How to make money on the Internet as an artist

7 min readJul 12, 2022

Being an artist is not easy. Although doing what you love and being your own boss is enticing, not everyone is up to the challenges that come with it, especially the financial challenges. There are currently a lot of ways in which you can use the internet as a tool to earn money if you’re an artist.

To make this process easier, we’ve put together a few examples to help artists navigate the world of online creative marketplaces and monetization.This article is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather, to illustrate some overlooked ways creators and artists of all kinds can monetize themselves to make some extra money or possibly to live off of their work by using Web2 and Web3.

  1. YouTube

YouTube is probably the most famous and number one go-to when it comes to monetization. That is because YouTube has over a billion users, which makes it a great platform for promoting your work. As a Content Creator on YouTube, you can make video tutorials about how to draw, how to mix colors, how to write storylines, or how to use a certain software; you can make reviews about art supplies you use, or even start a vlog documenting your life as an artist. It’s all up to your imagination. All you have to do is start filming, join YouTube’s Partner Program, and get 55% on advertising revenue on ads.

As a Content Creator, you can even collaborate with brands that are looking for influencers with your target audience to advertise their product, so you can get paid to make video reviews of products that you already normally use on your crafts (and even get some products for free!). In addition, you can also earn money by channel memberships, where subscribers pay a monthly membership to access your exclusive content; and with Super Chat, when subscribers pay to have their comments featured in the comment section.

However, the advertising revenue is based on the number of views or on the number of clicks, so small channels don’t receive much money under YouTube’s partner program. Added to that, it is not that easy getting views, since YouTube’s algorithm will favor major channels. Moreover, you have to have at least 1,000 subscribers in order to join the partner program, so it may take a while before you start earning money.

2. Online courses

During COVID times, many people have started teaching online courses to supplement income. Platforms like Coursera, Udemy, Skillshare and Domestika allow anyone to create content in the form of classes to thousands of people, and believe us, there are people looking for classes in the most diverse genres. The biggest differential of these platforms from YouTube is that they allow users to get certifications for the courses they make (usually for an extra fee), attesting their new skill acquired.

Like on YouTube, you have to record yourself teaching a topic you master — as an artist, it could range from oil painting, watercoloring, drawing, singing, painting techniques on Photoshop, etc -, but unlike YouTube, you have to also organize a pedagogic plan for your course, stimulate discussions, and motivate your students. The most important thing is that whatever topic or skill set you choose has to have something useful attached to it so that people will want to pay for your shared knowledge.

If you have a talent for inspiring others through your words and actions, then videos can be an excellent way to reach out to people all over the world who are interested in learning from you. Teaching online requires more research, preparation, and engagement with students than just making a video for YouTube, but it can be a great way to make extra money, since most platforms pay you for every student that enrolls in your classes.

3. Crowdfunding Platforms

If you are not interested in creating video content at all, you can put your project on a crowdfunding platform. Platforms like Patreon, Kickstarter, Ko-Fi, Indiegogo allow you to get recurring or one-off donations from a large number of contributors, so they can be a big opportunity to raise money, especially if you know a lot of people or have a considerable number of followers. You can even offer some rewards, such as your art goods or services, in exchange for people’s contribution, and that could encourage more people to donate.

Platforms like Patreon allow artists to give contributors/fans special perks, such as exclusive content, which motivates them to be more invested in the artist. The more involved fans are with what the artist is doing, the more excited they will feel about what the artist is creating next, and that increases the likelihood of continuing to support them in the future. The main challenge with these platforms is convincing the other person to make a donation to you, since they’re not actually paying for a service, which may be difficult during times of economic crisis (not many individuals can afford to be philanthropic).

4. NFTs

Now we enter the realm of Web3 and Blockchain. Blockchain might be difficult to understand at first, but artists can definitely benefit greatly from it, especially since now we’re seeing the rise of the “Decentralized Creator Economy”. NFT stands for Non-Fungible Tokens, and they are used to represent ownership of unique digital items. “Fungible” is an economic term used for things that are not interchangeable, because they have properties unique to them, and for that, they can only be owned by one person at a time, and that ownership is secured by the network they’re in.

NFTs are assets that give the ability to assign or claim ownership of any piece of unique digital data, and for that, they can be used in games, collectibles, and other applications on the blockchain — and they’re a great way to make money from your artwork. They’re also more flexible than traditional artworks because they can represent any kind of digital asset: music tracks or movies; pieces of art; software programs; 3D models; etc. With NFTs, you get paid whenever someone buys or sells them on the blockchain.

Unlike traditional online auction sites, where you have to pay fees on top of your already-low prices, NFTs can be bought and sold without having to worry about any middlemen taking their share of the profits. Take RAC, for example, a musician who has made 12.5 ETH (about $39,000 at the time) from selling his song as a NFT to 100 fans, which in Spotify would be equivalent to 9.75 million people listening to his song. With that, it is easy to see how Blockchain can empower artists, even if they don’t have that many fans to support them.

5. DeFi

DeFi stands for Decentralized Finance, and it refers to financial services that are built on blockchain technology and operate with less or no centralized authority. They are the result of an evolution of finance from centralized systems like banks and financial institutions. DeFi is a little more complicated than the concept of NFTs, since they can have many applications, but they are basically a way of earning interest rates on your cryptocurrency holdings without having them in an account at a traditional bank.

There are a lot of projects in DeFi for managing and investing your money, but in this article, we will focus on cobogo, a platform made especially for creators, and that includes artists, that has the goal of giving them power over their own monetization and their communities. cobogo has designed an unique, win-win, monetization mechanism that allows fans to support their favorite Content Creators sustainably. It works by having the Content Creator deploy their own Staking Pool, where their fans can stake CBG, cobogo’s native token, in. After that, both Creators and Fans get rewarded in the form of a yield, in a 50–50 split.

Artists can also use cobogo, even if they are not Content Creators per se. All they have to do is connect to YouTube to be able to onboard cobogo, and let their community know they can now support them. The main difference from crowdfunding platforms is that with cobogo, fans don’t have to give off their money to their favorite artists, but instead, it’s like they are depositing it in a savings account that pays interest for both them and the artist. Plus, their initial contribution will still be there for them to withdraw anytime they want.

In addition, with cobogo, fans will be able to have a Staking Position, that will give them access to special content, exclusive Discord/Telegram groups, vote for future videos, and any other perk the artist wants to offer, just by staking for them. Moreover, in the next few days cobogo will introduce the Creator Profiles, where artists will be able to display and advertise their services, such as art commissions or videos, so clients can find the artists that best fit their needs. cobogo will act as an agency, but without the exorbitant fees, curating Creators and Artists, in what we call the Media Market, so they can be matched with high-quality clients.

Once you’ve figured out the best way to monetize your artistic skills, it’s time to get started! We hope this guide has given you some inspiration and ideas that will help get you on the right path to making money as an artist. If you want to know more about cobogo and how to monetize your art with it, send us a message!

About cobogo:

cobogo is a platform made especially for Content Creators, with the mission of giving them power over their own monetization and their communities, using Web3 to achieve that. It has a unique Staking Mechanism that allows fans to support their favorite Creators while earning rewards, and it allows Creators to advertise their work more effectively.

Website | Documentation | Discord | Twitter | Telegram