money from music

Focus on making more money from music this year

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Here are 10 posts from the “Music Money Guys” that will help you make more money with your music in 2020.

As we embark on a new decade, we thought we’d reflect on our personal favorite articles we contributed in 2019 (and a couple of older ones too), most of which were adapted from our latest book, Making Money With Music. We posted more than 20 posts on the Disc Makers Blog last year, in between teaching, consulting musicians, and doing numerous speaking engagements in San Diego, Chicago, New York, San Antonio, and more. Our posts have covered everything from songwriting to releasing your tracks, but we targeted these 10 articles for their focus on how you can make more money from your music in 2020!

10. To make money with music, make sure you’re easy to find. Making money with music through booking, licensing, and media opportunities can only happen if people know how to contact you. Follow this checklist so you don’t miss any money-making and publicity-generating opportunities.

9. Six legal pitfalls to avoid in your music career. When launching a music business, hiring an attorney and accountant to help can be costly, which is why most musicians dive into the process without professional legal advice. But all too often this causes artists to stumble into common — and costly — mistakes. While getting personalized professional help is always best, in this article, we lay out six of the most common music-law pitfalls to be aware of and solutions to avoid them. After all, legal and tax issues only get worse the longer you let them go unaddressed. If you take a little time to reduce your business risks now, you can save yourself some time, money, and headaches in the long run.

8. How to make money off your social media channels (no matter how many followers you have). Your social media channels provide more than a publicity platform for announcing your new music. The Internet has become very good at monetizing the long tail, and there are ways within your reach to make income from your social media presence even if you have a modest following. In fact, you can start making money from your very first follower, and with every new level of popularity, you’ll have new income sources available to you. Check out this article for what you should do whether you have one, 1,000 or 10,000+ followers.

7. Choosing the right rewards for patronage and crowdfunding campaigns. Maximizing the amount of money you bring in from patronage and crowdfunding campaigns means setting up enticing rewards and smart support levels. Follow this article’s tips to boost the revenue you earn through crowdfunding.

6. How to make more money at your merch table. Your merch table is one of the most important revenue generators you have. Outside of the stage, it’s the only place in the music venue representing you and your music, so it’s worth ensuring your merch stand attracts customers, encourages sales, and mirrors the image you want to project to the audience. It’s one of the only tangible ways fans can capture the moment and feeling they get from your live show, so make your merch table an experience rather than an afterthought. This post highlights 10 things you can do to improve your merch sales.

5. Collect everything your recorded music can earn: Pt. I. The classic music roles of songwriter, publisher, artist, producer, and record label — as defined by the traditional music industry — still drive the income streams you can make from your music today. The good news is that each one of these roles has different associated revenue streams which you can tap for your own music business. The goal of this two-part series is to make you aware of the revenue streams each role generates so you can get everything you’re entitled to. This post tackles the roles (and revenue) most musicians are familiar with: songwriter and artist.

4. Collect everything your recorded music can earn: Pt. II. In Part II, the three remaining roles (and revenue) are tackled: label, publisher, and producer. While the music industry treats these as separate roles and carefully collects and separates the money to be delivered, as an independent artist, each one is likely all the same person: you. That is, if you register and collect them.

3. Want to make more money with music? Here’s How (Part 1). Musicians who are successful at making a living off music approach their business and art differently than others. Rather than focusing solely on selling songs or playing live, they broaden their thinking and work to create more income streams off of what they do. This article takes these successful approaches, combines it with proven business models, and boils it down to a few key concepts you can use to build a sustainable music career.

2. Six (more) ways to make more money with your music. In part two of the above article, six additional money-making concepts are outlined.

1. A release strategy to fill your yearly calendar. Your best social media strategy is to entertain your fans throughout the year rather than just drop an album and disappear. In this article, we outline a strategy to make your fans anticipate your every release — music, videos, merch, and more — and attract new fans in the process. Or, check out the video of the article.

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But wait, we’ve got free guides too!

We’re halfway through writing a four-volume series of guides for Disc Makers, called How To Make More Money With Music. If you haven’t downloaded a free copy of the first two, go get them now!

9 Free Revenue Streams For The Working (And Weekend) Musician

Merch Strategies To Build Your Artist Brand And Earn More Revenue

Like our latest book, Making Money With Music, each guide is packed with practical, how-to steps so you can activate key revenue streams, boost them, and make as much money as you can.


Authors of the critically-acclaimed modern classic, The Indie Band Survival Guide, Billboard Magazine called Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan “the ideal mentors for aspiring indie musicians who want to navigate an ever-changing music industry.” Their latest book, Making Money With Music (Macmillan) and free Making Money With Music Newsletter, help all musicians — from startups to pros — build a sustainable music business so you can make money in today’s tech-driven music environment.

Your music isn't ready until it's been mastered

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