A Creative Income guest post by Jennifer Priest, owner of Hydrangea Hippo!
If you have a creative business, you’re already making money in some way. Maybe you have a robust Etsy shop or a popular craft blog or are just starting to build a YouTube following. Maybe you’re working on all three of these ideas. The old rules of choosing one path and focusing on it alone are out – you don’t have to pick just one way to make money from your creative efforts these days! The more streams of income you have, the less you’ll have to worry about the ebb and flow created by seasons, trends, and other factors you have no control over as a business owner.
1. Selling Samples
If you have a craft blogging or on a design team, you probably have lots of completed samples around the house. Consider selling these at craft fairs, on sites like Etsy, on your own blog, or to local shops who sell one-of-a-kind items. If you are an illustrator or licensing artist, consider selling prints of your work online or using services like Spoonflower or Society6 to offer prints of your work to the masses.
2. Affiliate Links
If you are a craft blogger, consider adding affiliate links to your site. You can sign up as an affiliate through a service–like CJ by Conversant or Share A Sale–that services advertisers, or you can sign up directly through a retailer like Target or Amazon. You’ll write blog posts which mention the products you like or use often, and include a link back to them. If your readers click the links and make purchases, you will make a commission. If you are sharing supply lists on your blog or talking about products you’d talk about anyways, why not make it easier for your followers to find those products and help fund your efforts at the same time?
If you have a blog, considering adding advertisements. You can manage these on your own by collecting a fee from advertisers you find and work with directly. You can also use a service like Google AdSense or Lijit. Some affiliate networks will also provide ad images that you can use on your blog or website to generate income. Ads pay based on the number of clicks or the number of views so be sure to carefully read the terms of the agreement before using them. The benefit of ads is that as long as people are visiting your website, you’ll be making money, even when you are asleep.
4. Sponsored Blog Posts
Working directly with an advertiser or through a network like SocialFabric, you can get paid to blog or share on social media about products. The pay varies wildly from $10 to nearly $1000 per post, depending on the agreement, your blog traffic, and the needs of the advertiser. It costs nothing to sign up for the networks and start applying to do sponsored posts for companies. If you already have relationships with companies directly, propose a sponsored post plan to them.
If you’ve had success in your creative business, chances are there is someone who can benefit from your expertise and experience. Consider offering coaching services or mentoring to those just starting out in a creative business. You can charge for coaching or barter for other services. For example, you can trade some of their handmade goods or web design services for your coaching hours. Consider charging an hourly rate based on your experience and the knowledge you are sharing. If people are regularly asking you for your help and guidance, coaching is a viable income stream you may be overlooking.
6. Writing Articles or Getting Published
Once you have some experience in an area of your business, you can start to share that knowledge with others through writing or getting published. Some creatives write ebooks on topics such as how to make money on etsy or 10 ways to create your own sewing patterns for clothing. Ebooks can be sold through an online publisher, such as Amazon Kindle, or as a pdf through your own website. You can also write articles for magazines, online publications, and blogs, like Creative Income Blog, to receive pay for your expertise and the sharing of your knowledge. And finally, you can submit book proposals to publishers to create print books of your knowledge, whether it is business smarts, teaching an art or craft, or writing an inspirational book to help others.
The key to adding multiple streams of income to your business is to think about them creatively. These 6 streams of income are tried and true but that doesn’t mean that you can’t carve your own path to creating new streams of income for your business. The key is to have diverse sources of income so that as one waxes and wanes, the other income sources can pick up the slack to feed your business a steady stream of revenue all year long.
Do you have an idea you’d like to contribute to this conversation? Leave it in the comment box below, and then be sure to check out Jennifer Priest’s Etsy shop, Hydrangea Hippo!