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7 Tips for Setting Up Multiple Streams of Income for Creatives

Woman editing video files on her Macbook.
Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

It’s more beneficial than ever to have multiple streams of income. If you find yourself off the job at the moment, diverse sources of income can help you get the money to pay your bills.

Creative types, especially, should focus on multiple streams of income. My husband, for example, is a musician. He travels all over the state, playing gigs at breweries, wineries, and restaurants. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, all these businesses are closed, making us a one-income family for the time being.

If one income stream is put on an indefinite pause, it would be great to have others, wouldn’t it?  Well, these days, you don’t have to leave the house to make some extra income. There are a lot of ways you can make a few bucks here and there.

If you already work full-time or work two part-time jobs, you can still check out the following tips. Most of these won’t take up a ton of your free time.

Monetize Your Blogs and Websites

If you have a blog or a website, find some ways to make money off them. You can sell advertising or use a service like AdSense to make a few bucks off page views. You might make more money if you get your own advertisers. Podcasters can also benefit from selling ad space within episodes.

If you sell products or services, set up a sales page or link to your items on other sites. Make your website and blog work for you! Make sure there’s a way for people to get money to you, even if it’s just a PayPal link they can click to send you a donation.

Teach Your Skills to Others

Man teaching classes online using his laptop.

If you have a skill someone else might be interested in learning, consider teaching. You don’t even have to rent a classroom; you can do it all online. Sites like Udemy make it easy for you to create classes and sell your experience to others.

You can also use Skype, Zoom, or YouTube to teach classes.

Expand Your Horizons

If you’re a writer, work for more than one website and write different genres. If you’re a musician, find other ways to make money besides playing shows. You can give lessons or book shows for other musicians. If you’re a songwriter, consider selling some of your work to a publishing company—you might get to hear someone famous singing your words one day.

There are all sorts of ways you can expand on whatever you’re most passionate about. If you don’t consider yourself a writer, but you write songs, enter some poetry contests. Try to get your lyrics and poems published in journals that will pay you for them.

Get on Fiverr and start posting gigs people might want to pay you to do. Say you’re a graphic designer who can create logos, or you have the equipment (and the voice) to do voice-over work—advertise your skills on Fiverr and see if you can’t get some paying gigs.

Start Writing

If you can hone your grammar skills, and you have something to say, consider trying your hand at some writing. Aside from monetizing a blog, there are other ways you can make money with your words. If you do an internet search for “writers wanted,” you’ll find tons of gigs for writers of all levels. Find something you’re interested in, work on some writing samples, and apply.

If you need published samples, consider writing for a site like Vocal.Media. You can write about whatever you want, as long as it fits their guidelines. They pay you for every view you get on your articles, so the more popular your work is, the more money you make.

If you’re not looking for a steady writing gig, but would like to make some residual income off your talent for words, submit articles or pitches to online or print magazines.

If fiction is more your thing, look for journals and anthologies that are open to submissions and pay. Chicken Soup for the Soul, for example, is always open to submissions.

Sell Stuff

Whether you’re an artist, a crafter, a musician with some CDs to sell, or you just have some “junk” other people might want, get it online! You can get cash for your creations or stuff you no longer want.

Depending on what you’re selling, there’s a site for everyone. Etsy caters to artists and crafters, and those with vintage wares. And, of course, eBay is a great place to sell everything you don’t want anymore.

Apps like Mercari are popping up everywhere and making it even easier to sell stuff online. Just snap a pic, pick a price, write a description, and you’re done!

You can also sell stuff at local consignment stores or apply for a booth at a local arts and crafts show. You can also just invite friends over to shop or have a yard sale.

Get a Patreon Account

Patreon is a great place to make some money from your “Patrons.” These are people who sign up to pay you a monthly fee to get something in return, like access to your videos or shopping discounts. Those who already have a following for the work they do tend to make the most on Patreon. However, it’s free to set up, so it’s worth a shot for any creative.

Podcasters, musicians, artists, authors, crafters, and more use this site to bring in some extra income. Aside from sharing your Patreon to get your friends and fans involved, one key way to get Patrons is to offer them something they want. For example, if you’re an author, offer a free book; if you’re a musician, offer a free CD.

Ask for Sponsors

One thing about creatives is we’re always creating something. Consider asking for some help with the start-up money to make your creations. Kickstarter is a popular donation-based way to get money for your next book, album, board or video game, or any other project you might be working on.

People donate based on what you offer them, such as an autographed CD, or their name being included in the liner notes. There are other sites like this, as well, so check them out and see which one would work best for your particular project.

Yvonne Glasgow Yvonne Glasgow
Yvonne Glasgow is a professional writer with two decades of experience. She has written and edited for nutritionists, start-ups, dating companies, SEO firms, newspapers, board game companies, and more. Yvonne is a published poet and short story writer, and she is a life coach. Read Full Bio »
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