How to get paid to write songs | Become a Songwriter

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Get paid to write songs

Introduction

Anyone can be a songwriter. All you need is some creativity and the ability to put your thoughts into words. In the United States and across the world there are many different opportunities to get paid to write songs.

Songwriting is a great way to express yourself, and it can also be a very lucrative career. If you’re talented, you can write great songs and have a lot of ambition, so are there are plenty of ways to make much money writing songs? Read on to find out.

Money money money

The idea of writing songs can be intimidating

The road to becoming a professional songwriter can be long and hard. It’s not like a story that you can just write and turn in to a finished product. If you want to write songs, it’s going to take some time, dedication and hard work. And alot more time and effort to write a hit song.

I’m not going to tell you how easy it is. No amount of money will ever make it easy or convenient. I’ve gotten paid for writing music that’s less than 5 minutes long; but I’ve also written songs that took me hours or even days to complete. It all depends on how much time you want to put in and what kind of music you’re trying to create.

If your goal is just to earn a living by writing songs, let me warn you: It can be very difficult and time-consuming on your own level if you don’t have an audience already singing along with your tune!

If you’re still hesitating about whether or not it’s worth it, here a quick tip to get you started:

If you really want the money…the solution is simple: Put the song online and make sure people know about your song – both through social media outlets and radio stations! Once people hear your song they will likely play it at least once (or more!). If this isn’t enough, go into local radio stations and say hello… ask them if they’d like to review your song!

As a bonus, if they do review your song – then it creates exposure AND revenue for yourself! The more people who hear your song, the better chance that someone else will listen as well! And once they do listen – then they’ll buy-in – which gives you more sales opportunities (and thus more profits!)

The Many Ways to Make Money Writing Songs

If you’re struggling to find ways to get your name out there, don’t worry. You’ll learn many ways to make money writing songs throughout your career. Get paid to write songs for others

One of the best ways to get started is just by getting used to all of the platforms that are available to songwriters. Get hired as a songwriter for another artist and you’ll see what it’s like to write songs on commission.

Woman play a song on ukulele, close-up musical instrument.

Write and sell your own songs

Itunes, Spotify and other online music marketplaces will allow you to sell your songs to the public. If you’re talented, you can also put your own songs up for sale. Get enough plays on Apple music, Amazon music and other online platforms and you could earn some extra cash.

Digital distributors

If you’re excited about selling music, there are also some great apps out there that will distribute your songs to all of the online stores. This is a very easy way to get started right away. You can upload songs on iTunes, Spotify and many other platforms within minutes!

Get paid to write songs for commercials, TV shows, movies

Sync licensing is a great way to make money as a songwriter. Get paid every time someone uses your song in a TV show, commercial, or movie.

What is sync licensing?

The idea behind sync licensing is simple: Get paid for your song’s use in a movie, TV show, commercial, or video game. This opportunity isn’t limited to only traditional songs either. Hip-hop artists are becoming more and more successful with their crazy style of writing music – they are getting sync placement left and right!

Typically when you get a song placed in a movie or TV show, you’ll receive 50% of the royalty income. Get an agent to help you make more money.

Once you have some success under your belt along with a following of fans who love your songs – it’s time to sign with an agency. Get an agent and they will start submitting your song’s to larger projects and thus – you’ll make more money as well as gain more fans as you progress in your songwriting career!

The best part about having an agent is that they will take care of all the legalities, paperwork, and even negotiate a better split.

If you have a bit of a following already, you can also earn extra money by writing songs for commercials. Get started by compiling clips from your followers and emailing the company that is advertising with song requests.

You’ll need to win their trust first, or they won’t take you seriously. Companies want to know that people will actually be listening to their commercials, so they want to know that the singers of the song have a large audience following. Get exposure and get paid for your songs

White paper speech bubble with inscription licensing

Sync fees

When a song is used as a theme or featured in a radio or TV show, movie or ad – it’s called a “synch” license. The songwriter could be paid for this use of their work.

Contests

If you’re looking for a way to make money writing songs that’s different, then you can always try your hand at songwriting contests. Get paid for your songwriting talents

Some contests offer only the recognition while some do pay out good money. Get an idea of what they’re offering before you start entering any of these contests. Get started by searching music-related forums for upcoming opportunities. Get ready to make some moola! So, there are many ways to make money writing songs – but you have to start by creating the music first! Get inspired, create something awesome, submit it for review or contests – and then make money with your song!

Get paid to write songs directly by fans

There are some platforms (such as Patreon ) where musicians can get paid directly by their fans. It’s like a subscription service where fans pledge money (like $5 or more per song) and they will get access to anything the musician shares on their site. Musicians can use Patreon to release new songs and music videos, blog posts, photos and other content that is not available anywhere else.

Music fans
Music fans

Staff Writers

If you’re good with words and you know the music industry well – then becoming a staff writer may be a great opportunity for you. This means that you write at someone else’s discretion, usually under a contract. It’s a great idea to get paid to write songs if it is for another artist since they will have more control over what they want and how they want it written.

Get paid to create music for gamers

Have you ever seen a video game trailer and thought, “This music sounds familiar”? Get paid to write songs for games

If you listen closely you can hear that video games often use the same songs over and over again. If you’re a songwriter, then this is your chance! Get started by uploading some of your original tracks to websites like Soundcloud and then contact the video game companies directly.

Get paid for co-writing songs

Creative African-American Couple Writing Music
Creative African-American Couple Writing Music

If writing a song by yourself seems like too much work, you can always team up with another songwriter and split any royalties equally. Maybe you are great at writing song lyrics and you know someone who is great at writing melody and music. Seems like a match made in heaven. Just look at Elton John and Bernie Taupin, who have been writing songs together for over 50 years!

Sheet Music Sales

If you’re more of an introvert but you still love music, then selling sheet music to your music may be more your speed. Your audience is pretty small, but you can still make some extra cash writing songs.

Get paid to create music for radio ads

If you want an opportunity that’s more focused on advertising and marketing, then consider getting paid to write songs for radio ads. You’ll need to either own or be comfortable using recording studio equipment like microphones, soundboards, and other gear.

Get paid to write songs for other recording artists

Writing songs for other people is another great way to get money for your songwriting services. You just need to find someone who needs a song and send them an email with links to some of your past work. Record companies may also contact you directly offering to buy one of your songs. You never know, a hit being playing on a big radio station could be a great start to making your millions.

Start a YouTube channel

Feel like making a Youtube video? If you have a passion for playing instruments, singing, or creating music in general – starting your own YouTube channel could be a great way to get discovered. Get started by getting some basic equipment for recording, making high quality videos, and driving in traffic – you can’t just stop in the middle of the road to film something! You have to give it your all when you’re doing things online – that means having good lighting , staying within the YouTube community, and being social.

YouTube scrabble letters word on a yellow background

Get paid by selling your own music

Don’t forget that you can always get paid to write songs for yourself. Get started by recording your song with a quality microphone, uploading to YouTube , sharing it on social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc). Post your original work on Soundcloud or YouTube. And self release it via distributors such as Distrokid.

Music publishing company

Music publishers look for songwriters who have a lot of music that has been recorded, played on the radio, or performed live.

Independent music publishers will find and develop the songwriters’ songs. Music publishers are always looking for new talent to sign a publishing deal, so if you have your own song that you want the world to hear – then you should definitely take advantage of this opportunity.

Music Libraries

Music libraries offer pre-cleared background music for TV shows, commercials, movies, and video games. Each music library has its own style of music so you shouldn’t think that all music libraries are the same. Some libraries focus on genres like pop or hip hop while others might have something more broad – like “action”. These are great opportunities for songwriters, but make sure you only submit original songs.

Record label

If a professional publisher can’t get you recognized, then you should try to publish your songs with a record label.

Record labels sign and develop music acts and artists (with a record deal). They can help with promotion, distribution, touring and sales of recorded music. Music labels will also promote the artist on TV, radio and online in exchange for a part of their earnings (royalties).

Vintage audio cassettes on wooden background, mix tape label, 3d illustration

Songwriting Royalties

Many songwriters who write their own songs will go the route of getting royalties. They’ll get paid for recording, playing and publishing their songs. Royalties can vary from a few cents (per copy) to several dollars (per copy), depending on how it is used and where it is used.

Mechanical royalties

Mechanical royalty is one of the most common types of royalties and it is paid to songwriters when their songs are used or recorded on CDs, tapes, records and digital downloads.

Performance royalties

Performance royalty come from the use of a song in a live performance (for example: clubs, concerts, and events). This could be a public performance by the songwriter or even an appearance of their work on TV, online or in a movie.

Dramatic-performance royalties

These are royalties paid for using someone else’s song in a play, musical, pantomime, ballet or other live performance.

Mechanical licensing fee

You can get paid to write songs for commercials, TV shows and movies by getting a mechanical license. This allows you to reproduce the song on video games discs, downloads, ringtones and mp3 players.

Spotify app

Streaming royalties

With over 40 million songs and music videos available to stream online, there is a huge amount of content being played on streaming services like Spotify, YouTube, and Apple Music.

The copyright owners of the songs (usually record labels or artists) get paid every time their song gets streamed by dividing all the royalties between them. These payments go directly to the music publisher.

For more information regarding royalties, check with your countries performing rights organizations.

List of websites that can help you make money writing songs

Distrokid – If you want to distribute your music on multiple platforms (iTunes, Spotify etc) and keep full control over the copyright of your songs, then Distrokid is perfect for you. I use distrokid myself and find them great value for money and meet all my needs. Use my following link to help me out and get 7% discount for yourself

https://distrokid.com/vip/seven/804380

PRS, ASCAP, BMI, SESAC – These are some of the US/UK performing rights organizations. They collect royalties for songwriters and music publishers every time their works are performed in public or transmitted to the public.

http://prsformusic.com/

Harry Fox Agency – You have to have a relationship with a publisher to work with Harry Fox, so this is more of an option if you’re already an established songwriter or have a publisher.

https://www.harryfox.com/#/

CD Baby – If you want to sell your songs as individual tracks and keep 100% of the royalties, then CD Baby is a great option for you. It’s also known for its pay-out system that can get you those royalties pretty quickly.

https://cdbaby.com/

Sentric music – Is a music publisher that offers a service that allows you to upload your music directly to its system where it will help you find opportunities with companies like movie, TV and video game producers. So if you’re looking for more direct engagements, make sure you check Sentric music out.

www.sentricmusic.com

Audiojungle – A library that can help you get started with licensing music to TV and other uses. You own the copyright to every song you submit to them and they pay out their royalties monthly.

https://audiojungle.net/

Youtube – If you’re a songwriter with a good following, then Youtube can help you make money writing songs. You get paid when people watch ads that go along with your video.

www.youtube.com

Songwriters guild – This is a good resource for songwriters who are looking to develop their career or learn more information about royalties.

https://songwriters-guild.com/

Music Xray – Music Xray helps artists find A&R’s and music industry executives and increase their chances of getting discovered. It’s a great way to get your songs out there and make money writing songs.

https://www.musicxray.com/

Unsigned Guide – Great resource for new and upcoming artists who are looking for resources and services aimed at independent artists.

https://www.theunsignedguide.com/

Songtradr – This is a platform that helps unsigned musicians find gigs that pays them for their music. You can try it out free, but if you want to monetize your songs you have to subscribe.

https://www.songtradr.com/

All of the above will help any talented musician make money writing songs!

Conclusion

If you’re a talented songwriter and you are looking for ways to make money from your art, this article is for you.

You can easily make money from your music by writing songs for commercials and TV shows. You also have the possibility to write songs for your own amusement, as well as for yourself. For example, you can sell your music online to help pay your bills or pay off some of your debts.

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