money.
However, you need to think bigger regarding income streams related to live performance. Try to get your own gigs. If you don’t have much of a proven track record when it comes to pulling in an audience, you’re not in a great position to demand large fees.
Building up to this will take time. You won’t be in a position to expect large fees if you are a relative unknown. Maybe even offer a trial run, or consider offering your services for some charity work to get yourself known.
No matter how little you earn when you start, take the long term view, and concentrate on building your reputation to greatness. When possible, retain control over ticket sales through your site, eliminating the commission charged by ticket agencies.
This doesn’t mean that this is the only type of gig you should pursue though. Treat each low-paying gig as a step towards increasing your earning potential.
4. YouTube Channel
YouTube is another platform that continues to prove its success. YouTube allows musicians to make money every time that viewers play their content.
The beauty of using YouTube as a platform is that it’s free, you don’t need to know anyone in the industry, and you can try over and over again. Grab a camera, record yourself, and take advantage of YouTube’s advertising program to make some extra money.
The easiest way to earn money on YouTube is with Content ID. Content ID is a popular digital fingerprinting system that content creators can use to easily identify and manage their copyrighted content on YouTube.
Videos uploaded to YouTube are compared against audio and video files registered with Content ID by content owners, looking for any matches. On YouTube, whenever your music is used in videos that are running ads, YouTube pays a portion of that advertising money to the rights holders of the song.
There are so many successful musicians and even pop stars started on YouTube, from Justin Bieber to Soulja Boy.
5. Create a Website
A website or blog is a great way to showcase your music sell your CDs, and advertise your availability for gigs. It is a good idea to have a website which features some examples of your talent. Ask your client to write a recommendation on your website if they are happy.
Also, u can monetize your gigs on your website with Google adsense program which helps content creators to make money from their websites.
If you’re a songwriter, you could write songs for other musicians, or compose music specifically for film and television. You’ll earn performance royalties whenever the song you wrote is performed.
When online streamingonline streaming has become a trend in the music industry, it should be a no brainer that your tracks need to be on this platform. Whenever your music is played on streaming websites, they pay royalties.
Although per-stream payouts from streaming services tend to be small, they can add up over time. These services also help new fans discover your music, and shouldn’t be seen solely as an income generator.
8. Session work
Another way to make some extra money is to put yourself out there as a session musician. Studios often hire artists for session work. As a singer or instrumentalist, you could do session work for other musical projects, or even in advertising.
Solo artists need people in the studio to play various instruments on their recordings, and backup vocalists are also in demand. You may even have the opportunity to become a member of an artist’s backing band once the album is cut and the tour starts.
Even if you do not, it is a great way to network in the industry. You already know you have talent, but working with other musicians can further hone your skills, and also help create a useful network for you.
9. Compose Music for Theatre
If you like to collaborate with others and you are willing to start off small, then the opportunities for creating music for theatrical productions are endless.
A great jumping off point is your local theatre. You can associate with a theatre group for work. They have frequent requirement of songs and compositions for their acts specific performance.
10. Work as a DJ
You know music and you know how to have fun, right? Start djing for events, and while you’re there, throw a couple of your own songs into the mix. Most venues will give a very large percentage of the money people spend on concert tickets directly to the band.
The bigger the venue you’re able to fill, the bigger your paychecks are. DJs generally make money through bookings at clubs and bars. Rock bands tend to book in rock venues and the occasional nightclub.
When you’re a band with a good following, throwing a lot of concerts is a very financially wise decision. It’s a great way to get exposure for your music. Well, unless you’re producing hip-hop and you’re djing a polka party.