There are plenty of creative and talented individuals out there – visual artists, musicians, writers, bloggers, etc. – who are trying to make it in the world. They are putting in the work daily, honing their skills and creating something new and interesting, but the pursuit of one’s dreams often leaves an artist struggling in poverty. Although the image of the struggling artist has become a cliché over the years, modern technology and the internet have allowed new artists to reach a much wider audience than it was possible some 20-30 years back. Not only can they showcase their material online and use social media to spread the word about their work, but they can also offer a number of products to their audience/fans by monetizing their website. This way, a person can keep all their creative freedom and artistic integrity while still earning some money so they can keep doing what they do best. So, how does an artistically inclined individual monetize his or her website?
Provide some interesting/useful merchandise
The basic type of merchandise you can offer is some form of apparel – usually T-shirts, hats and hoodies – and these can be well received, but you should avoid simple, bland and generic designs. Have some creative designs that flow right from your philosophy, art and writing. Too many people simply slap a logo or short slogan on a shirt and try to sell it, without worrying about whether the design looks good. Some more creative products can include:
- E-book downloads – besides writers offering their books in digital format, a great example of this are fitness trainers who offer custom training programs on their websites and successful YouTube vloggers that offer a variety of unique material on their websites.
- Audio/video material – this is a great way for you to get more personal with your audience. You can have some behind the scenes footage showing an artist working on a painting or a sculpture, an audio book where the writer reads his work, how-to basic tutorials related to your field etc.
- Customized trinkets – musicians can offer old instruments, painters can offer a personal set of brushes and paint, photographers can offer large prints of their work, and so on. A good example is a gun and tactical equipment reviewer who offers jewelry made from spent bullet casings.
The best thing is that you can get some useful feedback from your fans on your Facebook page or the comments section on your blog, so you can give the people what they want.
WordPress plugins make selling products easy
Using WordPress to design your website allows you to make quick and easy adjustments, customize the look of your website. You can install a plugin and spend under an hour tinkering with the settings, and voila, you have yourself a shop integrated into your website. WooCommerce is a pretty straightforward plugin that allows you to set up a shop. However, if you have a custom WP theme, it may take a bit of work to get everything set up and it can generally be overwhelming due to the fact that it is somewhat complex and has many customization options. There are some very simple options out there that you can use, particularly for selling digital content, which require very little time and effort to implement.
Selling on Facebook and Pinterest
A good thing about simple and readily available payment options like Selz is that you can easily install apps that allow you to create a store on your Facebook fan page. It’s a very good option for those who are just starting out and don’t really have a working website yet, or it can be a great addition to your website store. Pinterest is yet another great website you can use to showcase products, particularly when it comes to apparel, jewelry and posters. Utilizing social media to get some additional exposure is an important strategy for artists and new entrepreneurs, but now you can use these platforms as another way of generating revenue.
By finding a good affiliate website and invest into advertising through websites you gain to better quality traffic. This actually means that you have managed to find a place where people who like what you have to offer. They will click the link leading to your website willingly and thus you gained access to visits that have a better chance of converting into shoppers.
As you can see, it’s not that difficult to monetize your website, blog or even create a Facebook fan page shop so, don’t be afraid to dip your toes in the world of online business and start earning some money that will help you fund you future projects and follow your dreams.