Make Money Rapping
Hip hop is one of the most popular forms of music in the world, and it has been for some time. The internet has made it easier than ever to make, publish, and promote music. This is especially true for underground, unsigned, and independent artists.
As a rapper, there are many ways to make money with your craft. This includes both in-person and online sales. Today we are discussing different ways for rappers to make money.
Can You Make Money Rapping?
The short answer to this question is: yes! There are many creators out there that make money through their music and their general knowledge of hip hop. This includes selling features, products, and leveraging information.
From an online marketing perspective, rapping and hip hop are niches just like every other topic. Every niche and every audience has their own sets of needs and wants. Creators and business-owners come up with ideas to solve the problems of their audience. Rapping and hip hop is no different.
While the amount of money you make will vary based on your monetization methods, it is possible to make money by building an audience around rapping and hip hop music.
There are a variety of people that consume hip hop music and hip hop-related content on the internet. Understanding these audience segments will help give you a better understanding of your potential content, release, and monetization strategies.
The best research you can do for this is to look at your own audience. You can run polls on social media, or do audience outreach to see what kind of music and content they want from you.
That said, here are a few common audience segments for hip hop artists and creators:
These are people who love hip-hop music, but it is not something they are overly passionate about. They will often stream hip-hop music but are less likely to buy merchandise or go to shows.
Hip Hop Heads
These are the people that live and breathe hip hop. Compared to casual listeners, hip hop heads have a higher potential of becoming a diehard fan of your music and content.
Hip Hop Artists
Hip-hop culture is maintained by its artists. While other hip-hop artists may be your competition, they are also consumers of hip-hop culture. As a creator/artist, this audience segment can help you with networking, collaborations, and support.
Hip Hop Content Creators
This segment is similar to the above-mentioned ‘hip hop artists’ segment. The difference here is that hip-hop content creators don’t have to make hip-hop music themselves (though a lot of them do). This includes hip-hop bloggers, YouTubers, and social media influencers.
8 Ways To Make Money Rapping
1. Streaming and Royalties
For most artists, their art is their main form of content. This typically also means that their monetization method comes from streaming and royalties.
The upside of this strategy is that you are promoting the art that you love and are passionate about. The downside is that royalties often do not pay much. You will need to grow a large audience to start seeing real money from streaming.
Many artists who rely on streaming for their income often use playlists to help grow their audience. Similar to SEO for websites, music streaming platforms have their own recommendation algorithms. The theory here is that by getting onto popular playlists, your music will carry more weight within that streaming platform’s algorithm.
While this strategy can work for many artists, it seems to be more of an exception than the norm. We recommend that artists use other monetization strategies to supplement any income coming from streaming and royalties.
2. Selling Features
As you grow your brand and audience, your work will hold a higher level of value in the hip hop community. This will open up opportunities to collaborate with other artists. While it can be fun to be featured on other’s songs (or vice versa), there is also a business side to this aspect of music creation.
Selling features is one way to monetize your brand as a hip hop artist. You can charge other creators to be featured on your songs, or to be featured on one of their songs. The benefit here is that the other artist can improve their brand by associating themselves with your brand. You can also make some income in the process.
The same also works in reverse. You can invest money into your brand by paying for collaborations with other artists. In turn, this will increase your online presence and bring traffic to your other sources of income. When It comes to promoting your art, networking is a very valuable tool.
3. Physical Media
Some music fans like something to hold in their hands. Vinyl is still alive and well, and many people love adding independent artists to their collection. As opposed to giving people digital goods, fans have something physical to take away from their transaction.
The downside of selling physical media is the initial cost and overhead. Some money will need to be invested into creating the product. This includes burning CDs, pressing vinyl, and creating album art.
However, selling physical media can be a good moneymaker for hip hop artists. This is especially true for artists who play gigs or have a web store set up.
Much like selling physical media, merch allows fans to obtain physical products with their money. This includes shirts, hats, stickers, pins and patches. Selling merchandise is also a great way to have things to sell at gigs.
An added benefit of selling merchandise is free advertising. When people are wearing your merchandise, they are essentially walking billboards for your brand. This also helps word-of-mouth traffic as people may ask where they purchased your merch.
5. Play Gigs And Shows
Playing gigs can also be a profitable experience for rappers. Many venues give artists a cut of the ticket sales and cover charges for the night. Gigs also give you a chance to increase your brand presence and sell any merchandise you have made.
If you have not started playing gigs yet, take a look around your area for venues that showcase rappers or put in hip-hop shows. Check to see if there are any open mic nights, or call venues to see how you can be booked.
This is also where networking with other artists comes into play. While you may not have luck contacting venues directly, you can make friends with other gigging artists. They may be able to help set you up with gigs in your area.
6. Start A Blog
If you are a rapper that enjoys writing, you can supplement your music fans with blog readers. Most artists have their own website. However, most artists use their sites to promote their music. By creating a library of blog posts, you can pull in a new audience that have not previously interacted with your music.
By starting a blog, you can write articles where you give opinions and guidance to aspiring rappers and hip-hop artists. As the traffic on your blog/website grows, you can monetize through the use of ads, affiliate links, products, and services. You can also use your website
All you need is a domain name and a hosting provider to get started. PHASR Media uses Bluehost for all of our hosting needs. For more information on how to start a blog, check out our tutorial on the topic.
7. Start A YouTube Channel
Much like starting a blog, starting a YouTube channel allows you to provide content to the wider hip hop community. You can also use their live streaming service to perform your music or conduct live interviews.
YouTube channels can be monetized through the use of ads. Ads are typically placed automatically by YouTube. However, you can also add your own affiliate/sponsored ads into your videos and video descriptions.
8. Start A Podcast
Hip hop culture has a near-infinite amount of topics to discuss. By starting a podcast, you can provide information for hip hop fans and creators while also bringing awareness to your own music.
As a rapper, you are also uniquely equipped to help people as they learn how to write and deliver lyrics. People are always looking for help when it comes to improving their skills as an artist.
After your podcast starts building an audience, you can add advertisements to your episodes to bring in some revenue. You can also use the podcast platform to sell services, such as features and training.
Which Strategy Is Best For Making Money Rapping?
The best strategy for making money rapping will vary from person to person. Everyone has different skills, interests, and lifestyles. What monetization methods work best for one person may not work for another.
Before committing to a specific style of content and monetization, take a look at your own wants and needs. Burnout is very real for people who make online content or run online businesses. Choosing a strategy that does not work for you will ensure that you get stressed and burnt out quickly.
You never know what you may like in the future, or what works best for your brand. Feel free to try new things, experiment, and find what works best for your style.
Are You Passionate About Rapping?
We hope you enjoyed our guide on how to make money rapping. Are there any ways to make money rapping that we missed? Let us know on social media!