Let’s face it, most of us in the musical profession were not born making it big. Most of us will be pretty content if we can earn a living doing it. And most of us at one time or another will have to suck it up and work another gig at least part time so we can pay the rent. What are some good side gigs for musicians? Well, the restaurant business has always seemed to go hand in hand with being a musician. The money is good, there is opportunity to network with people on the other side of the entertainment business (establishment owners and customers), and restaurant hours allow us to sleep in. This keeps our internal clock in tune with a “musician’s schedule.”
Many of us teach. There is an old saying people like to toss around, “Those who cannot do, teach.” Thankfully in many cases that could not be farther from the truth. There are many fabulous teachers out there who can really play their instrument. Not only is teaching a very well-paying job, it is the best way to solidify one’s knowledge of a subject. Personally, i did not become a good sight-reader until I had to keep up with my students’ abilities as they progressed. Teaching completely solidified my knowledge of music theory until it became something I didn’t have to think much about anymore. It beats the restaurant business because it keeps your instrument in your hand. Not only that, but the hours are great. You don’t start until afternoon and you get done in time to make a gig that night.
What about other options which allow one the ultimate schedule flexibility? If you want to be able to set your own hours, there are legitimate ways to make money online from home which you can become successful at, if you are willing to take the time to learn. Learning serves a two-fold purpose in this case, because as you are learning how to build the tools necessary to make money online, you can use the same skills to promote yourself as a musician. I like working at night in front of the TV when I don’t have a gig that night. It beats serving burgers.
The first step is learning how to develop and manage a website. This is easier than it used to be. Content management systems have greatly improved the learning curve as far as website building is concerned. You can learn how to make a website, build it, put some content up and begin the process of figuring out how to make money online all within a couple days.
The internet is a vast playing field occupied by a couple billion people who are there to surf and, increasingly, to spend money. Musicians tend to be of above average intelligence, and we know how to work hard at things we decide to put our mind to. Learning the ins and outs of internet marketing is a perfect way for a musician to pad his or her income. There are many programs available online that will teach you how to do this. You have to be careful, because many of them are scams, and want to take a lot of your money before they really give you what you need to know. Others make it sound too easy. Like anything, if you choose to pursue making money online legitimately you should expect to put some serious time and effort in.
A very good site which can get you started is Wealthy Affiliate. They are an online business community with lots of members who are totally willing to help each other out and help each other become successful. The program has a free membership level which enables you to get two free domain names, host them both for free, and teaches you how to actually develop your site using WordPress. They give you enough information to get you started down the path of making money too, all for not a single penny out-of-pocket. They have an fairly inexpensive paid level of membership too, for those that really want to dig in. It includes stuff like hosting unlimited websites and a slew of more advanced training. It is well worth the 47 dollar monthly investment with no contractual obligations if you really want to learn everything there is to know about monetizing a website.
What this all equates to is the idea that making money online in your free time is not “too good to be true.” The internet is a powerful tool which can level the playing field a bit for those who don’t have access to much start-up capital, but do have a good mind and a decent work ethic. You just have to put your mind to learning how it all works. It’s a big world out there – go get it!