Posted in art, marketing, selling

Making Money Online (and Off)

There are all sorts of places to make money online (and off). It really depends on what you’re selling, or what you want to make to sell.

When it comes to selling online and creating things that I also want to sell, there are a few sites that I like to go to. There are also some options out there where you can share your smarts (in a way) and make some money.

Selling

If you have stuff to sell, there are endless online options. I stick with one site. Mainly because that site has worked for me in the past and because I don’t like to spread myself too thin online. I’d rather stick with one online sales outlet and then spread my product out offline, locally.

That one site that I use is Etsy. Here is a link to my shop – Glass Goat Publishing. Etsy has fees. There is a standard fee for posting items and a fee when your item sells. Your stuff is up for a limited time, but you get a lot of benefits with an Etsy shop – including the fact that people like to shop there. Etsy is strictly for vintage, handmade, and craft supplies.

Worth looking into – Etsy isn’t the only place you can sell. I’ve heard good things about the Facebook Marketplace, though I haven’t tried it out yet. You can try eBay. There are also sites that connect with your own website (or stand-alone) that cost a monthly fee, like Shopify. That’s a good one IF you already have a steady stream of regular clientele. Opting for any of these sites opens up the ability for you to sell anything you want, whether or not it’s handmade or vintage.

Earning

Want to make some money even when you’re not doing direct sales? You can try to earn funds to launch a new product or new business on a crowdfunding site – like Kickstarter or GoFundMe. The newest fad is Patreon, however.

On Patreon people sign up to pay you a monthly fee for something in return (as little as a thank you on social media to as much as something cool in the mail each month or every few months). I am on my second Patreon. My first was somewhat successful, but I stopped doing that “business” and launched something new.

There’s no charge to get on Patreon, though they do take a cut when someone becomes a paid Patron. Here’s a link to my Patreon, so you can take a look around.

Making

Whether you want to make posters, bookmarks, stickers, or something even cooler; there are all sorts of options online for creating marketing style materials. I have two favorites.

My main go-to for marketing items (whether I’m selling them or giving them away) is Vistaprint. It’s where I buy all of my business cards and it’s where I order posters when I need them for selling/signing/author events.

I recently ordered bumper stickers and bookmarks from them and was extremely impressed. I also get cards and postcards from them that sell well.

The other site I like and sometimes use, which is similar to Vistaprint in some ways (but offers so much more) is Zazzle. You can make wrapping paper, material with your own art on it, and tons of other cool things. It’s not cheap, but they make quality items. I’ve ordered buttons and stickers from them, and they never disappoint.

 

Where do you like to sell, earn, and make online? Where should I be looking? What am I missing out on?

Posted in Freelance Writer, Indie Author

Writer’s Toolbox – Websites and Apps to Make Advertising More Colorful

Whether you’re designing an ad or creating a post for one of your social media accounts – you need to make sure that your company stands out (even if your company is just you). As an author and freelance writer (oh, and as a crafter), I do a lot of online promoting. If you want people to see what you’re promoting, you need to use more than words.

I’m not putting these sites in any kind of order – they all offer something unique that is worth using.

Lumen5

Lumen5 is an easy to use (and free) website that lets you make slideshow style videos (they even have music you can use). You can use your own photos or use photos they have available. They might have paid options, but I’ve been able to get all I want from the freebies, so I haven’t really looked that deeply into it.

I like to use Lumen5 to make trailers and sneak peek videos for my books. I’ve also used it to share tips from some of my articles, with links to the complete works included at the end of the video. You can check out my YouTube channel to see what I’ve done using Lumen5.

Clipping Magic

ICHINGDon’t have Photoshop, but need to remove the background from your images so you can add them to cool new backgrounds? For $3.99 a month I get 15 credits from Clipping Magic (they have a couple other pricing options for people that need to clip more pictures a month). It takes one credit to “clip” a photo. And, if you don’t use all of your credits up each month, they continue to accumulate (you don’t lose them).

I love this site because it is easy to use – you just highlight the stuff you want to keep using green and highlight the areas you want to be removed with red, and you’re all set. It also has a “sculpting” tool to help with fine lines.

PicMonkey

Iguana Hold Your HandI love PicMonkey. I used them back when they had far more free options, and then gave them up when they started charging for more stuff. However, because I couldn’t find another free site that did exactly what they do, I went back. I got a week for free, and now I am paying $7.99 a month to use them – but it’s well worth it (and it’s a tax write-off too).

PicMonkey lets me upload photos, add fun backgrounds (like the one in the I-Ching kit picture above, which I made with PicMonkey). They also have a bunch of cool face editing features so you can make yourself into a witch, a vampire, or even a zombie. They have holiday themes and so much more.

Canva

Poetry about life, loss, love, and everything in between.Available at Lulu.comThe Canva website and app are easy to use, and they are an absolute must for online advertising (especially on social media). This is ideal for people that want something free (they have paid options as well). You can load your own photos, use free ones from them, or purchase some – depending on what you need.

Canva is my go-to tool for cool Facebook page covers and general book adds (plus, I love the ability to access it via an app on my phone from anywhere).

Pixabay

Pictures are important – they capture people’s attention before they even see your words. You don’t have to have a bunch of your own photos or be a photographer to get your hands on great photos to use in advertising, on blog posts, on social media, or even on your book covers. You can find a plethora of free photos on Pixabay (though it is nice to donate a few bucks once in a while to the people who are taking the photos you’re using).

I have a strict rule of only using my own photos for my book covers, but I do use Pixabay often when I write articles for Vocal.

Image Size Calculator

It’s easy to hop into Paint and resize a photo, but how do you know what size to make it? When you’re working with online photos or even photos that you might be printing out Resolution matters. I found a handy free tool online that lets you determine the Pixel to Inch calculations for a photo, with the ability to pick what DPI you need. Different DPI will calculate to a different Inch size. You can use it in reverse as well (though it takes some trial and error) to find out how many Pixels a certain size (in inches) photo needs to be.

I use this tool when I am creating posters, postcards, and even bookmarks to print through VistaPrint.

 

These are some of the websites and apps that I use on a regular basis to make all sorts of things to share with people on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram. Next post (in a week or so) I will share some of the sites I like to use to make money – whether I’m selling something, creating something to sell, or looking for backers.