Gone are the days when you could only sell art offline. However, making money selling your graphics online is a new experience for many artists, which often begs the question: “How do you do it?”.
Here’s how to make money selling graphics online:
- Sell your graphics on online marketplaces.
- Sell through a blog or YouTube channel.
- Sell on Instagram.
- Sell directly through email.
- Sell using a freelance account.
As you grow and develop your craft, you need to know the best places and methods to market and sell your work. This article will discuss everything you need to know about making money online from selling your art by expanding on the points above.
1. Sell Your Graphics on Online Marketplaces
There’s no shortage of online marketplaces where you can sell your designs. There is a space for you no matter what you specialize in, be it 3D work, printing on T-shirts, or creating graphic templates. These platforms showcase your products to millions of users, saving you time and money.
Using these marketplaces, there’s no limit to how much passive income you can earn from monetizing your skill. YOu can create a piece of digital art once and continue to resell it without any additional design work. However, keep in mind that you do need to have a certain level of skill to utilize most of these platforms.
Not all designs make it onto the marketplace. Most platforms have a team that reviews all submissions and decides if they are good enough to sell on their platforms.
Some of these platforms include:
Many designers enjoy selling their work on Creative Market. It’s a fantastic platform for selling fonts, print templates, 3D work, and so on. The platform has over five million users, lets you set your rates, and gives you 70% off every sale.
TurboSquid is the place to go if you have 3D assets for sale. The platform specializes in selling 3D models for numerous mediums such as the filmmaking, architecture, and video game industries.
Stock models are quickly becoming the best way to create 3D content, which is why the market needs high-quality 3D assets. So, if you have top-notch products to sell, TurboSquid is the way to go. The platform features categories such as cars, anatomy, architecture, and anything else you can think of.
Design Cuts is a platform for designers made by designers. It is a community platform where you can sell high-grade assets for excellent prices. These assets include graphics, brushes, and patterns, among others.
However, not everyone can work with them as they claim to work exclusively with the best. If you’re up for it, you can reach out to them and possibly get featured on the website.
Big Cartel is one of the best-known websites that allow you to sell graphics online. The platform lets you build and customize your store to fit your aesthetic, which is a feature most sites do not have.
Big Cartel also provides you with tools such as social networking and tracking to aid with market research. This means you can choose and decide how to promote and sell your work. The cost for using this platform ranges from $0 to $19.99 monthly, depending on the features you require and the number of products you want to sell.
2. Start a Blog or Create a YouTube Channel
The best thing about starting a blog or creating a YouTube channel is that there are two ways to make money from it.
Having a blog with high traffic or a YouTube channel with numerous subscribers means you have many people watching you. Therefore, when you post content relating to your work, chances are quite a few of them will be interested in purchasing your products.
While these are excellent channels to sell your art, you need to generate enough traffic first, which could take a while. In my experience, this can take several months to more than a year, depending on your niche and content consistency. Therefore, you need to be patient and ensure you consistently create good-quality content.
The second way to make money from these channels is to monetize them. You’re not directly selling your work here, but you’re making money nonetheless. You can join an affiliate program when you start your blog or channel.
By joining a program, you can promote designs from an online store. Each time someone purchases an asset (including yours) through your link, you make passive income.
Again, you won’t make money right off the bat. You need to take time to accumulate enough traffic to generate revenue.
How To Start a Blog
This isn’t as daunting as it might seem. Starting a blog has lots of benefits, even if you start out slowly. Here are the steps you’ll need to follow:
- Pick your blog name.
- Register your blog.
- Get your blog hosting.
- Add WordPress to your blog.
- Pick a theme and customize your blog.
- Add plugins to track stats and find your readers.
- Create engaging content.
- Promote your blog.
The hardest part is consistently creating content and promoting it. Just get started writing… I spent about 6 months writing for one blog before I was even worried about promoting it. You need content first!
Check out Laughingbird Software’s blog or our ebike blog to get some ideas.
How To Create a YouTube Channel
Starting a YouTube Channel is easier than creating a blog. Here’s how to do it:
- Sign in to YouTube.
- Click on your profile picture.
- Click on “Create a channel”.
- Confirm your account details and create your channel.
- Promote your channel.
Naturally, creating videos and promoting them take quite a bit more work. Take a look at the methods I have used to get E-Biking Today started or watch how Marc does it on Laughingbird’s YouTube channel!
3. Sell on Instagram
About six years ago, nobody bothered buying or selling on Instagram. It was simply a platform for sharing pictures. However, things have changed significantly. Instagram, the world’s second-biggest social network, has become a vital marketing tool. Luckily, this is a tool you can take advantage of.
Two incredible qualities about Instagram are its simple interface and its focus on visuals (which is great for you). Therefore, Instagram is a platform you can use to make money selling your graphics. Post examples of your design work and add some hashtags representing the topic.
Adjusting your Instagram account to use it for business purposes is relatively easy. Just follow these tips to make the most of your account.
Set Up an Instagram Business Account
First, you need to switch your personal Instagram account to a business one. You don’t necessarily need to use Instagram Shopping to promote your work. However, you do need a business account to market your products.
Besides being a prerequisite for using Instagram Shopping, you need a business account to run ads, add your contact details, and access performance insights.
Here’s how to switch to a business account:
- Go to the menu in the app.
- Tap on “Settings.” You will find it at the bottom right.
- Tap on “Account”
- Tap on “Switch to Professional Profile”
Use Instagram Shopping
After creating a business account, the next step is to set up Instagram Shopping. Now, you don’t have to do this, and this step is mainly for designers who sell physical products like printed t-shirts or canvas art.
Here’s how to set up Instagram Shopping:
- Generate a product catalog via Facebook Catalog Manager (you can find this feature in Business Manager).
- Enable product tagging – this is easier if you already own a digital store on platforms like Shopify.
However, if you don’t already own a digital store, the process becomes a bit more tedious because you need to manually input the products’ details. For each product, you need a price, description, at least one image, and a link to the product on your website. Afterward, you submit and wait for approval, which can take several days.
Utilize Product Tags and Stickers
Once you have set up Instagram Shopping, you can use it to tag products in your stories and posts, and your users will be able to see the names and prices of your products. Moreover, through a single tap or click, they’ll be redirected to your website, generating traffic and increasing sales.
Now that your account is ready, you need customers to find you. You should try and boost engagement on your page because Instagram usually displays posts with positive responses to users.
Additionally, although you are out to sell a visual asset, you need to consider your captions. Your captions should be engaging and help express your graphics and their stories.
Hashtags and mention tags also help keep your posts relevant. Try to use general hashtags that most people use and specific ones related to your work. Keep in mind that Instagram tends to show posts to users based on their interests.
Maintain an Aesthetic
You should ensure that all your posts follow a similar style and tone. Think about how your bits of content will look when compared, or, more importantly, how they’ll all match together on an Instagram-style grid. As mentioned, the platform is highly focused on visuals, so it’s essential to maintain an attractive aesthetic.
Running ads can help the right consumers find you. Boosting engagements is great, but it is often not enough. Instagram has become a platform where people who don’t follow you are less likely to see your organic content. So, you should consider running paid ads to reach a larger audience.
You don’t need to spend a lot of money to reach your clients effectively. You can promote your posts on Instagram or opt for Facebook Ad Manager.
They are both effective, but you might prefer to go for the latter. It offers more customization and can help you reach the right demographic without wasting money. Furthermore, you can set your ads to run on only Instagram.
Consider adding product tags to your ads because it gives users an idea of your product and its price before they even view your page or website.
4. Sell Directly Through Email
You do not always have to put your art out there for the world to see. Yes, some people go to marketplaces and purchase templates and other graphics. Instead, however, you can focus on one brand or person and sell to them.
Sending cold emails is a classic but effective technique that works for all kinds of professionals. A cold email is an email you send to a recipient (you do not know) in order to transact with them. This could be to ask for a favor, present an opportunity, or in your case, sell your work.
Cold emailing can be challenging because you don’t know who you’re emailing and how they would react; therefore, you cannot change your approach based on their reaction. This is why a lot of cold emails fail. However, you can make it work with the right tools and tricks. Many before you have built careers using cold emails, so you can do it too.
5. Sell Using a Freelance Account
Freelancing is another great way to make money doing what you love. As a freelancer, you can set your hours, find a niche for yourself, and promote your services. There are some great platforms to choose from, two of the most popular include:
Upwork is one of the best and most prominent sites for most freelance graphic designers. Regardless of your expertise level, you’re likely to find plenty of job opportunities and clients. However, as a new freelancer, you might find it hard to make ends meet. You might even need to take on jobs that pay below your rates just to build your reputation. However, the experience is worth it once you do.
When you get paid on Upwork, the platform takes 20% of your earnings. However, as you earn more from a particular client, their fees reduce to 10%, and eventually 5%.
Fiverr is another well-known freelancing platform. It connects sellers to buyers so they can transact. Some time ago, the lowest you could make on Fiverr was $5, which is where the platform gets its name from. However, that has changed, and sellers can now set lower, and higher, prices.
The platform lets you sell your services at any rate you desire. After you create a gig, buyers will be able to find it, and if they like your offer, they can buy your product or service. Keep in mind that Fiverr also takes 20% of your earnings, and this fee does not reduce with time.
Now that you know some of the best ways to make money from your art, it’s time to put those skills to good use. Remember that as a creator, it is up to you to decide how much your work is worth. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise because, after all, you poured your heart and soul into what you made.
Moreover, remember that these are just a few suggestions. There are numerous other methods you can try to make money selling graphics online. All you have to do is be willing to explore creative new ideas.