Get Paid to Write Song Lyrics: 11 Must-Know Websites

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Do you have a way with words? A talent for putting together the catchiest and lyrics? 

Do think you’ve got what it takes to make it as a paid songwriter?

If you want to get paid to write song lyrics, you’re in the right place. There are several different ways to make money writing songs.

In this post I’ll share a list of websites where you can make money writing song lyrics, plus some essential info on how songwriters actually get paid, and tips on making contacts to kick-start your music career.

The music industry is competitive, and not everyone will make it as a professional songwriter. But with these tips, you’ll have the best chance of putting out your own music and making money from lyric writing.

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Websites that pay you for your song lyrics

Songbay

Songbay is a website where artists can sell their original lyrics, music and poems. It claims to be the biggest original lyric library in the world. 

Songbay is used by record companies, agents, producers, advertising execs, and all sorts of other professionals who source unique music. 

So if you want to get paid to write song lyrics, this site should be your first stop.

They won’t accept any old lyrics – they assess all submissions for ‘literary, musical and emotional qualities’. But, once accepted, you keep 100% of all your royalties.

You need a paid membership to sell your lyrics on Songbay. Membership is cheap, with the monthly subscription fee starting from just £1.99. You can set your own prices for the lyrics you want to sell and you retain complete control over your work.

In addition, when you become a Songbay member you can set up your own membership page with your bio, samples of your work and contact details. This allows potential buyers or collaborators to contact you directly about commissioning new work.

SoundBetter

screenshot of the homepage of music distribution platform Soundbetter

SoundBetter is a kind of freelance marketplace similar to Fiverr, but uniquely for the music industry. 

You can set up a profile showcasing your songwriting talents so that potential clients can find you. You can also browse job listings and pitch for work.

It’s free to sign up, but SoundBetter will take a small commission out of any jobs you get through the site.

Many of the users on SoundBetter are budding musicians and upcoming artists looking for collaborators or freelance pros to help them put together their own songs. So as well as finding paid work, it can be a great way to network and make connections with others in the industry.

As with other freelance sites, positive reviews are key to make your profile stand out! It can be slow going in the beginning as you build a reputation, but it can potentially lead to some very profitable work.

AirGigs

Screenshot of Airgigs, a website that connects clients with professional studio musicians, vocalists, audio engineers, and lyricists who get paid to write song lyrics.

Similar to SoundBetter, AirGigs is another marketplace for freelancers in the music business. You can set up a profile and pitch for current projects, or allow clients to contact you directly. 

It’s free to sign up and there is no membership fee, but you will have to pay a commission out of any paid work you get through the site.

These sites can also be a good way to connect with musicians to collaborate with.

Creative Commission

screenshot of the homepage of creative commission, showcasing artwork and photographs related to the music industry, with a call-to-action button for users to get paid to write song lyrics.

Creative Commission is a site where music industry professionals and record labels post projects to attract new creative talent. There are a wide range of projects and some are very highly paid! 

At the time of writing, I didn’t find many jobs specifically for lyricists but I think this site is one to keep an eye on – especially if you have any other skills you could use in the music industry.

TuneCore

SCreenshot of Web page header for TuneCore featuring an image of a person wearing a beanie and headphones with text promoting music distribution services.

TuneCore is a platform for distributing your music to streaming services and digital stores. Through TuneCore, you can upload your original songs to Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, iTunes, TikTok, Tidal and dozens more – and get paid.

You keep all your rights to your songs.

TuneCore is different from Songbay because they only accept complete tracks. So if you only write lyrics, you will need to partner with a co-writer who can set it to music. 

There is a yearly membership fee, starting at $19.99.

Soundrop

Screenshot of the website Soundrop, showing a Rock musician with a guitar standing with arms wide open on a website promoting music creation, distribution services, and opportunities to get paid to write song lyrics.

Soundrop is a music distribution site like TuneCore. Upload your songs to Soundrop to distribute them on streaming platforms and social media sites such as Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, Deezer, Pandora, Instagram, TikTok, and more.

Many users prefer Soundrop’s transparent pricing structure. It’s just 99c to upload each track, and then they keep 15% of all your profits. But there’s no expensive membership fee, and it’s easy to start earning right away.

Like TuneCore, you need to upload complete tracks – not just lyrics. So if you don’t write and produce music yourself, you will need to partner with someone who does before you can start making money on Soundrop.

Ditto Music

screenshot of the webpage of Ditto, a music distribution service offering a free trial to release unlimited music and get paid to write song lyrics.

Ditto is another great platform where you can upload your songs for distribution to various streaming and social media sites, including Spotify, Apple Music, TikTok, Amazon, Deezer, Instagram, and Tidal and more. Ditto can distribute your music to over 150 platforms around the world!

You keep 100% of the royalties you earn.

This is a paid membership site. The basic plan starts at just £19 a year, and that includes unlimited uploads! The plan also comes with a one month free trial. On the Pro plan for £59 a year, you get extra benefits such as access to their database of music industry contacts and the opportunity to be put forward for TV and movies pitches.

Nashville Songwriters Association

The Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) is a Tennessee-based non-profit organization that supports budding and pro songwriters. Don’t be misled by the name – you don’t have to live in Nashville, or even the United States. There is a registration fee of $200. 

The purpose of this platform is to support songwriters by helping them learn and grow. There are online workshops and resources on the craft of songwriting. You can form relationships with other songwriters and find mentors and people to critique your work and help you grow. The organisation also fights for writers’ rights and fair compensation. 

They are not a pitching company, but they can help you get your songs in front of recording artists, publishers and record label execs. You can earn royalties after a song you submit is recorded and distributed. They can also help you network with co-writers and others in the music industry. 

Vocalizr

Vocalizr is a job board aimed at matching up vocalists and producers. People also sell lyrics, arrangements and instrumentals. You can sell or licence unused songs. Apparently they have over 50k music producers signed up!

It’s free to sign up, but there is a commission fee on transactions. You need to become a member before you can browse the site.

Upwork

Upwork is one of the biggest and best known freelance marketplaces on the web. So although it is not specifically targeted at the music industry, there are still opportunities to get paid for writing lyrics.

As with many other sites, although there are some jobs just for lyric writers, you will stand a better chance of finding work if you can write music, too.

There is no charge to join Upwork or pitch for work, but they will take a cut of your earnings.

Twine

Twine is another job board where clients post their job adverts in order to reach freelancers all over the world. It is not specifically for music professionals, but they do have a songwriting category. 

I noticed that the songwriting category is not particularly active, but this still might be a useful site to check in with every now and again. One advantage is that clients generally post their budget upfront so you know how much a job will pay.

How do songwriters actually get paid?

Flatlay of a laptop, guitar, notebook, glasses, and a pencil on a wooden desk suggesting a creative workspace where one can write song lyrics or engage in music composition.

There are various ways you actually make money from the lyrics and songs that you’ve written. It depends what kind of contract you’ve entered into, and it’s important to understand this upfront. 

It’s a common misconception that songwriters can ‘sell’ a song for instant riches. Usually, you don’t earn anything just for creating a song. Instead, songwriters and music publishers make money from royalties. 

This means that if you own the rights to a song, you will get paid every time the song is sold, downloaded, played on the radio, and so on.

Keep in mind that you will not make much money unless a song gets big. Most streaming platforms pay just fractions of a cent per stream

Plus, depending on your contract, the royalties will likely be split between the lyricist, singer, musicians, producer, and potentially many other people involved!

But, the awesome thing about royalties is that once you have put a track out there, it can earn you passive income. You can potentially earn a steady drip, drip, drip of money from songs you put out there months or years ago. 

And if a track does take off, the potential earnings can be huge!

There are several different types of royalty:

Mechanical royalties 

This means you get paid whenever your song is reproduced. This includes downloads, streaming, CD/vinyl sales, and cover versions.

Streaming income is a type of mechanical royalty. This should absolutely not be overlooked because according to Forbes, in 2024 music streaming services make up 89% of total music industry revenue!

This means streaming will be the fastest and probably most profitable way to earn from your compositions. 

You will earn royalties whenever your track is streamed on online platforms such as Spotify or Apple Music. Sites such as TuneCore, Ditto and Soundrop (linked above) will help you distribute your music to dozens of streaming services and will handle the payments.

Performance royalties

Also called “music played in public” royalties. This is when you get paid whenever your song is played or performed in public. This could mean live performances, played on the radio or in venues. A music publishing business or platform will collect and distribute the royalties for you.

Female professional singer/songwriter in headphones singing into a microphone with a music stand in front, against a dark background

Sync licensing 

This is when your song is licensed to be featured in a movie, TV show, video game, ad and so on. You would normally receive an upfront sync licence fee, and possibly ongoing royalties every time the show etc is aired.

Print music royalties 

This is for sales of sheet music. It tends to be much smaller than other forms of royalty, but it can still be a viable income stream.

Work-for-hire

Alternatively, lyric writers might choose to work for hire. This could mean working to a brief for a one-off/project fee, and/or selling your lyrics directly to musicians, singers, music producers etc, without retaining any rights. 

As a freelance lyricist or ghost writer, you would agree a one-off, upfront fee for the work and would not get any ongoing royalties.

This can be the quickest way to start making money writing song lyrics at the beginning of your songwriting career, or when you just need money fast. You are exchanging money for time, like most traditional jobs, and not gambling on whether a song will eventually earn you enough royalties to make it worth your while. 

That said, your earnings will be capped because your time is limited. It’s up to you whether this route makes sense for you or not.

You can find freelance lyric writing work on gig sites and online job boards like Upwork, Fiverr, SoundBetter and AirGigs.

If you are not clear whether you will be working as an uncredited ghost writer or a credited songwriter with entitlement to royalties, make sure you discuss this with the client before starting a job. Both kinds of work are common for lyricists.

Finding musicians to work with

As you can see from the list of websites above, it is possible to get paid as a lyricist alone – but it will be much easier to make money with your lyrics if you can partner with a musician/composer/music producer to produce complete tracks to sell. This means you can distribute your new songs on streaming platforms and potentially start to earn royalties.

Network

  • Follow people you’d be interested in working with on social media (YouTube, Instagram, Sound Cloud etc) and try reaching out. Sure, you will get a lot of rejections (or more likely, just get ignored) but if you keep reaching out you might make connections willing to partner with you.
  • Go to music/open-mic/singer-songwriter nights in local pubs or music venues
  • Look for singer/songwriter networking and social events on sites like Meetup 
  • Join songwriting organisations and communities – online and in-person local groups if available near you

Online songwriting communities 

A young female songwriter lying on the grass holding a guitar and writing sheet music

An online communities are a must if you want to break into the songwriting industry. You can connect with other songwriters to get feedback on your lyrics, tips and advice, and essential contacts that could lead to paid work. 

There are countless free songwriting groups on Facebook and other platforms, but you might also consider joining a paid association. 

The following are paid songwriting communities. They offer benefits that can push you to take the next step in your music career, including forums, networking opportunities, constructive critiques of your work, pro workshops or courses, and live writing sessions to help you keep focused. Many of them also have contacts that can lead to paid opportunities. 

Get paid to write song lyrics: yes you can!

If you want to get into professional songwriting, just writing great songs is not enough. You need to know how to distribute your tunes and collaborate with the right people to get your lyrics out there. 

We’ve gone over the best sites to make money from your lyrics, whether you want to write lyrics for other musicians or collaborate to produce complete tracks. Remember to keep honing your craft and work to put out the best lyrics possible. I hope we’ll see your name in the credits of the biggest new tracks soon! 

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