How to make money from your own creativity
Are you lucky enough to have a talent? Whether you’re a gifted musician, artist or writer there’s always a way to make money off what you’re good at, and work on your skills in the process. Let's turn those years of training into cold hard cash!
If you've clicked on this article but really have no discernible talent whatsoever, check out our 100 ways to make money article - there's plenty of ideas there for you!
If you have a skill that you think people will pay for then you may as well stick something up on Fiverr. It’s a site where people pay $5 (£3.46) for all sorts of services, from graphic design and proofreading to pretending to be someone’s girlfriend on Facebook. There are people who will video themselves dancing with a sign for three quid - crazy!
Set up a profile and advertise your services for anything you can think of to start making money.
Start a blog or YouTube channel
Neither of these are a guaranteed way to make money, and you’re not going to become Zoella or PewDiePie overnight, but a huge amount of people ARE making an income off blogging and vlogging.
We’ve written a more extensive guide to how to make money on YouTube, but the key is to upload regularly and allow advertising on your videos, and don’t use licensed music. As for what you should make videos about, it’s entirely up to you - people have made money by just looking sexy in their thumbnail and eating things that should never be eaten. It’s a good idea to try and jump on trends before they’re everywhere, imagine how much money the first cinnamon challenge or Harlem Shake videos have made!
If you’re starting a blog get signed up to Google AdSense, all you need to do is stick the code they give you onto your blog and the ads being shown will be automatically updated by Google. The ads being shown should be tailored to your audience, for example if you’re running a fashion blog your visitors are most likely to see fashion ads.
You get paid based on the number of clicks on your ads, so what money you make is entirely based on how popular your blog is. We asked someone using AdSense, and they told us on a day they got 7,000 clicks onto their blog they made £4, so it’s not massive, but we wouldn’t say no to that!
To further your moneymaking potential make sure it’s easy to find out how to contact you on your blog or YouTube channel. Most big bloggers and YouTubers make the majority of their money from sponsored posts and brand partnerships - if you can get these then you’re onto a winner.
Talent specific money-makers
Art, crafts, photography and graphics
Why not sell your drawings, crafts or designs on Etsy or Folksy? You can get prints made, or you can even sell printables, so you won’t need to physically post anything if you don’t want to. There are also Facebook selling pages like Craft Craft and more Craft where you can sell all sorts of handmade items.
You could also design cards, t-shirts, notebooks or tote bags on RedBubble. All you need to do is upload your images and descriptions then Redbubble does the rest - you don’t need to print them yourselves, and you get a cut of the profits. Be warned though, it does work out at about 24p back for every greetings card you send.
If you’re a photography fan then you probably already have a Flickr account, and you can toggle a switch in your account settings to make specific photos open to be licensed to Getty Images. Read more about this here, photography sites we’ve read recommend only choosing this option for your very best photos, because Getty have to accept your images manually.
You can also do traditional photo licensing on sites like iStock, BigStock, and ShutterStock, and this is ideal for those with a large back catalogue of images. Submit a whole load of photos and make sure to carefully tag each one with what it is and this can be a great earner.
If you’re really pretty good, then why not try hiring yourself out as a photographer? We wouldn’t suggest you start off with weddings, but build up your portfolio doing portraits of friends and family and set up a website and it’s not too difficult to get jobs taking outfit photos for bloggers or shooting events.
If you’ve got an eye for style then you could use your talent on reselling clothes for a profit. Pick up cheap clothes from car boot sales, local selling pages, poorly photographed eBay auctions and charity shops and wash/iron them, photograph them nicely and stick them online.
Keep an eye out for any well known labels - even stuff like ASOS sells reasonably well, try and avoid Primark though! Women’s clothes sell better than men’s, and plus sizes are always popular (because they’re a bit more expensive to begin with).
We’ve written a guide to selling on eBay, but it’s not the only option, vintage clothing sells for more on Etsy, and local Facebook selling pages don’t have fees.
Musicians can make good money off their instrument, if they know how to.
Gigging can be quite lucrative, whether you’re playing pubs with a metal band or being hired as part of a string quartet for a wedding. The important thing is to get yourself out there, make yourself a free website and a Facebook page, don’t forget to tell your friends and family what you’re up to too, as they might have connections that could want to book you.
If you’re very patient and have achieved all of the grades for your instrument you could advertise yourself as a music tutor, or if you’re a pianist, as an examination accompanist. The going rate of pay is £20-£30 an hour - get yourself on Gumtree.
If you write and produce your own music you can make money by self publishing on Spotify, find out how to do it here. Be warned though, the payments are famously low. It takes something like 300 streams for a song to make $1, so it isn’t exactly hitting the jackpot. You can also put your songs on YouTube for extra cash.
Love to write? In addition to starting your own blog there are other ways you can make money with your abilities, like self publishing on Amazon.
What you write is up to you, but you’ll need to make an attractive looking cover and publish it through the Kindle Direct Publishing site. A Kindle author we know earns around 30p every time her 99p short story is purchased, unsurprisingly 50 Shades of Grey-esque erotic stories sell best - it even started out as a self-published novel.
If you’re not interested in writing novels, you can pitch articles to online and print publications. Just look for a contact us page on their websites and send over a few ideas you have for articles. How much you’ll be offered for your articles will depend on the outlet, but it’s worth a try!
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