How to sell your song lyrics

How to sell lyrics online

Are you passionate about creating poetry and combining it with music? Do you seem to be great at it? Nowadays, talented people can not only follow their hearts by creating art, but also successfully monetize their abilities. Intellectual work is highly valued in the market. However, in order for your creations to find a buyer, it is important to be aware of the key aspects of selling creative works.

Is it difficult to sell songs these days?

There is no easy answer to the difficulty of selling a song in today’s world. Much is determined by the quality of the composition itself and the fame of its author. For an aspiring musician, the path to your first sale can be difficult, especially if you have ambitions to earn a significant income from your work.

It is important to remember that in the early stages of your career, you need to actively search for potential buyers of your music.

Self-marketing is key, and the Internet provides convenient tools for this. You can start by publishing your tracks on your personal page on social networks, for example, by posting the song on your wall or in the music section of VKontakte to make it easier to find. Additionally, platforms like GarageBand and Soundcloud offer opportunities to record, distribute and sell your music online.

Where can people buy music today: a little about exchanges, labels and advertising

In addition to creating songs for specific artists, creators may want to consider other, perhaps less profitable, but more accessible ways to sell their creations:

  • Freelance platforms. Here you can sell your song, offering various forms of licensing, from full sale to temporary use (rent). You shouldn’t expect large sums, but the selling process is usually straightforward. It is important to carefully study the terms of the contract and ensure that all requirements for the transfer of rights are met;
  • Music labels. There is a chance that your song will be purchased by a famous artist. Record labels regularly receive many offers for collaborations and have employees responsible for correspondence, which increases the likelihood of your track being heard. If the song generates interest, its purchase and subsequent sale will be carried out by the label. Thanks to the close interaction of labels with famous artists, there is a real chance that your work will be performed by a star. At the same time, despite the physical location of most companies in large cities, cooperation is also possible remotely;
  • Advertising agencies. Many agencies are looking for artists who can create music that will drive sales in advertising campaigns. For a few successful lines they can offer a very attractive reward. However, you should be prepared for the fact that it may take several attempts before the offer suits the client and the purchase is made.

How songs sell: a step-by-step guide for the music business

After a song is created, the author is faced with the task of selling it. Here are a few steps to help with this:

  1. First of all, the track should be properly prepared. For beginning musicians, it is important to pay special attention to this point. The less effort it takes for a potential buyer to use your work, the more likely they are to purchase it. Experienced writers can afford a simple entry, but beginners should strive for maximum quality;
  2. It is best to record music using professional equipment and, if possible, in a recording studio. Rehearsing before recording can save time and money in the studio;
  3. Create a database of artists who may be interested in your work using search engines, social networks and personal websites. It is convenient to organize the collected information in a table for subsequent work;
  4. Start communication with potential buyers. You can organize a mass email campaign or contact everyone personally. The first method is faster, but you risk being blocked by the email service. The second method is more labor-intensive, but increases the chances of an answer;
  5. In the letter, observe correspondence etiquette: introduce yourself, indicate how you found the artist’s contacts, the purpose of the message, offer a price for your work and indicate contact details. It is recommended to attach no more than 2-5 tracks;
  6. If there is no response within a week, you should try to contact again, preferably by phone, to make sure that your proposal has been considered. If necessary, you can offer a reduced price for the composition.

How to purchase music

An artist will buy a song if he is interested in it and the price suits him. And then a contract for the purchase of the creation is concluded, which will specify how much the music costs and the option of transferring copyrights – this is one of the most important points. Several options are possible.

  • Exclusive license. In this case, the singer can perform the song, and no one else has the right to buy it from the creator. At the same time, with the consent of the author, the performer can change something in the track. The contract is usually concluded for a certain period;
  • Non-exclusive license. Here, on the contrary, the creator can re-sell the track. This option is practically not used for obvious reasons;
  • Alienation of rights. In this case, the song is sold once and for all, and no one else will buy it from the author.

A license allows you to set additional rules, such as certain conditions for using the music or the length of time during which the artist can perform it. And all this time the music creator will receive his percentage, although he sold the song only once. Such points cannot be stipulated in an agreement with the alienation of rights, and the money is paid to the creator once when he sells the song. In this case, the right of authorship is inalienable.

You can sign the agreement in person or remotely. In the first case, everything is simple: the contract must be printed, read and signed by both parties. Before signing, the buyer hands over the money. In the second case, you need to send a signed scanned copy by email, then the music creator is paid, and then you can send the original. It is imperative to indicate that the parties recognize the legal force of the agreement concluded electronically. For the first time, you can contact a lawyer for help in drawing up the document, and then use it as a sample, changing some points if desired.

The best platforms to sell your lyrics for songs

1. Your own website

Creating a personal website is the best method for selling song lyrics online. Sellfy offers an easy way to launch an online store in just a few steps. Using this service, you can sell not only song lyrics, but also demo recordings, as well as your original compositions.

One of the key benefits of using Sellfy to sell song lyrics, as opposed to other music platforms, is the ability to have complete control over your products and their cost. Moreover, you get the opportunity to customize the design of your online store to match your brand and use marketing tools to expand your audience and strengthen your connection with customers.

Launching your own website not only strengthens your brand but is also a cost-effective solution. Selling through third party platforms may incur additional costs in the form of fees or subscriptions. In contrast, Sellfy allows you to keep all your profits for yourself.

For songwriters and musicians seeking to gain popularity and advance in the music industry, having their own website becomes a powerful tool to attract the attention of potential clients and partners.

Overall, owning a custom website to sell lyrics opens up a wide range of opportunities and benefits, making it an important step for any creative music professional.

2. Songbay

Songbay is a leading online platform specializing in the buying and selling of song lyrics. Thanks to its impressive user base, this platform has established itself as one of the most respectable in its field.

By publishing texts on Songbay, authors have the opportunity to independently determine the price of their works, while the platform guarantees the protection of their copyrights and offers services for registering works.

Songbay’s monetization model is characterized by its simplicity: instead of the usual sales commissions, the platform requires a monthly subscription fee from sellers, starting at just $2.50 per month. This allows sellers to keep all profits from their sales.

The subscription includes a download limit each month, with the most basic plan only offering one download per month. For those who plan to sell texts in large volumes, it may be necessary to switch to a more expensive tariff.

Bottom line, Songbay is an effective and cost-effective solution for those looking for a path to selling song lyrics online.

3. AirGigs

AirGigs is a virtual marketplace aimed at freelancers in the music industry. This service provides text writers with the opportunity to connect with performers, producers and music publishers who are looking for specialists to implement their projects.

Unlike the other services mentioned earlier, AirGigs is more focused on finding paid jobs to create lyrics, rather than selling ready-made song lyrics.

One of the benefits of AirGigs is that there is no investment required to get started with the platform. All you have to do is register as a seller and create your profile, which will be visible to other music professionals. In addition, you can search for suitable tasks in the “Artists Wanted” section.

Upon completion of the task, AirGigs retains a commission of 8 to 15% of the total payment, after which it pays the remaining amount to the performer.

4. Upwork

Upwork is a vast virtual marketplace that offers a wide range of work opportunities, including song lyrics creation. Although the platform does not focus exclusively on the music industry like Airgigs, it still provides chances to find songwriting assignments, lyrics, jingles, and more.

To get started on Upwork, you need to create a professional profile and submit it for review. After your profile is approved, you get access to a variety of vacancies and can offer your services on projects of interest.
Upwork works with the Connects system – tokens required to respond to projects. Each month, users receive 10 Connects for free, but additional ones must be paid for. The platform also deducts a commission of 10% of earnings.

The benefit of using Upwork is its reliability and popularity, making it a great place to find high-paying jobs. The platform also ensures proper monitoring of timely payment of projects.

However, due to high commission rates, some people prefer to look for alternative platforms to get better terms of cooperation.

5. Twine

Twine is a unique freelance platform that offers opportunities in a variety of creative fields, including music production and songwriting. Twine’s clients include major market players such as Amazon and Netflix, which makes it attractive for finding high-paying music projects.

To get started on Twine, you need to prepare and upload a professional resume and a portfolio of your work. This will allow you to view projects and respond to proposals that interest you.

The platform allows you to submit up to 15 proposals per month for free. There’s also a Pro subscription option, which increases your profile’s visibility to potential clients and provides additional benefits including reviews and marketing support.

One of the key benefits of Twine is that there are no registration or project application fees. The only fee you will have to pay is the transaction fee when you receive payment for your work. However, with a Pro subscription you can minimize or even avoid these commission costs.

6. Fiverr

Fiverr provides a platform for creatives, including writers, to offer their services starting from $5. This site makes it easy to find clients for creative services thanks to its flexible pricing model, which allows you to set your own rates, for example, for writing individual lines or verses.

Thanks to its popularity among the creative community and business clients, Fiverr makes it easy to start getting orders and selling your services.

To get started on Fiverr, you need to create a description of the services offered, clearly indicating what is included in the offer and what it costs.

After a successful sale and order completion, Fiverr retains a 5.5% commission and also charges a flat $2 fee for transactions up to $50.

7. Lyrics.com

Publishing your lyrics on Lyrics.com can be a wise decision for those seeking wide recognition. With a $75 investment, you have the opportunity to have your work listed permanently on the site, making it available to producers and publishers interested in finding new song content. Here you can set the price you want for the use of your writing or indicate your preferred price range, with some works on the platform priced at over $10,000.

Known primarily for its extensive archive of song lyrics, Lyrics.com is gaining popularity as a marketplace, offering lyricists a unique platform to sell their lyrics at competitive prices.

8. Premium Lyrics

Premium Lyrics is a specialized website for selling quality song lyrics online. The site has a wide range of texts available for purchase and carefully selects authors to ensure the high level of content offered.

To start working with Premium Lyrics, you need to register a free account and submit an application, including three examples of your texts. If your application is approved, you have the opportunity to post your works for sale on the site, while Premium Lyrics assumes the obligation to license and sell the texts. Payment of royalties is made after the sale is completed.

However, the site does not indicate specific commission terms, so it is recommended to clarify this information directly when submitting an application.

9. SoundBetter

SoundBetter is an online creative platform designed to connect businesses and producers with leading music industry experts. This site allows customers to post descriptions of their projects with an expected budget, and musicians, lyricists and other creative individuals can respond to these projects.

Using SoundBetter is simple and accessible—registration on the platform is free. Here you can find many offers, ranging from single tasks to the search for permanent cooperation.

For using its services, the platform charges a commission of 5% from each payment, which is a very moderate requirement compared to similar services.

10. Music Xray

Music Xray serves as a broad platform for production companies, artists and advertisers in search of new music tracks. This is a great place for those who specialize in songwriting and are looking for collaboration opportunities. You can explore job offers on job boards and contact interested companies to discuss contract terms.

By working through Music Xray, you have the chance to come across offers from some very well-known names in the industry, promising high levels of pay, especially for creative work suitable for use in television projects and advertising.

However, it is worth considering that most requests for Music Xray concern not only lyrics, but also demo recordings of tracks. This can be an incentive for lyricists to seek partnerships with vocalists or musicians to create full-length demos that will help your creativity shine.

11. ReverbNation

ReverbNation provides a platform for musicians to interact with key players in the music industry, providing access to unique performances, opportunities and events. It is an effective marketing tool to help grow artists’ online presence and propel them toward fame in the music world.

Through a free account on ReverbNation, artists can create their profile and share the lyrics of their songs with industry professionals. This makes it possible to establish contacts and potentially conclude contracts with those who are interested in your work.

While ReverbNation is not a platform for directly selling lyrics, it serves as an important tool for songwriters looking to gain recognition and stand out in the industry.

12. TAXI

TAXI offers a unique opportunity for songwriters to discover work opportunities and promote their original compositions and lyrics. To find suitable opportunities on the platform, just filter the offers by the genre of music you are interested in. For example, for country music fans, you need to select the appropriate category to explore the available offers.

Most TAXI listings require original songs with vocals, so writers who specialize solely in writing lyrics may benefit from collaborating with singers to increase their chances of success.

The TAXI platform does not deduct commissions from creators’ earnings, but access to features requires a $299.95 annual membership.

13. Songcast

With Songcast, you get the opportunity to sell and distribute your original songs and lyrics across leading music platforms including Amazon and Spotify. It’s important to note that Songcast is not solely about selling song lyrics; requires the creation and release of music tracks for distribution.

Songcast’s payment model is based on a royalty system, allowing creators to keep 100% of the royalties they earn. To use the service, you must subscribe, which starts at $5.99 per month.

14. Songtradr

With Songcast, you get the opportunity to sell and distribute your original songs and lyrics across leading music platforms including Amazon and Spotify. It’s important to note that Songcast is not solely about selling song lyrics; requires the creation and release of music tracks for distribution.

Songcast’s payment model is based on a royalty system, allowing creators to keep 100% of the royalties they earn. To use the service, you must subscribe, which starts at $5.99 per month.


ASCAP is the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, which licenses musical works to various business entities and distributes royalties to songwriters, composers and publishers for the use of their work.

The organization offers membership to songwriters and provides intellectual property protection for their submitted work. As a member of ASCAP, you are entitled to receive 50% of royalties from the use of your music, while the remaining 50% is retained by the organization.

In the past, there was a fee to register with ASCAP, but the registration process is now free, making this an ideal time to begin working with the organization.

16. The Songwriters Network

The Songwriters Network is designed to connect songwriters and lyricists with artists in search of new content to record. The benefit of this platform is that it is free for songwriters to join, with the prospect of earning royalties for each song selected and performed by the artists.

In addition to the opportunity to sell your works, the platform can also serve as a place to find a manager or agent to promote your music career. For a monthly fee of $14.95, authors have access to a database of managers and agents to help them find the right professionals in a particular music field.

According to Songwritingopportunities.com, the specific royalty amount is not specified, but it is recommended that you seek additional information when applying.

17. PeoplePerHour

PeoplePerHour provides an excellent opportunity for lyricists to increase their income by offering their services to a wide range of clients in need of unique songs. To get started, you just need to create an advertisement about your services, indicating the cost.

It’s important to clearly describe exactly what kind of songs you can create and highlight your unique skills, such as speaking additional languages, that can make your offer more attractive.

One of the key advantages of PeoplePerHour is the ability to independently set prices for your services. However, it is important to remain competitive with offers from other creators on the platform to increase your chances of receiving orders.

Ultimately, PeoplePerHour serves as a great platform for those who wish to offer their freelance writing services.

18. Rocket Songs

Rocket Songs offers a unique platform for selling original compositions to artists looking for new repertoire. The site displays previews of original tracks available for purchase, allowing artists to select and purchase the ones they wish to perform under their own name.

Creators can make it easier for potential buyers to find their songs by categorizing them by genre, tempo, mood, and other characteristics to help them closely match customer needs.

To participate in the sale on Rocket Songs, you must provide demo recordings of your songs, including vocals and instrumental parts, since the sale of lyrics alone is not provided.

Rocket Songs offers creators 50% of all royalties from their music, plus the opportunity to earn additional royalties based on how their work is used.

19. Ditto

Ditto provides the ability to distribute your music across global platforms and promote it on social networks, including TikTok. To use this service, you must have fully prepared music tracks, not just lyrics. This is an ideal option for those who want to bring their original compositions to a global audience.

Ditto offers a variety of plans starting at $19 per year, with creators keeping 100% of the proceeds. In addition, a 30-day free trial is available, which provides an excellent opportunity to familiarize yourself with the functionality of the platform and start using it.

20. Songwriting competitions

Participation in songwriting competitions can be an additional source of income for talented authors. Particular attention should be paid to such prestigious events as the American Songwriting Competition, which is highly respected in the industry.

Many of these competitions are held annually, while others may occur more frequently, such as twice a month. To participate, you just need to submit your best texts, and if you win, you can count on a significant cash prize.

While entering competitions may not provide a full-time income from writing sales, it is a great way to test your skills and see how successful your writing can be on a wider stage. If you have a song with a lot of potential, trying to promote it through competitions may be worthwhile.

21. Songwriting Pro

Songwriting Pro is an online community for songwriters that provides unique opportunities to develop a career in songwriting and make connections in the music industry. Although this site is not directly intended for the sale of lyrics, its role in developing the skills and competencies to successfully sell music online cannot be underestimated.

For a monthly fee, users gain access to a wide range of resources aimed at promoting music online, increasing its popularity and establishing connections with peers and industry professionals.

For those who are serious about building a career in the music industry and are looking for support from like-minded lyricists and composers, Songwriting Pro can be a valuable tool on the road to success.

Selling song lyrics online

Want to learn more about selling song lyrics online? Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on this topic.

Is it possible to make a living as a songwriter?

Indeed, many songwriters successfully make money by selling their lyrics and music. Most of the hits heard today were created not by performers, but by such authors.

However, the field of online sales of lyrics and music is highly competitive, which requires authors not only to be talented, but also to continuously improve their skills to ensure a stable income.

For many text creators, selling their work on the Internet is more of an additional source of income than a main activity.

Do songwriters receive royalties?

Some songwriters and lyricists are eligible for royalties, while others may sell their work for a predetermined amount to music publishers or artists. Your earnings—whether royalties or one-time payments—will be determined by the licensing terms of your texts and the details of the contract you enter into with the buyer.

How to become a lyricist

1. Record a demo

If your talent lies in writing lyrics, it is recommended to work with a composer who can put your words into musical form. After creating a musical composition, proceed to the song recording stage. Having a demo version will allow you to start promoting your work.

It is not necessary to strive for a perfect recording, but it is important that it is done at a professional level. A quality demo sample increases the chances that your song will attract the attention of artists or music agents.

For home recording, choose a high-quality microphone that connects to your computer. Record the musical instruments first and then add the vocals. During the editing process, use available software to mix the instrumental and vocal tracks. Adjust volume levels to achieve a harmonious and balanced sound, and correct any discrepancies in rhythm.

2. Make sure your song matches the artist’s sound.

Before pitching a song to an artist, imagine that artist singing the song. It should fit their style and sound. For example, if you’re interested in working with a retro artist, don’t pitch them a song that you think is a club hit.

  • Making sure the song fits the artist’s style is more important than trying to pitch the artist a song you think will be a hit;
  • Find up-and-coming artists by attending music festivals, conferences and exhibitions, or contacting publishers who work with new artists. Listen to the artist’s work as much as possible to make sure your song matches their sound.

3. Look for promising performers to work with

The likelihood that your material will attract the attention of a famous musician is extremely low. Even beginning performers who have not yet become widely known may have many offers. So consider collaborating with lesser-known artists to increase your chances of success.

  • To establish contact with artists, it is recommended to contact them through their managers or agents, whose contact details are usually available and who can facilitate interaction with the artist;
  • For new artists, especially those who work independently and are not affiliated with a label, direct communication via email or social media can be an effective way to start a dialogue.

4. Contact Music Publishers Before Submitting Demos

Stars in the music scene typically work with music publishers rather than interact directly with songwriters. In order to pitch your work to a famous artist, it is important to establish a connection with the publishing house they are working with. Contact the publisher via email or phone for permission to submit your demo.

When communicating with a publisher, it is worth clarifying which artists they might consider as performers of your music and what steps they will take to ensure that your song is heard by the intended artist.

5. Send 1-2 polished, completed songs to a publisher or artist

To increase the likelihood that your work will be noticed, it is recommended to send a CD with one or two of your best compositions that best suit the style of the chosen artist. Avoid including more than five songs in a package. Give your demo CD a professional look with quality printing for the label and packaging.

  • Be patient and don’t pressure the person you sent the demo to. If your material is of interest, you will be contacted;
  • If sending materials in MP3 format, be sure to embed contact information in the files to make it easier to contact you.

6. Build industry relationships organically

To increase your chances of success, actively participate in music shows, conferences and forums where you can meet a variety of publishers in person. Distribute your business cards and practice social etiquette.

  • Once the publisher remembers you, the likelihood of establishing closer contact and arranging a personal meeting increases significantly.

7. Look for writing competitions to try your luck at getting attention.

For those who prefer to minimize networking and personal meetings, but are confident in the high quality of their writing, participating in competitions can be an effective strategy. Winning such competitions often provides opportunities to collaborate with music industry professionals and includes financial rewards.

  • Even if you don’t win a prize, your talent may be noticed.

Licensing your song

1. Choose a mechanical license if you only want to allow song recording

There are three main categories of licenses that give publishers different rights to use your music. One of them, a mechanical license, gives the artist the right to record your song.

  • You have the option to become your own publisher to license the recording of your composition.

2. Select a sync license to allow your song to be played on TV

In order for your song to be used in film or television, a sync license is required. This will allow you to receive royalties, which will be distributed between you and the publisher in accordance with the agreements concluded with the producers of films or television programs.

  • An experienced publisher will manage sync licenses and offer your composition for use in film and television.

3. Obtain a printing license to allow you to print copies of sheet music or lyrics

  • A print license grants the artist the right to post and distribute copies of lyrics or music notation. This is especially true in cases where an artist wishes to include track lyrics on CDs or digital versions of albums.

4. Work with a publisher to navigate licensing of your music

Meet potential publishers at songwriting workshops and conferences. It is important to find a publishing company with which you have a good working relationship. The presence of a publisher will facilitate the process of concluding contracts with performers.

  • Establishing a partnership with a publishing company can be challenging. An alternative is to start your own publishing company to represent your interests yourself. However, it is worth considering that for your publishing house to be successful, you will need to develop personal contacts with agents and artists.

5. Review all contracts, edits and proofs yourself

Your publisher may suggest changes to your song. Once you both agree on the final draft, carefully review any revisions suggested by the publisher before final approval. Then carefully read the contract that the publishing agent will provide you with before you sign it.

  • Always keep copies of signed contracts.

6. Join a Performing Rights Organization (PRO) by registering online

Once you’ve signed a deal with a publisher, it’s worth joining a Promoter Rights Organization (PRO) to start collecting royalties. To join, you must provide basic contact information and a social security number for tax purposes. You will be asked to sign an agreement setting out the terms of your membership for a period of two years with the possibility of renewal. A membership fee may be required.

  • Prestigious PRO organizations include BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.), ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) and SESAC (Society of European Scenic Authors and Composers).

7. Register your song with a professional online

In most cases, when contacting professional organizations, you will be able to register your song by logging into your account. You will likely need to include the lyrics in sheet music form, an audio recording of the track, and copies of any agreements with your publisher or collaborators.

  • For each registered song, you will be assigned a unique registration number.

8. Collect royalties through a professional or publisher

Publishers typically split royalties equally with the songwriter on a 50/50 basis. Your professional organization will automatically distribute royalties and make payments to you on a quarterly basis.

  • Depending on the nature of the licenses you issue, you may receive royalties for playing your music on radio, selling it, or using it in advertising, television programs, or movies.
Free registration

Register for free and get one project for free