When it comes to how to make money with your creative work, not many people are talking about the cost. The cost for you and the cost for your audience. I’m going to share some things I’ve learned since launching Create If Writing about planning out your revenue streams.
LISTEN TO EPISODE 136 – How to Make Money with Your Creative Work
HOW TO MAKE MONEY WITH YOUR CREATIVE WORK
I’m going to gloss over the conversation about whether or not you should make money with your creative endeavors. I firmly believe that there is a happy place where you can get paid to do what you love.
Yes, you can also sell out. I can’t tell you where that line is, but I think you know it in your heart when you do it.
Here are some common revenue streams for creative people:
- books or ebooks
- online courses
- coaching- group or individual
- membership sites
- paid teaching – at a school or workshops online or in person
- affiliate sales
- sponsored blog posts or social media posts
- ads on your site
- physical products
- side jobs – editing, freelancing, being a virtual assistant, etc
Those aren’t all the ways you can make money, but some of the more common ways creative people are making money online. I see a lot of people talking about the ways you can make money with these various revenue streams, but not a lot of people are talking about the COST. I don’t mean financially, though that is a factor. I’m going go dive deep into how you can consider the costs of these revenue streams.
WHAT DO DIFFERENT REVENUE STREAMS COST YOU?
You don’t always hear people talking about the non-monetary costs of revenue streams. For me, as an introvert and just as me personally, several of these were really hard for me in surprising ways. I’ll share some examples so you can be thinking about this.
Membership Sites – While all my members were amazing, the nagging feeling of having to create new content or provide new value monthly for paid people stressed me out. It hung over my head and I felt so good when I stopped charging people. I just didn’t love the way it hung over me.
Courses – I love the idea of a self-paced course. I also know I’ve bought courses that I never took and forgot about. So when I create courses that are self-paced, I love that I don’t have to keep up with people. But I HATE not knowing if people took the course. If they feel like they got their money’s worth. If they forgot completely about it. It’s almost the opposite end of the spectrum from courses.
Coaching – I have worked with amazing people this past year! Despite the high that comes from a productive conversation, as an introvert, having phone or skype calls with individuals does me in. For way more hours than I’d like to admit. Because as an introvert, I need to recharge ALONE. And I feel sometimes like a super introvert. I need to recharge MORE than some people. Coaching can be great, but I’m too tired emotionally to take on enough clients to make sense.
Books – When I sell books on Amazon, some of that comes from my mailing list. But much of it comes from visibility, the algorithm, newsletter swaps, ads, and paid promos. I do NOT feel like my email list has to support me personally. If they buy, great. Also– my books are under $5. So I don’t personally feel like a burden.
You may not realize it until you start doing something, but each revenue stream costs you SOMETHING. Maybe it’s time. It could be your emotional health. Or possibly the creative energy you need to do something else.
QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN CONSIDERING HOW TO MAKE MONEY
You don’t always know until you try, but here are some questions you might want to ask before you dive into a creative work:
What does it cost in terms of financial, time, emotion, and my SOUL?
- Do I love it?
- Does it energize me?
- Does it stifle other creative work?
- What does it cost my audience?
- Does this fit my audience’s price point?
- Does this strain my relationship with my audience to sell and promote?
If you aren’t sure about a revenue stream, try it. You can always cut back. But if you can think about these questions beforehand, you’ll be much better off!