Today we have a fantastic guest post for you from the ever artistically talented Ar from over at ArtualAr all about how you can earn mega bucks from your creativity!
Creative people love to create for the pure joy get from it. But what happens when you want to combine your love for creativity with the need to actually make a living? Many people will say that the life of a creative is inextricably linked with struggle and financial hardship, and for some part, that can be true. However, with the right knowledge, insight and commitment, it’s absolutely possible to earn from your creativity in financial terms as well as in terms of contentment.
In this post, I’m going to be looking at a few ways that creative people can use their skills to earn money, because there’s nothing noble about the starving artist cliche, believe me. In this day and age, suffering for your art just isn’t cool – nor is it necessary. So, let’s jump straight in and look at how you can use your talents to provide an income.
Define Your Skillset
The first thing that you should do before you embark upon this task, is to define exactly which creative skill you enjoy most, and which is the easiest for you to work with. The reason I say this is that many creatives are natural multitaskers. We write, we draw, we also paint, some of us sing…oh, and we also make quirky gifts, and oh yes, we’re also photographers…
See where I’m going with this?
Creatives are natural niche-hoppers; we love to do lots of different things, and that’s great! However, for the purposes of earning some cash from your creativity, I’d advise you to look at which of these skills is the easiest and most enjoyable for you, because you’re going to be using it. Lots. Once you’ve settled on one or two areas of creative focus, it’s time to examine the possibilities.
I’m going to outline some options by creative genre so that you can explore for yourself where you think you’d be best starting out. These are by no means exhaustive but will give you some ideas that you may not have considered before.
As wordsmiths, you’ll naturally be drawn to blogging, freelance writing and creative writing. These are all great starting points for earning, but what I’ll say is what I echoed in my earlier post on how to earn money through freelance writing; don’t expect it to happen overnight. You’ve got to really put the work in to see the returns on this one. Some tips for fledgeling writers:
- Set up your own blog and create a portfolio space within it to showcase your talent
- Consider doing short-term paid writing gigs on freelancer sites such as Fiverr or Upwork, but don’t sell your skills for 20p. Remember your worth.
- Offer CV writing work or personal statement writing for job hunters – this can be a great way to build your credibility
- If you’re a creative writer or poet, you can set up shop and sell your work on places like Etsy, Instagram or Patreon
I’m looking at you, painters, potters and textile lovers. Luckily, the world of online marketplaces for arts and crafts is booming, but you need to really look carefully at what you’ve got to offer the market. Make sure it’s something that people actually want to buy, and do it well. Do your research and find something that people really want. Also, consider your costs if you’re going to make and sell a physical product. It always seems like a great idea in the moment, but in the long term, you’re going to need space, hands on deck and lots of time to pack and ship items individually. Places to start researching:
- Etsy – it’s the place to be when it comes to selling your crafts, and they don’t take a huge commission off your sale prices either, so you’ll keep a larger chunk of your profits.
- Instagram – this is where you can find out what’s trending, what’s selling and what kind of thing you really want to be a creator of. Hard work to maintain, but if it takes off then you’re set.
Be wary of more popular sites out there that sell handmade gifts – often there’s a hefty upfront fee for registering as well as a large commission on top of your sales. You don’t need the power of a big name behind you these days, so just put the time in to do your research and consider your long-term goals.
YouTube and Instagram are your friends. If you’re a comic, a singer, or just someone who likes to talk on camera, these are the places that you can begin to get yourself noticed, and then monetise. Another little-explored avenue is that of live streaming. It takes some time to get your head around, but if you look at services like Twitch, for example, you can build an online presence there and they provide free linked tools to create and sell your own themed merchandise through your channel.
The best part about this is that you don’t have to physically handle any stock, your fans just purchase and it’s shipped directly, you take a commission of the sale price. A great way to earn a passive income, if you can build enough of a following. As above, you need to make sure you give people something they really want.
These are just a few starting tips for people who would like to earn money from their creativity, but remember, it’s down to you to put the daily work in! While nobody wants to see creativity become a commodity, if you do have it, you can definitely use it to your financial advantage.