How Much Can You Make From Songwriting?Posted by Mike Schuck
A lot of people get into song writing as a way to make money. While it is definitely possible to make good money with your songs, this isn’t always the case. It takes a very long time for most artists to be paid even half of what they are worth.
In fact, some artists don’t see any income at all from their music!
So, how much can you really make as a songwriter? Is there an upper limit to how rich you could become?
We are going to look at the basics of becoming a successful songwriter in this article, as well as discuss some hard numbers that might surprise you.
I will also include some tips and tricks to help you start earning more quickly as a writer. At the end, I would like to add that being a great musician is one of the best ways to succeed as a songwriter.
But first, let us talk about why it is so difficult to earn a living as a singer-songwriter in the internet era.
Join a band
As we already mentioned, being a singer or songwriter is not enough to make good money as a musician. Being in a band is one of the best way to climb your music career ladder. Not all bands pay their members well, but it is possible to earn significant income as a writer for other artists.
Writing songs for others to perform is an excellent way to make extra cash as a artist. It is also a great way to hone your writing skills while developing your talent as a creative person.
Some popular ways to write for other musicians include:
Collaborating with another writer or member of the band you are signed with to produce new material.
Co-producing an album with a producer who has his or her own style so that you can contribute more creatively.
Honing your skill by taking notes from successful writers.
It is very common for aspiring songwriters to start out collaborating with friends or family. However, this will not get you where you want to go.
You will have to develop your writing craft properly before trying to collaborate. More than that, there are legal restrictions when working with others on their art.
Having someone else’s input may hurt your artistic vision or lead to poor quality work. This will only cost you time!
Fortunately, there are many online communities designed to connect people with opportunities to pitch their ideas and get feedback.
Create a band
A songwriter is someone who writes songs – it’s that simple! But becoming a successful songwriter means more than just writing songs, it means having a business sense to know how to market yourself and your music. And it means knowing what kind of music will get you heard.
It also takes being able to connect with other people in the music industry to succeed. This may be as simple as going into a studio once a month to write or it could mean networking at music festivals every weekend.
There are many ways to make money from songwriting but only really one way to truly ‘fail’ (no pun intended). That is to not put in the effort to become successful. So, if you want to earn lots of money from songwriting, then you have to be willing to work hard for it.
And while there are no rules about where to position yourself within the music industry, most aspiring writers these days focus on achieving their goals by establishing themselves either as recording artists or as composers. Both of those can easily net them some serious income.
Connect with an agent
As mentioned earlier, being able to write your own songs is a great skill that can reap you major rewards. But before you start writing anything, you’ll need to connect with an artist representation professional.
An artist manager or agency head will take care of all the things like money, logistics, and the creative process for your song ideas. They will also help shape your career by creating opportunities and collaborations that are aligned with your long-term goals.
Some tips when looking into artist agencies: make sure they list their clients somewhere online so you can do your research, check out their reviews, speak with current members who have worked with them, and look at their website. Also, ask if there has been any talk about them disappearing or going bankrupt which would be warning signs to avoid.
What most people don’t know is that it is totally normal for artists to hire their own team of professionals directly! Only 5% of musicians work without one full time member ever. It is completely okay to ask why someone else doesn’t pay their bills but not everyone may share this information.
Connect with a manager
A lot of songwriters fail to look into the music business seriously, which is very unfortunate because they could potentially make good money if they invested in it! But investing in the music industry comes with lots of responsibilities, so you should be sure that you are ready for those before you start diving in.
It’s important to know what types of things successful artists have done to launch their careers. Finding out who these people are and how they made it will help you create your own path towards success.
By connecting with an artist management company or professional, you can get some great tips and tricks from them. They may even be able to connect you with other professionals who can help you take your career to the next level!
But remember, just because someone else has ‘successful’ written all over them doesn’t mean that you can’t too! It takes work hard work and perseverance to succeed, so don’t assume that things will happen automatically for you.
Know your rights
As we mentioned before, songwriters have many in place to protect their work. Even if you are not famous enough for someone to actually sue you for copyright infringement, you should be aware of how much content you need to use as well as what is and is not allowed.
It is important to remember that using other people’s songs without permission is illegal! Even if you think you “owned it” or it was “public domain,” you do not. Legally speaking, you do not!
On top of this, some music publishers and/or artists can take legal action against you for using their material improperly.
Luckily, there are ways to make money as a songwriter even with very little experience! There are several different ways you can produce income through song writing including publishing, recording, and producing.
Know your obligations
As mentioned earlier, being a good songwriter means doing more than just writing songs. You have to perform them, promote for other writers and themselves, manage your recording and production process, and finance their public exposure.
As you start producing your own music, these things can get expensive. I’m not saying it will cost you money, but like any business professional, you should be aware of what resources are available to you and how much they cost.
There are many ways to make money as a musician aside from having your songs recorded and promoted by others. This article will go into some detail about the different types of income that are possible for freelance musicians.
We'll also talk about why it is important to know about all of this even if you are already successful as a singer/songwriter.
Get your contract right
Even though it’s hard work, songwriters can make good money if they are aware of their rights and protections. Unfortunately, not all writers know what theirs are or how to use them effectively.
Songwriter contracts vary widely depending on who you hire as well as what kind of deal you agree to with each other. Some may even be written by lawyers that other professionals have modified for their own situations, so there is no standard form that everyone uses.
This can result in hurt feelings and wasted energy later when things don’t go according to plan.
It also creates legal obligations for both parties that must be reviewed and amended whenever one party is no longer a part of the process.
Meet up with potential investors
As mentioned before, being able to write songs is a skill that can get you very rich. But in order to make money as a songwriter, you will need to put in some effort into developing your writing skills.
There are many ways to meet like-minded individuals who may be interested in investing in your music career or maybe even helping you launch your own band. Some of these opportunities include at open mic nights, online communities, and creative competitions.
By interacting with other musicians, this article’s writer was able to form close relationships with successful artists and entrepreneurs which have helped him stay motivated and inspired on his path towards success.
The Jam Addict team is a revolving door of writers who care about music, its effects on culture, and giving aspiring artists tools and knowledge to be inspired and keep on creating.
If you have any questions or concerns or just want to drop us a line, don't hesitate to contact us! We always appreciate the feedback.