[This article is written by full-time independent musician, video creator, and blogger Jessica Allossery and it originally appeared on diymusician.cdbaby.com]
I’ve been earning a full time income online for nearly two years now and I’ll admit it, it hasn’t always been a walk in the park. BUT, if you combine your online income plus your merch sales and live shows, you’ll be a comfortably living musician in no time.
Here are five ways that you can start earning an income as an online musician that you can set up in as little as one day:
I’ve put the subscription based crowd-supporting platform called Patreon at the top of the list because every single musician out there should already know about it. Not only that, but every single musician out there should already be ON it, actively.. errday!!!
Patreon is one of the most amazing platforms I’ve come across, because it’s like every musician’s dream! It provides a way to rake in a steady stream of monthly revenue on the basis of sharing your art and giving rewards. They’ve built the site to provide a sense of community and filled that gap between artist and fan. It’s beautiful, and I can’t rave about it enough.
If you’re not on Patreon yet because you’re not making videos regularly, you’re honestly missing out. Get on that train and collect the donations that you fans WANT to give you, asap!!
2. Online E-concerts
I love this idea! Yet another way to generate income as a musician without having to leave the confines of your cozy artist space. I use a platform called ConcertWindow, and there are a couple others to choose from like Stageit and Gigee. There are some different tools available for use in all the platforms but something to keep in mind that I’ve found effective with Concert Window and Stageit is having the option to collect tips and give ‘rewards’ to your best tippers. It’s a wonderful incentive and a great way to really connect with your audience in a concert-type setting, without having to leave the cozy confines of your living room.
3. Private Skype shows
Similar to online e-concerts, but these are privately held events. This is something that you could set up on your online store as a gift option. A fan could buy the gift of a private one-hour Skype show for his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day. Then, you serenade the two of them and give them a very special and unique experience that they wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else.
It’s another beautiful way to earn coin while still connecting deeply with your fans to create a memorable experience and a more engaged community of people who will adore you and support you forever!
4. Tip jar on website
If you’re anything like me, I had A LOT of trouble asking my fans for help, especially when I was just starting out as a musician. I didn’t want to have to put my tail between my legs and feel like that annoying poor artist who’s always begging for money. But I learned that asking doesn’t have to be that way. It might be a stigma that asking for money is a sign of laziness, but YOU know in your HEART that you’re a damn hard worker, and you deserve to get paid!
Honestly, it’s all in the ask. Be vulnerable with your community. Tell them your struggles. A lot of times, fans actually DO want to support you monetarily, but they don’t know how, OR there isn’t a means to do so. By providing a tip jar page on your website, people can freely take a look, and if you’ve truly given them something of value, something that has touched their hearts deeply, they will give, and often they will be generous.
Try it out by setting up a paypal.me address and adding it to a new page on your site. It takes less than five minutes to set up, and could be worth so much value to your yearly income online. And hey, you might be surprised at the greatness that can come from just asking.
5. Write custom songs for fans
This technique has been around for ages, but for some reason a lot of musicians aren’t putting it into action. Your fans love you. They love the music you put out, and the videos, and the photos… The list goes on! Now, imagine if you could make something unique, custom, and personalized. Something JUST for them.
I put this idea into action last year and have received a tremendous amount of support from my fans. Custom songwriting has been this new found glory because it’s a win-win situation. You get to earn money, while writing a song (which you have to do anyways), while giving a gift to someone who appreciates it more than you know. It’s an amazing feeling and has really transformed my views on songwriting, and what it means to be an artist. We are here to make a difference with our art, after all. So why not use this to your advantage and REALLY make a difference by touching the hearts of those who will value your music the most? Give it a shot. It will be great, I promise.
And that’s that! Five amazing ways to earn income as an online musician. I hope these have sparked your imagination and have given you a bit of creative inspiration to try out a few for yourself. Today as a musician, you can’t JUST earn a living off live shows and touring… Well, maybe you can, but what’s the fun in that?! Rather connect with people locally AND worldwide by extending your services online where fans who love you in different countries can still support you and enjoy the services you have to offer in a digital way. We do, after all, live in a digital world, so we might as well take advantage, earn some extra cash, go with the flow, and see where it takes us.
Need help growing your audience?
I’m a DIY Musician on a mission to help others on their own musical journey. Find out the 5 Must-Have tools that have changed my life as a musician right HERE and stay updated on a new coaching program and e-course that I designed especially for artists like you and I. Can’t wait to share allllll my knowledge and skills with you, if you’ll let me. xo