5 Ways For Musicians To Make Money

5 Ways For The Working Musician to Make Money Online

Musicians like artists, graphic designers, film makers, or ony other type of freelancer as we all well know through YouTube and personal websites, work tirelessly on their online presence. This is now the forum where new artists get noticed, and frelance musicians and composers not only get work but also showcase talents and portfolios. For the archetype of the working musician as a jack of all trades, we all well know that gathering income from many sources is paramount to one’s financial and personal success. With all the work that one puts in to building up an online presence for the hope to get more gigs, more students, more downloads sold or whatever that may be, there is also secondary income sources that one can take advantage of from building traffic and a following, much like the savvy internet maketers strive for in their own commercial pursuits. Here are some approches in and out of the box.

1. Freelance Online. With the advent of online “marketplaces” for freelancers such as elance.com and odesk.com, the world of outsourcing has exploded, and in music too, making hiring someone for any job extremely accessible. Once you fill out a profile, you can bid for jobs or employers may contact you. App developers and video production compaines are always looking for original music composers for their projects, and various other jobs like transcription and even teaching.

2. Teach Online. If you teach private lessons in any capacity, you probobly well know that online music lessons may be the future of education, or one big aspect at least. With the simple tools of having a computer, a webcam, and a high speed internet connection, you can be location independant and pick up students through sites like Musicloudlessons.com.

3. Remote Session or Production Work. While still a relativley new market, it does stem from years of musicians and producers sending tracks they’re working on back and forth if they’re not in the same city. There are a few sites out there that offer a “marketplace” type platform where an artist can go on, pick a musician or producer from the website and hire them to play on or produce their track. This is getting bigger and bigger as we enter such a broad online music community. A google search for remote session work will lead to to these sites fairly easily.

4. Affiliate Marketing. While this option may not really be taking advantage of you as a musician and is more in the internet marketing space, it does take advantage of knowing about products in the music market. If you are a musician that attracts people to your blog, you can promote products (most likely something you support or use in your musical life), put a link to them, and if someone buys the product through your link, you get a commission. Check out Amazon Affiliates.

5. Advertise. If you have a high traffic blog or personal website you can make money. Simple as that. While the appeal of having ugly banners or ads on a site may not be visually stimulating, with clicks, you get paid. If you start implementing Google AdWords, you can get paid per click (as well as YouTube’s revenue share the same way). Or, you can also take another approach of having individual companies advertise on your site for a monthly fee.

Explore these options a bit, and I hope they have opened up some previously uncharted avenues to increase your online musical revenue!


Corey Hendricks is a guitarist/educator/composer and owner of MusiCloud, an online marketplace for face to face private music lessons via video conferencing. For more articles, lessons and tips check out their blog as well



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