Last Updated on Apr 17, 2020 by James W

The past couple years have seen a dramatic increase in people pursuing their dreams in a side hustle while holding a fulltime job to pay the bills. Writers, artists, and even musicians have been able to make money doing what they love while living comfortably.

For musicians, the dream of becoming a rockstar may have passed, but songwriting and performing still ignite their passion. Here are a few ways you can make extra money with music in 2018.

Work the Social Media Platforms

Lots of famous performers have been discovered on YouTube. However, it’s not enough to just have a YouTube channel anymore: you need to work the various social media platforms. Instagram has become a focal point for artists and influencers.

By growing your Instagram following and increasing your audience, you have a foundation on which to reach out to become an influencer and showcase your music to a broader fan base. With the proper use of hashtags and strategic branding, you can start to be heard around the world. Paid sponsorships and track sales stem from this process.


Believe it or not, aspiring musicians have the potential to make money on Spotify. Your song will have to be played over one hundred times to earn a dollar, but with talent and high-quality recording and production work, it’s not unreasonable to expect to have your song heard thousands of times over the course of a few months. One DIY artist earned over $56,000 in a year after his song was picked up by one of Spotify’s playlists.

Registering with Spotify with a solid business plan and working the various social media platforms will ultimately increase your exposure as an artist. Even if you only earn a hundred dollars in your first few months, it’s more than you started with and you’re pursuing your passion.

Teach Your Trade

Nothing feels better than sharing your passion with fellow music-lovers who want to learn some skills. Offer music classes or community jam sessions, inviting fellow musicians to connect and network. Offer your services to the youth who have interest in the arts. In addition to regular class offerings, use your creative brain to develop special, coffee house events. Partner with a local performance center or pub and coach musicians to their first performance. To bolster your success, consider offering the proceeds to a local charity that is relevant to your goals.

Rather than a traditional business plan, look into developing a non-profit that teaches music to children as a form of artistic development and to combat issues with troubled youth. Be sure to document your journey online, as it only takes one viral post to elevate your status overnight.

Freelance Songwriting

If performance isn’t your forte, consider peddling your songwriting services. As with writers pursuing a side hustle, countless sites are looking for affordable songwriters to help them develop their music career. Ensure that you have a contract in place that offers royalties. The more songs you write, the better your royalty income will be.

Look beyond your usual genre of music to get started. Consider writing quick jingles and stock music on sites like Fiverr. Take a few lower paying jobs to help build a portfolio that will assist in landing higher paid gigs. Your experience over time will be beneficial if you decide to circle back and teach courses on making money as a songwriter!

Time Management and Planning are Crucial

As with any business, whether a side hustle or full-time endeavor, strategic business planning and time management are crucial for success. You may try and find that the time you are willing or able to invest isn’t worth your return on investment. Side hustles and freelance endeavors aren’t always the right option for someone who needs money immediately. If you can’t sell music for money, look into to get you through in the meantime.

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