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How to Make Money as a DJ in 2024

Terran

5 min read

Dec 22, 2023

Earning money as a DJ requires determination. Luckily, with technology, our music industry is evolving, opening doors for DJs to turn their talents into a money-making business.


DJ performing at a club with an excited audience in dim lighting.

OPTION 1: CREATE AND SELL DJ MERCH


Selling branded clothing will earn you $2,000 faster than booking live gigs.


As a DJ, producer, or even a content creator, you have the power to turn your audience into committed supporters. By offering unique products that are relevant to your niche, you can monetize your brand beyond the music.


When your brand image is strong, you have the option to add a DJ logo or a custom design to almost anything!


Here are a few examples of popular & simple branded products:


  • Hat

  • T-Shirt

  • Enamel Pins

  • Patches

  • Stickers

  • Sweatshirt / Jacket

  • Fanny Pack / Crossbody Bag


Alternatively, you can establish a separate brand, distinct from your DJ alias. This helps prevent the products from being seen as just ‘merchandise’. You can then market these items not only to your fans, but also to a similar online audience.


To choose the right item to sell, you may need to conduct some market research.


If done properly, selling DJ merchandise will let you expand your income sources while still doing what you love – DJing.


OPTION 2: AFFILIATE MARKETING FOR DJS


Affiliate marketing can be a fantastic way for DJs to make extra money.


This involves promoting relevant products like DJ equipment, software, or music education services. Earning money for each sale made through your unique link. It works best when you already have a platform like a website, YouTube channel, or social media following. Even with a small community, you can turn a profit.


To save you the time searching through online directories like AffiliatePrograms, we created a list of the 5 best affiliate marketing programs for DJs.


DJ AFFILIATE MARKETING BEST PRACTICES


When promoting products to your audience, you accept some level of responsibility. Follow these affiliate marketing best practices to make the most of your time.


1. Choose Relevant Products

Promote products and services that are relevant to your DJ brand, audience, and content. Bonus points for products that your audience is already interested in, as they will be more likely to convert.


2. Be Transparent


Always let your audience know that you are using affiliate links. And, that you may earn a commission if they make a purchase through your link. This helps to maintain trust with your followers.


3. Create Quality Content


High quality digital content is key to driving traffic and encouraging users to click on your affiliate links. Whether it’s a tutorial or an informative article, make sure to provide value.


4. Promote with Authenticity


Do not push products for the sake of earning a commission. Make sure you genuinely believe in the product. Authenticity will make your audience more likely to trust your recommendations.


5. Use Multiple Channels


Do not limit yourself to one platform. Utilize all of your available resources, including your website, social media(s), and even your DJ live streams for affiliate marketing links.


6. Track Your Results


Most affiliate programs provide a way to track clicks, sales, and commissions. Use this data to understand what is working and what is not, then adjust your strategy.


7. Experiement


It is always a good idea to test different products, services, and content types. Use the information collected from your research or results as inspiration! Affiliate marketing is often about trial and error, so don’t be afriaid to find what works best for you.


8. Be Patient


Earning significant income through affiliate marketing doesn’t happen overnight. It requires time, effort, and patience. Keep working on it, and over time you could create a valuable income stream.


OPTION 3: CREATE AN ONLINE DJ COURSE


The industry of creating and selling online courses has exploded in popularity over recent years. It is now easier than ever to teach people how to DJ from the comfort of your home!


On average, developing an online course can earn you around $1,000 to $10,000 per month. And with specialized courses, like DJing, there is potential for higher pricing and a loyal student base.


While this method of earning money as a DJ does require planning and commitment, it can be the most profitable by far.



However, to successfully launch an online DJ course, simply knowing how to DJ might not be enough. Prospective students want to learn from someone who has been where they want to be.


On top of that, it’s as simple as recording a few tutorial videos. The structure, content, and delivery all play a role in your success.


So, if you’ve played numerous live shows or curated your own series of DJ mixes, use those experiences to your advantage.


7 STEPS TO DEVELOP AN ONLINE DJ COURSE


Here’s a look at the course creation process before you start distributing the content.


  1. Identify Your Course Topic

  2. Conduct Market Research

  3. Define Your Learning Objectives

  4. Develop a Course Outline

  5. Choose Your DJ Course Format

  6. Choose Your DJ Course Platform

  7. Start Creating Course Content


If this is the money-making strategy for you, read our detailed guide.


OPTION 4: BOOK PAID PERFORMANCES


Traditionally, the world of DJing has been rooted in live performances and events. With some crowds reaching up to 400,000 at the renowned Tomorrowland music festival.


Yet, these massive stages are not the only venues that need DJs. Your local club, bar, park, and community are the best resources to secure your first paying DJ gig.


WHERE CAN DJS GET PAID TO PLAY?


More places than you think! A wide variety of venues and events often require a DJ, and are worth reaching out to, including:


  1. Nightclubs

  2. Bars

  3. Restaurants

  4. Weddings

  5. Private Parties

  6. Corporate Events

  7. Colleges & Universities

  8. Radio Shows

  9. Fashion Shows

  10. Sporting Events

  11. Charity Events

  12. Hotels & Resorts

  13. Art Galleries

  14. Cruise Ships

  15. Music Festivals


HOW TO GET BOOKED FOR A LIVE DJ SET


If you are confident in your skills and can entertain a crowd, then you deserve to put yourself out there.


The first step in getting booked for a live DJ set is to understand your audience. If you only want to play tearout dubstep and 140 bpm bangers, then you should probably stay away from corporate events.


Likewise, if you are able to play multiple genres, like house music or top 100 hits, you become much more versatile. Keep in mind the atmosphere of the event and its attendees.


At the same time, no matter what your genre preference is, there is an event somewhere that requires your services – but first, they have to know you exist.



Once you know the music you want to play, and choose a place to play it, the next step is to find the promoters or event organizers who are in charge of booking entertainment.


Build a list, then contact them via email in a respectful and professional manner. Explain why you are interested, mention any of their previous events you have attended, and attach your DJ Electronic Press Kit (EPK).


A professional DJ EPK or electronic press kit, with an orange minimal design.

Make sure to cast a wide net, and don’t be discouraged if you don’t earn a booking right away. The most important part of this process is building and maintaining a relationship with venues and organizers for future opportunities.


The next time you play a similar event, change your EPK, or level up your DJing skills, let them know. By maintaining this contact, you can remind them you exist, just in case their answer has changed.


Working to network with promoters in your local area is the best way to obtain your first paying DJ gig. To do this, you'll need to write an effective booking inquiry.


HOW TO MAKE MONEY AS A DJ


Harness the tools at your fingertips and nurture a brand that resonates with others. If you’ve got the passion, your first paycheck is closer than you think!

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