Playing on the street
Music careers

5 effective ways to make money as a musician

So you want to do music for a living and make some money while doing what you love. This is possible, but how? There are actually a lot of ways a musician can make money and a lot of them you can start doing right away. To help you a bit, I thought of 5 ways you can start making money as a musician.


1. Perform on the street (busking)

The first thing you could do is perform on the street. You’ll need the courage to do it though. If you do have the courage to do it, find a good spot. Make sure you’re allowed to play there because sometimes you’ll need a permit to play on the street. When you’ve got everything (a good mic, an instrument or speaker, etc.) you can start playing on the street. Take a hat or maybe a guitar case with you and put it (open) on the ground, this way people may donate something if they enjoy it. Not only can you earn something from this but you could also grow your following. Maybe put your social media on a piece of cardboard so people can follow you.

How can you get people to come to listen to you? Well of course there will be people walking around if you found a busy spot to play, but if you already have some kind of social media following you could tell them that you’ll be performing on the street that day and if they want they could come to listen to you. You could also of course invite your family and/or friends to come.


2. Make and sell your merch

Now, this does acquire a (small) group of true fans because not every random person will buy the merch you put out. But if you got a fanbase that really loves you and you’re music, you can think about designing and putting out merch. You can promote this by posting it on your social media, or you could invest in ads.


3. Do gigs

This may be one of the best things you could do. It has multiple benefits like growing your fanbase seen as many people will hear you sing live. And you could charge a bit for performing.

Start small and work your way up

Start small, maybe in a local cafe. Then you could work your way up. At the moment I work at a wedding venue, A lot of people want a band or just 1 singer to perform at their wedding so that could also be an idea.
When you get more experience in performing live and you get a bigger fanbase maybe eventually you could start performing in small concert halls.


4. Make a Website

A lot of (if not all) big artists have a website. And for a reason, because a website has multiple benefits as well. You can, for example, build an e-mail list. With an e-mail list, you can collect email addresses from your fans when they visit your website. When you do this they will be notified when you’ve got an update on for example when you’re selling new merch on your website or new songs and/or albums of yours that’ll come out in the near future.

So if you’ve designed merch and you want to sell it, you can sell it on your website. If you put your mail address on your website, your website could also be a place where other artists, or maybe even labels or managements could notice and contact you.
On your website you could also showcase your talent, sell your CD’s and show availability for gigs.

If you want to start your own website, WordPress is a great platform to start your website. You’ll also need a domain name and a hosting platform. For this, I recommend using Bluehost, Bluehost will provide you with both hosting and a domain name. It isn’t expensive and a lot of people use it.
(link to sign up with Bluehost)


5. Start a youtube channel

If you hadn’t already done this I highly recommend you to start your own youtube channel. Not only can you earn money from ads that can play in your videos, you could also get noticed.
The great thing about starting a youtube channel is that it’s completely free and you can only benefit from it.

So here you have 5 ways to make money as a musician. As you’ve probably read, most of these things also help you grow your audience which is always good right? There are of course many more ways to make money as a musician, so if you found this helpful and want a part 2, let me know;)

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