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Writing Songs

Projected Income Highly variable
Costs to Start Minimal
Time to Start Immediate
Category Freelance Writing

Our Side Hustles Breakdown

Songwriting is the art of translating emotions, stories, and ideas into a combination of lyrics and melodies. For many, it’s a passion before it becomes a profession. While talent plays a role, persistence, networking, and understanding the music industry are equally crucial for success.

cons-icon Cons

  • Highly Competitive: The music industry is saturated with talented songwriters.
  • Uncertain Returns: Not all songs, even great ones, guarantee commercial success.
  • Emotional Vulnerability: Sharing personal experiences can be daunting.

pros-icon Pros

  • Emotional Expression: A therapeutic way to process and convey feelings.
  • Potential for Passive Income: Royalties can provide a continuous revenue stream.
  • Universal Impact: Music transcends boundaries, making global reach possible.

Are you a music enthusiast skilled at songwriting? Luckily, writing songs is a highly lucrative side hustle that you can turn into a substantial source of income.

In this post, we’ll guide you on how to make money writing songs as a side hustle.

An Overview of Writing Songs: A Primer

Songwriters are creative professionals who write meaningful lyrics and combine them with catchy melodies.

They also arrange the lyrics and melody to fit a particular musical style, rhythm, and harmonic structure.

Some songwriters complete the entire songwriting process themselves. Others specialize in only one area, such as crafting lyrics or composing melodies.

The latter type of songwriters need to collaborate with co-writers to complement their work.

To thrive as a songwriter, you need to do more than crafting compelling songs. 

You should be good at networking and collaborating with other musicians throughout this creative process. This is what increases your chance of getting your work noticed.

You can monetize your original songs in many ways. The following are the most common ones:

  • Record deals
  • Streaming mechanical royalties on Apple Music, Spotify, and other platforms
  • Various types of royalties, such as public performance royalties
  • Sync fees
  • Selling your sheet music

If you’re looking for in-depth guidance to start your songwriting career, check out this post on becoming a songwriter.

How Much Can Writing Songs Earn You?

Freelance songwriters can make from as little as $5 an hour up to $50 in the United States, according to ZipRecruiter. Still, on average, songwriters make around $34.7 per hour.

The exact amount you can make as a freelance songwriter depends on your skill and experience level.

Your network of connections and how good you are at pitching your work also significantly determine your potential income.

How Much Does It Cost to Start a Side Hustle Writing Songs?

You can start your songwriting side hustle for as little as around $1,000 and up to a few thousand dollars. The gear will account for the majority of the cost.

The amount you need to invest in equipment depends mainly on the area of songwriting you’ll focus on.

You should also invest in learning music theory and playing different instruments through online classes.

You’ll need to spend a few hundred dollars on attending events and community memberships to increase your chances of expanding your network.

Where Can You Find Songwriting Gigs?

Finding songwriting gigs can be challenging for beginners. However, being present in the right places will significantly boost your chances of securing this type of side job.

To do so, here are the simple steps to follow:

Where to Independently Find Songwriting Gigs

Social media can be a great tool to attract potential clients to work with you.

The key to harnessing the power of social media is to create content around your songwriting process.

Sharing some of your latest work, if you have any, with your connections on social media platforms can also be beneficial.

Over time, you’ll build a broad audience of musicians and fans interested in your work. As a result, you’ll increase the likelihood of receiving gigs and job offers.

Similarly, you should have a plan to expand your network of songwriters, musicians, and music producers. 

To achieve this, you need to be active in online communities such as 100 Days of Songwriting and LinkedIn songwriting groups. You can achieve this through attending music events as well.

Gig Economy Companies that Offer Songwriting Gigs

Many online platforms can allow you to market your service as a songwriter to a wide range of musicians and publishers.

To get the best out of these platforms, create a robust profile on them. Add your latest work and compellingly showcase your skills on the profiles.

You’ll also need to regularly apply for the gigs listed on these platforms. That way, you’ll have a high chance of securing songwriting gigs.

Here’s a short list of the most popular platforms you need to be present on:

Why You Should Consider Writing Songs as a Side Hustle

Songwriting is a desirable career with highly attractive perks for many people. Here are the advantages you can expect to get from this music business:

  • A way to pursue your music passion: Are you a music enthusiast who pays attention to the nitty-gritty details of this art? If so, being a songwriter can be a highly fulfilling career for you.
  • Multiple streams of income: As you advance in your career as a professional songwriter, you can monetize your original music in many ways. You can get paid through sync licensing, streaming mechanical royalties, and numerous other ways.
  • Ideal for creative people: Songwriting requires high imagination and out-of-the-box thinking. If you’re looking for a job with massive room for creativity, you’ll have the time of your life in this music career.

Problems with Writing Songs

Writing songs as a side hustle also comes with a few drawbacks. Here are these disadvantages:

  • Can be money-intensive at the beginning: When you first start as a songwriter, you’ll spend a few thousand dollars on gear and learning. Meanwhile, you won’t get any return on this investment for a while.
  • Takes time to sell: As a songwriter, you should be patient. You’ll need to put a lot of effort and dedication into producing several pieces of work until one turns into a popular song.
  • Your work is prone to theft: If you’re not careful about whom you pitch your songs to, others might easily steal your work. You need to take protective measures to ensure your work is hard to steal.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is writing songs a talent?

Writing songs isn’t a talent; it’s a skill you can learn and continuously develop. There are many sources to help you acquire songwriting skills.

To be a successful songwriter, you’ll need to learn the basics of music production. Then, you’ll focus on developing aspects like lyric writing, melody composing, chord progression, and arranging song structure.

Is there a high demand for songwriters?

There’s no accurate data about the demand for songwriters. However, we can conclude the level of demand from the available data about the music industry in the US.

The revenue of the music industry in 2022 was around $15.9 billion. This is a 6% growth in the market size compared to 2021.

Undoubtedly, songwriters are integral parts of this massive market. This indicates a high demand for songwriters.

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