If you have a talent for writing songs, chances are you have been dissuaded from pursuing a career in music. Many people do not consider it a lucrative venture or stable employment. However, most songwriters are not doing it for the money. The good news is that there are ways to get paid by writing songs. If you are passionate and driven, here is how serious writers generate income from their music.
Earn Royalties for Writing Songs
Royalties are the primary source of generating income for songwriters. Songs earn royalties each time someone uses, plays, or performs them. It includes every time your work gets radio play or when there is a public performance. Royalties encompasses everything from the song’s use on TV to the sale of sheet music. While some ‘old school’ sources of royalties have become less common today, there are new ways to get paid by writing songs.
The constant technological advancement has also created new ways to generate money. In the digital age, you can also make a lot of money through download and streaming royalties. You can then sell your songs to music libraries and distribute them through music services like Amazon Music, Google Play and iTunes. People and companies must pay a synchronization license fee to use your music in commercials, movies, or TV series as well. Furthermore, you can generate mechanical royalties from companies that manufacture a product using your song. In such an interconnected society, there are many ways to get your music out there.
Paid Public Performances
Don’t forget that you also get paid when your music is performed. Your music generates live performance royalties for each public performance. You earn royalties from ticket holders as well as each time someone publicly plays a recording of your song. The amount of money you make though varies greatly. Negotiations between the venue and the Performing Rights Organization will ultimately determine how much you earn. Be sure to register all your songs and set lists to ensure you get paid by writing songs.
If you are lucky, you may broker a deal with a publishing company that will pay you advances. This allows songwriters time and space to create without the pressure to get paid by writing songs. For those with even greater ambitions, you can also look into starting your own record label. Increased number of performances and artists equates to more money in your pocket.
Get Your Name Out There by Writing Songs
If you want to break into the music world, the most important thing is to get your name out there. Start producing your music and post it everywhere. Use every medium that is available to you. You can even take the initiative to write a brief and approach companies to pitch your songs. The more exposure you get and more internet traffic you create, the more likely it is to connect with someone who can help you advance your career. The only way to become successful is such a competitive industry is through persistence and constant self promotion.
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Jenny Smedra is an avid world traveler, ESL teacher, former archaeologist, and freelance writer. Choosing a life abroad had strengthened her commitment to finding ways to bring people together across language and cultural barriers. While most of her time is dedicated to either working with children, she also enjoys good friends, good food, and new adventures.