I’m an introvert, so I have to be excited about doing something in order to leave my house. This means that work-at-home music jobs are perfect for me. I sit at home, make or write about music, and earn a consistent income doing it.
If that interests you, this post will introduce you to four ways to make money from music without leaving your house. I work from home full-time, but you can definitely make a side income doing these jobs.
What I Mean By “Music Jobs”
When I say “work-at-home music jobs,” I’m talking about music-related jobs for musicians. So this doesn’t include music business or music marketing positions. Basically, these are jobs you can do thanks to your musical abilities and knowledge.
These are all things I’ve done before or hired other musicians to do, so I can attest to their fair pay. These avenues of income have allowed me to be a work-from-home musician (and writer).
Before You Get Started
You have to know what kind of musician you want to be before you build your career. If you want to be a full-time musician, you can decide on 2-3 income streams to focus on. You want enough income streams that you have some security in case one slows down, but you don’t want too many that you get overwhelmed.
If you want to do something music-related to bring in a little extra cash, maybe just focus on one of the below income streams.
Also, learn how to say no effectively. Most likely, you’re doing music on the side, so saying “no” is a very important skill to develop. You only have so much time in a day, so only accept music jobs you’re excited about. Yes, in the beginning, you don’t have as much leverage to be choosy. But you can still say “no” to jobs that would drain you.
4 Work-at-Home Music Jobs
Okay, now let’s talk about some work-at-home music jobs and how you can get started with each.
Music blogging and/or podcasting
Music advice writing is part of my music-related income (ahem, like this post). But you can offer music advice in other forms, like on a podcast, in a Discord group, or on social media. (Most of the music advice I consume is on TikTok).
Talking about music – whether spoken or in writing – helps you as an indie musician. Through research and sharing of knowledge, you learn things you can take into your music career. On the flip side, your experience as a musician informs your music advice.
So theoretically, you will never run out of advice and suggestions to offer other musicians.
Here are some ideas for making money in the different formats:
- Podcast: build your following to the point where you can work with sponsors
- YouTube channel: once you meet YouTube’s requirements, turn on YouTube monetization (ads)
- Discord or social media: allow people to tip you on Venmo
- Writing: pitch some blog post ideas to websites that offer music advice (just to get your foot in the door)
Music production jobs
Music production is my biggest source of music-related income. I mostly produce artists remotely, but I also offer in-person sessions.
If you’re new to producing music, here’s how you can get started (after you’ve gotten the essential recording gear):
- Produce a few of your own songs and put them on a playlist that you can share with potential clients
- Offer to produce 1-5 songs for a fellow artist for free (or for a small percentage of the streaming royalties) and add those songs to your portfolio playlist
- Eventually, you can start charging $200-300 to produce a song, increasing your rates as you get more experience and improve your skills
Remote session musician work
Since the pandemic, people have learned that a lot of things can be done remotely. And session musician work is one of those things. I’ve hired several session musicians for my songs, and I’ve played guitar on other artists’ tracks.
You don’t have to be an expert engineer, but you do have to have the essential recording equipment and know how to use it.
Here’s how to get started as a remote session musician:
- Create a playlist of songs you’ve performed on
- If you haven’t played on any songs, record some basic tracks to show potential clients what you can do
- Create a profile on SoundBetter and Fiverr
- Contact artists in your circles to let them know you’re offering session musician services
Online music lessons
If you’re really good at your instrument, you can teach others how to play it. And you can get paid decently for it.
My friend used to teach guitar lessons in his home before he got a “real” job. And he was making about $20 per 30-minute lesson. He had several students, too, so he was making some decent money.
Here’s how to start giving music lessons from home:
- Let the people in your network know you’re offering lessons
- Post on social media
- Hang up fliers around town
- Offer your music lesson services on Fiverr
- Sign up with a company that will find students for you, like Superprof, TakeLessons, Preply, or Lessonface
I hope you see that it’s totally possible to make money from home as an indie musician. It’s all about finding what works for you.