Submit your Songs into Songwriting Competitions:
Yes, there are scams out there, but don’t let that stop you. Many songwriting competitions can help your songs gain exposure to top music industry executives. They can also help you meet other writers which may lead to potential new collaboration opportunities. The International Songwriting Competition has a panel of judges ranging from Grammy-Winning artists and songwriters to CEOs of major record companies. We also recommend Song Of The Year, The U.S.A Songwriting Competition, and The Great American Song Contest.
Schedule a Co-Writing Session:
Working with others may sound daunting, but collaborating with other writers can sometimes be the best way to come up with fresh ideas you wouldn't have thought of otherwise. Not only could your co-written songs end up better, but the more people you collaborate with, the more people will be actively playing and advocating for your songs. Don’t be scared to reach out to well established artists and songwriters about co-writing sessions - It never hurts to ask! Always remember that 1% of something is better than 100% of nothing.
Sign up for a Songwriting Seminar or Workshop:
The best musicians are always learning. Songwriting seminars and workshops are great places to learn new styles and techniques from established songwriters and artists. The prestigious Berklee College of Music offers a free online songwriting course once a year with professor Pat Pattison, who has previously taught artists like John Mayer and David Wilcox. The ASCAP EXPO is an annual 3 day conference with panels ranging from premier ASCAP writers to top music executives. BMI also offers several great Songwriting boot camp style workshops throughout the year.
Join a Writer’s Round or Open Mic Night:
Writer’s rounds are great places to network with other writers and try out your songs in front of a crowd. If you have stage fright, performing at these places can also give you invaluable experience playing in front of people. Artists like Michelle Branch and Ian Axel (of A Great Big World) started at New York Songwriters Circle, a monthly songwriter’s circle at The Bitter End in NYC. Open mic nights are everywhere and also great places to get exposure to new people.
Record a Cover Song and Upload it to YouTube:
Many of today’s most established songwriters and artists including Karmin and Justin Bieber, to name a few got discovered through their YouTube cover videos. This can be a great tool for attracting fans of a current song and directing them to your original music. Once your cover song is recorded, signing up with Loudr will allow you to sell and get paid for your cover song without worrying about any of the licensing business headaches.
Once your songs are out there in the world, they will quickly start generating revenue. At this stage in your career you want to collect any money that is available, small or large. Songtrust is a one stop shop for global royalty collection. Learn more here.
Take control of your publishing. Maximize Songtrust for your songs and business.
We created this guide to answer a simple question: How do songwriters support themselves?
The answer is not as simple as we’d like, but our goal is to make it as clear, transparent and understandable as we possibly can.
Songtrust is more than just a rights management platform and publishing administrator - we’re a team of experts in the music community who strive to educate, support, and provide thought leadership to creators, representatives, and businesses across the music industry.
Our hope is that you’ll finish this guide with an better understanding of the business behind songwriting and have actionable resources to help you be successful.