Finding a way to make money outside of a conventional job is always an appealing idea. After all, the typical 9-to-5 work week can get tedious and many people struggle to find a job or are underpaid in the job that they do.
There certainly are a lot of different options out there for ways that you can earn money but the problem is that some of these are decent while many more are just a waste of time and energy. Because of this, figuring out which opportunities to pursue is no easy task.
One of my key aims with this site is to help people to understand the various opportunities out there and figure out which ones are actually worth following. In this case, we’re focusing on one specific area, which is the idea that you can make money with your voice. It’s easy to see how this idea could be appealing, after all, you’re making use of something you already have at hand.
As it turns out, there are actually quite a few different ways to make money with your voice and there are some major variations between them. So, we’re going to take a look at the different options and what is involved.
Types of Work With Voice
The first thing to note is that there is a number of different ways that you can make money with your voice. It’s likely that some of these approaches are more suitable for your situation or your strengths than other ones are. At the same time, you could potentially try more than one type of work.
Being A Voice Over Artist
One of the most common approaches for earning money with your voice is as a voice over artist. This type of role is used in many different types of situations. For example, you often hear voice over artists on commercials, radio announcements, trailers, as well as internet marketing products and games.
So, there is certainly a lot of work available. But, getting into the field can be a bit trickier.
For one thing, most voice over work does require you to be a good orator and have a suitable voice. You can certainly learn to be good at voice over work but doing so can take considerable time and effort, especially if you aren’t gifted in this area. If you're interested in this topic, the move In a World is pretty funny, and about the world of voice-over-artistry.
Another specialized area for voice work is in narrating audiobooks. This industry can be harder to break into than other types of voice work but it can also be quite profitable. To get involved in this area, it would be worth making at least one sample of your ability to narrate and you would also need to figure out places that are hiring for this task.
Now, the amount of skill you need for audiobook narration really comes down to the type of book that you are working with. For example, companies tend to focus on high-quality work for books that are popular or are going to end up on Audible or similar services.
However, there are also other books that need to be narrated that are nowhere near as popular and this can mean that the quality needed is also lower. Getting involved with this type of book can be easier but it is still a challenge.
There is a detailed post on how to get involved in this specific field over at a site called Voices.com. However, the simple answer is that yes, it is possible to make money this way, but even if you are skilled and passionate, the amount of work involved needed to break into the field is considerable.
Reviews and Testimonials
Another use for your voice is in reviews and testimonials. This is a service that many sites look for, especially if they want to make their product sound better than it actually is. This type of work may pay less than other types of voice work but there is high demand, which is certainly an advantage.
Now, in some cases, you can do reviews and testimonials via voice only. However, in most situations people will be looking for video as well. So, this approach is best suited for people who are prepared to do both voice and video.
Actually Making Money With Your Voice
All of the areas that I mentioned above are services that people are interested in, so there certainly is a demand. But how can you break into the scene?
Using Freelancer Websites To Connect With Clients
One of the hardest things about making money with any type of service is getting people to notice you. Even if you are exceptionally good as a voice artist (or in any other field, for that matter), breaking into the industry can be incredibly difficult. In many cases, you will find yourself competing against many other people for a limited number of jobs.
One way of getting started is to use websites that match service providers with customers. For example, one general website that does this is Freelancer.com. That site is specifically designed to support freelancers but it applies to pretty much any type of service that you can imagine. The site itself is powerful but there is also a lot of freelancers on there, so competition is high. There are many other examples of sites out there that act in a similar way. My personal favorite is Upwork.com
A slightly different example is Fiverr and similar sites. Fiverr is a fairly generic site that offers just about every type of product and service that you can imagine.
The original concept of the site was that all products and services cost $5 but the site has expanded somewhat and it’s now possible for people to also sell more expensive packages.
As a general rule, Fiverr is a good place to go to sell fairly simple and inexpensive work, like the seller below, whose work starts at $10. I hired a voice actor to create an introduction for my (now defunct) podcast, as well as for some YouTube tutorials I did a while back. It was simple to order, and cost me just $5.
While this method may not pay as much as some other voice work, it can be an effective way to get interest. As long as you set strict parameters, you can knock out a couple gigs per day. An extra $20-$50 per day adds up to about $1000 per month!
However, there are also websites that are specifically targeted at people who want voice work. One such site is called Voice Bunny. Like Freelancer, this site attempts to attract people who want to hire voice actors as well as people who want to sell their services.
In this particular case, the site has an application process, which includes giving samples of your work. Members also get to set their own rates and the websites acts as an intermediate between the voice actor and their clients.
Sites like this can be a powerful tool because your services are being promoted to clients who are already looking. Plus, the site acts as a way to protect your interests and the client’s. So, there is much less risk that someone won’t pay you.
Now, regardless of the type of site that you’re looking at, there are a few common factors. One is that you face a considerable amount of competition. Most of these sites have a lot of members and many will be offering the same type of thing as you. This can make it difficult to get ahead, especially early on.
Nevertheless, in most cases, sites do have systems where if you consistently get good reviews, your ranking will improve. This can make it easier to get the tasks that pay better and to get the best clients. So, if you stick at it, the process can get easier.
The one other thing to note is that regardless of the website, you don’t have that much control. In particular, most sites will have their own terms and conditions about what you can and cannot do. Some of them will even specify how much you can charge and may charge fees. Likewise, you don’t have many options for advertising yourself or for getting noticed.
In the short-term, this might not be an issue. But, if you want to be successful in the field, these types of sites will ultimately hamper your ability to develop a good reputation and a large client base. They're one-off gigs and may not result in the long-term clients you're seeking.
As such, these types of sites may be a good place to get started but they aren’t really a good long-term business approach in my opinion. Instead, you will probably find that sooner or later you’ll want to strike out on your own.
Selling Your Own Services
The natural alternative to sites like the ones I mentioned above is to sell your services yourself. Needless to say, this can be a challenging area, especially at first.
One of the most powerful ways of selling services yourself is to develop your own website. Websites tend to work so well because you have power over your marketing and can get involved in search engine optimization. Creating a site and getting traffic from Google isn’t nearly as hard as it seems as long as you are willing to spend some time creating content, whether that be written, video, or audio.
You can also leverage paid advertising through Facebook ads, Google Ads, and Bing Ads (among others) to promote your website.
Affiliate Marketing As An Alternative
For the most part, making money with your voice ends up being a type of freelancing. Certainly, it is possible to make money this way but your success is going to be connected to how dedicated you are and how well your voice and skill match what people are looking for.
This basically means that some people can be successful in this way but many people aren’t going to have what it takes. Plus, you also have the frustration of dealing with clients, who aren’t always reasonable in what they’re looking for.
In contrast, a different way of earning money is affiliate marketing. This is how I earn money. Affiliate marketing isn’t an approach that uses your voice directly but you can still use this passion to make money. How?
With affiliate marketing, the basic concept is that you are involved in promoting products from other companies. You don’t actually sell anything directly, instead you link people to the site where the product is hosted. If you make a sale, then you get a commission.
How this relates to vocal work is that you can start a website teaching people how to train their voice! You could teach people how to sing, how to start a podcast, do public speaking, or just talk about good vocal exercises. You could even explain the digital side of voice work and how to edit audio. Within every tutorial or informational article is an opportunity to promote products related to what you're talking about.
Affiliate marketing has become pretty popular as a way to earn money because it is so flexible. For example, there is a huge range of different types of products that you can promote, including pretty much anything that is sold on Amazon. Udemy is also a service-based company with tutorials where you can get paid to promote the courses they provide.
Compared to making money with your voice directly, affiliate marketing is also compelling because it scales up so easily. With any type of freelancing, the amount you earn is tied to how much work you do. Over time, you might find that your income per job increases but nevertheless, earning more money involves doing more work.
But, with affiliate marketing, that relationship isn’t nearly as strong. Because you aren’t physically making sales, the amount of work doesn’t increase significantly as your sales increase. This creates much more potential for long-term income and also makes it easier to outsource if your workload ever gets too high.
The one other thing to mention about affiliate marketing is that it is an easy field to get into. There are thousands of websites started every day, and even more products that are just begging to be sold. Every day is an opportunity to start an online business and help people with something you're passionate about. You can learn more about how to start your own affiliate marketing online business at Wealthy Affiliate – the same place I started almost 6 years ago!