2017 was my “do as I say, not as I do” year. For 2018, I’m going to change it up and go with “do as I do, but better”. That being said, the following are things that I don’t just suggest for artists, but things I actually do. Quick, simple and cheaply started, these things are user friendly to the starving artist to, not just get a person from zero to one hundred, but to simply get an artist off zero and started in an upwardly mobile direction financially. Disclaimer: These suggestions are not impervious to poor creative content and don’t guarantee you any income at all. The only assurance is that you can make a creative effort towards income flow with little or no investment. Enjoy.
1. Monetize Your YouTube Account
We’ll start with something that is even good for the laziest of the lazy and the most bummish of the bums; monetizing your YouTube videos. Monetizing your YouTube videos is an easy way to get into the wonderful world of passive income. Passive income is simply money that is being made without you doing anything or doing very little physically. You make a video, allow ads to be placed and sit back and accumulate royalties for ad clicks. To do this with YouTube, you need to create an account with Google AdSense and have an open bank account that the Google AdSense account can be linked to for sending your money, direct deposit. Like your YouTube account, Google AdSense is totally free so we are talking zero start up money. Your AdSense can also be linked to your website, YouTube channel, or both.
Don’t get the idea that you are going to post a video and get big bucks over night. The royalty is small and it takes a lot of hits to start seeing checks. It’s more of a set it up and forget it type of thing unless you can get obsessed with the idea that content is king and produce something really popular. Google AdSense doesn’t pay out until you clear $100 and it could take anywhere from months to years to make even that if your content isn’t generating enough hits. You can regularly check your account balance on Google AdSense, and when you do reach the payout level you can send the funds to your bank account with the click of a button. The main point is that your videos could be making some kind of money as you sleep, gig or party with your friends. Even a quarter is better than no many at all, especially when it’s made effortlessly.
Without question, the best way for any artist to supplement their income is through merchandise sales. In the past, the number one excuse for artists not having merchandise was that they didn’t have start up money for the first printing of merchandise. That excuse is no longer valid with the existence of TeeSpring and other companies like it. TeeSpring lets you upload your creative design (or even design something on their website) and put it on t-shirts, hoodies, coffee mugs, beach towels, pillows, stickers and even posters for zero start up money. Yes, you read that right, zero money down. You simply design the product and TeeSpring handles the printing and shipping of the product to the customer. There is no minimum product order and no money put up front by you. The product isn’t produced until someone orders it, so you don’t have to worry about being stuck with a room full of products that were printed and didn’t sell. TeeSpring takes a cut of the money from sales for production and shipping and then gives you the rest, so you’re basically being paid to be a designer. The only thing stopping you is poor design and flat out laziness.
3. Invest With the Stash App
When the average artist thinks of investing, they think of everyone but themselves. They think of individuals that are much smarter and wealthier than themselves that have extra money to invest in frivolous things. The general idea is that poor people don’t invest. STASH breaks that idea by making it possible for anyone to invest for as little as $20 with something called Penny Investing. For roughly the price of a case of beer, you can start investing. Investing is scary for the unexperienced and people have nightmares about losing their money. If this is you; start small. Literally start by investing just $20. Even with such a small amount you should diversify; meaning you shouldn’t spend it all in one place. Invest $5 here, another $5 over there, then watch what performs well, move it around or shut it down, all without a heartbreaking loss of your life’s savings. When your investment shows even the slightest return, Stash will send you an e-mail and you can open the app and watch your money make money. The more confidence you build, the more money you can put in. Either way, it’s a safe, cheap way to explore investing by buying portions of a stock.
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