If you want to make money as a musician, then you can’t be afraid to perform for others. Luckily, making money as a singer is a path that you can take in many directions – you may not even have to perform for others in real time!

The days of singing in front of an audience professionally have never ceased. From bards to the modern superstar, the human voice has brought joy to billions of people around the globe. The question is…

…how do you make money doing it?

Video Advertising

If you think you have a great voice – especially for divas out there who know you do – then you can take advantage of the internet in the comfort of your home.

Artists like Justin Bieber made a name for themselves by singing cover songs and originals on YouTube and ended up getting a record deal. Other unknown vocalists have made thousands of dollars on platforms like Twitch. Still others sing and play music for commercials directly and are paid handsomely.

In the online community the term ad revenue immediately brings to mind “easy money”. It’s a form of almost passive income, depending on your medium and platform, requiring only up-front effort to build out content and then share it with the world.

This is a simple rundown of how it works:

Start recording cover songs or originals on camera. Make sure that your backing track is high-quality, at least 1920x1080p HD. Modern smartphones are completely capable of this. You don’t even have to have an external microphone – just dub your voice over the backing track in your software!

Upload your videos to YouTube or Twitch. Make sure that you fill in the description of your video and as much information as you can about the song. This is especially important if you are singing a cover song, which may require you to post copyright information in the video description (e.g., Copyright © 2012 Warner Brothers. All Rights Reserved.)to avoid a lawsuit.

Share your video with friends and family on social media. Once your YouTube videos reach 100,000 “likes” and/or “views” (this changes from time to time), you will be able to connect your YouTube video to Google AdSense and start running those 5-30 second advertisements you see all the time.

Keep creating content on your channel. The more videos you have, the more likely you’re going to be a singing sensation that others will share simply because they like your cover song or original. Making money as a musician isn’t easy, and it’s a slow process. However, if you keep at it for a few years you’re bound to start getting noticed by internet fans around the world.

Sell Vocal Samples

If you have a high-quality microphone, you could record vocal samples for producers. You could even sell your music online as vocal sample packs for music producers to purchase and use royalty-free in their tracks.

To do this, you’re going to need to learn how to set up an online store. You can read another article about this here.

The best way to go about selling your vocal samples is to have a portfolio ready to present to producers, much like how a graphic designer creates a visual portfolio. A great place to do this is simply by creating a SoundCloud account and sharing private links via email. You should also have some cover songs or originals out there so as to attract producers organically who don’t want to work with just any pre-recorded royalty-free track.

Many producers prefer to work with original samples that they can’t get anywhere else – this makes their music not only unique, but it also prevents their competition from stealing their work.

Teach Vocal Lessons

When you’re a professional singer, more likely than not you’ll probably end up teaching lessons for money if you’re not already doing so. Regardless, if you aren’t, then consider teaching lessons to start making money as a musician! It’s the most common way musicians earn an income, and has been for hundreds of years.

Luckily for those of us in the 21st century, we have the power of the World Wide Web to reach the world with our musical talents. There are lots of great singers, and a lot of young students want to learn how to sing like the “greats” out there who have made a living – and even became rich – just from using their voice.

You have two options when it comes to teaching vocal lessons:

Teaching in person. This has always been the most common method of teaching students how to sing correctly. When you teach in person, you have the advantage of showing students proper posture, hear the acoustical tonality of their voice up close, and notice when they’re making a mistake in real time. These are some valuable elements of teaching person, but it’s not always possible to find local students.

Teaching lessons online. In the modern era of the internet, you have the power to teach voice lessons anywhere in the world. Whether you want to teach students several miles from you or someone across the ocean, you can! The best part is, you can make money as a musician by getting paid electronically (think PayPal, Square, etc.) on a regular, weekly basis.

Making money as a singer may seem like a pipe dream, but actually, it’s easier than ever in our modern world!

Paul Cassarly
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