Make money singing: 15 ways to sing for your supper
Want to take your singing skills further than your shower or karaoke night? If you have a talent for singing and are confident and passionate, why not try and get paid to sing?
There are lots of different ways you could make money singing and it can be a creative and fun way to earn a bit extra on the side, or even turn it into a career.
Whether you’re a solo act or part of a band, there are plenty of ways to get paid to sing, whether you’re looking to build a career as a professional singer or recording artist, or simply looking to make some extra money doing something you love.
Here are some things to consider when you’re considering how to make money singing:
- Developing your talent: the first step towards making money as a singer is to develop your talent. This involves consistent practice and training to improve your vocals and perfect your craft. It’s also important to find your own unique style and build a personal brand, as this can help you stand out in a crowded industry. Whether you’re interested in a specific genre or want to experiment with different sounds, it’s important to be true to yourself as an artist.
- Performing and networking: One of the most obvious ways to make money as a singer is by performing live shows. This can involve singing at local bars or events, or even auditioning for singing competitions. Networking is also a crucial part of the music industry, and building relationships with industry professionals can open up potential opportunities for gigs and tours.
- Utilizing social media and online platforms: In this digital age, it’s easier than ever to promote yourself and your own music online. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok can be used to connect with fans and share your music, and streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music allow you to reach a wider audience. You can also monetize your online presence by running ads, selling merchandise, and launching crowdfunding campaigns.
- Pursuing traditional music industry avenues: If you’re serious about making a career out of singing, you may want to consider traditional industry avenues like auditioning for singing competitions or signing with a record label. Working with a manager or booking agent can also help you secure gigs and tours, as they have connections with music producers and resources that can be helpful in getting your name out there.
- Diversifying your income streams:
- While performing and recording music are certainly important sources of income for professional singers, it’s also a good idea to diversify your revenue streams. This can include collaborating with other artists or producers for songwriting and featured vocal work, or branching out into voice acting or commercial work. By having multiple sources of income, you can reduce your financial risk and have a more stable career.
How do singers make money?
When you think about how singers make money, it’s automatic for your mind to jump straight to famous singers. Popular recording artists make money through album sales and music streaming royalties: Singers can earn money from the sales of their albums and from royalties generated by streams of their music on platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music. They also make money by performing live at concerts, festivals, and other events.
Don’t be discouraged if you’re just starting out – there are plenty of talented singers who make money without being Taylor Swift or Justin Bieber! Here are some ways you can get started making money singing.
15 great ways to make money singing
Here are some ideas, websites and platforms that can help you make money from singing:
Busking is an age old tradition for musicians and performers across the globe, and a great way to practice your performing skills.
You’ll need to check whether you need a license or permission to busk where you want, as some areas have different rules on what is and isn’t allowed.
Busking means you get to perform and hopefully make some money while doing so and gives you a chance to get noticed. In fact, some seriously successful artists started out as buskers! Did you know Ed Sheeran used to sleep on the streets and gig there too?
Use YouTube and TikTok
Youtube and TikTok are great platforms for putting yourself out there as a singer. It’s free to create a YouTube channel or TikTok account and simple to set up. There is a massive audience already there and once you start building a following you can make money from your videos as well as growing your account and reaching more people. Other opportunities may also arise from people seeing you on those channels.
You hear them all the time – those radio and tv commercial jingles that get stuck in your head. Someone’s getting paid to sing them, why not you? You’ll need versatile singing skills to have the most success at landing jingles. You’ll also want to create a demo to showcase your voice. Networking is another crucial part to landing jingle gigs, so you’ll want to make sure you have profiles set up on sites like:
Selling Acapellas on Voclio
Here’s another option you many not have heard of. Voclio a marketplace for singers to sell their vocal tracks, acapellas, and toplines to producers all over the world. It’s a new way to make money as a singer and a great opportunity to get your vocals out there and heard by more people.
You can sell your own tracks as long as you own the rights to them, or even create new acapellas just for selling. Plus, Voclio offers a collection of instrumentals for members to use, making it easy to write and record new acapellas.
You can choose to sell your vocals exclusively, meaning only one person can use them, or non-exclusively, which allows multiple people to buy the same vocal. Selling non-exclusively can create recurring revenue for you as a singer.
So, not only you can make money from one-time sales but also build a consistent stream of income over time. It’s a great way to kickstart your career or supplement your income as a singer.
Be a singing telegram
A singing telegram is a service where a performer gets paid to delivers a personalized message or song to a recipient, often as a surprise on a special occasion such as a bithday or hen party. The performer may dress in a themed costume, such as a balloon delivery person or a character, and perform the message or song in a fun and entertaining manner.
If you’re super outgoing, working delivering sung telegrams could be a fun way to make extra money singing.
One of the best ways for musicians and singers to gain both experience and exposure is by performing live in local venues. Pubs often have live music or open mic nights where you can showcase your talents. Although these are often unpaid, sometimes they could lead you regular gigs where you’re either paid by the venue or perform for tips.
Hotels and restaurants are other places you could find paid work as a singer, especially if you also play an instrument. Having live entertainment is often a draw and a bonus for places like these.
Get paid to sing in a choir
If you love to sing and can sing well as part of an ensemble, you could make money singing in choirs. This often involves joining groups for different performances, which you’ll need to learn the material for before meeting up for the rehearsals. To find work like this it’s worth joining the AGMA American Guild of Musical Artists as it can give you access to more auditions.
Sing in a church choir
Did you know that some churches pay people to sing in their choirs?! In some cases, you don’t even need to be religious, but it probably helps. You’ll need skills in reading music and being able to harmonise and sing well in an ensemble.
Sing at live events
Nothing beats the thrill of live performances in front of an audience! If you’re a singer, you can use your skills to make some extra cash by singing at weddings, private parties, or corporate events. You can find live gigs by reaching out to event planners, checking out local venues, or showcasing your talents on social media. Just make sure to be punctual, professional, and ready to put on a killer show! And don’t forget to charge a fair rate for your services – your time and talent are valuable, after all.
Get paid to sing on cruise ships
Cruise ships offer a unique opportunity for singers to perform and travel the world. To become a cruise ship entertainer, you’ll need to have a polished performance and a versatile repertoire that can appeal to a diverse audience. You can search for job openings on cruise ship websites or through entertainment agencies. It’s also a good idea to have a professional resume and headshot, and to be prepared to audition in person or via video. As a cruise ship entertainer, you’ll typically be required to perform several shows per week and may also participate in other activities, such as hosting trivia games or leading activities for passengers.
Okay, so it’s not quite singing, but it could sometimes be involved. Voice-over work is a type of acting where you provide the voice for commercials, video games, animations, or audiobooks, among other things. To get started in voice-over work, consider taking acting classes or workshops, creating a demo reel, and reaching out to voice-over agents or casting directors. When auditioning for voice-over work, it’s important to be able to convey emotions and convey the message effectively, as well as having a clear, versatile, and engaging voice.
Teach singing lessons
If you have a passion for singing and a talent for teaching, you can earn money by teaching singing lessons. You can offer private lessons in your home or at a local music school, or you can teach group classes at community centers, schools, or music academies. To get started, you’ll need to have a solid understanding of singing techniques, vocal health, and music theory. You can also consider obtaining a teaching certification or degree in music to increase your credibility as a singing teacher.
When teaching singing lessons, it’s important to create a supportive and encouraging learning environment for your students. The amount you can earn as a singing teacher will depend on factors such as your experience, location, and reputation.
Backing singer or session vocalist
Another way to get paid to sing is by working as a backing singer or session singer. A backing singer (or backup singer) provides vocal support for a lead singer, while a session vocalist is hired to record vocals for a song, commercial, or other recording project. To become a backing singer or session vocalist, you’ll need to have strong vocal skills, be able to blend well with other singers, and be able to perform in a variety of musical styles.
To get started as a backing singer or session vocalist, you can network with musicians and producers, create a demo reel, and reach out to music agents or recording studios. When auditioning for these types of opportunities, it’s important to be well-prepared, professional, and to bring your best performance. The amount you’ll earn as a backing singer or session vocalist will depend on factors such as the budget of the project, the length of the recording session, and your level of experience.
In addition to performing and recording, you may also need to be able to work well under pressure, have good interpersonal skills, and be able to follow direction. Session work can be demanding, but it’s also rewarding, and you’ll have the opportunity to collaborate with other talented musicians and to contribute to the creation of music.
Join a band
Joining a band or ensemble can be a great way to get paid to sing. You’ll have the opportunity to perform with other musicians and to showcase your singing skills in front of audiences. To find band opportunities, you can network with other musicians, check out local music venues, or search for open calls or auditions online. You might find local bands advertising for singers. When auditioning for a band, it’s important to be well-prepared, professional, and to bring your best performance.
Once you join a band, you’ll need to work well with the other members, be able to rehearse and perform effectively, and have a good understanding of the music you’re playing, whether that’s your own original music or covers. You may also be responsible for promoting the band, booking gigs, and managing finances. The amount you’ll earn as a band member will depend on factors such as the band’s popularity, the size of the venue, and the type of performance. Some bands pay a flat fee for each gig, while others split the earnings from ticket sales or merchandise sales. When performing with a band, it’s important to be adaptable and able to handle the demands of touring and traveling, if that is part of the band’s schedule.
Participate in music competitions
Participating in music competitions is a great way to get your singing skills noticed and to win money. Music competitions like “American Idol” or “The Voice” are popular television shows that provide a platform for singers to showcase their talents in front of a large audience. By participating in these competitions, you can gain exposure and connect with industry professionals who can help you further your singing career.
To participate in a music competition, you’ll typically need to audition and be selected to compete. Auditions can be highly competitive, and you’ll need to bring your best performance and stand out from the other contestants. Once you’ve been selected to compete, you’ll typically perform in front of a live audience and a panel of judges. The judges will score your performances and provide feedback on your singing skills, stage presence, and overall performance.
The prizes for winning a singing competition can be substantial, ranging from record deals, cash prizes, recording contracts, and opportunities to perform on major stages. Additionally, even if you don’t win, participating in a music competition can help you build your confidence, improve your performance skills, and increase your exposure to new audiences.
Keep in mind that participating in music competitions can be a challenging and high-pressure experience, and it’s important to be well-prepared, confident, and professional. However, for those who are willing to put in the time and effort, participating in music competitions can be a great opportunity to advance your singing career and to get paid to sing. Some of the biggest artists today, such as Harry Styles, started their music career in singing competitions!
SoundCloud is a popular online platform that allows musicians to share their work and connect with fans. By uploading your singing performances to SoundCloud, you can build a following and potentially get paid for your singing.
Many successful musicians, including Post Malone and Lizzo, have used SoundCloud to gain exposure and grow their careers. With SoundCloud, you can upload your original songs, covers, and live performances for others to listen to and share. You can also use SoundCloud to collaborate with other musicians, share your work with music industry professionals, and connect with fans.
SoundCloud has several features that allow musicians to earn money from their work, including SoundCloud Premier, which pays artists for their streams, and SoundCloud Pro Unlimited, which provides more advanced tools for uploading and promoting your work. Additionally, you can also monetize your SoundCloud page by offering merchandise, selling music downloads, and using other revenue streams.
By using SoundCloud, you can showcase your singing skills, build a following, and potentially get paid for your singing. However, it’s important to remember that success on SoundCloud requires a lot of hard work, consistency, and dedication. You’ll need to promote your work, engage with your audience, and continually improve your singing skills in order to build a successful career on the platform.
Top tips for making money singing
- Know your strengths: To make money singing, you need to know what sets you apart from other singers and what kind of music you’re best at singing. Whether it’s classical, pop, or jazz, it’s important to focus on your strengths and showcase your unique style and talents.
- Build a portfolio: To get paid to sing, you need to have a portfolio of your work that you can share with others. This can include recordings of your performances, videos of live performances, and samples of your original music. Make sure your portfolio accurately represents your singing skills and showcases your best work.
- Network, network, network: Building a network of contacts in the music industry is crucial if you want to make money singing. Attend music events, connect with other musicians, and reach out to music agents and industry professionals. You never know who might be interested in your singing skills and could help you get paid gigs.
- Be professional: When you’re getting paid to sing, professionalism is key. Be reliable, show up on time for gigs, and be prepared to deliver a great performance every time. Making a good impression and building a reputation as a professional singer is essential for securing more paid opportunities.
- Practice, practice, practice: The more you sing, the better you’ll get. Set aside time each day to practice your singing and work on improving your skills. This will help you build confidence and make you a more marketable singer.
- Be open to opportunities: Making money singing requires a willingness to take on different types of singing jobs, from performing at local bars to recording for commercials. Be open to new opportunities, and always be ready to step outside of your comfort zone and try new things.
- Have a positive attitude: Making money singing can be challenging, and there will be times when you face rejection. But with a positive attitude, persistence, and hard work, you’ll be able to overcome these obstacles and make a living singing.