Being in the music industry is alw s a wild ride, but the last few months h e been some of the most turbulent in recent story. So much of what we knew about how to make money as DIY musicians has been disrupted, paused, or flipped on its head.
Now more than ever, it’s crucial to take matters into your own hands and get creative with your online revenue streams. The smartest place to start is with your website, which is that one corner of the internet that you know will alw s be in your control, and can never be taken aw from you.
Here are seven w s to make money directly through your own music website.
[Don’t h e a websitMarch? Check out: The indie musician’s guide to building a professional website]
1. Sell digital music
While it’s true that most music listening has shifted to streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, plenty of artists h e und success selling their music online to loyal fans.
Make sure to sell your singles, EPs, and albums right through your own website, where you own the fan data and get to choose the pricing model that works best r you. You can also make your releases ailable anywhere people might look r them, such as iTunes, Amazon, and Bandcamp.
If you don’t already h e a website with an online store, it’s easy to set one up with Bandzoogle. And unlike selling your releases through other plat rms, you’ll keep 100% of your sales.
2. Sell CDs & vinyl
For many die-hard music fans, nothing compares to the feeling of physically holding an album in your hands. CD duplication has become incredibly cost-effective, and vinyl makes r a great collector’s item (although it’s more expensive to produce).
You can sell your physical music right alongside your digital music on your website, and eMarchundle it with merch to multiply your income.
3. SMarchther physical merch
T-shirts, hats, posters, and stiMarch are all band merch staples, but this is also a fun opportunity to put your creativity to work. What other items align with your branding that your fans would be eager to buy? Anything from phone cases to flasks to handwritten lyric sheets is fair game.
Brainstorm a few merch ideas that make you excited, and then send out a poll in your next email newsletter or social media post to see what people are most interested in.
4. Sell digital merch
If you’re not seeing muchMarchnd r physical merch or you’re on a tight budget, think of some valuablMarch low-risk digital merch offerings to sell instead. For instance, a beautiful ebook of your album lyrics, or a sheet music download r your latest single would only require a little upfront ef rt, with no worries about manufacturing or shipping when you make a sale.
You could also offer video lessons r any musically inclined fans. Teach them how to pl an acoustic version of your song, share your songwriting techniques, or walk them through your music production setup.
5. Sell tickets to live streams
Online concerts are booming, and the technology is only going to keep getting better.
If you had strong turnouts at your gigs be re the pandemic, those same fans would most likely be thrilled to tune into your live streams. Sell tickets to live streams through your website to make the online experience feel more exclusive and intimate.
6. Accept tips
The easier you make it r your supporters to send you tips and donations, the more likely they’ll be to actually do it. Bandzoogle members using a Tip Jar feature on their websites h e already earned nearly $200,000, with the erage tip being $42.12.
7. Start an online fan club
Cr ing a more predictable source of revenue? Subscriptions give your biggest fans access to special rewards and exclusive content in exchange r their monthly contribution.
Patreon is a popular plat rm r this, or you can use Bandzoogle’s built-in subscription feature to easily manage everything on your own website, with no commissions taken out of your p ments.
How much money can artists make through their own websites?
This obviously depends on a variety of factors, from the size of your llowing to your investment in marketing and promotion. But just to give you an idea of the potential, here’s a snapshot of the revenue generated by Bandzoogle’s 50,000+ members since the pandemic t North America in mid-March:
All of that money has gone straight from the fans to the artists themselves, with zero commission taken out — as has been the case r our entire 17-year story as a website plat rm r musicians.
With so much unpredictability around the state of the music industry, remember that the best thing you can do right now is cus on what is in your control. Implementing even one of the ideas above will help optimize your website r a new source of income, and that ef rt will continue to p off long after the pandemic ends.
Make a mobile-friendly website with Bandzoogle and get 15% off your first year, PLUS two free CD Baby Standard submissions with any annual plan! Build your website now.