With the rising cost of living, now is a good time to make money online through your creativity. The internet values creative work, with nearly every website relying heavily on creative professionals. Blogs, memes, and video content are just three examples, but all internet content is actually built from creative effort.
Professional artists and designers have the skills to earn money in different ways, but you’ll need to be prepared. Launching your own website is a great way to attract potential customers (see our best website builders for help), while the best cloud storage can help you efficiently manage all your digital assets from one place.
These are the eight best ways to make money online in 2022. Whether you’re becoming a video game streamer or teaching your skills to others, there’s something for everyone. You can be discerning, but also experiment, because you never know what will work. See our other favorite ways to make more money here.
How to make money online as a creative
01. Sell your work on Etsy
Etsy (opens in a new tab) is an e-commerce platform specializing in creative items. With everything from vintage board games to handmade home decor, the website is an art collector’s dream. If you’re someone who makes handmade products, Etsy can help you earn a great income.
Etsy acts as an intermediary between buyers and sellers; just like eBay, it does not manufacture the products it sells, but like any middleman, it charges a fee for listing your products. The cost of a registration is $0.20 every four months. There is also a 6.5% fee applicable per transaction.
Setting up your shop on Etsy is very simple. Just head to the website and create a new account. Once done, set up a storefront by choosing a name for your store and adding some ads. Each time someone makes a purchase for one of your listings, you will be notified to begin the shipping process. To find out more, see our how to sell on etsy guide.
02. Teach courses on Udemy
Sites like Udemy (opens in a new tab) and Coursera (opens in a new tab) allow creative professionals to offer expert tuition and lessons to students of all skill levels, for one low fee. You can teach everything from web design to languages.
Classes are offered in audio and video. And the best part? They don’t even have to be live classes. You can create a series of professionally designed lessons that your students can watch whenever they want, after paying for the course.
Courses sell for between $9.99 and $199.99, with thousands of potential students per course. Each class should last at least 30 minutes and consist of five separate modules.
03. Stream games on Twitch
Are you good at playing video games? It’s true, it’s playing, not doing. If you love video games and are good with an audience, you might consider opening your own streaming channel on Tic (opens in a new tab).
Twitch streamers can earn money in different ways. The first, and most common, is to display ads below your videos. Another way to make money is by placing sponsored brands in the videos themselves. Donations and subscriptions are other ways to make money with Twitch.
Twitch streamers, unlike YouTubers, are required to host regular live streams and chat with their viewers. It’s more spontaneous compared to other streaming platforms and therefore requires less finesse.
04. Independent with Upwork
If you’re a writer, graphic designer, or developer, consider offering your skills as a freelancer. Many companies these days outsource the work to talented people instead of managing them in-house or paying an agency to do it for them.
There are many websites where you can freelance. They are primarily marketplaces that connect freelancers with those who need their services. Although many of these marketplaces are notorious for attracting dishonest buyers or offering cheap rates, Upwork (opens in a new tab) has a strong anti-fraud policy for buyers and sellers, making it one of the best deals.
The rates are reasonably good too. To get started, simply create a new account and create your freelancer profile on Upwork.
05. Design Elements for Envato
Are you a web developer? Do you design websites? Do you have experience with WordPress? Do you draw or sketch digitally? If you answered yes to any of the above, you can put your work up for sale on Envato (opens in a new tab).
Envato is an online marketplace for digital assets. From themes and plugins to stock videography, there’s nothing you can’t find on the site. The idea is simple. You upload your work and allow people to purchase licenses to use your assets. With these licenses, they can use your work for their own online projects, both personal and commercial.
Envato also lets you sell creative services for a fee. By offering a flat rate on things like designing a logo or building a website, you can attract buyers who need a more personalized offer.
06. Sell Printables on Redbubble
Redbubble (opens in a new tab) is a marketplace where you can buy custom printed artwork. From designer t-shirts to printed phone cases, you’ll find it all here. All artwork is created by independent artists, which opens up many possibilities for creative professionals.
Since the website is print-on-demand, Redbubble doesn’t require a huge upfront investment. You upload your designs to the site and wait for someone to place an order. Once the order has been placed, you will receive an email on the amount sold and the royalty made.
That’s right, Redbubble doesn’t require you to print or ship your own products. Just upload the design, and they’ll do the rest.
07. Take photos for SmugMug
Smug Mug (opens in a new tab) is a stock photography marketplace where you can upload images you’ve taken with your own camera. You can sell your photos in digital and printed form. In the latter case, SmugMug connects you to its own network of printing partners to automate the process.
SmugMug is incredibly popular and receives 100,000 or more visitors in a single day. It even lets you add watermarks and branding to your work for maximum visibility. You can also use the site as a secure platform for sharing and hosting images.
SmugMug takes a 15% commission on your work, which is generous for a photography marketplace. If you’re an amateur photographer looking to transition into professional work, the site is a perfect gateway into the industry.
08. Publish books on Amazon
Writing a book no longer involves courting powerful publishing houses thanks to Amazon’s vast self-publishing platform. You can write your own ebook, publish it, and market it however you see fit.
Just head to Kindle Direct Publishing (opens in a new tab). Once you’ve signed up for a new account, enter your ebook details, upload a cover image, and choose distribution rights. You can price it however you want or even give it away for free – KDP will have your ebook on Amazon in just 12 hours.
Don’t expect to get a lot of sales on day one unless you already have an established reader base. With Kindle, your ebook will be listed on Amazon, but it will be quite low on a list that contains thousands of other ebooks. To get the most out of the platform, you’ll need to market the book yourself. You can try giving it away for free for the first few days, or take advantage of social media marketing to let people know about your book. While it won’t make you rich (it happened), it can still help you earn a decent amount over the years if you do it right.