How to make money with digital art?

Authors, musicians, painters, actors… what do they all have in common? Well, for a fact… we all know that the struggle is real. Oftentimes it can be extremely difficult to make money as an artist. Hopefully, some of these tips can help or relate to you.

Make money as an Artist Online

A lot of talented people use imagination, talent, or skill to create works that seek to provide an aesthetic value. But despite the romanticized and exciting image and lifestyle revolving around an artist, their lives are pretty tough.

Here we’d like to discuss how to build an audience and through them, how you can make money as an artist!

Make money as a digital artist

But what if I told you, a lot of financial and social problems can be alleviated or even fixed?

And you can earn a decent income and increase your followers. You just need to follow a more modern approach to art and problem-solving.

What are the best methods of making money as an artist?

Conventional methods of making money and a name for yourself as an artist are a thing of the past. The path to success no longer revolves around getting in touch with the right person to publish or display your work. You can do it by yourself in a matter of hours.

  • If you are a writer, self-publishing is the new way to go.
  • If you are a musician, you’ll have a bigger audience through Spotify or Soundcloud.
  • If you are a painter, uploaded images of your work online will open wider doors than any art gallery.

Of course, conventional methods are still a thing. But not for everyone. There is a huge amount of luck needed to find the right person at the right time to spread the word about your artistic talents.

The digital world has opened more doors for artists than ever before.

working on laptop

As a former artist myself who loved to write books and play music, I sought 2 important things with my work. On a realistic level, I needed money as we all do. But most importantly, I needed an audience who appreciated my work. Needless to say, things didn’t go very well. That is until I took matters into my own hands.

When trying conventional publishing, through a literary agent who submitted my work to a publisher, I ended up waiting for days, weeks, and months. Looking back, I think I was lucky if I got a rejection letter, because 90% of the time, my work got ghosted.

But lo and behold. One glorious day, my prayers were answered and my agent finally took his shot and scored a deal with an indie publishing company. It took 13 months 2 weeks and 3 days in total to get my first book, the Swindler Diaries on the shelves. At least that is what I believed would happen.

But the sales were sloppy and slow, and after 1 year, my book faded into a hollow memory.

What is Digital Art?

Whatever passion you pursue, if you want to be successful, people need to know who you are, and there is no better tool than the internet. Either having a website, a Youtube channel, or several social media groups with many followers is a must-have. Imagine the time, when you want to find out something about your favorite celebrity or artist you look up to. The first thing anyone would do is Google something about that person by entering his or her name or a renowned work.

Now imagine if you had your own website or channel with the same possibility. With a simple Google search, your name and work will appear. It is perhaps the best way to unveil who you truly are to the world.

How to Digitalize your Art?

digital marketingMany people are skeptical or fear the word “digital” thinking it is something, techie. But it couldn’t be further from the truth. Nowadays, you don’t need to code, just have an understanding of how certain platforms and the world of business work.

Over time, I decided to put some marketing, tech, and business skills to the test. I launched my own website, began an email campaign, and some social media marketing, and put all my efforts to the test. And even though my book did not become a best-seller, it still outperformed an entire publishing house in less time than it took my agent to find a publisher.

The point of this story is that artists today not only need to have some technical skills, but they have to be determined to follow a different route. One where technology and marketing can be the difference between success and failure. Opening new doors through the internet was perhaps the best choice I’ve ever made.

An artist can be any person who expresses him/herself through a medium. The word is also used in a qualitative sense of, a person creative in, innovative in, or adept at, an artistic practice.

What new methods should artists pursue?

Whatever passion you pursue, if you want to be successful, people need to find you on the internet. Either having a website, a Youtube channel, or several social media groups with many followers is a must.

Here are 10 Ways for Artists to make money online

There are multiple ways to make a living by selling something. Most of them involve getting familiar with the latest IoT and promoting your work as if you’re using the internet as your marketing channel.

1, Let People Find you on Google

Build your own website. In order to show off your skills, as a painter, author, photographer, or musician, you need people to find you. By having your own website with its own domain name, people will be able to find you on Google search when they want to know more about you or buy something from you.

Having your own website might require dedication and some work, but the payoff is immense. You can get started with Bluehost, where you can choose your company name for free and get your website running in a few minutes.

Try Bluehost

There are of course other hosting services I would recommend. It really depends on what you’d like and how much you’re willing to spend.

2, Use Social Media Tactics

social media marketing

Create a Public Facebook or Linkedin Group and start inviting people you know. This way you can build an audience by yourself without needing any technical knowledge. In the beginning, it will be your social media connections that help you grow.

Later you can create an email campaign through your website, where people can sign up. If you don’t want to bother with building a website or engaging in an email campaign, for the time being, it is completely fine. There are two amazing solutions that you can use for free.

My first advice is to go to Pinterest. It is perhaps the most rewarding platform in the world for artists to gather curious eyes around what they make. Pinterest is perhaps my fastest-growing social media channel with a lot of opportunities.

In that case, you can resort to asking your friends to invite their friends or acquaintances to join you. Given that you provide some sort of value for them, they will spread the word themselves.

3, Youtube is a Powerful Tool to Increase Conversions

Youtube options

Since 2017, the number of YouTube content creators that earn five figures a year is up by 35%. Whereas those who earn six figures a year is up by 40%, with the majority of that money coming from advertising. YouTube is currently available in more than 90 countries. This isn’t surprising since there are more than 1.9 billion monthly active YouTube users as of mid-2018. That equates to about one-third of all internet users. These are definitely Youtube statistics worth paying attention to!
Youtube has a lot to offer! But it is also VERY competitive and your videos need to stand out. But no worries, we are here to help you!
If interested you can download our free Youtube marketing guide to help you get started.

4, Give something for Free

Times International Books
By the way, if interested, check out our free giveaways!

Of all the ways to build an audience and get people to follow your work, I think this is the most inviting for everyone. Create quality content to give it away for free in the beginning until you build an audience. The word “free” sparks curiosity and gives confidence to people who do not know or trust you yet.

This also gives a guarantee that people will not spend money on something that might be a scam, low quality, or a waste of time.

Free giveaways like artwork, ebooks, tutorials, lectures, and consultancy are the easiest ways to market yourself and build awareness of your artistic talents.

5, Join Online Communities


An alternative way to mingle with your audience or circle of artists is to join online communities. This is an easier way to engage with people by applying to someone else’s community, like a popular person/organization or an influencer’s community.

You can comment or share your own thoughts. People can see it and respond to you OR you can respond to their comments. In the end, if you’ve provided some sort of valuable info, you can share a link to your own website so people can check it out.

Meetup is perhaps one of the best platforms to join or host events that are close to your niche. If you live in big cities, chances are, there is an event related to your interest right now.

It is quite easy to sign up and people are usually welcoming. The aim of Meetup is to nurture a community that you can revisit in the future. Therefore I’d advise you to sign up for some of these events and meet with like-minded people. Who knows, you might find a client, publisher, partner, or a friend to do business with.

6, Reach out via Email

This might sound like a tedious task, but it’s effective in the long term. Once you have established a website, a channel, or a product category, you can start emailing others in your niche. A simple:

“Hi there, I wanted to reach out to you regarding your (…….) I have had similar (……) and I was wondering if you’d be interested in taking a look at my work. Hopefully, it can be useful or interesting for you. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch.”

This is an email template I use. Usually, the result is that I get ghosted or ignored. But out of 10 people, one or two writes back with a kind email and you can continue building up a partnership.

Be aware that you should not pitch or sell anything to anyone. You are networking. So think of your emails as if taking your first step towards making an acquaintance as if saying hello and handing someone your business card.

7, Build an Ecommerce Store

online shopping

This is also a step that needs some time and dedication.  But its not hard at all. Once you have created a WordPress website, you can download a free plugin called Woocommerce. With this, you can start uploading some of your content that is available for sale or for free if you want to spread the word faster about your work.

8, Podcasting

man listening to music

This is an all-time beloved method. Podcasting is an industry with an advertising revenue forecasted to exceed $1B by 2021. Podcasts are becoming more popular because they’re easy to consume. People can listen to podcasts on the go, at work, in the car, at the gym, or at home. Since iPhones and Androids have microphones, they have everything you need to record audio.

9, Coaching and Mentoring

If you are good at something, never do it for free!

The same principle applies to knowledge and skill. And if you are good at something, don’t do it for free.

If you’re up for some work and design, you could build up your own course based on your research. This might be time-consuming a little, but the payoff is huge in terms of revenue. Thinkific gives you everything you need to easily create, market, and sell your own online courses. You can use your research to build a brand out of it and grow your audience.

Thinkific is an all-in-one platform that allows entrepreneurs and businesses to create, market, and sell online courses. The platform makes it easy to share knowledge, grow an audience, and scale a business.

10, Start Selling your Art Online


We have mentioned earlier using an E-commerce WordPress plugin called Woocommerce. However, if you don’t want to worry about designing and building a website, you can sign up for other platforms where you can design your own products. Etsy is a great place to use your creativity to design mugs, shirts, bedsheets, and many other products.

In Conclusion

The number one key strategy I can give you for building an audience and making money as an artist is this: GIVE!

Giving to people is what makes them keep coming back to you. This can be in the form of products, services, or even messages, or emotions. People remember how you made them feel and because of that giving to them will build trust and compassion.

This process is of course, quite long. So patience and persistence are needed. But most of all, don’t be afraid to engage in new technologies like building a new website and sharing your work. Be open to criticism as it helps you learn more than from praise.

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Taimur 2021-01-07 at 15:43

The job of a YouTuber indeed requires skills related to the ability to speak in front of an audience and capture their attention, but also skills in video editing and marketing. Because yes, without an audience, you will unfortunately not be able to earn money on Youtube.

Robert Kormoczi 2021-01-07 at 16:08

That is absolutely true Taimur! These days editing, marketing, and charisma have to work together to have a chance on YT.


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