5 Tips To Help You Make More Money From Your Music
Updated: Sep 15
Over the past few years, I've received several questions on how I'm able to make a living through my music. I wanted to share some tips with you guys today. Whether you're a seasoned musician or someone just starting out, I think you'll find at least one helpful piece of advice below.
For those of you who don't know me yet - I'm a singer and songwriter going by the artist name Rosendale. I've been making music full-time for the past three years. I used to be a tax accountant and music was a side business for me, until I took a leap and decided to quit my job to pursue music professionally. I've learned to support myself with my music through information from friends, research, and most importantly, trial and error. Now, I'm here to share them with you.
So without further ado, here are my tips for all musicians on how to make more money from your music!
1. Build your social media presence
It's important to build your presence on as many social media platforms as you can (especially YouTube, Facebook and Instagram). When you release new music, you'll need to utilize your fan base on social media to help promote your work. Having a large following on social media can also help you look more attractive to booking agents looking to book artists for shows - people tend to book performers with a larger following so they can get some of the performer's own fans to come out to their event.
For musicians looking to grow their following, a tried a tested tactic is to do covers and mashups of songs on YouTube that were just released by more popular artists. Your videos appear at the top of searches when listeners are searching for the original song, and will be more likely to be clicked on. Make sure your video has all of the proper metadata, including a good title and a description box with relevant keywords related to the song.
Posting every other day on your Facebook fan page and Instagram can help you stay relevant to your audience, and remind them that you're committed to your craft.
For new musicians - don't be overwhelmed by other musicians who have millions of followers already. Everyone starts from zero fans (including myself six years ago). Your goal isn't to compare yourself to others; it's to build your own fanbase.
2. Brainstorm viral marketing techniques
Most of the music videos we see today (including my own) are based on nuances that we've seen in music videos from the past. Why not brainstorm new marketing techniques for your music that might make your new song go viral?
Write a song about a topic that hasn't been written before, or film a music video with an emotional or shocking message. On YouTube, post videos with titles that people would be more likely to click on. Instead of "Vlog #1 - My Music Journey", try using "i wrote 100 songs in 1 day - this is what happened". Make sure your description box includes keywords that will help people find your music, including the name of the song, the artist (you), the lyrics of the song, and a short blurb about who you are and what you do.
3. Release singles instead of albums
In my experience, releasing singles instead of albums or EPs is a more effective way to promote original music. It's easier to hook people in with a good single. Most people don't have time to listen to an entire album by an artist they aren't familiar with yet.
If your single doesn't do well, try again with another single. Once you build a larger fanbase, an album release is more appropriate.
4. Plan every one of your releases
When I distribute new music, there's a checklist I go through to make sure that I've done everything possible to promote the song. I always make sure to submit to the Spotify editorial team through Spotify for Artists for potential feature on their editorial playlists (I've been placed twice). I also reach out to as many media outlets as I can (blogs, websites, YouTube channels looking for music, friends who will help share your music, etc). On my own socials, I make sure to tease my releases with various video clips, audio snippets, lyric videos, and music videos associated with the song. To do this, I always make sure to have all of my assets for the song available at least a month before release.
For new releases, you may also want to research record labels who have a large following to release your music through. You'll want to make sure that the record labels accept and release music that is similar to your own before submitting demos to them. More importantly, you'll want to do research on the label to see how successful their previous releases with other artists are, and confirm with the label coordinator that they'll be able to promote your song to new audiences in ways that you can't accomplish yourself. Read a more detailed post on this topic here.
You also may want to experiment with paid promotion through Facebook Ads and Google Adwords if you have some marketing budget to spend. I'll write a separate post on this topic in the future. For now, one helpful tip for Facebook Ads is to target people in developing countries that like music similar to your own. Your money goes a lot further; for every one dollar you spend, you'll reach a thousand more people in countries like Vietnam or Nepal than the United States or the United Kingdom. Make sure that people in the countries you target have access to platforms like Spotify and iTunes where they can listen and download your music.
5. Research music income opportunities
My music income comes mainly through performances and writing/recording songs for other musicians (on SoundBetter.com). I also make money through Patreon, YouTube advertising revenue, royalty earnings from record labels, and my own music streams and sales. Reach out to music libraries and music supervisors to have your music potentially placed in television shows and film. A great music library to work with is Audiosocket.com.
Hope these tips have helped! If you have any questions or want to work with me on your next project, send me an e-mail at email@example.com.
Until next time,
Listen to my own music:
Buy the Fairytale EP including "Fairytale" and "Landslide" here! http://apple.co/2pyKpvr
Listen to my song "Tell Me How To Let Go" here! https://fanlink.to/TMHTLG
Listen to my song "Divine" here! https://onerpm.lnk.to/Divine
Sign up for my mailing list for updates! http://bit.ly/2E5wyEP
Support me on Patreon for a sneak peek of my new music! http://www.patreon.com/rosendalesings
Stay in touch with me!
Bookings and inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org