The starving artist myth is applied nowhere more liberally than on musicians.
I guess it makes sense – it’s a very old profession but back in the day the only thing you could hope to buy with your music was a bed in an inn for a night and maybe a meal.
A lot has changed since the Middle Ages, thankfully.
Personally, I couldn’t play a straight note to save my life and it’s something I deeply regret not being able to do because I really enjoy music.
However, there are plenty of you out there who can play several instruments, compose, produce, do sound engineering, and plenty of other things in that particular field.
I won’t go into popular music here – God knows there’s a lot to be made there but breaking through is extremely difficult, at best. But, there are hundreds of musicians making hundreds of thousands of dollars every year selling royalty free music that can be used in commercials, YouTube video, corporate events, and so on.
Those are just the top-sellers on Envato Web Music Market and I’d be remiss not to mention that most of their tracks sell for around $19 a pop!
So, you see?
What you’ve considered to be a hobby can turn into a lucrative business and here’s how.
How to Sell Your Music Online
There are several routes you can take so you can sell your music on:
Royalty free sites such as AudioJungle – you retain the copyright but you are selling a license to multiple parties and they can use and modify your tracks.
Facebook – you can partner up with platforms such as CDBaby you can easily market and sell your music on the largest social network in the world.
Amazon – there are a lot of musicians selling their music on Amazon – MP3 or hardcopy CD’s even – again, you can partner up and have someone else arrange everything for you.
iTunes – getting sales on iTunes can be difficult but with right marketing you can eventually make a breakthrough there as well – ReverbNation offers a full set of services for that.
Where to Start (Royalty-Free Music)
Selling on iTunes and Amazon implies that you’re a full-fledged author and maybe even a singer.
But what if you’re not?
What if you can create awesome music but it’s not something that’s going to reach Top Billboard Charts?
In that case, focus on creating music for business purposes.
STEP 1 – Investigate the market – check out what’s selling on royalty-free platforms. Remember, you’re not producing music for yourself so follow the trends
STEP 2 – Invest in equipment – you can’t start working without some basic equipment: computer, monitoring system, MIDI’s, controllers – here’s a full list
STEP 3 – Sign up with a platform
STEP 4 – Produce several different tracks and upload them
STEP 5 – Market your music on social media sites
STEP 6 – See what’s selling and what isn’t
STEP 7 – Don’t forget – sound effects are cheaper but there’s a bigger demand for them
STEP 8 – Produce more of what is working and market it
1. Music Production Courses Point Blank Music School | Dub Spot | Sound Training 2. Music Production Free Tools Audacity | Ardour | orDrumbox 3. Royalty-Free Platforms AudioJungle | 123RF | Premium Beat
If you have a passion for music there is nothing stopping you from giving this line of work a try. For start, you don't even have to invest too much in equipment - simply check out if your beat can find a way to people's hearts.
If it resonates, the cost of getting the equipment you need will be a wise investment that could end up supporting you and your family!