One way to become a professional songwriter is to submit a polished demo recording of original music to companies listed in the publication "Songwriter's Market." Each company shares its submissions guidelines, the kind of music desired and where to send it.
The paperback edition of the 2016 edition of "Songwriter's Market" retails on Amazon.com for about $22 as of 2015. Prior to sending demos, it is also helpful to study an instrument, write lyrics and music, and join a peer group, such as the Songpreneur community on SongwritingAndMusicBusiness.com.
A knowledge of the business is essential, such as the specifics of music publishing, copyrights and royalties. Networking and performing is also central to a songwriter's development; it builds confidence, technique, an audience and potential contacts.
A self-promotion press kit is important. It signifies professionalism and provides industry pros and prospective clients with a quick scan of a songwriter's strongest work.