This is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.
The internet is so overloaded with information that right now, there are a gazillion ways to earn a living online.
At first glance, this is supposed to be a good thing, right?
But it only makes sussing out the viable opportunities from the duds even more difficult.
Though opportunities to earn a living online abound, they are not all created equally - some of them are scams and some of them just aren’t sustainable.
It’s sad but true: Everyone loves creativity, but not everyone likes to pay good money for it.
This is why selling creativity can be hard. Luckily, the internet is home to many resources that make it a bit easier to find workable solutions.
So, are you ready to learn how to exchange your creative passion for money online? Here are 3 simple ways to do this.
1. Spread Your Work By Selling Your Pictures
This is especially useful for photographers. Did you know that some websites actually pay photographers for their pictures?
Just in case you love taking awesome photographs, here’s a list of 40+ sites that pay people like you to send in awesome pictures: 40+ Awesome Websites To Sell Your Photos Online.
The good thing about this method is that you get to stay in your comfort zone. Unlike freelancing where you need to meet the demands of a client, this method allows you to freestyle while you work. The only requirement is that you develop your skill.
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2. Sell Your Work Through An Ecommerce Store
With the rapid growth rate of this profitable business model, everyone seems to be jumping on the ecommerce bandwagon.
However, it is especially good for creative people in the fashion or crafting industries who create items like jewellery, handmade bags, clothes and even shoes.
The good thing about this model is that you don’t need to have an offline shop to make it work. Of course, certain practices make all the difference between a successful ecommerce shop and a waste of time.
Customer experience in ecommerce is very important, especially if you don’t want people leaving your online store at the point of purchase.
Images also play a huge role - buyers like to see what they’re purchasing. If you’re good with pictures, you could take snapshots of your creations or get a designer to create really cool collages.
Finally, a working website makes your business appear more trustworthy - even if you do most of your exchanges on an ecommerce network like etsy or eBay.
Over the years, integrating such stores has become easier. There are several tools you could use, including Shopify’s ecommerce software for enterprise solutions.
Finally, you’ll need to take into account how customers would get your goods, since they’re physical products. The best thing is to avoid unnecessary stress here.
If selling and delivering your products locally would ease the impact of shipping, then go ahead. But even if you sell mostly offline, an ecommerce store will showcase your wares to a larger audience and help create word-of-mouth around your products.
3. Teach Your Creative Skill To Others
Online education seems to be one of the best ways to gain expertise and thought leadership on a particular subject.
Internet users scout for information all the time. In fact, statistics show that Google processes over 40,000 search queries every second.
Odds are there’s probably someone looking to learn something you know all about.
Many of us feel we’re not yet good enough to teach someone else, but look at it this way…
If there’s something you know that the person sitting next to you right now doesn’t, then you’re in the best position to teach him or her.
You don’t have to be an expert to share your knowledge with people online. The truth is we gain expertise by consistently sharing what we know with others and making new discoveries along the way.
One of the tools used to make this happen today is blogging. It has become one of the best ways to create thought leadership on a specific subject.
There are many different ways blogs can translate to revenue. Some people get clients through their blogs. Others develop paid courses for their audience. And others monetize their blogs with an advertising revenue model where you earn from ad networks like Google AdSense.
So quit the self-doubt. I’m looking to learn how to take really good pictures with a camera I’m about to purchase. Perhaps you could be the one to teach me through your blog :).
Don’t wait for that knight in shining armour to come give you a ton of money for your creativity. Get out there and put your creativity to work.
So however you choose to form a new income stream - whether that’s classic freelancing, selling your work to organizations ad-hoc, setting up a store using the right ecommerce tools or just sharing your knowledge online - you have the ability to create the kind of life you want.
After all, you’re already creative, so how hard could it be?
Lanre Solarin is a freelance writer who helps creative professionals generate leads online using content marketing. Do you want more clients? Download your free copy of his "Get More Clients" guide to start attracting clients online.