6 ways Budding Musicians can make Money

It is every musician’s dream to sign a major deal with a big record label, go on tours around the world and live the high life. But until such time, you need a source of income. If music is your life and you don’t want to do anything outside of it, then following are a few ideas that can help you make money:

Creating music for ads and short films

Small time ad film and short film makers can’t really afford established musicians. So they look for promising and upcoming talents instead. As an artist, you can provide them with quality music and actually make a good sum of money since soundtracks and ad jingles are generally charged by the second.

In order to get noticed, create a good portfolio and register on websites like Fiverr. It is also advisable to have active YouTube and Soundcloud accounts. Widen your network as much as possible.


If you look back at history, many famous artists always had patrons. Kings and noblemen sponsored the works of talented people. This patronage is what companies like PledgeMusic, Patreon, Bandcamp and Indiegogo have to offer. But instead of one single patron, the money you get is crowd-funded. Your fans become your patrons.

Live Gigs

Doing live gigs is one of the most obvious ways to make money. You, inevitably, have to perform for free when you start off. But once your demand rises, you can start charging a decent sum of money to perform. Even when you are performing for free, there is still one trick that can help you make some pocket money. You can place a tip jar on each table with the sign ‘Show us how much you liked the show!’ You can also leave your Venmo or Square Cash details inside the jar in case people don’t carry cash.

Corporate or College Events

If you get offers for live gigs from other cities within your state, that means your popularity is rising. Use that to your advantage. Ideal options would be corporate events and college fests. For such events, the organizers themselves take care of all your travel and living requirements, and the money is also pretty decent.

Live Stream on YouNow

In late 2014, YouNow implemented a program that allows top broadcasters to monetize their content. If you are confident about doing live streams, then this is an option you can explore.


Many people give you this advice and rightly so because it works. You needn’t be ultra popular to sell merch. All you need is a good designer. Even if people don’t know you much, a well-designed tee or poster will always attract them.

Make sure to display the merch in a prominent place in the venue. If you keep them somewhere in the shadows, no one is even going to notice them.

So these are 6 ways you can make a little extra cash with your music. Hope you found it helpful. We wish you the very best for your musical career.


Leave a Comment