How to Make Money Writing Poetry Part 2: Selling Poetry Gifts Online
A while back I started to write a series of articles on how to make money writing poetry. The first article in the series was on how to make money from a poetry blog. This is the second article in the series. In this article I discuss how you can make money creating poetry-art products and gifts. I will mostly cover making money from print on demand (POD) products and customized gifts because that is the method I use.
My Journey to Making Money Writing Poetry
Now I am assuming that most people reading this article are poets or would be poets. Based on that assumption I would like you to please take a moment to answer and ponder the following poll question (see poll below): “Have you ever made money from your poetry?” If you have made money from your poetry how did you accomplish this? (Please take a moment to answer in the comments section as this would really be helpful to your fellow poets reading this article). Having made those requests I will answer the questions myself. I have written poetry for quite a long time but I started making money from it only fairly recently. Like many poets out there I mostly wrote poetry for pleasure or to relieve stress. As a visual artist I also enjoyed creating embossed metal art paintings. A few years ago I decided to set up a poetry and art blog to showcase my creative work. Blogging was the perfect medium for me to share both my poetry and art. This blog was the inspiration for my first article on how to make money writing poetry. To date I have been able to generate money from my poetry through a variety of channels which I am documenting in my make money writing poetry series. These income channels include: my poetry blog; writing poetry on get paid to write websites such as hubpages.com and squidoo.com; and selling poetry art gifts online at Zazzle.com. There are other ways to make money with your poetry which I have not tried personally these include publishing and selling poetry books and selling greeting card verses. As you will notice my poetry income sources all center around making money online and eCommerce. For now that remains my focus however, I may eventually diversify to offline methods. In this article I will discuss how you can make money online with print on demand poetry products.
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Selling Poetry Gifts Online from Print on Demand Companies
Print on demand is often associated with the book publishing industry however, with the advent of companies like Cafepress.com, Zazzle.com and Printfection.com it is now associated with a variety of products. POD technology and associated companies such as Zazzle.com allow individuals to create and sell customized gifts online and generate an income from them. I have set up online stores at three print on demand companies namely: Zazzle.com, Printfection.com and FineArtAmerica.com. For my poetry products I have mostly focused on my Zazzle store because:
1. They offer a wide range of products.
2. Customers can personalize or customize the products e.g. add a gift recipient’s name.
3. They have an affiliate program so other people can sell your products for you (most of my sales have actually been generated by affiliates).
4. When you sell or refer a sale for your own products you earn your regular royalty PLUS a referral commission.
Having said that I do still sell my products from other POD companies, it is always good to diversify. My FineArtAmerica.com gallery is fairly new but I do intend to add poetry art prints to it in the near future.
How to Sell Poetry Products Online at Print on Demand Companies:
- You sign up for a free account (note some print on demand companies like Cafepress and FineArtAmerica.com also offer paid membership options with perks such as artist websites).
- You create products by adding your images and/or poetry to them. Most print on demand companies have easy to use platforms for creating products. For those of you who are not artistically inclined you can use photographs for your images, or you can look for public domain images which are licensed for commercial use (make sure you use only images that are licensed for commercial use) however, you also have the option of creating products that have text only so do not worry if you are not an artist you can still create and sell POD products.
- Use Keyword research to decide on tags for your products, your product title and your product descriptions. See my Make Money Blogging Poetry Hub for tips on keyword research.
- Set your royalty or markup (this is what you get paid each time you sell a product).
- Add your product to the marketplace or post your product for sale in your store.
- Each time someone orders one of your products the print on demand companies handle the customer order, payment and shipping and then pay you your royalties usually after a 45 day period to allow for customer returns. Some POD companies also have a payment threshold and will pay you only after you reach the threshold e.g. when you have earned $25 or more on Printfection and $50 or more on Zazzle. FineArtAmerica.com does not have a payment threshold.
Tips and Best Selling Poetry Gifts
An investment tip I have often heard is, “invest in companies that make products you use.” I would like to use this concept in helping you decide what products to add your poetry to. Much as we do not realize it, there are quite a number of gifts and products that feature poetry. So when thinking about how to monetize your poetry (i.e. how to make money from your poetry) think of products or gifts that you have seen which feature poetry. Off the top of my head here are a few I know of which also happen to be sold by POD companies: greeting cards, poetry posters or art prints, framed tiles featuring poetry or quotes, poetry plaques, keepsake boxes featuring poems, fridge magnets featuring short poems or quotes, mugs with poetry and t-shirts with clever quotes. Based on my own poetry gift sales and poetry products I have sold for others as an affiliate I have found that the best selling poetry products tend to be poetry posters or prints and poetry plaques. When thinking of what poetry products to sell you also need to think about which poems appeal most to people some examples include; greeting card verses, wedding or anniversary poems, birthday poems, motivational poems and love poems for Valentine's Day. Do your keyword research to see what poetry is most searched for and then create poetry products centered around those keywords. Image or appearance counts so another way to sell your poetry is to pair it with attractive art work for example you can look for public domain flower borders and use these on your poetry posters. Promote your products and stores you can do this on your blog, twitter, Facebook, Stumble Upon, on your Squidoo Lens or hubs and via word of mouth and business cards. Like I mentioned previously I like Zazzle because it has an affiliate program where people get paid referral commissions for selling your products. So in a way you have an extended group of marketers and people who may be better at selling your products than you are. As I mentioned in my case most of my sales have come from affiliates however, a few have also been generated by me. Anytime I generate a sale for my own product on Zazzle I get paid twice, I receive my royalty plus a referral commission.
Those are a few tips and ideas for creating poetry gifts and products which you can sell to earn money. That concludes part two of my make money writing poetry online series. I hope it is helpful to all of the struggling poets out there. Please take a moment to comment below on methods that you have used to earn money with your poetry and your success so far. Thank-you.
How To Make Money Writing Poetry Series
- How To Make Money Writing Poetry Part 1: Make Money from Your Poetry Blog
Part One in the "How to Make Money Writing Poetry Series" includes tips on making money blogging and keyword research.
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