6 Ways to Make Money with Singing – No more starving!
My mom was a recording artist during the 60s. She made some money in the post-war era when economy in Taiwan was booming.
Ironically, she warned me not to become a singer, because she knew how hard it is for singers to make a living.
Of course, I didn't listen to her and became a professional singer for more than 15 years now. I have to say that my mom was right. It's really tough to make a living with singing.
It takes passion and courage for someone to choose singing as a career path. If that's you, I salute you!
Before I share with you the 6 ways to make money with singing, let me first share with you what life looks like as a professional singer.
Life as a singer...It's not what you think!
If your family is wealthy or you have a contract with big record companies, this post is not for you. I'm writing to ordinary people with nothing but a dream to become a professional singer.
If you have a dream to make it big as a singer, I admire your courage to chase after your dream, but the odds are against you.
Let's imagine that you don't make it big, which is the case for most of us, then what does life look like as a singer.
1. Not many people will pay to listen to you.
The thing about singing is that it is not really a necessity for people's lives. I mean, people will die without food and shelter, but they won't die without music.
Therefore, it is very hard for people to pay you for listening to you sing. The demands for singing performances are not that high.
As a result, you need to be looking really hard for singing jobs. And if you're lucky to find one, it probably won't be long term and the pay won't be that great.
In short, you might find yourself pinching pennies for years. It's worse if you have a family to support, and you have to see your loved ones suffer because your job doesn't pay much.
2. The risk of depression and low self-esteem
Have you ever heard that if you follow your passion, the money will come? Well, I know from experience that's not always true.
If you're passion is in medical practice or electrical engineering, following your passion works, but if your passion lies in art and music, you're in it for a big challenge.
I have struggled with depression and low self-esteem being a great singer with a mediocre career. The truth is - you can be the best singer in town and nobody cares.
3. Your passion might turn into hatred.
Cal Newport said that following your passion is dangerous advice. Following my passion for singing for 25 years, I find myself agreeing to this view more and more.
There was a time when my wife had to leave our baby home for work, I hated myself and my passion for not providing enough for them to be together.
When I had to drive my family around in our 16-year-old car, I hated myself for my career choice.
Please understand that I'm not saying this to depress you. I just need to let you know what you're up against by looking at this in a very pragmatic way.
Fortunately, I have found a solution for us to generate enough income and while we enjoy our passion for singing.
How to Make Money with Singing
Before I share with you the best solution I've found, let's go over all the different ways that's possible for singers to make a living.
1. Get signed with a record company.
This is the dream for almost every singer - to get signed with a record company and release our own album. Hopefully, it will be a big hit and we will become stars.
Again, the odds are really against you.
Even if you get signed, it doesn't mean they will release an album for you. Even if you released your album, it doesn't mean it's going to be a hit. Even if it's a hit, it doesn't mean you will continue to sustain your popularity in the market...
Realistically speaking, 99% of singers are not going to be stars.
2. Start your own band and look for gigs.
Now this is more practical and doable. You can put together a band and sing at weddings, parties, bars, or music clubs to make a living.
You can easily place ads on Facebook and Google to look for your local clients.
The problem is - that might not be the kind of singers you want to be, if singing is where your passion lies.
You won't be an artist, but more of an entertainer for your audience. For me personally, that's unacceptable.
3. Audition for musical shows.
I still remember back in college, I auditioned for a professional local musical production. I was 21 years old, and I was competing against 30 to 50 year-old singers.
I remember thinking at the time, "Is that what I want to be like when I'm 40 years old?"
The funny thing is - the director said at the audition, "Your pay is 200 buck a week, and for the next 3 months, your ass is mine!"
I was so turned off that I purposely bombed my audition and never went back.
4. Join a professional singing group.
Professional singing groups like King's Singers, Chanticleer, or a touring rock band are very rare. Although they could provide you with a steady salary, you will be living a life on the road away from your family.
My former voice teacher Matt started teaching at my university because he got so sick of travelling as an opera singer.
5. Teach singing.
This is the career path many singers have chosen when they know that they cannot make a living just by singing and performing.
The challenge that comes with this business model is finding students, who are really your clients.
You are in this awkward position of challenging students for their progress and pleasing clients so they will stay with you.
Moreover, what most people do not know is that teaching singing is a totally different skill to master on its own. That's why there are so many unqualified voice teachers in the singing community.
In my opinion, the best voice teacher training you can get that covers the technical skills of teaching singing and business training for running a vocal studio is John Henny's Contemporary Voice Teacher Academy.
Click HERE if you are interested in learning more about John's awesome voice teacher training.
6. Do Affiliate Marketing for the singing niche.
I want to introduce to you Affiliate Marketing for singers. I believe this business model is what singers can follow in order to generate decent income and enjoy their passion of singing at the same time.
My first voice teacher advised me back then- find a business model to support your singing. In other words, don't try to make a living with singing. For most of us, we can't.
What's great about Affiliate Marketing is that you can build a business with just your laptop and internet connection. The best thing is you can choose to serve the singing niche by sharing what you feel most passionately about - Singing, and generate income from it!
Why I Recommend Affiliate Marketing for Struggling Singers
I resent the fact that we are at the mercy of conductors who often take advantage of singers (cough, cough..), sponsors who are music idiots, and producers who sell out the art we love dearly.
Imagine having a passive income stream that support your love of singing, so that you can choose to sing wherever and whenever you get a chance to without the control of idiots and retards.
Imagine living a life truly enjoying the art of singing everyday without having to worry about money.
When you build your own Affiliate Marketing business online, you can still sing and perform when you get a chance to. The biggest difference is you're in it for the love of singing, not for the money.
It's a more dignified and enjoyable way to be a singer. You won't be desperate with every little singing gig, auditions, singing students, and the amount of pay you get.
You only have to learn the basic skills of how to run Affiliate Marketing as a singer, get good at it, and share what you know about singing and the affiliate products that will help your audience learn more about this art.
The Best Way to Start Affiliate Marketing
I knew nothing about business and making money before, nor was I interested...until I was on the brink of starving my family!!!
Fortunately, I discovered the wonderful business model of Affiliate Marketing through a platform called Wealthy Affiliate.
The name sounds like another get rick quick scheme, but I guarantee you, it's NOT! There's a lot of hard work involved in this business. The only difference is it is the kind of the hard work pays off.
I am forever grateful for Wealthy Affiliate because it is the best training platform for beginners of Affiliate Marketing.
Not only is it a training platform for Affiliate Marketer, it is also a hosting platform and SAAS(Software as a Service) company for the websites you are building.
You get all the quality training and technical support you need at a very, very affordable price as low as $19 per month. Compare that to opening a brick-and-mortar store!
My Conclusion and Advice to You
In this digital age, starting an online business could not be easier and most-affordable. You don't have to risk being broke to start an online business.
In my opinion, the best place to start an online Affiliate Marketing business is Wealthy Affiliate, especially if you're a beginner.
The community is extremely positive and supportive through private messaging and 24-hour live chat. The most awesome thing is the co-founder Kyle is actively involved in the WA community ready to help and answer your questions.
If you are a singer or want to be an artist for life, you should consider this business path. You can do this while doing your music and earning a decent living, through hard work, dedication, and focus.
Click the button below to learn more about Wealthy Affiliate.