How to Make Money with Music Production

Man Listening to music

The music industry is tough. Fighting for gigs, booking studio sessions, and trying to get that record deal are just a few of the many hurdles musicians have to overcome on their way to success. If you’re just starting out in the business or need a little inspiration after fighting for your shot, we’ve got some helpful tips for you. Here are some of our favorite ways to make money with music production!

Sell Songs Online

Selling your music to other companies is a great way to start earning royalties. Royalties are defined as a payment made to an asset owner for the right to use that asset. When you create a song or beat, that music has the potential to earn you money, because someone may want to use that song for a commercial, event, website, or another type of media. If you need some help getting your music up to a professional standard, there are plenty of music production programs that can help you finesse your sound. 

Once you get the perfect beat or melody, start selling! Companies like Artlist, Shutterstock, and more are great places to start because they curate a library of music for subscribers. You can sell your music, get paid, and get exposure. 

Start Playing Shows

You’ve probably already thought of this one, but it’s a tried-and-true classic. If your music can be played live, start trying to book shows. Touring is a great way to make money, and it’s also a lot of fun. Whether you’re a hip-hop artist or a folk singer, people love hearing live music. Even if you don’t have enough momentum for a tour, start small. Book local gigs at bars, parties, and events to get exposure and show people your talent. 

Playing live is also a great way to sharpen your skills, so once you get back in the studio, you’ll be able to nail those solos.

Try Patreon

Used by artists of every kind, Patreon is a subscription-based service that artists use to make money. If you’re sick of releasing songs to your fans on YouTube for free and not making any money, Patreon may be the perfect option for you. Each month, your fans can subscribe to you for a cost you determine, and they’ll get access to exclusive content. 
Fans or “patrons”, love hearing special releases, behind-the-scenes videos, personalized chats, and so much more. The opportunities for content are limitless on Patreon, and you can use it to cross-promote your YouTube channel, Instagram, and other social media.

Teach Music Lessons

We’ve all been there. If you need some quick cash, teaching music lessons is a great way to make some money. If you’re a vocalist or play an instrument, chances are there’s someone out there who wants to learn your skills. 
Start by putting ads online and on your social media. If you have a committed following, people will be eager to learn from you. Plus, in 21st century music, you can also create online courses and video tutorials to earn some cash.

Video Game Composition

This is a growing field for artists these days. Video game composition has multiple jobs like writing original scores, creating sound effects, and recording vocals to be used throughout the game. 

To start, you need to have the skills for the job. Make sure your portfolio is up-to-date and catered specifically to video game developers. Then, start trying to make connections with local game developers and go from there. This is an industry that is always looking for new music, so if you get the chance to compose for a video game, go for it! 

The music industry is a tough business to break into, but hard work pays off. The more creative you get with your side hustles, the more opportunities you have to get your music to new audiences. Try a few of these options to increase your income and fuel your dreams of a music career.

Jordan McDowell is a writer, content strategist, and second right advocate. He specializes in technically-oriented B2B and B2C content for a number of digital companies. As a proud advocate for responsible gun rights nationwide, he writes about recreational hunting as well as the latest developments in state and national legislation.

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