As streaming takes over the music industry, many influential companies are starting to adapt to the changing climate by leaning more towards streaming platforms like Spotify to bring in more money and revenue for their brands. Spotify and Apple are quickly becoming the new ‘album’ for all new artist coming up and the labels are taking advantage of new artist who do not know the business, sucking them dry of their royalties and album sales.
Streaming is working so well for labels that in fact Apple was said to be dropping their digital download section and going completely to streaming music by 2019. The ad revenue for streaming is much higher and this is how most of these companies are getting paid the big bucks off of your music.
So where does this leave the independent artist who’s dependent on digital downloads for income? If the big wigs are breaking down ways to sell your music on their platforms and just depending on streaming as it’s largest revenue stream via royalties, album sales and advertising, then how can you make more money from your musical efforts?
Let’s take a look at the 8 Creative Ways You Can Make More Money from YOUR music!
Even rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine has jumped into this new way of gaining revenue through music by selling merchandise for album sales or “bundles”.
This tactic is being used to fight against the record labels who receive most of the royalties and money for digital downloads when music is sold through third-parties. This got us to thinking, what are some ways that we know of that can help the new artist stay afloat, make money and still compete with the bigger artist in their genre?
Well let us tell you what we came up with.
It’s time to stop relying whole-heartedly on SoundCloud, Spotify & iTunes as a way to push your music and make your money through sales.
Also, stop just relying on social media as your form of promotion. If you don’t have a website now, then it’s time for you to get one.
The great thing is that it’s not as expensive as it was 10 years ago to get a website up and running by tomorrow.
Not good with computers? Then find yourself a freelancer that can help you out for little to nothing and get you a site running as soon as tomorrow.
You can try sites like Fiverr and Upwork which are online marketplaces where you can find web designers to help you build your website.
The lowest prices you will find is $5 on Fiverr, but some do charge more depending on range of skills, revisions, extra work, etc.
Now, if you know how to navigate around the computer a little, then you can build a website yourself.
You can start by building a blog. Having a blog where you can post your music is a great place to start. Two of the main sites many use to create a blog are Blogger.com and WordPress.com. Blogger.com is especially for the beginners giving you a free account created from just your Google email account, while WordPress is for anyone.
To get access to WordPress’ professional tools, you need to have a domain host that can help you build your site like you want it. If you are not great with website coding language or don’t have much time, then as a beginner, you may have to lean towards sites like Wix.com and Wednode.com.
On these sites, you can use their drag and drop web builder to create yourself a site for free and they give you the option to create a custom domain using your name (i.e. bestrapper.com) by just spending a few dollars per month. On these sites, you can post your single, mixtape or album cover, embed your music from SoundCloud, iTunes, Spotify, etc., give your fans insight on why you wrote certain song, post lyrics to your song and sell a download to your song all on one page.
Created another single, mixtape or album? Post another page! You can also share pictures, videos, personal feelings and anything you want your fans to know and have.
And the best part is……….YOU CAN MONETIZE IT ALL!!!
2. Subscribe To Patreon.com
You can use your influence among your fans and have them support your music career by offering them perks on Patreon.com. This site was created by a musician that understands the struggle of not gaining the funds or support that you need to move forward.
On Patreon, you can receive monthly funds directly from your fans by offering them things like new exclusive music, merch, and many other creative things for your fans.
Now even though this site is more popular among YouTubers, I do think that independent artists need to start taking more advantage of the possibilities that this platform can provide. There are a lot of perks that you can offer your fans that really don’t require much money, but you can gain a lot back from the support of your true fan base.
Just imagine this, you tell your fans to follow you on Patreon and become what they call a “Patron” of your music. You tell your fans that you will give them one exclusive song per month. In return, you ask them to donate $1 per month for your exclusive song. If you can get 200 fans to donate $1 per month, then that means that you can create an income stream of $200 EVERY SINGLE MONTH!
BTW! We have a Patreon.com account and you should come over and subscribe to us. We give out many different products per month in exchange for your support of www.MicHustlin.com.
This is the way we keep everything over here running so come on over and show us some love and get our perks!
3. Bundle Your Merch.
Assuming that you already have merchandise (which you should), you should trying bundling your merch and selling it at your events and on your website.
Many artists throughout the years have used this tactic to make more money outside of album sales to create an everlasting connection with their fanbase. So what kind of merch can you sell? Well, the main thing that everyone sells is Tee Shirts.
You can make these yourself or you can use sites like Spreadshirt.com and Zazzle.com to help you create Tees for your fans to purchase.
Also, both of these sites allow you to create more than just Tees to sell to your fans.
How about creating a throw pillow cover, coffee mugs, mousepads, journals, calendars, towels, etc., for you fans.
Now check this out.
Wouldn’t your fans be excited to have a tee, coffee mug and phone case with your brand on it? All for one low price?
Try it out! Travis Scott does and makes a killing!
This is something that not many are doing to give their fans more music, but it’s something that can possibly gain a lot of revenue for you as an artist.
You can use Reusable Flash Drives as the new Compact Disc. CD Players are disappearing from computers, cars and other devices (like the PS4) as they become more unpopular because of digital downloads and streaming. Also USB Drives and SD Cards are becoming cheaper and cheaper to buy allowing you to buy them in bulk and upload your new album, mixtape and videos on them to give to your fans.
You can also find cases for the flash drives that you can design like an album cover and sell them to your fan base at events or online.
As we said, this is something that is new to the industry, but it can work for you if you would like to give your fans more than just music.
5. Live Stream Your Live Shows On YouTube, Facebook & Instagram.
Just as streaming music has become popular, so has the possibility to stream yourself live over social media platforms such as Facebook & Instagram. But, YouTube is the leader in streaming shows live. So, how can you use it to make money?
Well, some of you may know that you can monetize your YouTube videos via their ad revenue program, but they don’t pay out much for your views and you would have to gain a lot of views per video in order to make some real money.
But, on YouTube Live, if you learn how to incorporate a donation button as YouTuber Adam 22 has done in his live videos, then you can give your fans the option to donate to you if they would like to see more live shows.
So start getting some live shows and you can check out our article on how you can create a dope smartphone video to see what tools you would need to film a live show from your smartphone.
Keep your fans engaged even when they can’t make it to all of your shows!
6. Sell Your Cover Art As Posters.
This one is an oldie but goodie and we don’t see many artist doing this in 2018-2019. There is so much art floating around on the web that we are giving away for free, but you’ve probably spent $5 on Fiverr to get someone to create it for you and well never see that money if you don’t sell any music to your fans.
Selling your artwork can be big for you because even if your music become unpopular, your artwork may stay popular for many, many, many years to come. What if you can sell your artwork as posters and make over $10,000? Rock groups like Led Zepplin and AC/DC does it all of the time, so what’s stopping you from doing the same.
BTW, this works for any genre of music. It’s not just Rock artist that make money doing this. Ever heard of Elvis, 2Pac, Linkin Park or Steve Aoki? They all do this and earn thousands every year. DO IT!
7. Sell Your Lyrics in a Book.
Genius.com has locked this genre down over the years, giving us lyrics to all our favorite artists songs for absolutely free. Still, there are fans around that has been complaining that digital downloads and streaming has taken away the personal aspect of buying an album.
They remember buying a CD or Vinyl and reading the liner notes and lyrics to the artists song, but that long gone now. So, why not create your own Lyric Book, designed by someone from Upwork.com, that you can then sell directly or even as an Ebook on Amazon Kindle or as a PDF file on your website? Ebooks online are given away for free or sold for as much as $45 per book!
If your fans love your music that much that they are willing to buy a book of your lyrics, then you should give them what they want and stop holding it all for yourself! At up to $45 per book? You can really gain a lot!
8. Start A Documentary.
Now that we are finally on the last tip, this is the tip where you take every other tip and combined it into one. You can show your fans how you went about building a website on WordPress, how you came up with merchandise to put on Patreon.com, how many merch bundles you have created and what your lyric book and posters look like.
Show your fans the struggle that you go through just to keep them entertained and in tuned with you as an artist. Once you are done with your documentary, you can then upload it on YouTube or post it on your Reusable Flash Drives and sell them!
So, what are you waiting on? Keep up with the majors and make the money that you will need to help your career move forward. And your fans will appreciate all that you have to offer them when you give everything that you have.
Make sure you share this article with an artist that needs to read this. Tell them that Mic Hustlin Online sent you!