7 Side Hustles for Musicians
Everyone’s got a side hustle these days. Whether it’s your aunt who sells jewelry or driving for Uber on your days off.
It’s hard to make enough money to live, let alone do fun stuff on one income source alone. Side hustles are a great way to fill your free time with productive work that you (hopefully) enjoy.
In this guide, you'll discover several side hustle ideas you could tap into to bring in more income.
But first, let's define what a side hustle is.
But first, if it's your aim to do music professionally, you'll want to check out our free ebook while it's still available:
Free eBook: Discover how real independent musicians like you are making $4,077 - $22,573+ monthly via Youtube, let me know where to send the details:
3 Characteristics Of A Profitable & Worthwhile Side Hustle
For something to be a good side hustle, it needs to have three main characteristics:
1. It Cannot Interfere With Your Primary Hustle
If your side hustle drains you to the point where it interferes with your real work, you need a different side hustle. Side hustles will still feel like work, but they shouldn’t cut into your overall productivity.
For me, I had to be careful how much writing I took on, because it drains my creative energy, and leaves me with less energy for writing and creating music.
2. It Should Generate Income
If you aren’t making money with a side hustle, it’s a hobby.
Hobbies are great, and you should have hobbies. The difference is that you’re going to spend money on hobbies and make money on side hustles.
3. You Should Enjoy It
There are lots of ways to make money. If you hate your side hustle, find something else. Life is too short to spend time doing something you hate.
If you’re a musician, you have a variety of side hustle opportunities available to you. My main advice is to be careful not to let your side hustle consume your life.
Sometimes, side hustles make more money than your regular hustle, and that can be a bit deceptive for an artist – stay focused on your goals.
Side Hustle 1. Writing Bios
Everyone needs bios, and nobody should write their own, if it can be avoided.
If you’re a good writer, and enjoy talking to other artists, you should try writing bios for people.
You can charge a few hundred dollars if you get good at it, but even when you’re starting out, you can charge $30 to $50 per hour. That’s good money, and you’ll end up making good connections with other artists.
If this hustle interests you, start reading a ton of band bios. It’s quite fun, and you’ll find out tons of information on your favorite bands. And, you’ll also begin to understand how to craft an effective bio.
Side Hustle For Musicians 2. Designing Simple Websites
If you’re marginally tech savvy, you can build a very convincing and functional website on Squarespave, Wix, or WordPress. Try building a couple of them, and you’ll begin to see how it all works.
Thankfully for us, there are many people who are not tech savvy and are intimidated by the idea of building a site. Either that, or they just don’t have time.
You can’t charge too much for simple sites like this, but they don’t take long to build, and you can easily charge $50/hr.
Just put it out there on social media that you have these skills, and word will spread.
Side Hustle 3. Music Administration Work
Are you one of those (somewhat rare) artists that loves keeping their receipts straight and filing their taxes on time (or even early)? Good for you!
Depending on what your work entails, you could be making extra cash doing admin work for other bands and artists.
Over the years, I’ve hired people to send emails to promoters, fill out SOCAN (Performing Rights Organization) forms, and more.
It’s quite handy to have that help, and I have no problem paying people to do this kind of work.
Music Industry Side Hustles 4. Editing Artist Sessions
This one of my main side hustles – I get Pro Tools files (mostly from a local producer) and edit them up to a professional standard.
This includes editing drum and bass tracks to make sure they’re in time, editing vocal comps, tuning vocals, and sometimes even adding or removing elements to make the track work better.
If you have a studio set up, a good ear, and are proficient on any DAW, you can do this too.
This kind of work can pay quite well depending on who you’re working for, and if you have a laptop and headphones, you can do it from almost anywhere.
I’ll charge anywhere from $30 to $80/hr depending on the budget of the artists I’m working with.
Side Hustle For Music Industry Professionals 5. Mastering
This sounds funny, but if you have a relatively professional home studio set up, it may be worth investing in some mastering gear.
All you need to master tracks and albums are a well-treated room, and the right outboard gear.
Most people want to use outboard gear when they’re mastering, and this is a bit of an investment.
But I know that a lot of studio owners will master projects on the side, because it doesn’t take up much time and can be done at any time of the day.
Some studios will have someone in the control room mastering projects before the studio gets opened up to artists and producers.
These types of mastering engineers are often charging between $50 to $80/song.
Side Hustle For Instrumentalists 6. Setting Up & Repairing Instruments
Some musicians – particularly guitar players and drummers – get quite into repairing and setting up instruments.
It often starts out of curiosity and an attempt to save money on maintenance costs.
If you get good at it, you’ll have work. Everyone needs their instruments maintained and repaired, and if you can do this kind of work you’ll soon have friends texting you to fix their guitars and amps.
Most repair shops charge around $50 to $80/hr for their work. You can either charge the same amount, or undercut the shops, because you’re not a professional and aren’t paying shop fees.
Side Hustle 7. Write About Music
And now for my primary side hustle – music blogging!
I love writing about the music industry, because it’s literally what I think about all day long.
I’m the kind of person who will write an essay about something I feel stressed about, just to organize my thoughts.
If you have some unique experience in the music industry, you should try writing about it.
Draft some ideas, write them up, and then pitch them to some popular blogs. Worst scenario, they say “no”.
Blogs and websites are always looking for more content and fresh voices. Give it a shot!
P.S. Remember though, none of what you've learned will matter if you don't know how to get your music out there and earn from it. Want to learn how to do that? Then get our free ‘5 Steps To Profitable Youtube Music Career' ebook emailed directly to you!