Making Money As An Internet Musician – A Detailed Guide
Unless you live in a cave secluded within a very remote island, you would never disagree that the music industry is one heck of a money-making giant. In many news programs from TV or radio stations, there are countless news items about singers and musicians having a rags-to-riches kind of life story. Truly, music is a mysterious, powerful element that is not to be taken lightly.
What you’ll learn here:
- Effective methods for musicians to earn money online
- How should an online musician appear to the audience
- How to sell your music online
- Earning by making music for clients
- Selling music-related products online
Friedrich Nietzsche said, “Without music, life would be a mistake.” God created life, and if you’re a musician, you should thank God that He didn’t make a mistake in making you. This world needs musicians and your innate talent is one that can give you a sufficient stream of income.
5 effective methods that can make a musician earn money online
1. Making a tutorial vlog
If you know how to play a musical instrument, and are able to consider yourself as “well-versed” in doing it, maybe it’s time to help people learn that skill you have. By putting up a “how to” video blog of you playing the guitar, a piano, or any musical instrument, you could be raking in buckets of cash by doing what is it that you love to do.
Just how attractive can a music tutorial vlog be? Very! According to a survey conducted by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, one of the leading authorities in the realm of classical music, 9 out of 10 children show interest in learning how to play a musical instrument.
“Research into children’s interest in learning a musical instrument finds that young children are keener than ever, but interest among older children is dwindling.“
“A new piece of research by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) reveals nine in ten children want to learn a musical instrument.“– classicfm.com
This is a knowledge that should make any musician out there want to start a music tutorial vlog as it indicates that such a project would attract many viewers.
In making that kind of vlog, it would greatly help if you have the knowledge about what musical instrument appeals to most people – the more people who are interested to learn that kind of instrument, the greater number of viewership you can potentially have.
If we are to ask around, the following 3 instruments are the ones people find to be the most interesting to learn.
Guitar – some argue it’s the piano, but speaking from experience, no musical instrument is ever more lovable and appealing to viewers and aspirants alike than this 6-stringed instrument. It’s easy to carry, playable virtually anywhere (unless it’s electric), and is the perfect accompaniment for all solo performers.
Piano – Constantly in a contest with the guitar as the most-loved musical instrument, the piano is a component that’s never missing in every musical show. Also a very good accompaniment for solo performers, it’s a very interesting instrument to learn and will certainly remain as such even in the next centuries to come.
Drums – In most cases, the drummer is often the most looked-upon member of any rock band, next to the lead singer of course. Since this is so true, many kids or aspiring musicians really want to sit next to an array of percussions and be a drummer.
If you are quite skillful at playing any of those 3 instruments, congratulations! You are already on the first steps of becoming a famous internet musician.
For honorable mentions, there would be the violin, the bass guitar, and the saxophone. But then, there are also a gazillion other instruments out there.
Whatever is that musical device that you’re very skillful at, just start a vlog showing how to play it… there will always be anyone who wants to look at you and learn how you get to be so good at performing while using it
2. Performing on video
Sing a song, or do it with some musical accompaniment, or play some instrumental pieces – these are also very attractive vlog niches. Many bands and solo artists who failed at getting signed by giant record labels opted to publish their music on Youtube. If many of them became internet sensations while others became eventual TV superstars, the same thing can also happen to you.
So what kind of performance videos do people find to be the most appealing? The following would be the most common answers.
Song covers – Though publishing your own original song compositions is the best course of action as an aspiring musical artist, you won’t be easily noticed by netizens since they will have no way of knowing your creations unless you have a really solid set of promotional tactics.
One way to get around to this problem is by doing song covers. Once a Youtube user searches for a particular artist playing its famous song, there is a great chance for a song of that artist that you covered to appear on the search list as well. You can then get a chance of getting viewed again and again, though it would also depend on how good you are at covering a famous song.
But let me give you a precaution: great care must be exercised in picking a song to cover, and how you will execute your stuff in performing it. Why? Because the fans of the artist you’re trying to imitate will have razor-sharp gazes aimed at you. If you don’t give justice to the song or if you don’t give enough compelling musical twists to it, you will have truckloads of negative comments and dislikes that will be delivered to your digital doorstep.
Don’t have too much fear though, because as long as you deliver your style in a truly heart-warming way, or in a manner that deeply touches your audience emotionally, you’ll be fine. No musician or singer is ever bashed or booed if he or she delivers a performance that’s cleanly and nicely executed.
Another thing that you need to be aware of in doing song covers is the copyright policies that Youtube, as well as all social media sites, are implementing about the matter. To learn about it, read this.
Instrumental videos – In connection to “how-to” videos about playing instruments, vlogging about instrumental music is also an interesting one. Like what happens to song covers, instrumental videos that pertain to a famous song searched by a user will most likely appear as well.
By generating the melodies of famous songs via your chosen musical instrument, people will most likely hum or sing along with it. This is the reason why instrumental videos are also very famous.
Mashup videos – What’s better than seeing a performance of a single song? Seeing a performance of 2 or more songs tailored to be as one, that would be the answer. On Youtube, you can find so many vlogs with performers doing mashups of famous songs.
For those of you who don’t have a clear understanding of what a mashup is, it is actually singing to a musical accompaniment of a set of songs with the same chord and harmonic patterns. If you do a musical performance of this kind, viewers will surely find it interesting. As long as you can do it stylistically of course, and in a laser, crystal precision of playing.
How should an online music artist appear to an audience?
Before you start with your web performances and capture videos of yourself on the act, let’s talk about showcasing yourself to a web audience. While it is true that music should be only about how good you are with your hands and voice, the audience, the ones who will be paying for you to perform doesn’t really believe that.
Here’s one of the ugliest truths about the music business these days – the ones who look good often get the most attention. It might be sad for us real musicians, but it’s just the plain and simple truth. Does this mean that if you’re not born with natural good looks, you can’t be a successful musician in these modern times?
No. Although if you do look good, it would be a huge plus. Literally, no recording company, major or not, would sign an artist if that artist has no “star appeal” on him or her. That is the factor that most audiences look for these days, which is a bit too hard to swallow.
Thankfully though, being a vlogger-musician doesn’t require you to get approval from those people who own and run those music labels. All you have to attain are some loyal followers and you should get the monetization that you hope for.
What we’re trying to get to here, is that as an online musician, you really have to consider making yourself as physically attractive as possible.
A pure hardcore musician would surely answer these statements with “WHAAAAT?” But as mentioned above, audiences all over the world today would surely dig those artists who look good on camera, on TV, or on a cellphone screen. Blame modern mass-media for this monstrosity, but this is just one reality that you have to deal with… so deal with it.
Lucky for you, being beautiful or “sexy” is a highly relative term. You don’t have to be born with those really sharp and attractive physical features to be defined as beautiful. By having the right hairstyle, the right clothing, and the right body proportions, you can still be categorized as pretty or handsome.
Another thing that you have to bear in mind is that the music industry is mostly dominated by the force of the youth. This means that the more younger-looking you are, the more appealing you’d be. But what if you’re not that young anymore, does it mean you have no chance of attaining stardom?
You still can. Although most successful artists do start young, many of them still have that “marketable appeal” even if they are past their 50’s. The best way to circumvent this is again, to work on your appearance as you play on stage, or on camera.
With some very easy tricks, you can still appear to be in your prime, even though you’re actually a middle-aged rusty hunk.
So before you get serious with your online conciertos, invest in some nice clothes (that fit your genre of course) loss a little fat, or gain some, depending on your current body type, and invest some time on some personality development regimen. It will not only help you become a more attractive musician, but also a better person overall.
3. Selling your music on online music-selling platforms
In the past, music artists struggle really hard to get a recording contract that only major-label companies can provide. Today, however, such a method can be bypassed by anyone. With platforms like iTunes and Spotify, you can upload recordings of your songs and gain revenue from them every time your song gets downloaded.
In selling your music to these very famous music-selling portals, you have to know that it’s not as easy as uploading your recorded song and waiting for someone to download and buy it.
In iTunes and Spotify, 2 of the best platforms in existence, you have to undergo these steps:
1. Sign up for an account at TuneCore – an internet company that helps musicians distribute their songs online without getting signed by major music labels. They also ensure that your songs meet the needed standards for publication.
2. Choose the kind of musical product you want to sell. This is where you will be asked if you’re selling a single song or an entire album.
3. Upload your music. You will then be prompted to put an artistic cover for it, and specify the names of the contributors or collaborators that helped you with your material. This is to ensure that the appropriate persons are given proper credit.
So how can you guarantee that your songs get approved by middle-agencies like TuneCore? The quickest way to put it is that, you have to record your songs cleanly and crisply.
Does this mean you have to go to a recording studio and pay for some expensive hourly rates to have your songs recorded? Thankfully, due to the latest breakthroughs in digital sound technology today, you don’t have to.
Learn about recording music at home in the cheapest way here.
4. Creating music for online clients
Since this statement is too broad, let me simplify it for you. One of the best ways to be successful with this is to write a specific lyrical narrative for a certain client, and tailor it into a song. For instance, if you have a prospective brand to commercialize for, maybe you should try composing a jingle for that product.
One of the cool things about jingles is that they don’t have to be a full 3-minute plus track like standard songs. A minute, or even half-a-minute of them would be fine, depending on the commercial material that the company may require.
Or you could also write a jingle for a person who wants to get popular in business, in politics, or in whatever imaginable category. If there is this song that can make people remember the name of that person, the popularity he or she aspires for would rise faster.
Another method is making musical scores for commercials, TV shows, vlogs, and various multimedia projects. This can be quite hard to do since you will need to do a lot of pitching, querying, and courting. But if you have already established yourself on Youtube and on famous social media sites, the act of convincing wouldn’t be that difficult.
Also, thanks to digital technology, setting up a home music studio is now so easy and not to mention, very affordable already! That and coupled with your passion and talent, you may just realize that a promising musical career is just lurking around the corner waiting for you to pick it up!
5. Selling various merchandise and accessories
This is not really connected to music in a direct sense. But if you have already gathered a lot of online followers via social media and with your ever-growing web presence, you can certainly embed your brand in various commodities that people use every day.
Here’s something that I have to break into you (not gently, sorry). If your brand is attributed to a rock band, you’d have a greater chance of having your items sold, compared to being a single music artist.
Having said that, the best items where you can embed your band’s name would be the following:
- and of course T-shirts – the most irresistible items to buy aside from your record album
Other attractive band-related products would be:
Collaborate with any established company that manufactures these products and embed your trademark and logo into them. People would surely buy those items like hotcakes and hotdogs (though temperature would have nothing to do with it… at all).
Once you’ve done that, you can then sell them through countless online outlets. Many famous mainstream artists are doing it, why can’t you, as a rising internet musician do the same?
Before we part ways, let me put this in your mind: of all the art forms that we have here on Earth, music is the one that’s greatly emphasized by the Bible to also exist in heaven. Before we get there, should we be worthy enough to be there, let’s utilize music to the fullest. The online dimension might be a good place to start. Musician, please start… now!
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