3 Ways To Get Paid For Your Creativity

By Julia Dunn on August 1, 2016

It is exhausting to be a student working full-time jobs or several part-time jobs – after bills come around to take all your money away, you might feel discouraged about having so little extra money for fun things or for extra essentials you might need.

If you don’t want to add another job into your schedule and want to make a little extra money with minimal effort on your part, check out these three ways to sell your creativity and reap the monetary benefits over time:


Image via Flickr

Etsy is a marketplace of individuals selling handmade items. If you’ve never sold anything online before, this website is a solid place to learn a little bit about how it works while also featuring your own products on an online shop. Etsy is a space for crafty or imaginative people who want to get their own handmade items and clothing out for purchase.

You have to ship items to your customers when they order them, which can be slightly more time consuming than you’d like it to be as a college student, but Etsy is still a cool way to showcase your stuff. Selling on Etsy gives you a little less freedom than selling through your own website, and if you’re really into the idea of profiting from your own online store, you might consider starting your own website when you get the time.


Image via Flickr

Redbubble is a website that allows you to upload your own artwork and images to be printed on a variety of items including shirts, leggings, pillows, notebooks, tote bags, phone cases, and more. Independent artists should get excited about this online platform to gain exposure and make money from their work with no hassle at all.

Once your original image or artwork is on the website, website visitors can search for anything (a band, animal, style of art, etc.) and your image will appear in results depending on what category it falls into.

For instance, if you love listening to Greg Laswell’s music and you create a cool design on his name on graphic design software, you can put it onto Redbubble and anyone who searches for music-related images (or for that name specifically) can see it.

Then, that person can choose whichever product they want your design printed onto — you decide which products you want to offer as options for printing your design. You might choose to offer your graphic designs on only clothing, or you may want to sell other items like stationery featuring your art. You can even sell simple prints of your work if you don’t want anything too fancy being made with your art on it.

A huge benefit of using Redbubble is that you’re not involved at all in the production of items with your image on it. When a customer chooses your design and the product they want, you will get paid directly via PayPal. You get to choose the price you want to sell different items for, so the higher you price items, the higher a profit you’ll make for yourself per item.

Or, you can choose to sell items inexpensively and hope it leads to higher numbers of sales (there is a minimum amount you can sell items for, which accounts for the production costs on behalf of Redbubble). Once you’ve got a few images on your Redbubble page, there’s potential for you to make any amount of money. Even selling a few hundred stickers can get you substantial cash you can use for some new clothes or that unexpectedly high phone bill.

Plus, you’ll get to check out everyone else’s cool art and support other creative people.


Image via Pexels

There’s no guarantee you’ll make a great deal of money off of it, but it’s worth a try. If you write long-form works like novels or even collections of short stories and poems, you might consider self-publishing some of your writing on Amazon. This is another great way to showcase your work online, and at least some of your family and friends might buy your work. Promote yourself on social media to see if you can get a few sales that way, too!

Getting a little extra money in your wallet doesn’t have to mean selling your soul to another food service job. College students who feel tired of the average part-time job or simply need $20 here and there may feel refreshed by the possibility of a low-stress gig that can pay for their coffee trips before class.

These money-making methods shouldn’t be viewed as steady sources of reliable income, as profits are sporadic and come in varying amounts, but the different sales definitely add up after some time. Plus, it feels great to profit off of your own work and know that your online shop is working for you 24/7. Good luck and happy selling!

By Julia Dunn

Uloop Writer
I'm Julia, a third-year Literature (Creative Writing: Poetry) and Biology double major at the University of California, Santa Cruz. I am an editor/signer for Chinquapin Literary Magazine (the longest student-run literary magazine at UC Santa Cruz) and 1 of Uloop's 10 National Columnists as well as the Campus Editor for Uloop at UCSC. I am a memoirist, poet, and lover of literature and experimental writing!

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