In two minds – life as both a musician and a digital content freelancer

Published by Stefan Nordström on

In two minds - life as both a musician and a digital content freelancer

Musician life comes with challenges. For most musicians, music simply isn’t enough to make ends meet. It’s an unfortunate fact for most people in underground music, at least if you’re not a promotion genius. To make things work, I work with digital marketing as the same time as music. But it’s not a magical solution that makes all ends meet, even if solves the financial part.

In this blog post, I’ll explore the pros and cons of living a life with two split focus areas. Spoiler: sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t!

By Stefan Nordström

Stefan Nordström - frilansande konsult inom digital marknadsföring som copywriting och SEO

  • Freelancing digital marketing consultant
  • 8 years of in-house and freelance experience
  • Expertise: SEO, copywriting, newsletters, conversion optimization, digital strategy
  • LinkedIn | Mail | Instagram

How did I become a combined musician and digital marketer?

Being an aspiring musician and trained digital marketer may not seem like the most natural combination. So, how did it wind up that way? Well, when I was looking to educate myself I received a Bachelor’s degree in market communication and IT.

After working in digital marketing for several years as a web editor, content manager, digital project manager and in several other roles, I realized that 9-5 life just wasn’t working out. The routine drained me to the point where I couldn’t work properly on music, and it restricted my possibility to travel the world. But the solution was there; to become a freelancer instead.

Pains and pleasures of being a musician

Being a musician sounds like lots of fun, and many times it is. But it’s also a draining, emotional endeavor that you really put your soul into. Songwriting, lyricism, artwork, promotion and musical development takes a lot of time and energy. And there’s no way to quantify the success – it’s all about the creative process.

It’s easy to overwork things and it’s easy to lose touch. However, when you nail a song or finally release that album you’ve been waiting for months to put out, it’s more rewarding than any worldly thing. It comes with huge highs and lows, but I don’t see myself ever stopping.

When it works well

My life changes had a lot to do with finding a better balance between time, money and energy. I simply decided to become a freelancer to get more time travel and make music. And when I find the balance, it really hits the sweet-spot.

Another bonus is that I can find ways to combine music and digital marketing. I’ve been running the website deathdoom.com for a few years now, and now it has around 12 000 organic visitors per month. Not bad for a hobby project in an obscure niche, and I can’t deny that music marketing helped me to improve my digital marketing skills as well.

When it doesn’t

But even as a freelancer, there’s still plenty of backlash and life-balance challenges. For me, I think the hardest part is reconciling working for money (freelancing) and working for free (music). It makes me aware that I could make so much more money as a freelancer, but at the same time I need my creative output.

To this day, I don’t quite feel satisfied with how it comes together, but I must admit it’s way better than back when I worked full-time. I do my best to see it as a work in progress, like most things in life indeed are.

What am I actually up to musically?

What does “underground musician” actually entail, you may ask? Well, of course I won’t miss out on this chance to get my music out there. I play extreme metal music in several different projects, Desolator and Soliloquium being the most notable. Streaming and downloading my music is a really good way to support my music/content endeavors!

Desolator – old school death metal

My old school death metal band Desolator

Desolator is my old school death metal band that’s been around for over 10 years. We’ve released two full-length albums and several EP’s and played live in Poland and Spain.

Check it out:

Stream/download Desolator on Bandcamp ->

Stream Desolator on Spotify ->

Soliloquium – progressive death/doom metal

My more varied project Soliloquium has been around almost as long as Desolator, and the fourth full-length album is coming out in 2022. Not sure what “progressive death/doom metal” sounds like? Well, there’s only one way find out!

Check it out:

Stream/download Soliloquium on Bandcamp ->

Stream Soliloquium on Spotify ->

Musician life? Freelance life? What are your thoughts on it?

Are you also a musician trying to figure out how to make ends meet financially, time-wise and energy-wise? Or do you need help with digital marketing? Either way, if you want to get in touch with me you can add me on LinkedIn or e-mail me at nordstromstefan86@gmail.com.


Stefan Nordström

Digital marketing freelancer and consultant originally from Stockholm, Sweden.

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