5 Ways Artists Can Make Money Online

artist make money

As an artist, you’ve surely heard more than your fair share of naysayers in your life telling you that you can’t possibly make money doing what you love.

Luckily for you, we’re here to tell you just a few of the many ways that they are ever so wrong. Thanks to the Internet, there are more ways than ever for artists to make money.

Here are just a few of the ways that artists can make money online by sharing their talents and creativity. Fire up your laptop and start taking notes. Nobody’s ever going to call you a “starving artist” again!

Online Sales

No matter what you make, there’s an online marketplace just waiting to welcome you with open arms. For crafty folks and artists working in traditional media, sites like Etsy are a great place to start making money online. All you have to do is set up your Etsy shop, post photos of your work, and set your prices.

If you prefer to work digitally, check out Society6. On their website, you can upload your own unique digital designs and fit them to a variety of products, ranging from art prints and posters to phone cases and pillows. When someone buys one of your designs on a product, you get paid without having to manufacture anything yourself.

Teach Art Classes

Art education is woefully underfunded, which has left many people young and old turning to the Internet for tutorials, demos, and even private lessons. You can record and upload video lessons and courses on sites like Skillshare, which will pay you when students download your class.

You can also use private tutoring marketplace sites like TakeLessons to connect to private students online or in-person. These sites allow students to find teachers in their area or opt for live, online lessons via video chat. Whichever route you choose, never forget that your knowledge as an artist is super valuable. Why not share what you love and get paid in the process?

Social Media

Making money as an artist on social media is rather tricky, but it can be done. One way you can use social media to turn a profit is by growing your following, then directing them towards your other paid channels.

Let’s say you post a video on YouTube showing your followers the process of making a painting. If you offer a painting class on Skillshare, be sure to include a link to your class in the video description.

You can also use social media to connect with other professionals and secure some interesting art gigs. Connecting with other creatives on social media could lead to custom commissions for anything from pet portraits to album covers. Be open and share as much of your work as you feel comfortable with.

License Your Art

Licensing can be another lucrative area for artists to explore. Stock sites like Getty Images license illustrations in addition to photos to online content creators. Submit your portfolio to a stock site, and if you’re chosen you could receive licensing fees every time a blog uses your drawing of kittens or your painting of a bowl of fruit. Talk about passive income!

Start a Blog

While you likely won’t get rich overnight from a blog, it can still be a great way to make money online. Write about current topics in your medium, share helpful tips of the trade, and use your blog to tease previews of your latest work or lesson plans.

Make sure that your blog links prominently to your online store, online classes, and social media profiles. Even if you never make money by selling ad space on your blog, it’s still a smart piece of your professional artistic online presence.

Making a living as an artist can be a challenge, but if you combine several of these strategies you’re much more likely to find success. Try out a few different ways of making money from your art and keep at it until you find the one that sticks.

Learn how to save now and retire early: Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) Explained.

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