Passive Income as a Song Writer

Do you have some musical talent? Perhaps you are a pretty decent piano or guitar player and you’ve wanted to create some more income with your talents. Well, you could always play at the local club for a few bucks, but maybe you’ve been thinking about earning a passive income instead. If you can write music and you’ve got a creative mind, then it might be your time to earn that passive income.

How the Passive Income Rolls In

Much like book authors, song writers earn an income that’s based on the number of sales of their songs. In other words, when you hop onto iTunes and make a song purchase for $1, some of your dollar goes directly to the song writer of that melody!


So what are the expenses of a song writer? Basically, the only money invested is in their instruments. Let’s say that you’re a whiz at playing the piano and would love to buy one so that you could write up some music. The total cost of your business could be a $200 used piano that still plays like a dream!


The music business might seem fairly simple, but the payout can be very complicated, especially since there are so many stages in the development of a song. In general though, a song writer will earn about $0.08 on every song that is sold.

Let’s say that you create a hit song that sells 1 million copies at $1 a piece. You just earned yourself $80,000. After the song loses popularity, the sales might drop to only 50,000 purchases, which leaves you with $4,000 each year.

The Outcome

It sure doesn’t sound like there’s a lot of money in songwriting does there? Well, if you’re only writing one song in your entire life, then yeah, you’re probably right. It’s not going to make you a million dollars. However, what if you were able to write 20 hit songs in your lifetime? Not only would you have earned $1,600,000 in the first-year sales of those songs, but you would also have an ongoing income of $80,000 a year (20*$4,000 per song) for no extra work beyond the initial writing of each song! Suddenly, the income is starting to sound a whole lot better isn’t it? If you’ve got some talent in music, perhaps song writing can be your new method for passive income.

Do you have a knack for writing music? Consider this as a passive income source for your future!

7 thoughts on “Passive Income as a Song Writer

    1. According to MMD, songs can be sold on iStockPhoto. For me, I would seek out an agent that would be able to sell my song for me to the big record labels.

  1. I can testify to this. Although I am not a rock star, recording music is a hobby of mine. I have been selling my music on iStockPhoto for a few years now and it has generated some small side cash for me.

    1. That’s awesome MMD! It’s always great to hear a success story from one of my readers. Keep up the great work!

  2. Not a vary realistic article. Telling a young person to plan on writing hit songs is like telling someone to plan on winning the lottery. More realistically, a residual income can be developed through gradually building an audience for your music, through performing and promoting your songs anywhere you can over and over. I speak from many years of experience as a professional musician and songwriter.

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