💡✍️ ADN 014: Making Money From Music: A Step-by-Step Guide

Feb 26, 2023

If you read the headlines about making money from music you may think it’s only possible if you are in the top 1% of artists.

If you look through the lens of streaming revenue only, it can look bleak.

The market is as crowded as ever because the barrier to entry is the lowest it’s ever been.

Anyone can record a song and release it within a week.

You don’t need a record label or manager anymore.

All you need is an idea and an iPhone.

In a crowded market, you do need multiple ways to put your songs to work.

Here are (6) ways to make money from your music without having a sizeable streaming audience.

  • Social Media
  • Merchandise
  • Fan Club
  • Touring
  • Meet & Greets
  • Vinyl

Let’s break down a quick strategy for each.

Social Media

So you have a new song and want people to know it is coming.

Where is the best free advertising in the world?

Social media.

I know what you think; social media is just as crowded as any streaming platform.


The difference between putting your music on a streaming platform and social media is that on social media, you have the opportunity to stand out.

You don’t have to follow the trends in a world of TikTok dancing and sing-alongs in cars.

The more people do something, the less valuable it becomes.

It’s hard to beat someone at their game, but you can make up your own game and win every time.

Find something unique to yourself and your song and go all in like it’s already a popular trend.

When it takes off, you’ll see brands reach out in your DM’s for paid partnership opportunities and ways to cross-promote to their audience with your unique brand and music.


Once you have your audience’s attention to your new song, it’s time to introduce your merchandise line.

Let your fans be a part of the process.

Show them mock-ups of potential merch, and ask them to vote on their favorites.

Then do limited printings of your line and sell them out to create demand for more.

Turn your song into a walking advertisement, and give fans what they want at the same time.

Fan Club

Before you release your next song, encourage fans to join your fan club subscription for first access to hear the new track.

Give early or exclusive access to music videos, tour dates, merchandise, demos, and more in your fan club for a monthly or annual fee.

Nail this, and you have a recurring revenue stream for life.


Want to get venues, promoters, opening bands, and fans promoting your new song?

Name your tour after the song.

It will be on every social media post, poster, billboard, marquee, website, and more for the duration of your tour.

Watch your social media visitors soar, your streaming #’s grow, and your merch sales rise with the cross-promotion around your tour name.

Meet & Greets

Launching your tour on your website and via social media also presents the opportunity to sell a VIP meet-and-greet package.

In doing so, you can promote your song and tour and add another revenue stream created by your music.


Take some of that $ you’ve made from your social media, merchandise, fan club, touring, and meet & greets, and print a limited edition run of vinyl featuring your single + additional songs.

Use the limited edition tag to make it more valuable for fans, and in turn, you can charge enough to make a decent profit from selling your vinyl.

Think of social media as your hub for all this promotion around your song.

Use it to turn your music into money in your pocket.

  • Promote your song on social media
  • Sell your merch on social media
  • Promote your fan club on social media
  • Promote your tour on social media
  • Promote meet & greets on social media
  • Sell vinyl on social media

Of course, you will also sell merch at shows, sell vinyl on your website, etc., but your social media is always the place to have your megaphone turned up loud about everything you are doing.

Remember your music is an asset.

Find creative ways to highlight it and put it to work for you out in the world and you will also find you can make money on the music you make.

See you next Sunday!

Neil Mason

Artist Development


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