Musicians with a passion for their craft just want to perform — and get paid for it. The good news is that professional musicians like singers can expect to earn approximately $30 per hour, or $45,000 to $65,000 per year, as reported by

However, some musicians make significantly more if they license their work, and others struggle to break into a wage they can live on. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to supplement your income while working in the music industry. From teaching your skills to selling products you love, here are five ways to get started building your side hustle.

Teach a Unique Skill

Most musicians already know they can teach voice, guitar, or a variety of other skills to earn money. However, you can also stand out from the competition by teaching a highly specialized, unique skill.

Instead of just teaching guitar, teach aspiring musicians how to create a presence on stage and give a fantastic show. You can also teach voice online through Skype but focus on a specialty like jazz singing. The more you can narrow down a valuable skill few people are teaching, the more you can earn and command a client base. 

Sell Products You Love

When professional drummer Jeff Jones wanted to supplement his money as a musician, he noticed the untapped market of brightly colored, customized drum sticks. Today he has sold over 400,000 sticks to customers around the world, as reported by Forbes.

Selling band merchandise and digital downloads is also a smart way to leverage your assets. But you can also think about the products you already use and love and develop a sales strategy around it. Selling journals or guitar picks on a Shopify store is one place to start.

Or you can tap into an existing business model where you can sell products directly to customers when partnered with Amway. People curious about Amway scam rumors can research how the rumor got started, how it’s dispelled, and how to earn money as an independent contractor selling products you already use. 

Cover Gigs

Cover gigs are a fun way to earn money in the music industry, whether you want to hit the road or stay in your hometown. Ask managers of bars, restaurants, clubs, and wedding venues about playing for their audience.

Some cities have such a demand for music like Austin or Nashville you could end up playing several gigs a day from brunch to the late-night crowd. 

Leverage the Gig Economy

There are plenty of odd jobs in the gig economy that will pay you to do everything from packing up boxes to helping someone move to delivering packages. Look at sites like TaskRabbit to pick-up jobs, or drive cars across the country to destinations you want to do more cover gigs with a site like Go Nomad.

The gig economy even allows you to flex your music muscles and get paid for it. Sell unique music services through a platform like Fiverr to create jingles, intro music for podcasts, commercial voice-overs, and more. 

Enter Competitions

Musicians who love writing, performing, and practicing music can earn more money simply by entering competitions.

Although the competition can be fierce, musicians who do all of these things anyway can look for regional, national, and international competitions to try to earn more money. There’s also an added benefit of raising your profile as a musician and becoming known in new areas as a result of your competition efforts.

The good news is gigging in the music industry is a long-standing tradition. Musicians are accustomed to picking up odd jobs and reinventing themselves as music teachers, product makers and sellers, and performers. Combine your favorite new gigs to earn the income you’re looking for.

Guest writers and carefully selected for Career Enlightenment. Thanks for reading!

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