If you’ve ever been told that you have a great voice, then you might be surprised to learn that you can make money with it. That’s right – your vocal cords are skillful tools that can be used to earn a significant income!
Whether you have a beautiful singing voice or a simply captivating way of speaking, there are numerous ways to monetize your voice. The best part? All of these careers can be remote, provided you have the right equipment and a strong internet connection.
Here are some of the best ways to make money with your voice and tips for breaking into the industry.
1. Become a Professional Voice Actor
A voice actor uses their voice to provide dialogue for characters in movies, TV shows, radio ads, cartoons, video games, and TV commercials.
Depending on the project, voice acting jobs can pay well, ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars per project.
While some voice actors work full-time, others work as freelancers and set their own hours.
To qualify for work, research the types of voice acting work you’d like to do and the skills required to do them. You’ll likely need to take an acting class or hire a voice-acting coach to help you refine your technique.
And while you don’t necessarily need a soundproofed studio, you will want to invest in some essential equipment, including a high-quality microphone, noise-canceling headphones, and a pop filter (this helps to reduce plosives, or the popping sound made when saying words beginning with p’s and b’s).
Audacity is a good option for software, and it’s free to download. However, you’ll also need to learn basic sound editing to clean up your recordings before sending them off to potential clients.
Make demos of your voice acting and submit them to advertising agencies or audition sites like Voices.com or Castingworkbook. And if you’re multilingual, you can apply to Bodalgo, a site to find professional voiceover work in 80 languages!
2. Narrate Audio Books
Audiobook narration is a specific type of voice acting that entails reading entire books out loud to create audiobooks that can be listened to by consumers. Thanks to platforms like Amazon’s Audible, audiobooks are becoming increasingly popular and are a 1.6 billion dollar industry. In other words, there are lots of opportunities to make money as an audiobook narrator!
As a beginner, you can expect to make $10 to $100 per finished hour. However, experienced narrators can earn up to $350 per finished hour. They also often receive a royalty share on sales, which can greatly increase profits if the book sells well.
The most important thing for any voice talent is the ability to bring the story to life with their voice. This means being able to do different voices and accents and having the stamina to talk out loud for long stretches at a time.
How to Become an Audiobook Narrator
As narrating is a type of voice acting, you will need to invest in a lot of the same equipment (quality mic, headphones, etc.)
To get started, practice reading aloud. Record yourself reading from various materials and mark up sections where you think you could improve. You may also benefit from hiring a voice coach or taking a course to fine-tune your technique. (Voice actor Julie Eickhoff has narrated over 100 audiobooks and has some excellent training and resources!)
To gain experience, volunteer to read stories to children or the visually impaired. This will give you some much-needed practice, and it looks great on your resume. This is also an excellent time to start networking via LinkedIn and organizations like the Audio Publishers Association.
When you’re ready to start looking for paid work, check out job sites and freelance platforms like Upwork, Voices.com, and Voice123. Another option is to look for jobs on ACX, a marketplace that connects authors with narrators. All you need to do is set up a profile, upload some samples, and audition for books you’re interested in narrating.
It’s also worth establishing our presence on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. New opportunities are always popping up, so it’s just a matter of keeping your eyes peeled!
3. Give Singing Lessons
Vocal coaches help singers improve their voices and can be employed by schools, performance groups, or even individuals who want to improve their singing.
According to ZipRecruiter, vocal coaches earn an average of $29 per hour or about $59k per year, with top earners exceeding six figures. But most singing teachers can set their own rates and hours, making it suitable for those who need a flexible schedule.
Although you don’t need any formal certifications to be a vocal coach, it is important to have a good foundation in musical training and be able to sing well yourself.
Additionally, taking a class in voice pedagogy can give you extra credentials and help you learn how to teach.
Once you’re confident in your teaching abilities, you can find work through word-of-mouth recommendations and online directories. Another option is to seek work through platforms like Superprof, which connects students with vocal teachers based on location.
You can even find teaching gigs by creating a profile on a freelance platform like Fiverr!
If the gig is local, you can choose to give singing lessons in your or your client’s home, or you can offer singing lessons to anyone in the world remotely via Skype or Zoom.
4. Start a Podcast
If you’re passionate about a specific topic, why not start a podcast about it?
A podcaster is a person who creates, edits, and publishes online audio or video episodes – similar to a radio show or television program but usually available as downloadable mp3 files.
Podcasts often include music, sound effects, interviews, and other forms of entertainment or information.
The amount of money that can be made varies greatly depending on the niche, content, quality, quantity, and popularity of the podcast. But podcasts with a solid following can earn a decent income, with the average wage around $76k per year.
Popularity is important because it brings in more sponsors, which is one of the primary ways that podcasters make their money.
Additionally, many podcasters will partner with brands relevant to their niche and insert affiliate codes for listeners to use, which earns them a cut from each purchase made. Another revenue stream for podcasters is promoting their own products and services throughout each episode.
How to Start a Podcast
To start a podcast, choose a niche and research other podcasts in that area. It is important to determine the style of the podcast (solo host, multiple hosts, or guest interviews?) as well as the target audience. Once these key components are decided upon, the podcast creator can then move on to developing a memorable name for their show and creating a website and RSS feed.
Then you can record your first couple of podcast episodes and upload them onto your chosen platforms, such as Spotify or Apple Podcasts. Make sure you promote your show across social media platforms to increase your audience!
5. Create a Meditation YouTube Channel
Guided meditation involves listening to someone else’s voice as they guide you through the process. For many people, this is more effective than trying to meditate on their own.
So, if you have a very calming or soothing voice, you could consider starting a YouTube channel for meditation and relaxation. Once your YouTube videos get 1,000 followers and 4,000 watch hours, you can apply to the YouTube Partner Program and monetize your channel with ads.
How much YouTubers can earn through the partner program varies depending on their niche, audience, and views, but it can be anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a full-time income!
How to Start on YouTube
The first step is to learn how to write guided meditation scripts. Search for guided meditations online to research how they work and find inspiration. They typically involve inviting the listener to relax and focus on their breath and using descriptive, calming terms to induce a state of relaxation.
Next, use a quality camera and take 10-15 minutes of footage of natural, relaxing scenery, like a beach, park, or forest. Buy some meditation music you are licensed to use commercially with the footage. Finally, record your meditation script overtop of the video.
Repeat this process for each video using different footage, music, and meditation scripts for other purposes (e.g., meditations for work, rest, anxiety, etc.). It’s imperative to create original, new meditations each time and not to reuse the same footage, music, or voiceovers throughout your channel.
This is because reused content is against the partner program’s guidelines, and they may not accept you into the program if they see you reusing the same content over and over.
This method takes time – most channels take several months to qualify for the program – but if you enjoy doing it and are patient, it can be a very rewarding endeavor.
As you can see, there are a variety of ways to make money with your voice, from singing lessons and voice-acting to podcasting and YouTubing. The amount of money you can earn varies depending on the type of work you do, but if you’re passionate about sharing your voice with the world, there’s no reason you can’t earn from it or even turn it into a full-time career!