Have you been thinking about taking your talent for music and building it into a successful side hustle? If you’re passionate about the music industry and are looking to start making extra money with music, the time is now to get started.
According to the latest IFPI Global Music Report in 2019, the global recorded music market grew by 9.7% in 2018, which represents the fourth consecutive year of growth. Not to mention, total revenues for 2018 were $19.1 billion.
The music industry is growing, leaving room for creatives like yourself to get in on a piece of the $19.1 billion dollar music industry pie.
There are diverse ways to grow a music side hustle—ways you may not have even considered making money. This article will present an overview of ways to make money with music and how a website can help you grow your music business.
3 Paths to Music Side Hustle Success
The music industry is more than just getting paid to play music. Here are some top ways to grow a music side hustle that will help you earn extra cash each month.
1. Record and produce your own music
A popular and fun way to make extra money with music is to write and produce music and work as your own music label owner.
Calixto Gabriel Bravo, also known as Xcelencia, is one musician that has built his business by working as a recording artist and producer. Bravo explains his business:
“I am an independent recording artist, a music producer, and music label owner. Coming from a family of four, I always had a rebellious and fiercely independent energy that translated into my passion for music. I understood that I wanted to make an impact in the music industry from an early age, and now I am accomplishing my dreams.”
When you visit Xcelencia’s website, you quickly get an idea of who he is as a musician. His website acts as a way to showcase his own music, presents a gallery of his work, and provides a way for followers to get into contact with him.
Additionally, his website acts as a method for him to receive constructive criticism from others. He says, “My side hustle is successful not just using metrics such as revenue or data/analytics, also based on but the amount of positive feedback and constructive criticism I receive on a weekly basis from listeners, colleagues, and more.”
2. Work as an independent singer-songwriter
Your interest for music may start and stop with writing and singing your own music, and that’s great. Working as a singer-songwriter is an awesome side hustle as it helps you bring in a little extra cash each month with your primary passion.
Grover Anderson is one musician who explains how he started and grew this type of music side hustle. He says, “For the last twelve years I’ve been an independent singer-songwriter. I started writing songs in my college dorm room, then eventually started taking them into bars and coffee shops, and finally onto large stages in Northern California.”
Anderson continues, “I feel compelled to write, and love playing those songs for people, so I decided to try and make a go of it. Handling everything from booking to PR to finances on my own, I have released 4 albums and toured the country multiple times. I do most of my touring in the summertime, because during the school year I’m a high school English and Drama teacher.”
You may be worried about whether or not there is money in this type of business. Anderson explains how he measures success:
“I measure success by growth over time. For the first 5-10 years I played small gigs, sold a few albums, and was lucky to have a few website visitors a week. I never broke even on my expenses, but I loved making music so much that I pressed on. In the last two years I’ve had visitors in the thousands, made a modest profit, and played bigger and bigger stages, even opening for America and Creedence Clearwater Revisited last summer.”
The best thing about a singer-songwriter music side hustle is you can grow at your own pace. Regardless of how quickly your business grows, you’ll enjoy the process.
3. Sell your music online
Playing music at live events is only one way to participate in the music industry. There is also a huge market for selling your music online. Companies are always looking for jingles, podcasts are often in need of theme music, and YouTubers don’t want to run the risk of not earning money on videos by using a song they don’t own the license to.
If you’re looking to make money from music, consider selling your music online.
There are several other ways to make money from music including rating music, teaching online music lessons, starting a YouTube channel, and more. Regardless of what you choose to do for your side hustle, one thing is for certain—you need a website to be successful.
Why Does Every Musician Need a Website?
While it’s vital that you keep up your music chops, music isn’t the only skill you need to have a successful side hustle. In order to grow your music business, you also need a website. Here are some of the top ways a website will help you with your music side hustle.
1. Showcase your music
It’s difficult to get hired to come play if potential clients don’t know what your music sounds like. A website will act as an online portfolio of all of your work. With a website, you can include demo music, published music, videos, and any other information that is relevant to your music business.
2. Get found
Sometimes the best way to catch a break or get hired is through Google search. For example, people are always looking for local musicians to play at cafes, corporate parties and events, city celebrations, weddings, and more. While it’s true many of your gigs will come via word of mouth, you’ll also find some of your gigs coming from being one of the first musicians to show up in a local search.
3. Display your schedule
Do you already have a small following? Great! The next step is to let your fans know when and where they can come see you play. The best way to do this is to include a touring schedule on your website.
With a click of a button, fans will be able to learn about your upcoming shows, RSVP, and even buy tickets online, depending on your website capabilities.
4. Manage bookings
Another reason to have a website is to have a place where people looking for a musician can book your services. What better place to manage this than right on your website? You can include a booking schedule, or a simple contact page on your website that shows when you are available and allows people to book your services with ease.
5. Sell merchandise
Anyone in the music industry knows that the money you can earn from playing is just part of your income. If you have a small following, you can also make money on merchandise. Of course you’ll want to set up a merch table when you go play your gigs, but you can also sell your music, t-shirts, hats, etc. right on your website.
When setting up your music side hustle, don’t forget the most important step—making sure your fans and clients can learn everything about you via your website.
How to Build a Music Website
It’s important to have a website for your music business if you’re going to promote your music or land any gigs. That means, the first step to success is getting your website up and running.
The good news is to get a website up, you don’t have to know how to code or design or have a huge budget. With the help of HostGator’s Website Builder, you can get a nice website up in no time.
Additionally, HostGator has a team ready to help you navigate the process in the event you have any questions.
If you follow the process outlined below, you can get your website published in less than a day.
Step 1: Pick a hosting plan for your music website.
The Gator Website Builder offers plans. You can pick your plan depending on your needs. The starter plan includes a free domain, 200+ templates, a drag-and-drop editor, cloud hosting, and website analytics. It’s the perfect pick for someone looking to start a music website.
If you are nervous about building your own music website and want priority support, you’ll want to select the premium plan. This plan provides everything in the Starter plan plus priority support.
If you are planning on selling merchandise on your website, then select the eCommerce plan. This plan will help you set up an eCommerce store where you can collect payments online.
Once you’ve picked a plan, click “buy now” and you can set up your account.
Step 2: Pick a domain name for your music website.
Every Gator Website Builder package includes a free domain. To pick your domain, all you have to do is type something in the “get domain” box. If your top choice isn’t available, select another.
You’ll notice that many musicians use their own name, music production company, or band name as their domain name, but this isn’t a must. If you need help, here is an article on picking out the perfect domain name for your music website.
If you already have a domain name, then you can connect it to your HostGator account by clicking “connect it here.”
Step 3: Create your account.
Once you have a domain name, you can connect your HostGator account. All you need is an email address or Facebook account to connect. Then, enter your payment information, and you’re ready to go.
Step 4: Pick a template for your music website.
The best news about creating your website is you don’t have to do any coding. Gator Website Builder comes with hundreds of templates. All you have to do is pick the one that matches the vibe of your music side hustle best.
Once you create your account, you’ll be directed to the “choose a template” page. You can scroll through over 200 professionally-designed templates, and select the template that best fits the goals for your music website. You can also customize any of the templates to match the colors and theme of your music.
There’s even a template made for musicians!
Step 5: Add content to your music website.
Once you have selected the perfect template, click “start editing.” This will send you to your dashboard where you can add, edit, and delete pages. Pages you might want to include are an about page, contact page, music portfolio, schedule of your shows, merchandise page, and more.
The drag and drop builder to make it easy to design your website. However, if you have any questions, GatorBuilder also includes a free and easy step-by-step guide for reference that you can access at any time.
To access this guide, Click the “menu” icon next to the Gator by HostGator logo and select the “getting started tour.”
Step 6: Review your content and launch your music website.
The last step is to review your website and go live. By clicking “preview,” you can see your music website in full. This is when you can look at your website and make sure everything looks perfect.
If everything is on target, then click the “finish preview” button at the top and then “publish website” at the top of the dashboard. Gator Website Builder will present a series of quick steps to help you go live, and you’ll be officially ready to land your first gig.
Get Started on Your Music Website
Don’t let your passion for music die out. The music industry is innovating, and with the help of the internet and an awesome website, it’s easier than ever to promote your music.
Ashley R. Cummings is a professional freelance writer specializing in SaaS, tech, and advertising/marketing. In a previous life, she was a Russian teacher at Brigham Young University, a corporate trainer, and a grad student—all at the same time. When she’s not writing, you can find her traveling the world with her 2 kids and husband, reading poetry or taking a deep dive into the fabulous world of comedy. Connect with her on Twitter at @ashleyrcummings.