If you're looking for ways to earn money at home as a creative, you're certainly not alone. These uncertain times are affecting every part of our lives, and creatives everywhere are worrying about the impact the Covid-19 pandemic will have on their finances. Cancelled events and commercial shutdown have had a particular effect on creatives, so you may want to find an alternative (or extra) source of income until life returns to normal.
We've put together a list of ways you can use your creative skills to earn yourself money without leaving the house. We've shelved any ideas that would require the post office, too. Read on for six ideas that could help you make money from the comfort of your home.
For more ideas to keep you busy, you can make sure your graphic design tools are bang up-to-date, or check out these free online resources for artists and designers. You might also want to see our article on ways to make more money from design.
01. Sell snaps to stock websites
If you have an image library packed full of stunning photos that haven't seen the light of day, you could put them to good use. Stock websites will pay you for your photographs, which could be anything from holiday snaps to wildlife photography. There are a bunch of different stock photo sites to approach, with commission rates averaging at about 25% (some more, some less). Try Getty Images (opens in new tab), Shutterstock (opens in new tab) and Dreamstime (opens in new tab) to get you started. It's not a way to make income to live on, but many photographers find it a fun way to make some extra money each month.
Note: We aren't encouraging anyone to head out with their camera in search of new shots, this only applies to photos you've already taken that are gathering dust in the depths of your computer.
02. Sell digital prints on Etsy or Instagram
Etsy (opens in new tab) isn't just for selling crafts, you can also sell digital files for download. Creatives can take advantage of this by putting their graphic design talents to good use and selling prints and illustrations digitally. You could offer different formats, such as wall posters that can be printed out, or offer selections of beautiful cards for people to send to their loved ones.
Instagram (opens in new tab) is also a great place for selling your digital art, using Shopify (opens in new tab), the online shopping platform. A beautifully curated Instagram feed is a great shop window, and the more engagement and followers you have, the more you're likely to sell. Cast your net further by following our tips to boost Instagram engagement.
03. Start teaching online classes
There's been an explosion of free content online in recent days, aimed at kids and adults stuck inside. But you don't have to keep it all free. Creatives have a wealth of desirable skills that people at home will be keen to learn, so why not create content for online education websites like Udemy (opens in new tab) or Skillshare (opens in new tab)?
You can sell your courses to the people taking advantage of all this inside time to learn new things. All you need is a decent smartphone camera to film yourself teaching. There are thousands of courses already uploaded, which cover creative topics from photography to web design, and you could join the mix. Just make sure you think about what unique insight you can offer. If you find the idea a little daunting, check out our public speaking tips.
04. Set up a Patreon
Patreon (opens in new tab) is a fundraising platform that supports artists through regular and reliable income from supporters. In exchange for benefits such as exclusive content, involvement in your creations or insight into your creative process, supporters pay a monthly subscription. It creates a wonderful sense of community and benefits art-lovers and creatives alike. If this is something that interests you, you can find out how to get more out of Patreon in our article.
05. Make and sell fonts
If lettering is your bag, why not create your very own font to sell? There are a few different routes to take with selling your own fonts. First, you could approach a type foundry like YouWorkForThem (opens in new tab). They will work with you to refine your fonts, complete font families and provide customer support, as well as other services. They will then give you a cut of any sales made.
Or, you could sell your own font through a font retailer like MyFonts (opens in new tab). They won't provide any service other than a platform to sell your fonts, but they do only accept fonts of a certain quality.
Find out more about the font-selling process here.
06. Get yourself ready
This is also a great time to get all those jobs done you haven't quite got round to. Putting the work in now may mean increased revenue later. Creating a stunning website, for example, which is ready to go for when the world is back up and running (you can find a top website builder with our pick of the best). Or working on that portfolio (for help, see tweaks you can make to bring it up to date for 2020 and some brilliant portfolio examples).
Or, set about creating pieces you can sell later. Whether you're an artist, designer or maker, these days spent inside can be fruitful, meaning you'll have a stock of creations ready to sell in days ahead.