Selling Beats Online | How To Make $10k A Month
Selling Beats Online | How To Make $10k A Month
I know there are many articles online about how to make money and a living from selling beats online. However, most are outdated and go outside of the scope of selling beats online only. In this particular article, we want to focus on selling beats online strictly and creating a passive income source.
Before I get into the tips and info on how you can start making 10k a month, let me tell you my story. How I went from working a day job to getting my foot in the door of the industry. Then ultimately how my personal online beat selling success made me quit the music industry.
The Story Of My 10 Year Journey To $10k
I started selling beats online in 2006. Reaching the point that I’m at now was something that was beyond my wildest dreams. Making $10k a month from leasing and selling beats online to artists all over the world. The best part about it is I create the beats once, and the money keeps coming in repeatedly. It’s become an incredibly consistent passive income source.
Back in 2006, I worked on an assembly line. I would come home and go straight to making beats until 1 or 2 in the morning. Then wake up 5 hours later and do it all over again.
I started uploading them on SoundClick without pricing. Starting out, selling beats online wasn’t even my intention. I just wanted to share what I was creating with the world. One day that summer, a guy emailed me and was interested in buying tracks. He bought 3 tracks me for $150 a piece. $450 for my first online beat sell wasn’t too bad! That same artist kept coming back and I ended earning $2,000 in only 3 weeks.
That was $800 more than my day job paid for a whole month of backbreaking labor. That same month I walked off of the assembly line and went home to make beats. That’s what I’ve been doing every day since. I never looked back and haven’t had to work a day job since then.
For years I was earning $1,500 – $3,000 just selling my beats out right for one hundred to three hundred dollars. While that was ok, I was always having to create new beats to keep them stocked up. I was happy with that then because I didn’t know there was a much smarter, efficient method.
More recently, I’ve landed a decent amount of TV placements. Personally, for me, that was slow money compared to the money I make selling beats online. When I got my first check from the publishing company I thought I was going to be able to go on a shopping spree at guitar center. 20 plus TV placements, and 4 years later, I’ve only made about $200 from that compared to close to $300k from selling beats online.
In 2009 I moved Los Angeles and chased placements and publishing deals for 7 years. The reason I quit that whole tiring placement hustle was that nothing is as satisfying as making The music I want to make, how I want to make it when I want to make it, who I want to make it for, and so on.
Not to mention all of the time that you put into the music that you make for placements will take away from your time doing whatever it is you do to make a living.
In 2015 I was offered a pub deal for $80,000. That may sound good for a starving artist, but when I was making about 60,000 a year at the time from online beat sells, it just wasn’t worth it for me. The money would have been split into three payments minus taxes and management fees. In the end, I would have ended up with close to $50,000 split into 3 payments. $17,000 every 6 months was how it was going to be paid out to me.
That equals out to $2800 a month which may sound decent to a producer who hasn’t started selling beats online but that was less than I was making from my online beat selling business.
The contract was also filled with a lot of very restricting stipulations that I just couldn’t come to terms with. Basically, the pub company would’ve almost literally owned me for life. That is how they get a lot of up-and-coming producers who they see major potential in. They wave $10-20k in their faces and the producers sign on the dotted line, thinking that now they are going to make millions. Some do, but I just wasn’t willing to be a music slave for any amount of money.
I worked for them under a trial period for about 6 months before being presented with the publishing deal. Although they put me in sessions and I was able to collab with some big-name artists, It took much of the fun out of making music for me. Strict deadlines and 100’s of revisions per song, just to hear back from the CEO that it’s starting to sound amazing and he’ll sit with it for a bit. It’s the hardest I’ve ever worked, and the most miserable I’d ever been. Working for one of the biggest record companies in music. That’s when I learned first hand, that everything that glitters isn’t gold.
All of that labor of chasing placements wasn’t in vain. I was able to use most of the beats that I created over that 7 year period for my online beat collection. That helped me build up a catalog of just under 400 instrumentals for my online beat store.
Operation Tunnel Vision
In July of 2016, I took a break from doing everything related to placement opportunities and set out to achieve one goal. Make $10,000k in one month from selling beats online.
For January of 2017, my goal for the new year was to make a 6-month business plan and by the end of the 6th month, be up to earning $10k monthly. I followed my plan to a T. On July 31, 2017, I had $10,000 in one month for the first time. That is when I packed up my things a moved out of California. My mind was made up. I wanted nothing else to do with the music industry.
I had reached my definition of success. Sure we all have our own definitions of what success is. For me, it has always been to be able to make a living doing what I love, being able to help and support my family and friends financially, to live without a struggle, and most importantly of all to be happy.
That’s my story. Now I want to share the info on all the things I learned along the way so that you can also achieve your success.
I’m going to time travel back to 2003 and pretend like I’m talking to my 20-year-old self, obsessed with creating beats in my bedroom but knew nothing about selling beats online.
These are 4 of the biggest tips I can give about to someone just getting into the business.
1. Spend money on marketing and promotion
There’s a reason I included spending money on promotion first on the list. It is the one thing that will set you apart from doing what most other producers are doing. The top-earning producers are the top spending producers. There may be some exceptions with producers who have huge followings. Until you build that type of following, paid promotion is going to be the fastest way to start earning anything close to a consistent $10k a month online.
Generally speaking, the more you spend the more you will make. I recommend having at the very least, 100 beats in your online store before throwing thousands of dollars into promotion. Also, you should have a personal website set up for people who are searching directly for your website. A Beatstars Pro Page is a great option for this.
It cost me about $2,500-$3k a month in paid promotions to make $10k or more in beat sells. That is usually with about 70 percent of sells from leases, and 30 percent from exclusive sells.
You should start slow, spending about $500 a month, and keep building up to a larger promo budget as you make more and more income each month. One month you spend $500 and make back $1500. Then you take $1,000 and make $3,000. Then you take $2,000 and make $6,000 and so one. I go really in depth on these business models later in the article.
I used to think it was impossible for me to sell anywhere close to 100 leases a month. It was right. Without paid promotion it was.
In 2014, in 30 days I went from making only $400-$500 consistently a month from beat leases to at least $2500 from leases only. Coupled with exclusive sales, I was hitting $5k a month. It was so surreal, I just couldn’t believe it was happening for me.
How Did I Do It?
I started spending $30 a day on SoundClick ad banners. In total, I spent about $900 dollars that month. I didn’t even have $900 dollars at once to spend, I only had $150. It only took $120 before I started getting sales. $120 is all it took to change my life forever. My mind was blown! I kept at month after month for 2 and a half years. The more I spent on promo banners the more I made. I started spending $1200-$1500 a month and made anywhere from $3,000-$5,000 a month from leases only!
Once you realize you can make this kind of money from leasing beats, you probably won’t ever sell beats exclusively for anything less than $1,000 dollars. Well, hopefully, you won’t. You’ll then realized you would be losing money rather than making money
I raised my exclusive prices from $250-$500 dollars to $1500. Now my best selling beats I won’t even sell for anything less than $2500.
I didn’t think it was possible for me to sell beats for $1,500 so easily but it was getting to the point where singers and rappers would come buy my biggest selling beats for $1,500 and I would be happy and sad at the same time. Those beats made me about $2,000-$4,000 from leasing then another $1,500 from exclusive. If one of your best instrumentals hasn’t made a lot from leasing, but you know it has to the potential too, it’s probably better to promote that beat and lease it rather than to sell it exclusively.
2. Don’t sell your exclusive beats too cheap
This is one thing I wish I would have had wisdom on when I first started selling beats online. I used to sell my beats for $100-$300 exclusively just because I was so desperate for money. Now I average almost $300 every single day from just leasing beats over and over. Over time a beat makes thousands instead of a measly $300 or less.
If you sell your beats too cheap, you’ll find yourself always having to make new beats, and won’t have enough time to handle the marketing side or enough time to sit back and enjoy life.
3. Save money
This one is so important it was hard to decide if it should go in the place of tip 1 and 2. Since you have to make money to save money, placing it after the money making tips was more logical.
Saving money is so important because it will allow you to operate your beat selling business with more integrity. It will give you a piece of mind should anything go wrong. It will greatly increase you’re negotiating power, helping you to turn down offers when buyers attempt to low ball you and buy your best beats for practical pennies.
When I first started selling beats, I was young and had zero discipline with saving money. It was all spent before I made it. I was offered 3,000 for 30 beats once. At the time, that kind of money was life-changing for me, seeing that I would spend every last dollar I made on non-essentials. I didn’t hesitate to take the $3,000. If only I’d known that those $3,000 beats could have very easily made me $20-30k over a short time. If only someone would have told me all of the secrets that I’m telling you in this post.
Nowadays I would never accept an offer like that because I have enough money in my savings to sustain me for a while even if sold zero beats for months. I would you advise that you make this a goal for yourself also.
4. Make the most music as you can while you can!
“Create as much music possible while motivation is high, and obligations are low”
At age 34 now, I’ve noticed as I get older, it gets harder to get motivated and lock myself in a room for days at a time making beats as I used to when I first start out making beats. Put in the work while it never feels like work for you and that will help you build up your beat collection. Not only with getting older, but you never know what’s gonna happen with your schedule or living situation. So that’s why I say create as much music possible while motivation is high, and obligations are low.
A lot of the beats that I’m making residual passive income from these days were created in the prior 7 years. That’s when I was making so many beats for placement opportunities and had almost nothing else on my plate. It’s an amazing feeling to be relaxing or making beats and you get an email notification of a sale for a beat you made so long ago!
These 4 tips combined together will set you up for a long career making a consistent month to month income
Now I will go into a little more detail about things you should do to get the ball rolling
Where ever a beat can be sold, you need to have your beat collections up on those sites. It’s not just about getting a sale on one particular website. It’s about getting a sell from customers who become repeat customers over the years.
Here is a list of the top sites that will help you find customers who are looking to buy beats
Airbit (formerly know as MyFlashstore.com)is a great platform for selling your beats. It offers a player that handles automatically file delivery when customers buy beats just like Beatstars offers. How it does lack in traffic which is why your promotion dollars spend wouldn’t be very effective. When you’re spending you’re money on a beat site, you wanna make sure that it’s getting a lot of visitors.
Beatstars is what I use as my vendor. When I sell my beats on any other site, I use a beat player and store widget from Beatstars. This handles all of the music file and license agreement deliveries automatically for you.
40-50 percent of my income comes from the Beatstars marketplace. I’ve moved all of my promotion budgets from SoundClick to Beatstars
Although not technically a beat selling site or service, YouTube is definitely one of the top sites for selling and buying beats right now because of its high traffic rate. Also because it’s completely free. That being said, those are the same reasons it is super competitive. If you’re just starting out it will be harder for you to sell beats than on a dedicated beat selling site that gets high traffic like Beatstars. Soundclick and Airbit are good contenders but from my research and own experience, Beatstars.com is the absolute best place to start selling beats online. Right now Beatstars is getting about 3 million visitors a month compared to SoundClick, and Airbits sub 1 million visitors.
View my article above, where I go in depth on showing which dedicated beat selling service is the best with the number to prove it.
With youtube, just make sure you are consistent with uploading. Also, the title of your beat videos can have a huge impact. The “Type Beat” titles are still making a killing on youtube. It’s just really competitive. It may be a good idea to start out buying youtube promo ads to get your subscriber, views and watch time up at first.
If you have a beat collection already, you will do better by uploading them over time instead of all at once. Even if you have only 20 beats, you can schedule those to upload 2 beats a week on different days, while you are creating more beats. I schedule upload 2 beats per week on Wednesday and Saturday for 2-3 months in advance. That really helps with consistency.
If you have a bigger collection of beats, 200 or more it would really help you build a following uploading 1 beats every day for 200 days.
I only have 5k subscribers and I manage to make around $1,000 a month on average from youtube alone. That’s only from the data I can track and not including when beat buyers find my beat on youtube and go type in my beat site URL in the address bar and purchase beats that way.
SoundCloud is also a great place to sell beats. It’s not dedicated to instrumentals so it’s hard to gauge how much traffic the site is getting solely for artists looking to buy beats.
The same rules of consistency that I stated about youtube apply to SoundCloud also.
Unfortunately, SoundCloud doesn’t incorporate any type of paid promotions.
Instagram is very good for selling beats online. You can upload 1-minute beat snippets and use a list of hashtags. When someone searches the any one of the hashtags your beat will pop up.
Instagram offers paid ads to promote your posts. This will allow you to seen by tons of artists looking to buy beats.
The same goes for Twitter as Instagram with hashtags and ads.
It’s not as in your face as Instagram with its multimedia like Instagram but as long as potential buyers can click and hear your beats you will be able to make beat sells.
Facebook is huge for selling instrumentals.
You can integrate your beats directly on the Facebook business page as a beat shop. From there you can use paid ads to promote them.
The ads and tracking features that Facebook offers are amazing.
You know how you shop for products online, then those products come back to haunt you wherever you go? Well, you can do the same thing with your beats with Facebook pixel I.D!
Google has the highest traffic of any website in the world, so it’s no surprise that it’s the best place for selling beats online. It’s very competitive, with thousands of beatmakers competing for the front page for just about every keyword that you can think of.
Ranking high on Google isn’t an easy thing to do but once you do, the reward will be worth all of the work and you put in. SEO or search engine optimization is s whole separate job and career in itself but it is necessary if you want to earn $10,000 a month if you aren’t earning that from a beat selling service alone.
30-40 percent of my income comes from artists find my beat site from google.
So in conclusion, 40-50 percent of my income comes from Beatstars marketplace
30-40 percent comes from Google. The other remaining fluctuating 10-30 percent I estimate it comes from all of the other beat selling sites that I listed.
For anyone just getting into selling beats online, Google and Beatstars are the two highest traffic sites that you should consider putting the biggest percent of your effort and promotion dollars into. Next to those would be Facebook/Instagram and Airbit. The last sites I would recommend are SoundCloud and SoundClick. Soundclick was amazing 2015 and prior, but in the past 2 years, the traffic has really plummeted. Again, you can read more about the downfall of SoundClick in my articles that I previously linked.
Be versatile with your beat collection
This is not necessary but it sure has helped me.
Sure it can be very beneficial to specialize in just a couple of different styles of beats. You will be the go-to guy for that sound.
For me personally, I love so many types of music and also love creating many different genres of music.
I go through phases of being obsessed with making rap beats, R&b beats, country beats, pop beats, reggae beats, rock beats, and then the sub-genres of each of those.
What this has done for me is allowed me to build a customer base of music artists who can retain the sound quality they love with my beats, while still being to explore and experiment with different music styles. This is especially beneficial for artists who are new and haven’t found their sound.
It also allows them to build trust with one producer, or if anything fewer producers.
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “patience is a virtue.” I didn’t know what it means until later in my beat selling career. Patience is what keeps you going when you have a bad month, or even year with your beat selling business. Patience is what helped me go from working 60 plus hours a week making beats to sell for a few hundred dollars to only having to create when I feel inspired. When you can resist the quick money from exclusive sells and make your money each beat over time with lease sells, you won’t have to constantly be creating new beats when you don’t feel inspired.
Patience is really necessary when trying to rank high in Google. The reason being the work you do takes about 6 months to register with google. For new domains, it takes about 6 months of age for Google to even start to index new domains.
Don’t Give Up
This one goes hand and hand with patience
Even with making $10,000 in beat sells in a month, some days may be days that you get zero sells. It can be very discouraging when you don’t get sells on some days. Especially when you’re spending money each and every day on promotions. Don’t give up when this happens! It almost made me quit in the same month when I made my first substantial money from leases.
I spent money for 3 days on SoundClick and didn’t make any sells. I was so ready to quit, but something told me to keep going. The fourth day my track hit #1 in the pop beats charts. That is when the sells started pouring in. I don’t know where I would be right now if I would have given up on day 2. It wasn’t so much about the money I made from that experience. It showed me that if you want to make money, you have to spend money. I can’t reiterate that enough.
The Exact 6 month Plan That I followed To Reach $10k A Month Selling Beats Online
This is a very realistic business model that can work for anyone. I can’t guarantee the same success I had within an exact 6 month period. There are just too many variables. How many beats you have, the quality of your beats, the pricing of your beats, where you promote your beats, what type of promotions you purchase, and the list, etc.
However, I can guarantee you one thing. The increase in your monthly income will be life-changing for you.
“If you want to make consistent earnings, you must make consistent investments”
You must make sure that you’re buying promotions for every single day, without a glitch. If you want to make consistent earnings, you must make consistent investments.
Your First Month (Goal: Spend $500 in promotions and make $2,000 in beat sales)
For the first month, I would recommend starting with a budget of around at least $500. The bigger your budget is the first month, the better the chances of you making a substantial amount of sells.
Now, you don’t have to have $500 upfront. If you start out spending just $16 a day for 30 days that would be $500 for the month.
You would only need to sell 50 basic MP3 leases at the prices of $30 to reach $1500 in sales.
Realistically you won’t end up selling only basic leases. You will also be selling wav leases, premium leases, unlimited leases, and exclusive rights.
I would highly recommend that you offer the higher priced a premium lease, and unlimited lease. Unlimited leases are a great option you can use to offer customers who want exclusive rights but can’t afford it. That is the case for I’d say 75 percent of up and coming artists.
At just a fraction of the price, you can give them a lot of the freedoms that they would get with exclusives rights. The only caveat for them is that you still own the beat fully, and the beat stays on your beat site to lease to other recording artists looking for beats.
You can get an idea of things from my page HERE. Feel free to use it as a guide for determining your pricing options and leasing options.
While it may seem like I may be giving too much away with the unlimited lease, I will be honest with you. Unlimited Leases usually equate to at least 50 percent of my sells!
You would only need to sell 4 unlimited leases, 2 premium leases, 16 basic leases, and one exclusive beat at the price of $500 to reach the $2,000 goal. THAT IS SO REALISTIC AND ACHIEVABLE!
Bonus: If you sell your beat exclusive for $1500 instead of $500, you will have exceeded the goal by $1,000! That will be a great opportunity to have some money to stash away in your savings as I mentioned above in my 4 biggest tips for success.
Month 2 (Goal: Spend $1,000 in promotions and make $3,500 in beat sales)
In month 2, your goal is going to be doubling your promotion budget and making $3500 in beat sales.
Why double the promotion budget but not double the amount made from beat sales?
This is a realistic business plan. I’m leaving some room for some error. Unrealistic goal setting usually results in failed goals. I definitely don’t want you to feel like a failure before this gets into the life-changing stage for you.
In month 2, with more beat leases coming in, I’m gonna assume that you will have the confidence by then to raise your exclusive price to at least $1,000.
For the remaining $2,500 that you will need to reach your goal here is a break down of what you could expect to meet in sells.
6 Unlimited Leases – $200 X 6 =$1200
5 Premium Leases – $100 X 5 = $500
27 Basic MP3 Leases – $30 X 27 =$810
1 Exclusive Rights Sale – $1000
Total Beat Sales = $3,510
Month 3-5 (Goal: Spend $2500 in promotions and make $7,000 in beat sales)
Life is going to start to get very exciting starting at month 3-5. That’s if it hasn’t already by the second month.
By this time you will have tons of customers who heard your beats 90-150 days ago. Now they will be ready to buy beats by this time.
One thing I’ve learned after 12 years of selling beats online, is that a majority of your beats sells don’t come from someone hearing a beat, loving it and buying it right then and there. Most of your sells will come from the artist vibing out to the beat and successfully writing a song they love to it. A lot of them will do this over your tagged beats and free beats. Some will purchase just the Basic Mp3 Lease to write and record to, then come back days, weeks, months, or even years later to update to a higher lease or purchase the exclusive rights.
This is very important to keep in mind when you first start promoting your beats and getting traffic. The longer your beats have been up, and the longer you have been promoting them, the more you are going to get customers coming to buy them that heard them a while back.
This point takes us into month 6th
Month 6 (Goal: Spend $3000 in promotions and make $7,000 in beat sales)
Month 6 will be the month where without a shadow of a doubt, your entire life will change if it already hasn’t. You will be looking at life through a brand new set of eyes.
Chances are, if you make it to month 2, you will make to month 6. Once you start spending money on promo the first month, and you start making a number of sales that you never thought was possible for you… You won’t ever want to stop scaling up to you reach your goal of monthly income.
The Big 10
For the Big $10k, here is a break down of what you would expect to meet in sells.
19 Unlimited Leases – $200 X 6 =$4000
14 Premium Leases – $100 X 5 = $1400
60 Basic MP3 Leases – $30 X 27 =$1800
2 Exclusive Rights Sales – $3000
Total Beat Sales = $10,000
After 6 months into your business, and also at a level of being able to have a $3k a month promotion budget, meeting these numbers are easily achievable! I know it may seem too difficult right now but trust me, i can hardly believe i meet these numbers even after it keeps happening month after month.
You will see from my screenshots below, that I only sold one Exclusive Rights Option. Over $8,000 came from leases only!
I hope that the screenshots give you a little more confidence, that it can be done
Screenshots from my first 10k month
You will see from my screenshots below, that I only sold one Exclusive Rights Option. Over $8,000 came from leases only!
I hope that the screenshots get you a little more confidence, that it can be done
I know some are going to say wait that’s not $10k, it’s only $9,858. As you will come to find out, there will be some rare times when you have to accept payments and deliver files manually. Usually when customers want to upgrade from one lease option to another buying option. There is no way for them to upgrade automatically through any of the beat vendors, so you will have to accept the upgrade payments via PayPal outside of your beat store player.
This particular month I’m showing I had another $400 in upgrades, but those upgrades won’t reflect in Beatstars sales dashboard. Only in your PayPal sales report.
Click the text to check out the article below where I go in depth about which beat selling service offers the best promotion. This will help choose where your promotion dollars will be best spent.
When I had my first few months of making 10k, I felt like Bradley Cooper in the movie “Limitless”. Feeling like I could do anything. I started hiring virtual assistants, real assistants, family members, anyone who could do things that would take my time away from making music.
My beat selling business has provided the financial base to where I’m now financially able to invest in other streams of income outside of selling beats online, and hiring teams to manage those things while I’m in the zone making music or relaxing.
The best part is, you’ll literally be living your dream of being your boss. Doing what you truly love for a living. Living life on your own terms.
Hopefully, the stories, the resources, and the information shared here are helpful to any producer struggling to make money, just getting started or even just for a producer who wants to earn more. If I did it, I know that you can do it.
The only thing left to do is start!