Making A Living Online As A DJ – Is It Possible?!
In this post, I am going to talk a little bit about the human aspect of making money by sharing your music online. I will not be talking anything technical – I will cover that in a different post – but I will outline the human element to making a living online as a musician – in this case, as a DJ on YouTube.
At The Beginning
When you first create a YouTube channel you are surging with anticipation, joy and a sprinkle of fear! Much like when you create your first blog, you cannot help but imagine the online population enjoying your awesome drops and soulful beats. You imagine how much ad revenue you will make from the millions of hits you receive every day as your videos go viral – not to mention the notoriety of being a famous DJ.
Unfortunately, this is not even close to the truth – at least for 95% of the YouTubers out there. Success takes time, hard work, consistency and tenacity.
But don’t be disheartened, that sentence is the only negative sentence in this whole post because creating your own YouTube channel as a DJ to spread your influence and love of music is a truly wonderful thing to do and I cannot stress this enough; DO IT!
Follow your dream and let the online community enjoy whatever musical creation you love – drum n’ bass, electro, soul – ANYTHING!
If you love it and want to share it then there will be millions of people out there who share your enthusiasm for the same tunes.
Does it take some time? Sure, but so does everything else. To be successful at anything takes dedication and practice.
Building A Fanbase
At first, it is tough. You have no subscribers and no one knows who you are. However, with a little bit of effort, you will see results build relatively quickly.
You will start getting new subscribers within a day or two, suddenly you have 10 subscribers, then 100. The more subscribers you have the larger your influence becomes and your fan base will grow quicker and quicker.
To build a fanbase it is important to interact with your audience and please them. Again, I won’t go into the technical side of things regarding video editing etc – I will cover that in another post. Interacting with your listeners is key. Why?
Well, when you answer and like their comments it makes them feel special and it connects them with your brand name. If you ignore them then they will move on and they will not remember you. However, if you take the time to interact with your audience then they will remember who you are the next time they come across your video.
This interaction is vital! This also gives you a chance to make sets and mixes that YOUR audience actually wants to hear. Imagine this;
You have 100 subscribers and 10 of them ask you, in the comments section, “OMG, you’re amazing! Can you do a drum n’ base set???”
You say “Hell yeah! Check back tomorrow man!”
The next day you work your ass off and do a cracking drum n’ base set and upload it. 5 of those 10 subscribers completely forget about it but the other 5 will comment, thank you and most importantly, probably share it on their Facebook page and on other platforms.
This means all their friends see YOUR music and the set gets shared another 15 times by friends of friends. Let’s just say for argument sake this results in an additional 20 subscribers to your YouTube channel. RESULT!
Now, I realise, this is merely a silly example but it illustrates the importance of interacting with your audience, especially at the beginning, when no one knows who you are.
Just imagine if your subscriber base was 10,000 instead of only 100 and you did a DJ set especially for the 1,000 who asked for a genre set – imagine all those thousands of people who would be sharing and listening to YOUR music while they laugh, dance and party?
Wouldn’t that be amazing?!
Not Giving Up!
I won’t lie to you, the beginning will be slow. However, instead of seeing this as a bad thing, look at it from a positive point of view. This gives you time to iron out all the wrinkles and get your feet wet.
Creating a YouTube channel and making proper, good-looking and entertaining videos does take some skill – with this in mind wouldn’t you rather make the silly noobie mistakes early, when you have a smaller audience, as opposed to later when it will be far more embarrassing?
The sort of benchmark figure for YouTube video is around $1.00 per 1,000 views of a video. So, you can imagine that even if you have 25 videos after 2 months which are receiving 1.000 views per week each, this still only adds up to $100 p/month.
But you can also see that this will quickly build and build as you add more videos – but you need to be patient as I mentioned. Making money online in any form takes time.
Hang in there and don’t give up! The start is the hardest part, but it gets easier. Too many people give up just as they are about to make a breakthrough and they miss out on a fantastic opportunity.
Developing Your Skills
I would see the initial period when you have no audience as a good thing. The learning curve for editing videos, adding images and animations and everything else takes time. There is no better way to ruin a great idea than to create it in an amateurish way which distracts the viewer from the point of the video.
Try and delve into the technical side early and don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Like I mentioned before, I would rather make a silly mistake early when very few people will actually notice.
A great way to learn how to make your videos sound good and look good is to watch others. Find other DJ’s and see what they do;
- how have they set up their decks?
- what angle is the camera at?
- what is the lighting like?
- does the DJ wear make-up?
- what camera is the best value?
These are simply a few of the questions you will need to be a master at pretty quickly if you want to maximise your output and positive feedback.
Remember – your audience will always share stuff they love. The better the video, the more chance someone will share your music with their friends.
Connecting With Others
Reach out to other artists who are doing the same as you – people are more helpful than you may think. Build connections and friends within your social platforms.
This can be of great help in the future when you want to share your work for example or need a “professional ear” to help you with your work before you release it.
There are countless advantages to creating a large network of friends and co-workers in any niche or industry, none more so than online!
Benefits of reaching out to others;
- increase your reach when you release a new track or set.
- you can seek inspiration from others and see what your peers are doing.
- you can ask for advice if you get stuck on a track in an artistic way or a technical way.
- collaborate with other DJ’s in your genre and generate even more connections.
- share job details and gig information on upcoming festivals or opportunities.
Living The Dream
Can you imagine if your job was to do something you loved? Something as cool as being a DJ who works from home – with the option to gig in clubs and parties if you wished.
That would be living the dream. This does not mean it is not hard work and it will take some time to get to the point where the money was big enough to do it full-time, but just imagine!
With the easy accessibility to powerful software and the billions of people available on social platforms there truly has never been a better time for people to chase this dream from home.
I wish you all the best and do drop me a line below if you have any personal experience with running your own YouTube channel!