If you want to make an income as a music artist online, then there are 3 steps you must master.

The great news is the tool, ConvertKit, helps you achieve all three of these steps.

By the way, if you decide to sign up with ConvertKit yourself, be sure to sign up through my affiliate link (OrpheusAudioAcademy.com/convertkit).

When you sign up through my link, shoot me an email, and I'll send you my email templates for following up your new subscribers so that you can turn them into superfans.

Start Your Email List

Get started with ConvertKit for free and start building your email list.

How Indie Musicians Make Money Online

There is a very simple formula indie musicians are using to build full-time incomes online. 

That formula is as follows:

The Indie Musician Income Formula

Grow + Engage + Promote = $$$

To break this down a little more...

The Indie Musician Income Formula

Step 1 - Grow An Audience

The first step to making a living as a music artist is to build an audience/following. This means finding the places where your potential fans are hanging out online and putting your music in front of the people who are the most likely to love your music. 

Step 2 - Engage Your Audience

But making people aware of your music isn't enough to get them to actually spend money. Sure, they might stream your music for free, but that's a bout it. In order to convert your audience from mere followers into "superfans", you need to engage them, and build a relationship with them. The best way to do this is by getting them on your email list and regularly emailing them valuable content.

Step 3 - Promote Products To Your Audience

Once you've established a relationship with your fans, and they've become "superfans", they're now ready to spend money with you, but you have to give them what THEY want. This could be merch, physical music, a fanclub, or many other things. 

ConverKit helps you to achieve each and every one of these 3 steps. 

But don't take my word for here. 

Here is a list of just a few of the music artists who are using ConvertKit to build their careers and earn a living from their music. 

Musicians Who Use ConvertKit

Successful musicians who recognize the power of having an email list and using a powerful, yet simple, tool like ConvertKit.

Tim McGraw
Lindsey Stirling
Ben Rector
Calvin Arsenia
Arnold Schwarzenegger

Okay, not a music artist, but he too uses ConvertKit, which is pretty cool.

Why Successful Music Artists Have Email Lists

Successful music artists like the ones listed above recognize the importance of having an email list. 

Having an email list of fans is the difference between renting your audience and owning it. 

If you build your following strictly on social media, you don't really own your audience - the social media platforms do, and they can take them away from you anytime they please.

In fact, they already have by requiring you to pay for ads just to get your posts in front of your own fans. 

This isn't the case with an email list.

Your fans are YOUR fans, and you can reach them any time you want. 

Additionally, you can create a deeper connection with your fans by reaching them DIRECTLY in their inbox with personalized updates that turn casual listeners into superfans.

No algorithms getting in the way.

The stronger the connection with your fans, the more control you'll have over how you earn a living with your music.

Start Your Email List

Get started with ConvertKit for free and start building your email list.

How to Start An Email List

To start an email list, you first need an email service provider tool (also known as an email autoresponder tool).

There are bunch of them out there, and I've tried many...

But the best one I've found for music artists is ConvertKit.

Here are 3 ways ConvertKit can help you earn a living from your music... 

1. ConvertKit Helps You Grow Your Audience

How ConvertKit Helps You Grow Your Fanbase

Collect email addresses

Remember the old days of collecting email addresses at the merch table with a notebook and pen? Now that notebook has gone digital so you can promote your music everywhere and keep fans both old and new in the know.

Create an online hub

Use landing pages designed for musicians to create an easy way to promote your next album, embed your music videos, and link out to social platforms and places to download music.

ConvertKit lets you create opt-in forms which you can embed on your website, or, even better...

If you don't have a website, you can create "landing pages" with ConvertKit which you can easily share across social media. 

You can create a "one-stop-shop" page which contains your latest music videos, links to social media platforms, and places where fans can download your music...

Or, to increase conversions, you can have a page with just one call to action: join your email list!

To incentivize your fans to join, you can offer something like a free song in exchange for their email address, and then ConvertKit will deliver that free song to your new subscribers automatically. 

All in all, ConvertKit makes it very easy to build your fanbase and your email list, the first step in the Indie Musician Income Formula.

2. ConvertKit Helps You Engage Your Audience

Turn Casual Followers Into Die-Hard Fans

Write Simple Emails

To build the kind of relationship with your followers that turns them into loyal fans, you need to consistently send valuable content. ConvertKit's email editor helps you set up a simple and clean writing experience so connecting with fans is as easy as emailing your friends.

Send relationship-building content

Organize your audience into segments based on their interest, location, and more to send them content you know they’ll be excited about. Playing a show in Denver? Send an email to fans in the area. Re-releasing an old album? Give fans who originally bought it early access to the new version.

Write Simple Emails

A lot of email service provider tools out there aren't really designed for creators or music artists. 

They're more designed for ecommerce, and as a result, they have a bunch of unnecessary features that can not only bog you down, but harm your attempts to build a relationship directly with your fans.

You don't want to be sending fancy emails with complicated designs to your fans, which is what most email autoresponder tools are designed to do.

You want to send simple emails. 

ConvertKit is the exception, as it was designed specifically with creators (including musicians) in mind. 

As a result, their email editor let's you create simple emails so that what your fans receive look exactly like an email they would get from a friend...

Not some big corporation trying to sell them stuff they don't need. 

By sending these simple emails, you can build that relationship with your fans much more quickly...

Which, in turn, will make them much more likely to buy stuff from you, whether that's your music, or signing up for your Patreon/fanclub. 

Free Challenge:

Get Your First 100 Email List Subscribers In 3 Days

I'll email you a new strategy each day, for 3 days, to help you get your first 100 email list subscribers. These strategies don't cost anything, and you can easily implement them in just 3 days.

Audience Segmentation

ConvertKit also allows you to organize your audience into segments based on their interest, location, and more to send them content you know they’ll be excited about. 

This allows you to send more of the content your fans want, and less of the stuff they don't want. 

For example, is a particular shirt in your merch store on sale? You can email just the people who have viewed that shirt previously, or only the people who have viewed your apparel in general. 

Thus, you can send more promotional emails to your list without burning them out by sending targeted emails. 

3. ConvertKit Helps Your Promote Your Products

Speaking of promotion, that takes us to the third and final step in the Indie Musician Income Formula - promotion. 

Generate Income With ConvertKit

Sell music directly to your fans

Create customizable product pages for your EPs, albums, private virtual concerts or fan club memberships with a simple checkout flow. And our low transaction fees (just 3.5% + 30c per sale) mean more money goes directly into your pocket.

Promote like a pro

Make marketing easy with ConvertKit automations. Create automated email flows based on your fan’s interest to promote your merch, get them excited about an upcoming album release, sell tickets to shows, or simply keep fans up-to-date on what’s happening next.

Sell Music Directly

If you don't have the time or resources to build out a fancy online store, you can still sell your music, virtual concerts, or fan club memberships directly through ConvertKit. 

Therefore, ConvertKit is much more than just an email service provider, it's also payment processor tool that will allow you to collect payments directly from your fans. 

This is incredibly powerful and easy to use, which makes it great for indie musicians.

Automated Promotion

ConvertKit, being an email autoresponder tool, also allows you to set-up automated email sequences which you can use to passively build your relationship with your fans...

And turn them into paying customers. 

I highly recommend setting up a welcome/onboarding email sequence that is sent to every new subscriber. 

You can use this automated sequence to deliver even more value (like giving them free exclusive/unreleased music).

By over-delivering like this, you turn your subscribers from casual fans into superfans!

That achieved, later in your onboarding sequence, you can direct your fans to follow you on social media, stream your music on Spotify, or even join your fanclub/membership/Patreon...

And again, this is all automated. 

But the work in once, and then let ConvertKit be your automated sales machine. 


ConvertKit is a powerful tool and email marketing is foundational for success as an indie musician.

If you don't have an email service provider tool yet, or you aren't happy with the one you have...

Try out ConvertKit today for free!

When your audience grows past 1,000 subscribers, or when you want access to features like automated email sequences and sales funnels, the Creator Plan starts at just $9 per month.

If you are happy with your email service provider, or you already have ConvertKit, and you want some help with step #1 (growing your fanbase and email list subscribers)...

Then sign up for my free 0 to 100 fans challenge, where I'll show you how to go from 0 email list subscribers to 100 in just 3 days.

Free Challenge:

Get Your First 100 Email List Subscribers In 3 Days

I'll email you a new strategy each day, for 3 days, to help you get your first 100 email list subscribers. These strategies don't cost anything, and you can easily implement them in just 3 days.

I hope you got value from this post on the 3 ways ConvertKit helps you grow your income as a music artist.

If so, feel free to share, and let me know in the comments below...

What other questions do you have about email marketing?

Reagan Ramm

Hi! I'm Reagan, and I've been writing, recording, and mixing music since 2011, and got a degree in audio engineering in 2019 from Unity Gain Recording Institute. I also work full-time in Digital Marketing and Entrepreneurship, and am striving to help fellow musicians and producers improve their art and make a living doing the work they love.

- Reagan Ramm


Convertkit, email marketing, Marketing

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