top of page


15 best ways to make money as a singer

make money as a singer

As a singer, mastering your musical craft is just one part of the journey towards success, another crucial aspect is learning how to monetize your talent. In an industry that's as dynamic as it is competitive, diversifying your income streams can make all the difference. For singers looking to make money from their talent, considering various income sources isn't just a smart move it's a necessity. This guide will explore actionable ways to turn your passion for singing into a profitable endeavor and potentially help you understand how to start a business, too.

15 ways to make money as a singer

Earning money as a singer requires creativity and a willingness to explore different avenues. Here are 15 profitable ideas for singers to generate income from their talents.

01. Perform live gigs

Considered a traditional and popular way for singers to make money, live performances at venues like bars, clubs, weddings or corporate events, are often considered to be important bread-and-butter income opportunities for singers. The gigs can vary in terms of the pay and exposure each one affords but they are for most singers their main way of earning money. They can also be an effective way to build a fanbase and network for the next singing gig.

Examples of singing gigs for those looking to get started with their singing career:

  • Corporate events, including holiday parties or product launches

  • Private and personal celebrations, from birthday parties to Bar Mitzvahs

  • Weddings

  • Public events, including music festivals, or municipality events

02. Teach vocal lessons

Many singers turn to offering private lessons, either for children or beginner learners as well as coaching other singers, for another source of income. Lessons can take place in-person, at schools or online (making this a way to make money from home) and can cater to students of all levels. Teaching vocal lessons is generally considered to be a consistent and reliable way for singers to make money, as long as you nurture your students and build a long-term relationship with them.

Learn more:

03. Session work

Working as a session musician for recordings can provide a steady way to make money as a singer. Singers are often needed for backing vocals and jingles or to provide vocals for other artists' projects, whether that be recording sessions or even live gigs. This can be a great way to make consistent money while building up singing experience and networking. Some singers choose to make the session work their entire career and make a decent living doing so. For others, it's a springboard to a solo, more high-profile professional singing career.

Two members of the band Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Page (founder) and John Paul George were leading session musicians in England before joining the band and going on to huge fame and success. Other famous singers, including Elton John, are believed to have done some session work before hitting the big time.

04. Create an online singing course

Developing and selling an online course teaching singing techniques or music theory is one way to make money as a singer that can turn into a passive income source once the course material is created. You create the course once, then sell it forever, with potential updates along the way to make sure the material is fresh and relevant. Courses can be marketed and sold online (as a great way to make money online), for which you’ll need to begin making a website or consider building an eCommerce website.

05. Music streaming royalties

If you release your music on streaming platforms like Spotify or Apple Music you can earn royalties for any sales or plays of it they make. While individual streams pay little, they can accumulate over time, especially with a popular song. If you’re making and recording music anyway, it’s easy enough to upload it to a streaming platform for royalty collection. How much you make as a singer this way however will depend on how popular your song proves to be and how effectively you can market and promote it.

06. YouTube Channel

Start a YouTube channel to showcase your singing talent, it is after all how Justin Bieber got discovered. You’ll need to create a content calendar and make sure you’re posting video content on a schedule in order to attract, retrain and engage followers. This can be a great way to gain exposure and have people hear your singing but it can also be used to make money as a singer through ads, sponsorships and fan donations.

Making money as a singer on YouTube is not easy and it can take time as well as the creation of a lot of content in order to see any income from it and even then it might not be consistent.

07. Crowdfunding

You can use platforms like Kickstarter or Patreon to fund music projects or receive ongoing support from fans in exchange for exclusive content. For example, you can launch a campaign, to have your fan base donate, in exchange for early access to a new song or music video. This can also help generate buzz around your music and encourage more subscribers.

Crowdfunding can also be used as a one-off way to help singers and artists make money and music, especially when launching their careers. Crowdfunding campaigns can be launched to raise money to make, record and produce music. Or to buy singing equipment and to provide for transportation to live gigs.

08. Merchandising

Once your singing career is launched you can make extra money by selling branded merchandise. Items popular to sell include t-shirts, hats or mugs. Merchandise can be sold at live gigs to supplement money earned from those, or through your online store.

Learn more:

If you’re just getting started and are not sure where to start, a print on demand business is a low investment, resource way to get into selling branded merchandise. You print stock, only when it’s ordered, which reduces the need for inventory and unsold stock.

09. Licensing music for TV and film

Licensing your music and singing to be used in film, television or commercials can be a lucrative way to make money as a singer. It can lead to a significant source of income and also provide great exposure depending on how well-seen the TV or film is. Music can also be licensed for ads and games or apps.

Some songs end up being so versatile that they’re used in multiple films or TV shows. In 1999 the song, ‘Thunderstruck’ by AC/DC was licensed for the record fee of US $500,000, to be used in the film, “Varsity Blues”. It then went on to be used in the following movies - “Deadpool 2”, “Thor: Ragnarok”, “Battleship”, “Iron Man 2”, “The Longest Yard”, “Daddy’s Home” and “Daddy’s Home 2.”

10. Voice-over work

Utilize your vocal skills for voice-over opportunities in advertisements, audiobooks or animation. This might sometimes involve singing work or speaking parts. If you manage to build up consistent voice-over work, it can be an effective way to make money as a singer, even if it doesn’t directly involve any singing.

It’s also not uncommon for well-known and popular singers to then go into voice-over work, especially for animated films. Fergie, formerly of the Black Eyed Peas, voiced Sally in “Peanuts” before her singing career took off. Once famous, Miley Cyrus was the voice of Penny in the animated film, “Bolt.’

11. Hosting workshops or masterclasses

As a singer, you can make money by running workshops or masterclasses on singing techniques, performance skills or career advice for aspiring singers.

These can then be streamed online or can be conducted in-person at music colleges, schools or through lifelong learning programs and adult learning courses. You can sell tickets to the events, or the programs will buy the workshop directly from you.

12.Writing and selling sheet music

As a singer to make money, you can choose to compose original music or arrange existing songs into sheet music, which can then be sold online. If you’re planning to sell online, you’ll need an eCommerce website, which can be built through an eCommerce website builder, like Wix.

13. Performing on cruise ships

Performing on cruise ships or in holiday resorts is growing in popularity for singers looking to make decent money and see the world. Contracts for these singing opportunities can range from short to long term, often include accommodation and food and can mean international travel too, making it an attractive option for some singers. There are several agencies that specialize in matching singers to cruise and resort gigs. Make sure to work at a reputable agency and where possible speak to singers currently hired with them.

14. Collaborations and sponsorships

An exciting way to make money as a singer is to collaborate with brands or other artists for sponsored content or endorsements. You can create content, featuring their brand and include links back to their products or services.

15. Music production services

Singers can offer a wide range of music-related services like songwriting, arranging or producing for other artists or for commercial use. This can be for marketing agencies, companies or individuals.

How to get started with making money as a singer

Embarking on a singing career that's both artistically fulfilling and financially rewarding requires a strategic approach. Here are the steps necessary to start a business as a singer.

Define your brand and services

Identify what makes you unique as a singer and what services you can offer. This could include live performances, studio work, teaching, or other creative services. Establishing a clear brand will help you stand out and attract the right audience.

Establish your legal structure and funding

Decide on the legal structure of your business, whether it's a sole proprietorship, an LLC, or another business entity. Set up a separate bank account for your business to manage earnings and expenses effectively.

Build a professional portfolio

Create a portfolio that showcases your talent and experience. Your portfolio website could include recordings, videos, testimonials and a list of past performances or projects.

Get started with your online portfolio.

Develop an online presence

In today's digital age, having an online presence is crucial. Create a website that includes your portfolio, services and contact information.

Use social media

Social media platforms are powerful tools for promotion and engagement. Share content regularly, interact with your audience and use these channels to announce new services or performances.


Build relationships with other musicians, industry professionals and potential clients. Networking can lead to collaborative projects, referrals and more performance opportunities.

Promote your singing business

Invest in marketing your services through various channels. This could include various marketing strategies such as online advertising, email marketing campaigns or traditional methods like flyers and business cards.

How to make money as a singer successfully

To establish a singing business that not only survives but thrives in the market, certain qualities are non-negotiable. These attributes can set the foundation for a sustainable and profitable career in music.

Consistent quality

A profitable singing business is built on the bedrock of consistent quality. This means delivering top-notch performances and recordings every time. Quality attracts audiences and clients and it's what keeps them coming back. A reputation for excellence can lead to more gigs, higher-paying jobs and referral business.


Versatility in style and skill allows singers to tap into various markets and demographics, expanding their potential client base. Being able to perform different genres or offer a range of services, such as singing lessons or voice-over work, can significantly increase earning opportunities.

Business acumen

Understanding the business side of music is key. This includes knowledge of marketing, branding, negotiation and financial management. A singer with sharp business acumen can make strategic decisions, such as where to invest in promotion or how to price services, which directly impact profitability.


The music industry is constantly evolving and so must a profitable singing business. Adaptability involves staying up-to-date with trends, technology and consumer preferences. It also means being open to new ways of earning money as a singer, from online performances to digital sales and beyond.

How to make money as a singer FAQ

How can I make money as a singer if I don't have a large following?

Even without a large following, there are numerous ways to make money as a singer. You can start by performing at local venues, offering vocal lessons, or doing session work. Building a following takes time, but these activities can help you earn income while you grow your audience.

Is it necessary to have a website for my singing business?

What should I include in my singing portfolio?

Can I make enough money to live solely from streaming royalties?

Does singing pay well?

If I'm just starting out as a singer, is it possible to make money singing at local venues/coffee shops?

Other ways to make money you might want to consider

Was this article helpful?

bottom of page