4 Ways Creative People Can Make Money Online

The internet has been a godsend to painters, photographers, crafters and other creative types. Find out how unleashing your imagination can generate cash.


Right-brained people sure have it tough. Those who follow their creative passions often end up in low-paying jobs that leave them scraping by just to pay the rent.

They call them “starving artists” for a reason.

However, the internet has been a godsend to painters, photographers, crafters and other creative types. Following are a handful of websites that let you unleash your imagination — and make a little cash in the process.

1. Photography

If you’ve got a great eye and can work a camera, turn that talent into cash. Several sites will buy your snapshots. In most cases, the images will be used to accompany news stories, blogs and marketing materials.

For example, contribute images to Shutterstock and you will be paid every time a subscriber downloads one of your approved images. You can find the earnings schedule here. As the site notes:

As your lifetime earnings increase, the amount you earn per download increases, too.

You can’t beat that! Other sites that will buy your photos include:

2. Crafts

You love to craft. But how many crocheted toaster covers do your friends and family members really want or need? Instead of — or in addition to — giving your handmade goods out for free, turn your hobby into a profitable online business.

Sites like Etsy allow you to share your skills with the world — and paying customers — for just a fraction of what you’ll earn. According to the site:

It doesn’t take much to list your items and once you make a sale, Etsy’s transaction fee is just 3.5%.

Note that there are other costs involved, but ultimately, you’re profiting off of something you love. The site even gives you tools that “make it easy to manage, promote and grow your business.” Learn how to start selling.

Other sites that let you sell your wares:

Or, you can opt to set up your very own online storefront. Sites like Weebly can help you “give your handmade business a boost.”

3. Art

Perhaps you’re longing to explore your inner Picasso. If so, you might want to consider selling your art online.

Started more than 15 years ago, DeviantArt allows artists to exhibit and sell their artworks. The site says that it has 38 million members — both artists and art aficionados — and that more than 160,000 artworks are uploaded every day.

The art itself ranges from paintings and sculpture to digital art and films. You simply upload images of your work, and smitten art enthusiasts can buy it. Visit the site to learn more about selling your work.

Redbubble is another site that allows you to sell your creations online. The site says it has “artists and designers hailing from every corner of the globe” and offers goods such as “impossibly brilliant T-shirts, heart-stopping wall art, (and) attention grabbing iPhone cases.”

4. Writing

Although sometimes overlooked, the written word is an art form in its own right. If you have something to say and an interesting or endearing way of saying it, consider peddling your thoughts online in the form of a blog, article or even a list. (Yes, you read that last one correctly!)

Blogging has become big business in recent years, and aspiring and seasoned writers alike can cash in on the popularity of this growing industry. Moms and dads looking to learn a little extra money for the college tuition fund can take home $100 or more per blog at Babble, Disney’s parenting site. Get the details.

IT savvy folks can earn varying amounts of cash for submitting “general Windows, internet, and email tips” to Worldstart.com. According to the site:

We are primarily looking for tips for our email newsletter, WorldStart’s Computer Tips. This is published daily to 300,000 readers and focuses on tips and tricks the average computer user can utilize. We are also seeking feature articles for our website covering any and all aspects of computing.

Don’t want to write an actual blog? Get paid to compile a list instead! All you need are a vision and a PayPal account. Here’s the deal, according to Listverse.com:

We will pay you $100 for your efforts. You don’t need to be an expert—you just need to have great English, a sense of humor, and a love for things unusual or interesting.

See the Listverse guidelines to get started.

Do you have other great tips for creative people looking to make some cash? Share them in our Forums. It’s a place where you can swap questions and answers on money-related matters, life hacks and ingenious ways to save.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!

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