This has been a bizarre, surreal week. It’s hard to process the fact that less than two weeks ago, I had a full, robust gig schedule. I had music to learn, commitments to meet, and mad paychecks rolling in. Fast forward to today – locked down, homeschooling, no gigs, no paychecks, no toilet paper. And, I know you’re all right there with me. My heart is with you, and I pray you’re not suffering or losing hope. Let me tell you, though, I’m surprisingly calm about everything going on. I have a peace and knowing inside of me that just says, “everything’s gonna be OK.” It tells me not to resist but to accept the reality of right now. Accept what I have absolutely no control over and instead, create something new. My whole career has been involuntarily put on hiatus. I should be freaking out, but I’m not. I’m not scared. There is this thing inside me that knows there are other things, other possibilities. Singers can make money online!
There is something that concerns me, though. I’m sensing for some of my family, friends, colleagues, and singers in my studio that they are shutting down. They’re feeling damaged and defeated. The most consistent response I’ve received this week to my outreach is, “you know what we’re just going to kind of wait and hold off on anything until all of this, you know, improves. Let’s not do anything let’s just hunker down.” No judgment whatsoever. I get it, and it’s ok to feel, however, you feel right now. This is a scary, uncertain time. It’s hard to be optimistic or to even want to face the new normal or the future. We want things to go back the way they were less than two weeks ago. You were on tour, in a production, had gigs on the calendar, in the middle of recording an album, scheduled to sing the National Anthem at the game – everything was cool. I feel you, babe. I want it back too. That’s the part we can’t control.
Where do we go from here?
So, how do we move forward and keep making progress in our careers? How do we get some money in the pipeline so we can keep the lights on and eat? Can we reframe this? Look at this as a Golden opportunity to focus on those other ideas you’ve had on the back burner. There are no other distractions around you. It’s the perfect time to focus on “that thing” entirely. A month ago, you said, “oh, if only I had the time to work on this now.” The only difference is now, you must make a move instead of a pleasant daydream.
When I’m lost and confused or when I hit a dark patch, I tell myself, “just do the next right thing.” Don’t look too far ahead on this and jump in to overwhelm. It’s daunting to even consider getting committed to something in a time of such uncertainty. So, don’t. Just do the next right thing. Anna, from Frozen II, will back me up on this as well.
I’ve had A LOT of ideas and goals and ambitions, but until now, they’ve just been ideas on paper. I’ve had a perfectly legit excuse not to get too bold with anything because my performing career has always been my number one. I’ve been able to avoid actually making any of this a reality, and now I have no choice. I mean, I’m gonna be broke if I don’t do something about this real soon. If you’re in a similar situation where plan A is not available to you anymore, let’s get brave and save ourselves. As performing singers and working singers, we’ve got moxie in our blood. We can do hard things.
So, let’s get out of crisis mode, shall we? We can salvage our finances and come up with other opportunities to make money as singers. If you’re anything like me, there’s a lot of things you’ve considered dipping in to. Now’s the time. We can adjust our budgets and find non-essential expenditures to cut. Let’s get going now before our bank accounts are overdrawn – if they’re not already. Here are some solid ways that singers can start making money online now.
16 ways singers can make money online:
Repost previously released songs.
Have you released albums or singles in the past? Well, now would be a lovely time to offer them back up on your social media. Ask your followers to consider supporting your work by purchasing.
There’s a world of opportunity online just waiting to be created. Keep your eyes and ears open and take notice of projects that friends and colleagues are involved in online. Something may come to mind that you would have to offer their project. Maybe you have a friend editing a movie project. Perhaps you could provide the soundtrack for it. If you someone writing a book and you could potentially offer voiceover work too create their audiobook version. The possibilities are endless. You just need to be in the right frame of mind, and that’s an open mind. Don’t be afraid to suggest your services anywhere you might think they would serve best.
Do you offer voice lessons or perhaps some instrumental lessons? Online lessons are absolutely common practice nowadays, and it’s straightforward. Here are several platforms that work excellently, such as Voicelessons.com, Zoom, and Skype. You can quickly market your services on social media and by word of mouth. Let your fellow singers and musicians know that you are offering online lessons.
Do online vocal session work.
Let the producers and songwriters in your life that you are available and eager to help them record their songs with your lovely vocals. You’ll need a proper microphone, an ideal recording environment like a soundproofed room or vocal booth at home, a computer, and recording software such as Pro Tools. If recording your own vocals is not something you are already familiar with, get some experience in education with this before you offer these services to everyone. There is a lot involved here, and you want to be able to produce quality tracks. Sometimes the first impression you make with the client is the only impression. You don’t want to blow it right out of the gate because of technical issues more quality issues. There are a lot of resources you can use online to educate yourself. Or seek out the help and advice from an expert in this area.
Do online voiceover work.
Voice acting is a brilliant opportunity to explore for singers. Before charging for these types of services, make sure that you get some legitimate experience, training, and technical advice from an expert. Consider taking an online course to get started. There are excellent resources online, such as online courses and technical articles. There’s nothing better than the ability to work from anywhere on your schedule. Voice actors are often entrepreneurs – their voice is their business, and they treat it as such. When you’re your own boss, the sky’s the limit on how much you can make. You’ll need to set up a home studio to produce high-quality work for your clients. A soundproofed environment, proper microphone, mixer, headphones, recording programs/software include Adobe Audition, Audacity, Pro Tools, Sound Forge, and GarageBand.
Webinars are one of the best ways to earn cash quickly. You’re speaking to a highly engaged audience. You can charge for people to attend the webinar, and/or you can offer a product for purchase at some point during the webinar. Make a list of topics you feel like an expert or authority in. Or a thing that you’re well-versed in or uniquely qualified to teach about. For instance, “How to Grow Your Fanbase Online,” or “Songwriting for Beginners,” or “TikTok for Singers.” GoToWebinar is by far the biggest platform. Webinar Jam is one of the most feature-rich platforms out there.
Live stream performances.
YouTube Live, Facebook Live, Instagram Live, and many other platforms are an easy way to reach your audience in real-time. You’ll need a computer with a webcam or a smartphone. During your live performance, ask your online fans to support you by making a donation to your Venmo or PayPal account.
Create YouTube videos.
You can profit from making and uploading creative videos. You’ll receive a percentage of the advertising revenue collected per 1,000 views. Depending on how successful you are, you can make a lot of money. There are plenty of stories every week of more and more YouTubers, making it their career.
License your songs.
Choose the very best tracks from your catalog. You should own the rights to the tracks you’re submitting. Make sure you’re on the same page with your co-writers and ok to seek out licensing opportunities. Register your songs with a Performance Rights Organization (PRO). They’ll ensure that you get paid royalties when one of your tunes is performed on radio, TV, etc. Check out ASCAP or BMI. Now start researching music libraries and submit your music!
Partner with a cause.
This comes with an opportunity to give back. What’s your mission? Offer to do a live stream concert for them. Again, ask your audience to donate to your Venmo or PayPal account. Donate a portion of the proceeds.
Start your own website.
Starting a website with Bluehost takes less than 20 minutes, costs hardly anything, and is very easy. It only takes a bit of promoting on social media to get your first visitors, and there are plenty of ways to monetize your site. Write some killer blog posts and monetize with Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC) or sell ad space. Create and email list on your site because they are incredibly useful when marketing your products and services to potential customers. Here are some other ideas to make money on your website. Offer premium content for a fee, offer private forums or coaching, create a membership site, feature a ‘Hire Me’ page, and ask for donations. If you are just starting out or don’t quite feel comfortable selling products or information to your readers, you can request donations instead.
Create a Patreon.com account.
Patreon allows fans an opportunity to support your ongoing creative career by pledging small amounts per month, or per creation, in exchange for fun rewards. Most game-changing of all, artists can build a steady, fan-funded income stream with monthly payouts.
Write and publish an eBook.
With the Amazon Kindle store, anyone can publish an eBook and make money. The key to success with eBooks is to create value and write non-fiction. Bundle information you have researched on a common problem (e.g., ‘secrets’ to booking gigs). Presenting it in an easy to digest format (an eBook) justifies someone spending a few bucks on it.
Be an affiliate partner.
Now that you have your own website up and running (see number 11), you can sign on with other companies as an affiliate partner. If you’ve already got a healthy fan base and presence on social media, you can start bringing in money immediately. Promoting all sorts of companies, products, services, and offers online.
Get gigs on Fiverr.
No matter what type of service you offer, you can likely offer it Fivver. Fiverr is now the world’s largest marketplace for people to make money selling small services. What you offer could be absolutely anything, from recording vocals, teaching to create music, and voiceovers.
Create an online course.
Udemy allows anyone to create an online course (on literally anything!) and get paid forever after as users take it up. The topic possibilities are endless, and you’ll want to think about what you are highly knowledgeable about. Here are some ideas to get the juices flowing – “How to Plan a European Tour,” “How to Market Your Next Album on Pinterest,” or “How to Write Lead Sheets for your Band.”
22 ways to make fast cash, like, right now! (without leaving your house)
Ask for help.
Asking your friends and family for money can be a sketchy proposition. Here are some best practices to make sure that it won’t ruin your relationship. Create a transparent and fair repayment plan upfront. Insist on paying interest at a rate of at least what your friend or family member would earn if he or she put the money in a high yield savings account. Put it in writing and stick to it. Create a schedule for tracking payments on the loan and share it with your friend or family member.
If that doesn’t freak you out enough, there are so many weird ways to make money online.
Become a market research participant.
It’s relatively quick money for not a lot of work. Companies looking for consumers’ opinions on a variety of products and services put you in a room to garner your opinion. This often involves writing or stating your opinion, answering polls or surveys, or breaking off in a discussion group. Fill out online surveys. Research companies are always recruiting new members worldwide to answer surveys and test new products. Similar to making money from online surveys, ‘Get Paid To’ sites reward you in cash and vouchers for completing various offers or activities online. Here’s a bunch for you. UserTesting.com, Focusgroup.com, Toluna, LifePoints, Onepoll, Branded Surveys, i-Say, Opinion Outpost, YouGov, Pinecone, SurveyBods, Hiving, Prolific, Valued Opinions, Survey Junkie, Swagbucks.
Get Paid for searching the web.
Earn cash for doing what you already do online. This has to be one of the most natural methods of making money online without really any effort or change in your behavior. Companies like Qmee reward you for searching on Google, Bing, or Yahoo. You just install a simple add-on to your browser, and when you conduct a search, there may be a few sponsored results alongside your regular search.
Recycle mobile phones.
You can earn good money and help the environment by recycling your old mobile phones and other unused devices. Maybe ask friends or family members if they have any lying around. Check out Gazelle.
Do micro gig work.
The Clickworker.com concept is based on ‘internet crowd-sourcing’ where businesses advertise specific, scalable tasks they need completing quickly. Mechanical Turk is another platform by Amazon that allows you to do small jobs and get paid for it.
Do your taxes.
If you’re eligible for a refund, nothing should stop you from filing right now.
Earn cash back by shopping online.
If you look at it differently, then you are making money with every purchase you would have made anyway, whether it be 10% or 0.5% cashback. There are several cashback sites out there that pay you the commission they otherwise would have earned. Check out Top Cashback, and Swagbucks.
Do some online freelance work.
Get your side-hustle on by making a list of your skills. Perhaps you enjoy writing, managing Facebook pages, or doing a little bit of graphic design in your spare time. There are so many freelance jobs out there that require simple skills or just time that someone else might not have. I recommend Upwork.com.
Review music for money.
You already love music. Continue to make it your business by reviewing unsigned bands and artists online at Slicethepie for cash.
Win money by entering competitions.
This comes with no guarantees, but there is a thriving community of so-called ‘compers.’ The types of competitions available vary from simple registration forms and Facebook page liking to answering questions correctly over the phone.
Buy and sell domain names.
A domain name is just a website address (e.g. ‘savethesinger.org’ or ‘singformysupper.co’) and there are lots of extensions (.com, .net, .co., etc). They cost as little as $0.99 to register with GoDaddy.com, yet premium domain names can fetch $1,000s if not millions when sold on. You can still turn a quick profit with a bit of searching. The trick is to find available domain names that have some commercial value, snap them up, and then list them for sale. Find more at Sedo.com.
Sell all your old books, CDs, games, and movies.
They’re just cluttering up your space anyway. You can sell almost anything for free on Amazon Marketplace, and they’ll pay you instantly for sending in unwanted items.
Become an online tutor.
In addition to being a great singer, maybe you’ve got mad math skills. Parents are always willing to invest in their children’s future. Especially now that nearly all parents in the U.S. have been thrust into homeschooling overnight. If you have a great deal of knowledge in subjects such as math, science or computers, you could tutor for cash. You could opt for either of these platforms or simply find your clients through your personal network or social media. You can also post your skills at Indeed.com and Care.com.
Sell your photos.
Have an eye for photography? Of course, you need to be good at this to earn any money. Still, if you are, you can sell photos on ShutterStock or iStockPhoto (along with many others) to generate a passive income from something you might be very passionate about. If you think you’ve got a good shot and a little creativity, try uploading your photographs for free to stock websites. A good starting point is Adobe Stock or Getty Images.
Rent out your car parking space.
If you aren’t using your parking space and you live in a busy area, then you might be in luck. There are plenty of people that may work in the city or beach areas and are fed up with paying through the roof for daily parking.
Work as a charity collector
Ok, so this job takes a certain kind of person, as you’ll have to take a lot of rejection and be persistent. But if you are bubbly, personable, then this could actually be right for you. You get paid commission on new sign-ups. Try out Fund Raiding Crossing.
Sell gently used clothes music gear, and tech items online.
Online auctions are a sure-fire way to turn those retired performance dresses into hard cash. The market for used electronics is vast. You can use Craigslist to part ways with your old iPhone or your MacBook. You can grab a premium for these types of electronics. Guitar Center will pay you for used gear and also check out Craigslist, eBay, Poshmark, OfferUp, Facebook Marketplace.
Sell on CafePress or Etsy.
If you can design digital items, you can sell them for a share of the profits on a site like CafePress. You can do this with nothing more than some design software. They can include custom logos, inspirational sayings, and other topical or trending designs appealing to the masses. Similarly, you could sell items on Etsy as well. Get crafty.
Rent a spare room on Airbnb.
Airbnb can be a terrific platform for renting out a spare room. You can make some good money, especially if you live in a tourist destination. If you don’t mind the neighbors, then this is definitely an option. You can crash with friends and family and rent out your entire house if you’re really desperate.
Open a cash-bonus checking account.
Check with your local bank to see if they’re giving away cash bonuses for opening up accounts. Banks run promotions like this all the time, so grab some real cash quickly if you’re in need. It won’t break the bank (no pun intended), but it will give you a quick $50 or $100 — maybe even more — when you really need it. You might need to deposit a minimum amount of cash (usually in the thousands) to qualify for these types of accounts (but not always).
Get a small microloan.
You can get a small business loan on Fundera, or Prosper if you’re looking for a small amount. Depending on your credit, your financial and employment situations, you can secure up to a few thousand dollars like this. There are loads of platforms that offer these small microloans. You have to pay them back, but it can help if you’re in a bind.
“Action is the antidote to despair.” ―Joan Baez
Truth is your skills are highly valued and needed, even off-stage. Gigging is just one facet of your career. Your calendar will book up again. Until then, you can wait in the wings indefinitely until conditions improve, or we can live, grow, and create success right now. Start by taking that one next right step. One thing will lead to another and lead to another. Take these ideas and try them or share them and add to them. You’re not alone. We’re in this together. Reach out (virtually) and stay close to our community. I’m happy to support you until your back in the spotlight again.
Disclaimer: All content on this website is based on individual experience and research. It does not constitute financial advice. Danielle Tucker is not liable for how tips are used, nor for content and services on external websites. Common sense should never be neglected!